To start off, I have been in a CP3 English Online Hybrid Course for a full school year now. Whenever I tell my family or friends that I’m in an online class, the first question they always ask me is, “How does it compare to a normal class?” Before, I didn’t feel fully capable of explaining to them the differences between a normal face-to-face class and an online class since I was only in it for a couple months, but now that I have been through an entire online course, I believe that I can give them and anyone else curious a lot more information about the differences between the two types of classes. Now, of course like any other topic, people will always have their own opinions, but if you want to hear my thoughts on online classes, KEEP READING! Whether you are thinking about taking an online class or are thinking about teaching one, you might find my opinions helpful.
At the end of my 10th grade year, I went to a meeting about the 2 online classes that were going to be starting up at my school for 11th graders. Now mind you, this was the first time a school in my school district was going to be testing out the hybrid classes and of course this raised many questions. Although there were some difficult times, I can assure you that taking an online class was one of the best choices that I have ever made. I went into my 11th grade year more excited about school than I have ever been and it was ALL because of this one online class that I was taking with one of my best friends. It is pretty rare for someone my age to be excited about going back to school, but I was honestly just excited about trying something new. School has always been the same thing for me, you wake up early in the morning and go to all of your classes, then come home and do homework until late at night, then you go to sleep and repeat the cycle the next day. Having a traditional school schedule always took up all my time. When I wasn’t at school in class, I was at home doing homework. I never had time to just be a teen and enjoy what all life has to offer.
By adding an online class into my schedule, it changed everything for me. I was able to babysit (which I love doing) and I had time to go out and do things. My overall mood was happier when I came home from school. The biggest difference was that I wasn’t exhausted everyday when I came home like I was the previous 2 years. I was able to really just focus on myself more because taking the online class helped free up my schedule and give me a little more freedom to do my assignments when I had time. In my online class, assignments were due at the end of each week, so if I was babysitting on Monday, I could do my assignments on the other days. In all of my other classes, if I was assigned something on Monday, it was almost always due on the following day, Tuesday. Now when you have 4+ teachers all thinking that their class should come first, it makes life very stressful and I believe that teens shouldn’t be this stressed out. It’s hard to explain just how much better my life has been because of this one class.
Questions and Answers:
What new things did you learn from your online class that you wouldn’t have learned in a normal class?
Throughout this year, I can honestly say that I learned more in my online class than any other class that I took. I learned how to use a variety of different educational apps, such as; Flipgrid, Storify, Adobe Page (I made a story book with this app), Yellowdig, and WordPress. If I didn’t take this online class I wouldn’t have learned how to use all of these different apps that I will use when I become a teacher. I learned so many new things that will really help me in life. One of the most frequently asked questions by students during class is, “When will I ever use this in life?” Well, I can honestly say, the knowledge that I have obtained throughout the duration of my online hybrid course will come in handy often in my life because it has practical applications.
Why should a student take an online class during high school?
There are many reasons why I think that students should take an online class during high school. Whether you have a job, extracurricular activities, or other outside of school responsibilities, taking an online class is a good way for you to be able to manage your time better. If you’re interested in learning more about computers and apps that you can use, this class would be perfect for you! Even if you just want to try something new or experience something different in school, taking an online class is a great way to do that. The main reason why I took this online class was to experience something different and get better prepared for the online classes that I will most likely have to take in college, since colleges are so impacted these days.
What advice would you give to future online teachers?
My main piece of advice to any teacher that is going to be teaching an online class is to embrace the fact that this class is different from any other class. The reason why online classes are becoming so fascinating to students and teachers are because of the unique concept of taking a class online. Don’t ruin that by making it just like a normal class. Take advantage of the new opportunities that you have knocking at your door. Use different apps. Think outside of the box with things. Make the experience one that you and your students will never forget. There is a reason why students want to try out online classes and it’s not to be in the exact same class as they would be in, it’s to try something new. Don’t be afraid to push yourself to create new lesson plans. It is most likely your students’ first times taking an online class as well as your first time teaching one, so it’s ok if things don’t always work out the way you want them to. Considering that, keep in mind that your students might need some time to figure things out, like submitting assignments or using different online tools. Be patient with them and they will be patient with you! 🙂
Are online classes stressful? Why are they more stressful for some students but not others?
I strongly believe that online classes shouldn’t be any more stressful than normal classes. If anything, online classes should be less stressful because you will normally have the freedom to do assignments on your time. In my online class, all assignments were due at the end of each week, so if I had something to do on Monday, I wouldn’t have to stress and stay up late to finish it because it was due at the end of the week. Now, this could be stressful for some students who put off all of their assignments until Friday when they are due on Friday at 11:59 p.m.. This is where you really have to learn how to manage your time. If you know that you will be busy on Monday-Wednesday, but are free on Thursday and Friday, don’t wait until Friday to do all of your assignments! The students who don’t take advantage of the free time that they have to do the assignments are the ones who get stressed out from online classes.
Do online classes interfere with you developing crucial social skills?
Just like every other class, it all depends on how the teacher teaches the class. In my online class, my teacher used the app Flipgrid for us to be able to make videos discussing a certain topic. After we watched the videos we would respond to them with a video. This helped us become more comfortable with talking to the students in our class since we didn’t see them everyday. I personally feel that I got to know the students in my online class better than the students who were in my other classes. In most of my other classes we weren’t allowed to talk unless the teacher gave us permission, and we were usually only given permission to talk when we were discussing something about the topic we were learning and I feel that if a teacher gives you something to talk about, you really aren’t developing social skills. Overall, it just depends on how the teacher teaches the online class.
Above are some of the questions that I am most commonly asked when people find out that I took an online class. Overall, taking an online hybrid course is something that I don’t think you will regret. My experience has been so great that I’m taking another online English class next year! Giving students the option of taking an online class can open up so many different opportunities for them! For example, they might want to take a criminal law class but their schedule is already too full for them… well taking an online class will give them more time to explore classes beyond the ones that they are required to take. Trust me, this is just the beginning of something new.