Online learning is not new. For K through 12, students are now connected to online learning like never before. Universities have been using online class schedules for many years. In recent months it has been the major method that students and schools have been forced to adopt. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has expanded online learning and virtual teaching. New phrases and technology platforms have become famous in the mainstream such as: Skype, online portals, video chat, PDF, PowerPoint, video conferencing, Zoom, LMS Login (Learning Management System), e-textbooks and many others.
In South Florida counties their public school systems struggled to get laptops and internet at home to those who needed it, and faced other issues such as long lines and problems with the system “crashing” as it became overloaded with students. Private schools, such as Beacon Hill, in most cases have smaller classroom sizes and were able to move more swiftly to 100% online learning, as well as, providing the needed attention to the students in each class. Online learning seems to be the new normal with a blend of in person on campus and online learning likely to be part of the daily classroom teaching efforts in the near future.
In general, online learning for all grades is a necessary advancement. There are some short term issues, but most believe the added technological component is a positive direction for learning. Complicating the full time online learning structure is the mental health for both students and teachers, slow internet speeds, computers and other outdated technology, time management with families, and a lack of live social interaction with other students and teachers. A traditional campus classroom has its benefits in these areas, but there are still benefits in adding the online component.
According to research at Educationdata.org distance education can take many forms. The most common are:
- Fully online: Active instruction, testing, assignments, and discussion takes place online
- Blended or Hybrid: Between 25-50% of instructions, assignments, and discussion takes place online
- Students study course material outside class and utilize classroom time to reinforce learning, ask questions, and interact with their instructor
- Face-to-Face Web Enabled: Students “meet” virtually with their instructors (and other class members) via video chat or teleconferencing
- Emergency remote teaching: shifting of face-to-face, blended, or other courses to a fully online format in the event students or faculty are unable to come to campus.
The state of Florida requires that high school students take a totally online course for graduation requirements. At Beacon Hill School, families have a choice, to remain virtually in class, or to return to physical class. The technology will continue to be used and blended into the traditional teaching platform; thereby, preparing students for the requirements as they are promoted through the grades.
The bottom line is, a hybrid of the traditional and some online learning is here to stay. Beacon Hill School has a robust online learning program and a parent login to check lessons and grades. Because class size is small, parents can communicate with teachers much easier and students are given the one on one they need both in person and online.
Contact Beacon Hill School-Hollywood to set up a tour in person or watch the online tour available on the website to learn more!