Online Classes vs. On-Campus Classes

Online classThere used to be only one way to do high school. You showed up to class early in the morning, stayed in classes all day, and went home in the afternoon. Now, it’s possible to get an accredited high school diploma online in Georgia or anywhere in the United States. This method comes with pros and cons just like traditional on-campus schooling. Here are some factors to take into account when deciding whether an online high school diploma is right for you.

Scheduling

One of the biggest differences between online and on-campus classes is that online classes are more flexible with scheduling. You don’t have to conform to the normal school schedule if that doesn’t work for you. This is particularly helpful for students that are serious athletes or in the performing arts. There’s no study hall, lunch hour, or mandatory pep rallies. You are free to go at your own pace. Often, you can get through the material faster in an online program. It can be customized to your schedule and your daily life.

More Selection

Another benefit of online classes is that there is more flexibility with the classes that you can take. There’s a wealth of material available online so that more subject matter is available to you. You can take these classes anywhere, anytime, with no commute to get there, and have more choices than you would in an on-campus high school.

Face-to-Face Interaction

Students in School campusOne of the disadvantages of online classes is that you don’t get face-to-face interaction with your classmates and teachers. Being able to observe your teacher in-person can aid your learning experience. You can listen closely to the inflection in their voice and look at their body language. In an online class, you can’t approach them after class with a question. Online classes also make networking more difficult. You won’t get to know your teachers and classmates as well in an online setting and this can make it more difficult to build your network for your professional goals.

Self-Direction

Another disadvantage of online classes is that you have to be very organized and manage your time well to succeed. In an online setting, there are no reminders that an assignment is due and no one to tell you what class you should take next. It is entirely self-directed. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are on top of everything and getting the most out of your education.

Online classes are not for everyone. If you’re thinking about taking high school online courses in Georgia, weigh the flexibility, the independence, the selection, and the social aspects. It might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

 

Understanding Your Grades

As the semester marches on (see what I did there) I wanted to make sure that all students and families understood the different grades that are attached to classes.

Overall Grade– Your overall grade is the grade you have earned for the work you have completed that has been graded.

Actual Grade– Your actual grade is your grade adjusted for progress. If you are behind pace your actual grade assigns 0 for everything that is late. Therefore, the more behind you are the lower your actual grade will be.

***At the end of the semester your courses will close out and whatever your actual grade is, is the grade you will receive in your class- so it is very important to stay on pace and keep an eye on this grade***

If you are struggling to stay on pace, please contact your teachers and ask for a pacing plan. They can provide you with a specific number of activities to complete each day in each class which can make course completion more manageable. Additionally, you can use your assignment calendar, found in the organizer section under the report button as a tool to help you stay on pace as well.

We know that online learning can be a tricky road to navigate so if you would like to schedule a virtual walkthrough with me so that I can show you some of my favorite resources, please let me know and I would be more than happy to do this with you 😊

As always, please contact me with questions or comments- the best part of my day is assisting students and families. As a courtesy reminder, please allow 24-48 hours for school staff to respond to inquiries so that we can devote the time needed to fully answer and resolve questions or concerns.

Ms. L

Myths about Online High School Diplomas

There are a lot of common misconceptions when it comes to online high school. Diplomas received from online schools are exactly the same as those received in regular high schools. The main difference is how they were obtained. Read more to learn about the most prevalent myths about online schooling.

Classes Aren’t Challenging

One of the biggest myths about online schools is that the classes are not as difficult as traditional high school classes. Though it is true that some online courses are not as challenging as traditional courses, some traditional classes are not as difficult as other traditional classes. Online classes come in a range of difficulties. You can choose your school and decide which classes best fit your abilities and knowledge.

Colleges Won’t Accept Online Diplomas

As long as the online school you attend is accredited by the proper regional board, your online diploma will be accepted by any college. Universities across the country have accepted and will accept diplomas from students who study online. These virtual high school diplomas are no different than the ones students receive at normal high schools.

Students Do Less Work

Another myth is that online students do not do as much as work as regular high school students. This is false. Because the classes are formatted differently, people think that they require less work. A traditional school day is made up of breaks, free periods, busywork, and all sorts of other disruptions. Without all of those distractions, online students can complete their work a lot faster. It is not that online students do less work but, rather, they are able to complete it quicker.

There Are No Extracurricular Activities

Students who are looking for a high school diploma for a freshman in Georgia are in luck when it comes to extracurricular activities. Though you might not have school dances (though some online high schools with physical locations do), you can take advantage of other exciting activities. Many online schools organize events and social outings for their students so they can meet and interact with each other in person. They may also offer online clubs and organizations. With special permission, you may also be able to take part in programs offered by your local traditional high school.

Though some myths still prevail, you now know that online high school programs are no different from regular high schools. The diplomas are the same in the eyes of colleges and employers. The students are continually challenged, the workload is the same, and they can still take part in extracurricular activities.

Myths about Online High Schools

Completing a high school education online is becoming a more popular option these days. Between advanced technology, cloud drives, and the increase in telecommuting across all industries throughout the world, taking high school courses online has become a viable option and popular alternative. However, with this shift comes a number of uncertainties and myths. The following are common myths and misunderstandings about achieving an online high school diploma. Continue reading “Myths about Online High Schools”

Online Education and how it’s Totally Awesome!

Recently many students and parents have asked me if there were set hours that students needed to log on and attend classes and that prompted me to write about the beauty of online education/schooling. The answer to this question is no! When this school was created our Superintendent wanted to take away one of the things that often prohibits students from being successful, seat time.

So, what does that mean?

That means that instead of needing to log on from 8:00-3:00 in order to be present, you have 24/7, yes you read that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, access to your courses. The only requirement we ask of you, per our attendance policy, is that you log on five days a week out of a 7 day period.

But how much time should I spend in my classes?

The standard answer to this question is that you should spend an hour in each class you are enrolled in. This means if you are enrolled in two classes, you should spend one hour per class or two hours a day working in courses. If you are enrolled in six classes, you should spend one hour in each class or six hours total working in courses, but¸ there is a tool called your assignment calendar and it is a gamechanger. It is a gamechanger because if you complete the work you need to complete each day in each class and it takes less than an hour, guess what, you will have met your time requirement for the day! How neat is that? For information on how to access your class assignment calendar please email or call me.

The world is your classroom!

The other neat thing about online learning is that anywhere you can find internet access you can log on and get your work done! This literally means that the world is your classroom/ workspace. Somedays your classroom might be your house, other days it might be the library, or it could even be a local hangout spot with WIFI. Being someone who works from home, I have many places that I consider my office- my actual office in my attic, my favorite tea spot, the local research library, and anywhere else I can snag free wifi.

Tips for maximizing your classroom

I want to list some tips for you to maximize your classroom wherever it may be.

  • Make sure your classroom is a quiet area or has an area where you can tuck away to concentrate. I sometimes find myself more distracted by a lack of noise which is why I sometimes prefer the library or coffee shop.
  • Keep a drink or a snack nearby and take breaks when you need them.
  • Use your resources!!! This is by far the most important piece of advice I can give you. You have a principal (me), a counselor, teachers, and tutors all who want to help you succeed, but if you do not reach out to us or do not respond when we reach out to you, we cannot help.

Until next time, explore all the neat classrooms you can and use your assignment calendar to get your work done!

What Is an Accredited High School Diploma?

The wave of the future is learning online. From coding schools to academies that provide videos and training programs, more students with transportation problems, scheduling conflicts, or non-traditional requirements are choosing to take classes online. When it comes to high school online courses in Georgia, there are many to choose from, but choosing accredited and widely accepted classes is important for getting credit for high school graduation or to move on to college. Here are different ways that accredited classes and diplomas work. Continue reading “What Is an Accredited High School Diploma?”

Welcome to Spring Semester!

Hi Everyone!

Wow! I can’t believe it is already spring semester- where has the time gone? I love the Spring because it is literally a time of birth and growth/regrowth. It is when plants recover from the harshness of winter and begin their new lives and when animals wake up after a long hibernation to begin their journey for the year. Spring semester also offers students a chance to be reborn and experience growth themselves with a fresh start and endless possibilities. As you know I have really tried to focus this year on creating materials that I think you will find helpful as you travel on this virtual educational journey (you can expect a Monday email blast with me that contains helpful information and resources each week school is in session). The first two weeks of this semester have seen the rollout of my spring orientation document, a one-stop shop for all questions GACHS and online classes and the sharing of the assignment calendar tool located in the student portal along with directions on how to use it.

These resources are very near and dear to my heart. You might not know it, but everything I do, I do with YOU -the students and families of the GACHS Virtual school in mind. I created the orientation document to communicate all of the important information I usually get questions on in one place. My hope is that you will print it and place it on your refrigerator or anywhere else that is a focal point for you so that anytime you have a question you can find its answer or the person to contact in order to get an answer. The calendar is a resource I am pushing because it is no secret that we are all pressed for time. The activity calendar gives you the ability to rest assured that you have completed everything you need to do each day to stay on pace in your classes. It even helps you manage your time better because it tells you exactly how long you will be spending watching instructional lectures in each lesson. It really does not get easier than logging into your school portal, writing down your assignments due each day for each class, and then completing those assignments. This tool is a gamechanger and if used properly ensures students will be successful in earning credits and making progress towards graduation. Please, please, please use the activity calendar.

I am SO excited for what I have coming down the pipes this semester to enhance communication and the sharing of information- podcasts, five bullet Fridays, live Q & A sessions, and of course more opportunities for student feedback are just a few of the ideas that I have rustling around in my head. Please remember I am here to make your time with a GACHS productive and positive. Please reach out with any questions or concerns!