Countering the Government's Stance on Online Schools

Mon Feb 13, 2023

"The government needs to recognise the potential of online schools and invest in this growing sector of education," says Kate Longworth co-founder of Gaia Learning.

The government's recent statement that online schools are not a viable alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar schools has sparked controversy among parents, educators, and advocates for student-centred education. While there are certainly challenges associated with online learning, the flexibility, individualised attention, and supportive environment offered by online schools like Gaia Learning make them a credible alternative for many students.

For students with persistent absences, hyflex education ecosystems like Gaia Learning provide a way to continue their education even if they are unable to physically attend school on a regular basis. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as health problems, family obligations, or even bullying. With hyflex learning, students can complete their coursework from the comfort of their own homes, on their own schedules, and with the support of experienced teachers and educational resources and build confidence to reintegrate into the school system if that's right for them.

Hyflex education ecosystems are also a great option for neurodivergent students, who often struggle in traditional classroom settings. Neurodivergence refers to the diverse range of human brain development and functioning, including conditions such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. These students may have difficulties with social interaction, executive functioning, and other skills that are important for success in a traditional classroom.

In an online school environment, students can work at their own pace and there is no pressure to conform to a rigid schedule or keep up (or down) with their peers. Gaia Learning, for example, offer specialised programs and resources to support neurodivergent students, such as audio or visual aids, or tools for organisation and time management. Additionally, smaller class sizes in online schools allow teachers to give more individualised attention to each student, helping them succeed academically.

Another advantage of online schools for neurodivergent students is that they can avoid the sensory overload and distractions of a traditional classroom environment. Online classrooms are quieter, more predictable, and less chaotic, which can help students focus and better understand the material. This can be particularly beneficial for students with autism, ADHD, and other conditions that affect their ability to process and respond to sensory information.

Finally, online schools provide a safe and supportive learning environment for students who may have experienced bullying or other forms of harassment in a traditional classroom setting. This can help students build confidence and develop a love of learning, which is essential for academic success.

In conclusion, the government's statement that online schools are not a viable alternative to traditional schools ignores the benefits that online schools like Gaia Learning can offer to students with persistent absences and neurodivergent needs. With their flexible schedules, individualised attention, specialised programs and resources, and supportive learning environment, online schools are a credible and effective alternative for many students.

Casea is our virtual AI assistant.

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