Technology is playing an increasingly important role in educating high school students and connecting them to important learning opportunities. Forty-eight states as well as the District of Columbia provide online learning opportunities that range from supplementing classroom instruction to students taking full-time online programs.
Online learning increases student engagement and accelerates learning. It provides high school students with a more personalized learning experience based on their interests, learning styles, and abilities. Students can work at their own pace, and online learning technology allows for learning to take place around the clock.
Because of online learning, impoverished high school students in many states and districts can receive a world-class education and take advanced placement courses that might not be available at their high schools. Online learning technologies provide solutions to limited course offerings, including Advanced Placement courses, STEM courses, and foreign language courses. High school students can also use online learning to earn college credits while in high school.
Teachers enhance student learning via social media, assistive technology devices, and online curricula. Many teachers integrate digital tools into their classes through interactive whiteboards, class blogs, social media, wikis, and computer programs.
Students can interact with experts online to learn more about careers in STEM subjects and other areas. High school teachers can use videoconferences and podcasts to bring expert guests into the classroom from miles away. Prominent experts are often more willing to spend 20 minutes talking to students via a videoconference than traveling a couple of hours to a classroom. Numerous websites provide access to experts who are available to talk to classrooms via videoconferencing and other technologies.
Interacting with Students Throughout the Nation
Through online learning, high school students can also interact with other students across the nation. They can work on collaborative projects with students throughout the country in a variety of fields, including the environment. There are all kinds of projects on the Web that promote multicultural education, problem solving, and community involvement. In most cases, a teacher will act as a facilitator for an online project.
Teachers that effectively use social media in the classroom inspire their students to learn. Students become more involved and become effective collaborators. In traditional education, a teacher provides lectures and students silently take notes. Social media, when used as a teaching tool, has a natural collaborative aspect. Students interact with each other while working in teams and commenting on classmates’ ideas and assignments. Also, traditional education doesn’t properly prepare high school students to collaborate on projects in the modern business world.
HotChalk, designed for K-12 teachers, allows teachers to create class websites, correspond with students, and keep track of coursework. The website offers a huge digital library of educational content aligned with a standardized curriculum. The videos at the website help high school teachers improve their lesson plans.
Edmodo functions a lot like the popular Facebook, however it’s a more controlled environment. Teachers like to use Edmodo because it encourages student participation. Teachers and students can share ideas on a communal wall. Also, teachers can use a mobile version to moderate discussions from anywhere and post assignments at the website.
Online learning technologies enhance the learning process. They make it much easier for teachers to engage students. Online learning technologies let the classroom reflect the world in which high school kids live today.
Author info: Brian Jenkins writes about a variety of topics related to careers and education, including high school teaching careers, for the Riley Guide.