Schooling: Online Versus Traditional

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A mother weeps at the kitchen table. A father paces back and forth mumbling to himself and trying to calm his crying wife. “I thought I knew the best for him,” whimpers the sobbing mom. Their son walks down the hall into the kitchen with tears in his eyes and begins to apologize. His grades had slipped; even more so, his ambition for school was gone. His commitment to school was nonexistent though he had so much time on his hands. The slacking off had all added up, and the college he wants to get into won’t even accept the accomplishments he has like they would if they had come from a traditional classroom. It’s not anyone’s fault. How could they have ever known? Online schooling ripped away multiple opportunities for this student, and now he’s stuck. Situations like this happen more often than discussed. This type of schooling is not helping pupils the way it was intended to and is now more of a burden than a benefit. The new technology of online schooling will make kids struggle more, offer them less direct contact with instructors, limit their social interactions, and ultimately provide less opportunities and more difficulties than the traditional classroom.

In favor of the other side of the argument, that online schooling is more beneficial than the traditional classroom, The New York Times compared students both online and in school in locations including Chicago, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. When conducting this study and viewing their results, University Professor, Susan Dynarski, realized that the poor aspects of online school that bring negative effects don’t show up until after an extended period of time(Dynarski). This means often it is praised as a wonderful option for those who struggle face-to-face. Obviously results aren’t seen until you can see trends in students’ grades and overall in their lives. Dynarski specifically looked into three types of online schooling to see what the effects of each would be. The three types were as follows: blended, fully online, and credit recovery programs(Dynarski). Blended online schooling allows students to take most courses online, but they are able to be in contact with some sort of teacher. This makes it easier for the students to get the help they need. When students transfer to fully online school they no longer have commute, don’t worry so much about late assignments, and they can take things at their own pace. The credit recovery programs available to students who have failed other classes and need to make up credits may be a good option for those that don’t work well with teachers(Dynarski). Even though all three types of online schooling have these certain benefits, Dynarski realized a drawback that in some ways is greater than the benefits and leans toward the opposite side of the argument. Her findings concluded that, “The weakest students are hurt most by online format”(Dynarski). There are unmistakably many benefits that can come from each of type of online school, but currently, the cons still outweigh the pros.

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Online schooling is most often seen as a way to help students who failed in class, but transferring to online makes these students struggle worse than before.


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