Online schooling: nurturing a new generation of internationally aware learners
“There is a rising trend in families travelling the world, educating their kids themselves while on the move”
Online schools are fostering children and young people’s international awareness by providing greater opportunities to connect and develop alongside peers from all over the world.
Online and distance learning is already well-established in the context of post-secondary education. However, online education for school-age children is becoming increasingly popular as more families are seeking out alternative options to mainstream school.
Faster broadband speeds and ever-greater access to the internet, along with huge advances in technology over the past decade, have made online schools possible. Platforms such as My Online Schooling provide a full-time, curriculum-led education to serve as a complete alternative to a traditional school for those who need it.
Set up similarly to a physical institution, they provide live interactive lessons following a set curriculum, taught by fully trained and qualified teachers. Other perks include daily support for parents and pupils from a School Office and extra provisions for pupils with further support or Special Educational needs.
Expats and travelling families
One major benefit, though, is the flexibility online school can afford expat children and their families, or those who travel a lot. A recent report by financial consultancy company Finaccord stated that the global number of expats has reached a record high in recent years, at over 50 million worldwide.
With more and more families moving abroad, there is a growing need for more flexible forms of education that can still provide structure and support, without the constant hassle of transferring their children in and out of different schools. International school fees also remain notoriously high (£11,900 per year on average), and many have long waiting lists.
One major benefit is the flexibility online school can afford expat children and their families, or those who travel
There is also a rising trend in families travelling the world, educating their kids themselves while on the move. This comes with a shift in consciousness among many parents to a more balanced approach to their children’s’ upbringing i.e. encouraging more exploration and life experiences, with less pressure placed on academic performance.
With online school, modern families can give their children the best of both worlds. They provide families with space and flexibility to pursue adventures together while giving their children a consistent education that allows them the option to progress to higher education should they decide to do so later on.
Cultivating international awareness and understanding
Of course, there are some limitations, especially when it comes to the social aspect. Much the same as with home-education, online school pupils and their parents will find that they need to be more proactive when it comes to socialising. After all, physical schools often come with a built-in social circle, taking most of the pressure off of making friends.
That being said, rather than being taught at home, pupils receiving an online education have the unique opportunity to connect with other children and young people from different backgrounds, countries and cultures, where they otherwise might not have. Expats and world travellers share lessons with classmates who have never left their home country, creating an environment which encourages international awareness and understanding and celebrates diversity.
These principles are quickly cultivated in an environment where there’s less social pressure, and pupils can meet on a more equal footing. Online education updates traditional curriculum-led learning in to the 21st century, providing an innovative new route to structured learning that makes the most of the technological resources we now have.
Rather than putting them at any disadvantage, online schools arm pupils with the tools, experiences and skills that will set them in good stead for a future in what will only be a more globally connected and technologically advanced world.
About the Author: My Online Schooling is an online learning platform that offers a flexible, full-time English Curriculum-led education to children and young people all over the world.