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It’s happening everywhere. Kids are opening their laptops and firing up their tablets. Not only are they watching, gaming, communicating, but also many are using technology for online learning.  

Now, as someone trained in education, I love real books and real-people interaction, to be sure! However, teaching in an online school I have been impressed with how students benefit from online learning. 

Here are some ways online learning benefits students: 

Individualized Learning
Online curriculum is customized to each student. They can begin at a level of learning appropriate to their specific need and can progress at a speed that ensures true learning. If they require more time or practice to learn a skill or concept, it is provided. If they are ready to excel, they can do so. It is very much like having a one-on-one teacher!  

Ture, in a homeschool setting, there is a great opportunity for one-on-one instruction from the parent. However, I know there are times when that parent is not immediately available. Online learning can keep the momentum flowing and multiply Mom or Dad’s efforts. 

Increased Opportunities and Resources
With online learning, the world is at your fingertips! Homeschool students can explore interests and possible careers through electives. They can take chemistry, physics, and calculus no matter how familiar their parents are with those topics. There are virtual field trips to the Smithsonian. Online schools allow interaction with students from all over the world. A foreign language can be taught very effectively. You name it, you can learn it online! 

Independent Learners
I have found that my successful online students become very independent learners. They accept responsibility for their learning because it is not spoon fed to them; they must interact with the curriculum to progress. There is immediate feedback so they quickly correlate their efforts with their learning success. Confidence is the result. Independence and confidence work together to build a life-long learner. 

Time Management
Similar to being an independent learner, I have seen my students learn to manage their time – an essential life-skill. I think this skill is honed by online learning because their assignments are clearly laid out so they know what they need to do and when. Also, because online learning is flexible, they (or their families) choose when learning takes place. This is great practice for understanding what works for managing their time. 

 Motivation
Because online learning consists of multimedia presentations set in an interactive format, students are motivated. The material is presented in manageable “chunks” so students remain engaged with the content. Anyone who has worked with kids knows that motivation is a big part of the picture of learning success!  

Can your student benefit from online learning? Global Student Network (GSN) can help to answer that question! Why GSN? Because where other curriculum providers offer one option, GSN offers EIGHT! At www.globalstudentnetwork.com, you can explore, demo, compare eight different online homeschool programs from one location  

Visit GSN today and explore how your student can benefit from online learning! 

 JanElle Hoffman teaches middle school math with International Virtual Learning Academy, an accredited private online school. 

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