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How To “Do” Online School: Succeeding Socially And Academically

How To “Do” Online School: Succeeding Socially And Academically

Here’s our guide on how to thrive as a student taking online courses

Online school is becoming more common, especially after the pandemic. Experts estimate that online learning options have grown 900% since the concept’s inception in 2000, and the number of full-time students taking online classes continues to rise. 

Apex Learning Virtual School was ahead of the curve then, and continues to lead the online course community today. Our school was founded in 1997 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. His goal? Deliver world-class education to students around the world. 

Today, we provide virtual learning opportunities to millions around the globe, offering accredited homeschool curriculum that prepares students for the future. 

Every student has the opportunity to succeed outside the traditional school model by using online education to further their educational career in a flexible and supportive environment. 

Preparing for Online School 

Online programs are similar to traditional program options. However, there are a few extra steps to take to make sure that you’re ready to thrive in an online school setting.  

We’ve outlined them for you below: 

Choose the right tech equipment — This might seem like a given. However, online homeschool students need the right tech equipment to successfully complete their assignments and classes. 

Find an effective study location — Everyone studies differently. Understanding where you work best will help to set you up for success before school begins. Traditional public schools require that you work in a classroom, but you don’t have the same limits with virtual school. 

Set your academic goals — Goals aren’t just something you need to consider for your school. They can chart the course of your career or future business setting. 

How to Stay Organized in Online School 

Organization is key as you work to succeed in your own online school journey. There are plenty of ways to get (and stay) organized. However, the important thing is that you find a method that works for you — keeping you on track and saving you as much time as possible in the process. 

Let’s take a closer look at some tips to help you stay organized in online school, and that can help you to maintain your physical and mental health:

Hone your time management skills — Everything takes time — whether you’re surfing social media or you’re working on tasks for an Advanced Learner program. Understanding where your time goes and taking steps to manage it are sure ways to guarantee your future success. 

Use online planners and calendars — Many kids find success using planners and calendars to organize their time. These can be handy if you prefer to see things visually laid out, or if you have extracurricular activities to consider in addition to your academics. 

Take advantage of resources offered to you — Like in traditional public school, there are plenty of resources available to help you succeed with Apex Learning. For example, ALVS students can connect with teachers for 1:1 support and college prep questions, or they can reach out for tips to succeed in the online environment. 

Effective Communication in an Online Classroom 

Online students are expected to participate in an online classroom just like they do in brick-and-mortar schools. Middle- and high-school-level students might be asked to participate in online discussions during class time and during homework time, for example. 

This type of exercise prepares them for college programs and rounds out their online high school education. It also tests their understanding of course material, asking them to present it accurately for their online peer audience. 

Students will also be expected to email, schedule videoconference during live help or office hours,  or otherwise communicate with teachers and peers for help, just as they would in a higher-level degree program. They might also be asked to connect with support services to advance their educational journey. 

While these tasks might seem basic to college students or adult learners, they are critical parts of online high school programs — and are often the first step for many as they learn how to communicate professionally. 

How to Succeed Academically Online  

Now that we’ve covered what to do to prepare for online school, let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways to succeed online this school year. 

Try Active Learning Strategies 

Online school students can benefit from learning management systems and processes, like active learning strategies. 

Common strategies include roleplaying concepts, reciprocal questioning, think-pair-share, and game-based learning (just to name a few!).

This style of learning appeals to students across learning types, going above and beyond textbook work and notetaking. Each method listed (and your own, unique active learning strategies) should immerse you in the different concepts you’re studying, challenging you to remember and self-teach the material until you feel confident in the concept. 

Read Up On Tips to Stay Focused 

Everyone, including high school and college students alike, has different strategies they use to dial in and get focused. There’s no better time than the present to figure out yours — and it’s a good idea to do this now before you pursue more challenging high school-level classes. 

First, determine how your specific method of online learning works. Then, scour the internet for tips to stay focused, keeping flexibility and your busy home schedule in mind. Maybe you work better in the early morning hours, or you prefer to focus when everyone’s asleep, late at night. There’s no “wrong way” to focus, provided that it works for your needs throughout high school and college. 

Seek Out Strategies for Reading Online Materials 

Remote learning often requires that you independently take charge of your learning journey, especially when it comes to reading online materials. This is one of the biggest learning curves of quality education online — so staying aware of this and preparing in advance is key to your success. 

Whether you print them out or annotate them on your smart device, learning how to digest online materials and apply them is critical. 

Balancing Online School and Personal Life  

While doing well in school is important, your physical and mental health always come first. One of the best strategies to help you succeed in your online schooling is to prioritize flexibility, keeping the balance between your online school and personal life. 

This looks different for everyone, however, if you need help with this, you can reach out to your school counselors, teachers, parents, or caregivers. Everyone is here to support you as you take this exciting next step in your educational journey! 

Learning how to do online school can be tough, but the team at ALVS is here to help. With ALVS, you can learn anywhere, anytime, using our accredited courses to boost your knowledge in a way that works for you. 90% of students pass our courses on the first try, thanks to ALVS’ flexible learning options and the hard work and dedication of the student body, teachers, and parents.

Connect with us online and start your ALVS journey today. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I become an online student? 

To become an online student, you first have to find an accredited online institution like ALVS. After you find your program of choice, you can scan the course catalog and enroll in your first courses. If you need help, you can contact the school and ask to speak to an educational counselor.

What are the key equipment or tools needed for online schooling? 

Before you start your educational journey, reach out and ask the school what tech you’ll need to succeed. Most students find that they’re successful with a laptop, high-speed internet, and auxiliary tech stuff — like a mouse or headphone set. 

Can I interact with my teachers and classmates in online schooling as I would in a traditional classroom? 

Yes, you can interact with your teachers and classmates. Every class is different. However, many students participate in virtual lectures, online discussion boards, labs, and other activities that allow them to work directly with teachers and peers. 

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