It may come as a surprise but there is a great variety of online educational programs. The two words “online” and “education” offer so many variables in and of themselves, and when combined there is little prediction as to what type of program is to be expected. To put it into perspective, consider the variety of educational programs offered in traditional, “brick and mortar,” schools. From preschool, to public elementary, private high school, adult schools, night schools, universities, trade schools, even driver’s education schools, there are so many variables of venue, content, delivery, and student demographics.
That same diversity translates right into online education as well. The phrase online education merely specifies the venue where some form of the educational process takes place. Some online schools may be hosted entirely throughout internet technology. Others may only supplement or reference different resources. Some schools market themselves as virtual schools, and yet their primary operations are still book-based, traditional methods that one might find in a brick and mortar school.
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There is also a great variety in the online pedagogy, or teaching methods, used by different online educational programs. Some schools are entirely independent study operations. Others use varying degrees of support and interaction via chat, email, or phone lines of communication. Some schools host live virtual meetings. Even these virtual meetings can vary in their implementation. Some virtual meetings replicate traditional lecture models whereas others promote more student centered interactions.
When asking, “Are all online schools the same?” it is important to keep these and other variables in mind. If you have any doubts, consider exploring some of our resources here at OnlineHighSchool.org where we have already drawn out those comparisons for your convenience.