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In the Dark About Online High School? Heres Your Light

understanding high school completion GED programsOnline education offers convenience and flexibility to students. While many people are quite familiar with the concept of online learning at a college level, those who've heard about online high school diplomas are generally in the dark.

While the trend of online high school is still a new concept, it is becoming a mainstream education option, specifically for those who drop out of high school and later realize they need a realistic, convenient option to earn their high school diploma.

There are pros and cons to every virtual learning situation, but in order to make the best decision, you first need to understand the facts. Let's shed some light on attending high school online to help you make the best choice for you...

Are online high schools academically inferior to physical high schools?
Actually, online education from an accredited high school program provides the same level of academic teaching as traditional schools. Online teachers require the same training and degrees as any other teacher. Curriculum is often identical to traditional high school classes and individual help is readily accessible in online educational forums. Online high schools offer an equivalent, and in some cases, superior academic education to traditional school settings.

"I'm not a loner. Won't I be bored in an online high school diploma program?"
Online high schools are quite interactive. Using discussion boards and chat rooms, students and teachers participate in discussions, Q & A's, forums and group projects. Students also use IM, chat rooms, and email for regular communication with each other and staff. In addition, many online high schools offer social events for students to get together physically and interact on a real life basis. Students take field trips and outings just as they do in a traditional high school setting.

The online high school diploma "class" you click into won't be filled with all teen-dropouts.
In fact, online high schools attract a wide range of students. Many students excel at online high school because they have the opportunity to work independently at their own pace. There are both public and private online high schools, charter schools, and even university-affiliated high school programs available via distance learning. Some online high schools cater to certain groups of students, such as gifted students or students from a particular religious background.

"I heard that online learning is just reading off a computer monitor..."
Online learning includes class discussions, group projects, and even science experiments. Students use their computers, of course, but they do far more than just read. Online high school programs include video, live webinars, teleconferences and multimedia presentations to provide students with a full range of educational experiences.

Will credits from online an high school transfer to a traditional college?
As long as you attend an accredited online high school, credits will transfer the same way they do from a brick-and-mortar high school. As with any educational institution, you need to investigate an online high school to be sure they have the proper credentials and accreditations.

Are online high schools expensive?
While most online school programs charge a fee, there are some that are completely free. Some programs even provide the use of a laptop with credit for Internet access at no charge. Many states have state-sponsored charter schools available online at no cost to students, much like public high school. Typically, online high school programs range from free to $10,000, depending on which online high school you choose.

How technologically-advanced does one need to be to excel at an online high school?
Most online high schools use software management programs that make attending school as easy as using social media networks like Facebook or playing a video game. In fact, as long as you can follow directions, you can easily participate in a virtual high school. If you do have technological questions, the school or the software management company generally has a help desk available to walk you through any problems.

"Yay! Online students get less coursework than traditional students, right?!"
Wrong! Though online students don't lose time to things like breaks between classrooms, school assemblies, and waiting for other students to catch up, it may seem as though they spend less time on class work than their traditional counterparts do. The reality is that online students receive a similar course load as they would in a regular school. Most online schools have a curriculum that must pass the same standards as the physical high schools in their state.

But what about gym?
Most online high schools have a physical education requirement as part of their graduation requirements. Some schools work in conjunction with local high school sports programs, while others network with local community education programs. Many university and college campuses have recreational and physical education facilities available to the public, which online high school program students may use.

Online high school may be the perfect solution for your high school student. Before making a decision, however, it's important to investigate the school thoroughly to be certain it offers a quality, accredited education.