Bryanna Willis, a 2013 graduate of South Carolina Virtual Charter School (SCVCS), has a lot to say about her online education. After graduating from high school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia College, master’s degree in linguistics from the University of South Carolina, and will soon move to New York to pursue a law degree from Columbia University. She credits her success to her Stride K12-powered school and shared her experiences to dispel three common myths about online learning.
1. Myth: Online school is impersonal.
My SCVCS teachers had a level of empathy and patience that I did not experience in my brick-and-mortar school. They focused on the individual student as opposed to just the class as a whole. I think they were coming from the perspective of “how can I reach my individual students?” and “how can I see them for themselves and address their needs?” because everyone has such different needs.
2. Myth: Online programs offer a limited curriculum.
I was really surprised by how many different courses they had. They had this really awesome French language class. My French teacher was amazing. The class was set up so that you could read, listen, and practice your speaking. She would give us a YouTube video or a great movie to check out. I would finish all my other stuff for the day and then my treat was that I got to study French have fun with it. Those were some of the best memories I have from school.
3. Myth: Online schools don’t give student the opportunity to socialize.
People don't expect you to learn how to socialize in online school, but I learned how to socialize in so much more of a positive way than I had learned in a traditional school. I was just a terrified person before, incredibly shy. And I think after going into online school, that changed. I had an opportunity to meet students from all over my state with all different types of backgrounds. We had classes together and I just felt so much more comfortable learning. And there were get togethers. My favorite was when we went to a farm. It wasn't an academic event, but it was a comfortable, fun, relaxed environment to meet my classmates and teachers in person. During my time at SCVCS, I grew to be independent and a more outgoing person.
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