Debunking five myths about online schooling

Expert Advice 04 Mar 24 By

Dark hair young teen smiling at an open laptop, workbooks open on desk

PLUS discover the benefits on offer

By Penelope Barton, CEO, Crimson Global Academy

When people think about online high schools sometimes their minds jump back to the COVID lockdowns: an image of a computer screen with 25 little squares of children’s faces and teacher that had only ever previously taught face-to-face. That is not an online school – that was the best option in an emergency.

Online high schools are technologically advanced, offering a wide range of learning options, and are becoming an exciting and viable option for a diverse range of students around the globe.

Australia’s online education market has witnessed a significant surge in demand as students turn to digital learning platforms for their educational needs. According to recent research, the Online Education market in Australia is expected to grow at an annual rate of 9.11% from 2024 to 2028.

However, there are still many families that don’t feel an online high school is the right choice for a number of reasons that simply aren’t true.

It is time to address the five most common myths of online schooling and discover the benefits on offer.

5 most common myths of online schooling

Myth 1: They’ll have no friends

A strong social life, close friendships, and active peer groups are an important part of any child’s development.

Students studying online now have a wide range of resources that enable them to develop close friendships with children who have similar interests and values – even if they are geographically spread out.

Online schools offer programs such as social days that can be attended both in person and online and a wide variety of extracurricular clubs and communication channels for connecting, chatting, sharing, and creating deeper friendships, in a safe environment.

Students in online schools also have more time to attend sports or other extracurricular activities in their local community than in a traditional school timetable.

Myth 2: They’ll get distracted

Children get distracted in class (online or in person) for two reasons: the syllabus is not suitable for their developmental level, or they are not getting the attention they require from their teachers.

The programs offered at online schools are individualised to meet the student’s academic level, needs and interests. Students are placed in classes based on ability to ensure they’re studying at a level that meets their needs.

Every class is recorded to make it easy for students to catch up if they need to and so they can more easily revise before exams. A tailored program focused on personal outcomes ensures students remain engaged and motivated in their classes.

Online schools have an average class size of 10-12 students compared to traditional classrooms of approximately 24-30 students. Smaller class sizes ensure all students are given the personal attention they need to thrive.

GIrls in blue soccer uniforms playing football
Online schooling can work well for kids who need flexibility when they excel in other areas. (Image: Getty)

Myth 3: Online schooling is only for kids who don’t fit in

While it may be easy to stereotype and assume online schooling and home schooling are only for children who aren’t able to cope in a traditional classroom or school environment, it is more accurate to say that traditional schools do not fit the needs of all children.

It’s true the online schools present an appealing alternative for students that may have unfortunately been bullied at school or who find the experience of parting from their loved ones and network difficult.

It’s wonderful that these children and their families do have an option whereby they can still get a exceptional education without having to endure the stress and trauma that some experience with in-person schooling.

However there are many other reasons families opt for online schooling. It can be tailored for students who have a variety of other needs that are beyond the capabilities of traditional schools for example:

  • Children in remote locations
  • Children who aspire to attend a prestigioues university and require advanced learning with a robust curriculum
  • Children with niche interests that require specialised subjects
  • Children with sporting or performing ambitions that need flexible timetables

Myth 4: My child won’t get individual attention and follow-up

Individual attention at an online school starts before the classes commence.

  • At enrolment, online schools assess the student’s goals and aspirations, provide flexible timetables, and tailor educational outcomes based on the student’s ability and needs, rather than their age.
  • These schools also offer extracurricular activities that are designed to stimulate creativity, progress career goals and develop networks and friendships.
  • Online schools also offer extensive and flexible pastoral care. Children always have trained and experienced counsellors they can reach out to both during and outside of traditional school hours.
There are education options to suit the country you’re based in, as well as for international study. (Image: Getty)

Myth 5: Online school qualifications won’t be recognised by regular universities

Online schools ensure the learning outcomes are designed to meet the requirements of universities and secondary institutions both in the country where the student resides and internationally should that be the student’s aspiration.

Students can choose from the international A-levels curriculum which is recognised by top universities around the world, including in Australia, the US and UK. Students also have the option to study the US Diploma Curriculum or enrich and extend their academics through taking Advanced Placement courses.

Online high schools are academically robust and serve as a stepping stone for students to secure top university offers which have included Oxford, Cambridge, and London School of Economics in the UK and Columbia, NYU, and Johns Hopkins in the US to name a few.

Students can study high school online part-time to complement their current schooling or full-time. They’re able to learn through a 1:1 method of instruction,  while others are learning in live group classes with an average 10-12 children.

There are many reasons families choose to send their children to an online high school. These include living in remote areas, aspiring to get into top unis, traditional schools aren’t catering to their needs, or that they want flexibility to pursue musical or sporting ambitions.

Whatever the reason, it’s worth looking into internationally accredited world-class online high schools that deliver live learning to ambitious students all around Australia.

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