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What is a Virtual School and How to Start One

Michael’s alarm rings at 8 a.m. He hits the snooze button. He was up late the night chatting with friends about this new research project of feeding newborn chicks. He has an assignment to finish this day about Little Prince’s story. As he wakes up, everyone is gone from home, he takes a comfortable seat in the kitchen and connects with his school’s site to see the latest comments on the project. He feels excited about what this upcoming real-life problem in maths will be. He has to go through his teachers’ slideshow presentation, and read the instructions carefully. He will discuss with his classmates through Zoom about the problem and then, they will use Google Docs to show each other the steps they’ll take and comment on ideas.

The above scenario is based on a kid’s life who has transferred from traditional to virtual schooling. There were several reasons he quit public school to attend virtual schooling from home.

The commute in the school required a very long bus ride and it didn’t provide the quality his parents wanted. So he and his parents decided for him to be homeschooled with the assistance of virtual classes for this school year.

In virtual schools, students attend classes on the Internet. Τhese schools involve more than an online curriculum and submitting assignments until a specific due date. They offer real interactions with teachers and students at the other end. In some cases, students even go to a classroom to log on from school-owned computers.

Virtual schools are a reality in the majority of states in the U.S and are gaining popularity in other countries also as a means of alternative education. Because of its ubiquitous nature, virtual education transcends the boundaries of traditional country-by-country or state-by-state educational management. They are dispersed, with a large variety of types of students. They also scramble the traditional ways the traditional system holds schools accountable because of their innovative character.

Here are some examples of virtual schools you can visit:

This school model appeals to young students who can’t attend school regularly. They also appeal to students who seek for more options on not-so-common subjects. What appeals more to students about Virtual Schools is that they allow a flexible schedule. As such, students can attend the curriculum at their own pace and are not restricted by the state’s decisions about their age and how other students progress in the curriculum.

Screenshot from Keystone School

They save time

Virtual Schools save time for students because they can decide on day-to-day scheduling. Students can progress at their own pace and from their homeplaces. Parents can set the daily routine and have the flexibility to cultivate a safe learning atmosphere for their children. Also, many families feel that educating their children at home can be extremely rewarding. Parents feel they are more involved in the educational process and enjoy witnessing moments when students understand a new concept.

They offer custom learning

Apart from this flexibility in time, there is also flexibility in the studied material. Students can experience personal-tailored coursework. In that case, if a kid is gifted, they can be kept engaged with many collaborative assignments and extracurricular activities. On the other hand, if a kid needs more time to elaborate on some things, it is given the appropriate time and attendance.

They are more suitable for some kids

For some private school or public school students, it is easier to learn from home. Therefore Virtual Schools can be especially helpful for a variety of special-needs students. Some kids may feel very weak among competitive students. Military families frequently are on the move, and children who are actors or athletes can’t attend a traditional school. Many online students have particular needs that can’t be met by physical schools because they are disabled. In these cases, a homeschool option is more appealing.

They support lifelong learning

Virtual Schools can also prove essential for many adults. Some people never finished high school and want to get an actual diploma without having to step back into the classroom because they work full-time.

Virtual School Limitations

Virtual Schools require that students hold a certain degree of self-discipline. For some kids, the lack of supervision may amount to too much freedom, which may make them fall behind without anyone letting them know. It is also a fact that Virtual Schools can be isolating for some kids who want to be engaged in social activities provided by typical schools.

It is clear that both online and traditional education each have their perks. So, it seems like we need to get the best of both worlds. “Blended learning” is a new type of learning that is becoming increasingly popular. In blended learning environments, students experience a combination of online tutoring as well as offline, face-to-face interactions with teachers and students.

If your child is highly self-motivated and knows how to regulate their learning – and you have logical reasons to prevent them from going to your local school or homeschooling them – then, yes, online schooling is what you are looking for.

If you go for a Virtual School make sure that your kid has an adequate social life and that the online learning won’t isolate or limit their social-emotional development. Remember that learning is mostly a social act, and a single computer cannot provide everything a kid needs to learn to grow up.

Do your research. Whatever the case, be a selective customer, and before you make a decision, contact a school counselor, and ask as many questions as possible before choosing the right school for your kid.

If you are an educator, teacher or a school director and want to create a virtual school with endless possibilities, you don’t have to go any further than LearnWorlds. LearnWorlds provides everything needed to create an exceptional e-Learning environment. Here, I will showcase you some LearnWorlds features, but leave many for you to research on your own.

Backed up with the ability to create online courses with its course authoring tools, LearnWorlds allows you to add any activity type you like including PDFs, ebooks, audio, video, HTML5, exams, and embedded content in the online classes.

A range of learning activities you can choose from when creating training courses

And, it does this in a way that makes everything interactive. For example, you can make your videos interactive and allow learners to interact with elements in the video frame.

LearnWorlds also provides a powerful Ebook, with which learners have the chance to highlight the text, make notes, add stars or comment in social media for a particular part of the text, and also an engaging community page.

If you wish to learn more about those features here are some further readings:

Also, in LearnWorlds, you can conduct instant live classes through webinars right from your school, without you having to go with an external webinar platform.

With LearnWorlds’ gradebook and reporting center, you can track learners’ progress on any course and their performance in tests and assignments.

What’s more, LearnWorlds comes with a Help Center for admins to learn how to operate with your school. The last LearnWorlds asset I want to mention here is the school design options. In LearnWorlds, you can create any landing page type you want because there is a rich collection of ready-made templates you can choose from to create beautiful pages easily. That means that you can personalize your School within minutes, without the need for any technical knowledge or coding skills (although you can also customize the CSS code).

In the same way, you can create any page that either has to offer more to your current students, helps to get new ones onboard your virtual school or serves a specific goal you want to achieve:

LearnWorlds comes with much more features you can find out by yourself, through a 30-day free trial.

Based on the above, it seems like virtual schools and online education will become more prevalent in the future and dominate as an alternative form of formal or informal education. There is an increase in the number of entrepreneurs who visualize and design new innovative Virtual Schools. If you are one of them, this blog is the right place for you to get started!

Do your research and find out the best option among the e-Learning platforms to start creating your Online School.

Create a beautiful online school without any technical skills.

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Course Designer & Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.