Busting myths of online school
Online school has exploded in the last decade, and it’s an amazing option for all kinds of students. But like all new things, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about online school.
As a senior at Utah Connections Academy, I’m here to tell you that online school is shockingly similar to traditional school, and about 99 percent of the things you’ve probably heard about online school are false.
So here are 10 myths about online school:
1. It’s too easy to procrastinate and too hard to stay motivated. To put it simply, you can procrastinate and be unmotivated regardless of the type of school you go to. Many people think that online school is a free-for-all; that you’re told you have a certain number of assignments to do and the date you have to do them by.
This isn’t true, at least not for Utah Connections Academy. At UCA, you’re assigned lessons every day. As long as you do those lessons, you’ll stay on track and even have free time at the end of the semester. If you don’t do those lessons, they eventually build up and once you hit 10 overdue lessons, your counselor calls you and tells you parents.
This is no different than having missing assignments in traditional school. There isn’t any more or less pressure to get assignments done when you go to online school than at “regular school.”
2. You’ll spend all your time staring at a computer. Remember how I talked about getting assigned lessons daily? Usually, you only get assigned about five to six lessons daily, which results in about five to six hours of work. Although that’s five to six hours of work, a lot of the work you have to do is done on paper, meaning you’re not actually staring at a computer screen for those six hours.
Not to mention, a serious perk of online school is being able to split up your time. So you could do three hours of work in the morning and three at night so you’re not on a computer for six hours straight.
3. You’ll never meet your teachers or you can’t get help from your teachers. This is the most untrue myth of them all. I’ve found that I have more contact and a better relationship with my teachers at UCA than I ever did at “regular” school. Of course, they aren’t teaching you every day, but you talk on the phone and/or through email at least three times a week.
Also, UCA does something called “LiveLessons” where, once a week for about an hour, your teacher gives a lesson live. It’s basically like a video conference, but you don’t have to get dressed because nobody can see you!
4. The quality of the education isn’t as good. I’ve found that the education quality at UCA is better than it was in traditional school. The class sizes are smaller, so teachers have more time to thoroughly grade your assignments and answer your questions. Also, you’re never going to just be doing “busy work” so the assignments are much more meaningful and thought-provoking.
5. You’ll be a shut-in. Many people think that if you do online school, that immediately means you won’t be social. This can be true of both online and traditional school. But UCA, and most online schools, go out of their way to make sure they do school events and field trips. Plus, the schools offer a lot of clubs and programs. For seniors, there are college tours all year long as well.
6. It costs a lot of money. Some online schools cost money, but most — like UCA — are 100 percent free.
7. You don’t get a “real” high school diploma. Online schools are real schools, so of course you’ll actually graduate and get a real high school diploma! UCA also has an in-person graduation.
8. You can’t take honors or AP classes. UCA actually has more AP and honors options than my old high school did, and I’m taking three AP classes this year!
9. Online school is only for students who are bullied or failing. While online school is a great option for kids in those situations, it’s also a great option for teens with very busy schedules, or for athletes or for students who want/need to work a job a lot.
10. Colleges won’t accept teens who went to online school. Colleges care more about your performance in high school than what high school you attended. They want to see rigorous classes and good grades, not that you went to a “traditional” high school!
Laney Baumann is a senior at Utah Connections Academy. She loves reading, writing and music. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.