Editor’s Note: A common misconception about virtual school education is that students have no opportunities to socialize with others and are left to work on their own in front of a computer. While some virtual schoolwork does involve working in an independent learning environment, there are many opportunities to socialize with other students across various mediums. The following is the second part of our series detailing the various social opportunities students will experience in a virtual school setting.
Students in the 21st century are no longer expected to keep their heads buried in their books or behind a computer screen. In fact, many new approaches to learning involve the opportunity for students to explore education beyond the classroom. With the flexibility of a virtual school, students are given unique learning experiences that traditional brick-and-mortar schools might not provide.
These opportunities are typically known as project-based learning—which includes non-traditional educational experiences that allow students to interact with real-world professionals in order to better demonstrate competencies in learning.
Examples of project-based learning include:
This dynamic educational experience engages students through active participation in a project—empowering them to interact with their peers and field professionals to solve real-world problems and challenges.
Allowing a student to get an inside glimpse at professionals in their elements creates unique opportunities for socializing outside of the learning environment and establishing connections that can last a lifetime. Oftentimes these opportunities help foster professional work relationships amongst other students, as well as those in the field.
Student Example of Real-World Projects
To demonstrate an understanding of the organization and functioning of the United States government, students are tasked with writing a brief on a legal matter. The purpose of the brief is to present the position of the organization the student is representing in an attempt to sway the court’s decision. This project is one commonly tasked to paralegals and requires the student to research all levels of government and relevant materials.
Learning through experience means the world is the classroom! These opportunities let students intern, work, or volunteer at a business or service where they can learn practical elements that can be applied to real-world situations and relevant course work.
This type of independent study allows students to explore their current interests and discover new ones. Learning through experience shows students that the world is filled with possibilities and the opportunities for socialization present in these types of experiences are endless.
Working in teams helps students learn how to collaborate and cooperate with their peers and working professionals. Students also learn responsibility—both as a group and individually—with predetermined deadlines for their group assignments. In a virtual school environment, students are able to develop these skills even further through group chats, video calls, email, and more.
Team-based projects also help students develop communication skills and find their role within a group, which will be crucial qualifications for continuing their education and entering the workforce.
The hands-on experience students gain when participating in project-based learning translates into their schoolwork, college preparation, and career training. At VLACS, students are able to reap all the benefits of these opportunities, even at a virtual school.
The unique socialization possibilities at a virtual school can be just as beneficial as opportunities at brick and mortar schools. Attend an open house to learn more about the customizable learning opportunities at VLACS.