As a high school principal at an international school, I want students to successful and well supported if they journey into online learning. Our students in grades 11 and 12 can take online classes for the IB Diploma Program (DP), and we partner with The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) to prepare them for the high-stakes online DP courses, as well as to better prepare them for the online learning that they will inevitably engage in at university and/or careers.

Taking online courses with VHS not only helps students get comfortable working online, but it also exposes them to opportunities we can’t offer. As a smaller international school, we cannot provide as many options as a larger institution can. VHS greatly increases the diversity and choice for our students, allowing them to pursue their individual passions.

We also benefit from VHS at a pragmatic level. Enabling students to take online classes allows more flexibility in our scheduling and allows greater chances for students to get the options they want in terms of our internally taught classes. Here are five other reasons districts and schools should add online learning to their curriculum offerings.

How virtual learning helps students pursue their passions

5 reasons to add online learning to your school

1. Students respond well when they have choices.
At every level, the idea of student choice is important, as it enables students to take responsibility for their learning. Giving students access to a wide variety of new subjects online allows them to exercise choice and gives them a stake in their own education; this choice means that students buy a little bit more into what they are doing. They are going to be more passionate about what they have chosen to do, and this will improve their learning.

About the Author:

Lorne Bird is secondary school principal at the International School of Dakar in Senegal.


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