Family. Home. Personal growth. Human connections.
The pandemic year of 2020 crystallized the things that are most important to us. A year of upheavals also made us think differently about old notions. Are the traditional ways of doing things really the best?
Suddenly, families all around the world discovered that school doesn’t have to be confined to a classroom. Online education is becoming more popular. Children can bloom where they’re planted. The future of online education is here, right now. Learning that comes into the home can be more enriching and fulfilling. The key to success, though, is personalization of learning to the student’s needs and interests, and delivery by trained teachers who know how to make online learning an engaging experience.
Embracing the Shift to Distance Learning
The era of online learning arrived with a bang in millions of homes. Even as families adjusted to a new normal, many realized that distance learning was benefiting their kids. Their children were free from the distractions of the traditional school day — the wasted time, the bullies, the lack of attention to their unique needs, the cliques and the drama. At home, children could concentrate on their lessons and spend their time pursuing their own interests.
In short, serendipity introduced many parents and students to the benefits of online learning and its compatibility with family life and values. Is online learning the future of education? Here in the 21st century, the answer is yes.
As the World Economic Forum put it, “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever.” Even before 2020 global investments in education technology reached $18.6 billion, and the overall market for online education is expected to reach $350 billion by 2025. Clearly, online learning was already becoming mainstream. When the pandemic sent more than 1.2 billion children globally out of the classroom, the trend accelerated.
In the pivot to distance learning, teachers, kids and families discovered new strengths in themselves. Teachers and students found it easier to communicate in real time. Children learned to take responsibility for their own progress. Parents gained a voice in their children’s education.
Naturally, challenges remain, but the shared experience demonstrated that distance learning is a viable option that can be more effective than traditional learning. As the World Economic Forum also notes, online learners retain 25 to 60 percent of material versus the classroom average of only 8 to 10 percent. In fact, online learning requires 40 to 60 percent less time than traditional classroom settings. Clearly, the era of online learning has arrived, and it is alive and well.
Do Students Really Need a Traditional Classroom Setting?
There was a time when the traditional classroom made sense for most children. Professional teachers had the skills and the knowledge to guide children up the ladder of grade levels. Schools offered textbooks that weren’t in the family library. Blackboards were considered advanced technology for efficiently conveying new concepts to groups of learners. Children could gather to help and support each other.
Today, all of those purposes and uses can be condensed to a 14-inch screen. The best, most highly qualified teachers can come to your child, instead of the other way around. A simple online search brings up a world of knowledge. Children get together virtually from the safety of their homes.
Technology has produced computers durable enough to stand up to kids but more powerful than the NASA systems that sent men to the moon in 1969. In the meantime, educators are learning how to deliver a rich learning experience through virtual contact and online resources. Teachers are customizing learning to the needs of every student, instead of plowing ahead or slowing down to meet a classroom timeline, which inevitably leads to students who fall behind or get bored waiting for classmates to catch up. The move toward digital learning has made it clear that children don’t necessarily need a traditional classroom for learning and educational success.
What Benefits Does Online Learning Provide Students?
What makes online learning unique — and effective? At CCA, it’s technology in the hands of skilled educators. Cyber schools engage the entire family in guiding children toward academic achievement while preparing them for lifetime success after graduation.
The features of online learning make it a perfect fit for children and families who want a quality education but can’t find one to fit their unique circumstances. At CCA, benefits include:
- Safety and convenience for families who live in remote areas or dangerous neighborhoods. Children whose schools don’t take bullying seriously can learn at home, without the fear and distress that distract from academics.
- Learning at your child’s own pace. Children who need extra time to learn a new concept can stay on track academically, while those who need a challenge can get the stimulation that keeps them enthusiastic about learning.
- A flexible learning environment. Children can pursue intensive training in the arts or athletics, manage medical needs, get work experience, devote time to community service or travel with their families — all without being tied to a classroom schedule.
- Personalized learning. One-size-fits-all classrooms can’t accommodate your child’s unique learning styles. CCA personalizes school to the child’s interests and abilities, making the school day an exciting journey for which it’s worth getting out of bed.
- Student-centered learning. Through educational technology, students can identify what they need to learn, find resources that answer their questions, apply the information they learn and get instantaneous feedback from teachers and classmates. By exploring open-ended questions, children flex their imagination and logic muscles, learning how to make decisions instead of simply memorizing facts and figures.
- Family supports. Online learning is not a solitary pursuit. At CCA, experienced families mentor new ones on the details of cyber learning and staff members provide technical and academic support.
- Active student life. CCA students make friends through fun field trips and clubs that connect them with like-minded peers ready to learn more about everything from building robots to putting on plays.
- Family involvement. Online learning leverages the power of technology to make parents and guardians true partners in their children’s education. Parents and teachers work together on student learning plans, because parents are the ones who know their kids best.
What to Know About CCA’s Online Learning Programs
The future of education is dynamic, personalized and hands-on. It just so happens that CCA schooling is all that and more. CCA students learn from each other and the world around them, through the CCA commitment to meeting the needs of the whole child.
Consider these programs that amplify the benefits of online learning.
- Career-readiness: Your child shouldn’t wake up the day after graduation wondering what comes next. CCA’s Career Pathways model delivers 21st century skills, career exploration and the tools to succeed in life — starting as early as elementary school. Because online learning is so flexible, our high school students can enlist in meaningful internships that teach valuable work skills and encourage career planning.
- Gifted and talented programs: Personalized learning gives gifted and talented students the challenges they crave. At CCA, students in grades 3-12 enjoy project-based learning and regular problem-solving through the Honors Program. High school students can also take rigorous Advanced Placement and college courses. CCA’s Honors and AP programs meet or exceed the standards of the National Association for Gifted Children.
- English language development: Celebrating the multicultural richness of the student body, CCA offers a multifaceted approach for English learners, building skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Family supports include access to interpreters and translations for all school-to-home communications.
- Special education: Personalized learning makes CCA an ideal fit for students with special needs. Strategies, services and IEPs are customized to help all children reach their full potential.
- Diverse and engaging curriculum: An enticing array of courses invites children to explore new areas of knowledge, while CCA’s distinctive approach empowers teachers to stoke your child’s curiosity to learn more.
- Accreditation by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools proves that CCA has the resources and capabilities to deliver high-quality online learning. It’s a seal of approval saying that CCA does what it says it will do — and not every online school can say the same. Dedicated, state-certified teachers make sure that your child graduates ready for the next step in life, whether that’s college, career training, the workforce or military service.
Learn More About Commonwealth Charter Academy
Online education is becoming more popular because it brings personalized, flexible education to your home. Studies show that online learning is breathtakingly efficient, helping your child retain more knowledge in less time. Online learning dispenses with stuffy, outdated ideas of school — no classroom needed! Your child benefits from a rich curriculum and vibrant programs, all delivered at an individualized pace, and without the drama of the traditional brick-and-mortar school. School becomes exciting again, because students pursue their own interests and see for themselves how learning leads to knowledge and accomplishment. Contact CCA today to find out how online education helps your child learn and grow.