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How online schooling can benefit your child’s education

Flexibility, accessibility and giving children more opportunities to take charge of their own learning are just some of the benefits of online schooling.

NEWS 29 Jan 2023

The pandemic-related events of the past few years shone a spotlight on the possibilities presented by online schooling and the widespread shift to virtual classrooms highlighted the raft of benefits and opportunities that online schools can deliver.

Online schools will not suit every child – some children and some teachers, too, will always prefer to learn in-person and in a bricks and mortar setting rather than remotely.

Certainly, virtual learning will never completely replace the traditional classroom, nor does it set out to do this. But just as certainly, online schooling does provide a flexible, convenient and effective alternative for some students and families.

This year, Haileybury Pangea – Victoria’s first private online school – will begin teaching its first students across Years 5 – 12.

Haileybury Pangea has been under development for five years and is built on the 130 years of expertise within the Haileybury community. The Haileybury Pangea model showcases how online schooling can deliver a high-quality, bespoke and flexible education, thanks to the wonders of technology and brilliant teaching.

What does a typical day at Haileybury Pangea look like?

The typical Haileybury Pangea school week includes a blend of live instruction with teachers and classmates, prepared video content, assessment tasks and one-on-one or small group-based time with subject teachers.

For example, while Year 10 students in a traditional classroom with a teacher would have five periods of English each week, Haileybury Pangea students have two periods of live English instruction and then complete four to six hours of self-paced English work. Those hours can be completed whenever they choose during the week.

Haileybury Pangea teachers also teach at Haileybury’s bricks and mortar campuses.

More choices and greater reach

Online schooling can deliver a wider range of subject choices for students in areas where curriculum options are limited, such as in remote and rural areas where smaller schools may struggle to deliver a broad selection of subjects.

Online schools also enable students in remoter geographical areas to remain at home and study. It removes the need for young people to move away from their family to boarding school to gain a high-quality education.

Greater flexibility

While online schools have a certain number of live classes each week, they also encourage self-directed and self-paced learning. Students know what assignments and tasks need to be completed, and by when, but they decide when they allocate time to get that work done. This flexibility suits students who, for example, might be elite athletes or professional performers and who juggle school work with these competing demands.

Self-motivated and deeper learning

Just as online schools aren’t for every student, traditional classrooms don’t suit all students either. For various reasons, some children and young people are less comfortable in a mainstream school environment. Online schools present an opportunity for those students who might otherwise drop out of the education system to stay engaged with learning and to find subjects that inspire and excite them.

Independence and confidence

Research suggests that when students have more choices about how they learn, their motivation grows and this can improve academic outcomes. Online schools especially suit students who like to take the initiative, who want to take greater control of their learning and who want the freedom to be able to delve deeper into subjects that intrigue them. Self-motivated and proactive learners can thrive in the online school environment while further developing their confidence, competence and independence – all valuable qualities for life.

Proficiency with technology

Students who learn online all or most of the time become highly proficient and comfortable with the latest technology. In Haileybury’s experience, many children can learn, and want to learn, in Zoom or Teams rooms and via Learning Management Systems that fit with their learning style and lifestyle. In a society increasingly driven by technology, this easy familiarity with the latest software and smart gadgets creates students who are ready and confident to navigate the very modern world beyond school.

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