Your school carefully stewards human and content resources to provide the richest possible program for your students, one that ticks every box:
- Curriculum requirements, check!
- University expectations, check!
- Popular student demand, check!
But in an age when technology provides almost infinite choice in every other area of our lives, it’s inevitable that a prospective family will ask about courses your school isn’t staffed up to offer. What about Arabic as a world language? What about a course in digital app design? What about Advanced Placement (AP), since my kid is thinking about university in the US?
In the past, your school might have to say no to such requests, and potentially lose that student to a competitor. But the advance of online learning now allows even the smallest, most tightly-focused schools to say yes to students’ personalised interests. Online courses, many with highly engaging digital content and specially-trained online teachers, allow schools to turn an open study period, after-school time, or even a student’s homework schedule, into an opportunity for a CV-building, intellectually enriching experience – one that parents are willing to pay extra for.
International Connections Academy and other virtual schools offer their programs by the course to students and to schools around the globe. A student taking, say, Sign Language or Digital Photography or AP US Government & Politics, will work mostly asynchronously, at their own pace and on their own time, with their online teacher monitoring their progress and intervening to accelerate or remediate as needed. Live synchronous sessions with the online teacher (and with other students taking the same course all over the world) happen for about an hour per week, and are recorded for students who are not able to attend in real time. At the end of the course, the student gets a complete transcript of their work, which their bricks and mortar school may choose to add to their official record.
International schools that arrange online enrichment courses for their students through virtual programs like iNaCA can take credit for broadening their offerings and can work out pricing that makes sense for the families they serve. Best of all, they can meet their students’ very individualized interests while maintaining the deep focus every school needs to succeed. It’s the best of both worlds, thanks to digital learning.