It’s fair to say that for students and parents, the world has changed dramatically throughout 2020. When schools closed in mid-March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the way we thought about learning changed. Parents faced different career challenges such as going to work, working from home or unemployment, they commonly faced the challenge of teaching their children. Meanwhile students faced isolation from friends, new ways of learning when going online and cancelled proms. Regardless of our individual challenges, things are different now and many students are wondering how to finish high school online in Ontario during this pandemic.
The new normal extends to education at the end of 2020 and into the 2021 school year. The Ontario Ministry of Education has mandated that high schools will open with increased health and safety standards and that “approximately 70% of secondary students will begin the 2020-2021 school year with a combination of in-school and remote learning days.” Students will be learning 50% of their time in a classroom and 50% of their time online. Although this seems like the only possible option for administering back to school during the pandemic the reality remains that many are challenging the new normal of online learning. As an online school in Ontario, Ontario eSecondary School (OES) is here to ease some of the concerns that parents and students alike have and recommend some options for back to school for high school students.
The Rise of Online Learning
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries and companies were beginning to invest in online schooling options. Many believe that online learning is here to stay post-pandemic in a hybrid model that blends in-person and digital learning. As highlighted by the World Economic Forum, Zhejiang University put more than 5,000 of their courses online while the Imperial College London started offering a course on the science of coronavirus. With major institutions making the shift to online, education in 2020 is surely changing.
Online learning has some important benefits. Research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. Why is it more effective? Students can learn faster online and e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom as students can learn at their own pace. This means no waiting for your teacher to assist classmates with concepts. If you understand it, you can move onto the next lesson. There’s also more opportunity to take time you need on concepts that are more challenging as you can go back to re-read something and slow down if you need it. Online learning gives you the option of skipping, or accelerating through concepts as students choose.
The rise of online learning also has a more user-centric approach. What does this mean? Well, online learning puts the individual student first. Forbes magazine highlights in an article around workplace learning, that modern learning platforms are more centered around building, curating, distributing and measuring the use of content that is designed to go digital. This includes a focus on mobile learning and delivering a stronger learner experience that is geared towards the technology that students use.
Online Learning Course Options
Education in 2020 is going to put an emphasis on learning online and many students may be wondering how to finish high school online in Ontario. This is the simple reality we are living in and one that we at Ontario eSecondary School are quite excited about. With a shift to online, it is important to think about strategies for gaining the credits you need to get your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) as well as the prerequisite courses for post-secondary school. Like your typical in-person high schools, online schools in Ontario offer many of the courses you need to attain your OSSD.
One of the key differentiators for learning online is the opportunity to take courses that may not be offered at your usual high school, as we highlighted in one of our past blog posts Advantages of Taking a High School Course Online. There is often more variety in online high school courses that are offered. Often we hear of students who took a course with Ontario eSecondary School simply because it wasn’t available at their current physical school. Our course offerings extend from math, science, English, history, the arts and business. We even offer an online course that satisfies your health and physical education credit! PPZ3C – Health for Life is a course at OES that is structured for online learning that emphasizes the concept of wellness.
We have many science and math credits available, but also offer credits in subjects that may be a prerequisite for post-secondary school, but is not available at a physical school. Interested in studying international business? Try BBB4M – International Business – Grade 12. Need that physics prerequisite? We have SPH4U – Physics – Grade 12. There is a large variety of course options available for students online that may not be available in your physical school. Check out our courses page to see what works for you.
Subjects Taught By Experts
There are many benefits to online learning through accredited online schools in Ontario like Ontario eSecondary School. One of the more obvious reasons is that you can continue to social or physically distance. For both elementary and secondary students, in-person school attendance will be optional for the 2020-2021 school year so that parents can make decisions that work for their children and family. If you’re a parent or student who is on the fence about doing your schooling online, consider a few of the benefits of online learning that we covered in our blog post, Advantages of Taking a High School Course Online.
We’ve already touched on the variety and availability of courses as well as the ability to be flexible in your learning, but one thing that we haven’t highlighted is our biggest strength, our instructors! One of the challenges with a physical school is geography. Schools are limited by the teachers that are available to teach a subject in their school or school board. That means that there may also be a lack of specialist teachers who can teach a subject. With online learning, certified instructors are not tied to a specific location and therefore can teach from anywhere! This provides the flexibility in our ability to hire great instructors who are Ontario College of Teachers certified.
Tips for Learning Online
It’s not surprising as an online school in Ontario, we’d sing the praises of online learning, however we do understand that there are challenges such as availability of technology or distractions at home. That’s why we also have some tips for students who are learning online.
Early on in the pandemic, we published an article, Tips For Online Learning During The Covid-19 Pandemic that highlights some great habits to form as you continue your digital learning journey.
First, set a daily routine. One of the most important things you can do is to set your mind up for attending online high school. Following a routine in the morning that you repeat every day can help you be much more successful when you are at home and learning online. Think about the things you would do if you were going to a physical school. Perhaps you used to walk to school? If you did, try going for a walk in the morning before you start your day. That way you can get some fresh air and can prepare yourself for the day ahead. You definitely used to get dressed for school, so make sure you don’t work in your pyjamas. Even if you’re “attending” an online school in Ontario this fall, it should be taken seriously and one big tip is to not work in your pyjamas. Not getting dressed appropriately to learn blurs the line between school and home. Fast Company highlights that it’s very important to create boundaries between work, school and home.
Second, ensure you’re prepared for school at home by setting up a dedicated workspace. This can be challenging if you have siblings or parents who are also at home for social distancing, but establishing a defined workspace has many benefits such as allowing you to control your environment and avoid distractions, and can help you define the lines between school and home.
Third, as important as it is to focus on learning, it is equally important to take breaks away from your workspace. At school you would break up your day by switching classrooms, perhaps going to different space by eating lunch in another location than where you are learning. Make sure you take adequate breaks at least every 60 to 90 minutes.
Finally, practice mindfulness. It’s easy to get bogged down in new ways of learning, the news of the world around us and just the fact that your family is always around. We get it, many of us are in the same boat. Therefore, it’s good to practice mindfulness not just to get through the pandemic, but also in every day practice. Mindfulness builds awareness of your body and mind and has been known to reduce stress and relieve tension in your body.
There are four parts to mindfulness:
- Attention regulation. This is the ability to maintain awareness of one thing during meditation, such as your breathing/breath. This can help develop positive emotions.
- Body awareness. This is the ability to monitor your body’s sensation and is meant to foster emotional awareness and regulation.
- Change in perspective on yourself. This is the ability to alter your self-perception and is important to creating a growth mindset.
- Emotional regulation. This is the ability to adjust emotional responses through a variety of strategies/techniques. When practicing mindfulness, it’s good practice to expose yourself to emotions whether they be good or unpleasant.
Practicing mindfulness is something we can’t hype up enough. It’s a great practice in your daily life that simply let’s yourself to reset mentally.
OES is Built for Online Learning
We know that education in 2020 is different for many students who have never taken a course online before. The students who have taken an online course, know that there are challenges. These challenges were seen when schools closed in March and will continue as there hasn’t been adequate time for the public school system to catch up.
Online high schools like Ontario eSecondary School are already experts at online learning. In our case we know that we’re offering students a product, which are online high school courses. As such, we are incentivized to make the online experience easy to navigate and understand, while providing you high quality lessons and content that meet the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education. If you’re wondering how to finish high school online in Ontario, we’re a great option!
OES is a purpose built online school in Ontario. Our instructors are experienced in teaching students online and our courses are structured in a clear and concise manner to make it easier for you to guide your learning. As an accredited Ontario online high school, we structure our courses per the Ontario Ministry of Education standards and break up our lessons into very intentional and digestible content that ensures our courses are consistent for all students and creates a positive and streamlined experience so you can earn Ontario high school credits online.
If you’re currently attending high school in Ontario, or if you’re looking for an adult high school in order to upgrade your marks as an international student, OES has a wide range of courses available. From SBI4U to MHF4U, the amazing teachers at OES are ready to support you and help you meet your goals all over the world.
The Ontario eSecondary School has been inspected and accredited by the Ontario Ministry of Education. What does this mean? As a virtual school, all of our courses are recognized by and can be used toward an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and are also recognized as part of your OUAC application. This makes OES a great partner for upgrading Ontario high school credits online and is also perfect for adult students or international students looking to earn credits for post-secondary.
Learn more about our courses at oeshighschool.com