With the end of the school year upon us, we at Learn outside the Lines reached out to several recent graduates of online or blended learning programs to learn more about their successes. What became clear in our conversations was that online and personalized learning can prepare students for their post-secondary experience.
Continue reading below to see what a 2013 graduate of Poudre Global Academy had to say about online learning and how well it prepared her for her future:
LoTL: What did you think of the online curriculum at Poudre? Was it rigorous or easy?
Student: I thought that the content within the courses themselves wasn’t any harder than it would be in a regular classroom; it was just different.
However, the online courses required a lot more personal motivation and time management because you could work on it at any time during the day. The courses also managed to incorporate concepts through multimedia presentations, at home labs, and within demonstrations.
LoTL: What did you like about online learning?
Student: I liked the independence I had, and the time management skills I learned.
I was able to get a job while I was attending high school online, and I was not subject to as many schedule constraints had I been enrolled in a traditional school. I used the time I would have been in the classroom to participate in extra curricular activities and focus on my hobbies.
LoTL: What was your favorite online learning subject, and why?
Student: My favorite subject to learn online was math because I’m fairly good at it. I was able to go at my own pace, power through the lecture material, and have a longer amount of time to study.
LoTL: Why did you become an online learner?
Student: I had negative experiences in traditional high school which prompted me to move from Germany—where I had been living because my father is in the Army—back to Colorado.
At the time, I was tired of the structure of traditional schooling. I was also at an awkward point in my curriculum and would have been taking classes with freshman in a traditional high school.
Online learning at PSD allowed me to take extra class loads and graduate in less time than I thought it would have.
LoTL: How has online learning prepared you for life after graduation?
Student: I am currently attending Colorado State University (CSU) working toward a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management with a minor in Business Administration.
I think going to school online helped me become a better, more balanced person. It also helped me to mature and set me up for success where I am.
At CSU, I am able to take over 15 credits a semester, work full time, and do other things and still do well.
LoTL: What would you tell someone else about online learning?
Student: I would tell them that if they’re hesitant at all, it does take a certain kind of motivation and perseverance to get through. I think, for people that either need extra time or less time in the classroom, online learning is really ideal.
Online learning isn’t for everyone, but from my own experience it was well worth it and much more efficient than traditional school. You aren’t entirely isolated either, and you’re not being taught by a robot, which is important to know.
If someone really cares about their education and what they’re learning, online learning lets you take it all into your own hands. It’s not an easy way out or an easy way to just get a diploma.
LoTL: What are your plans after graduation?
Student: After getting my degree from Colorado State University I would like to go on to either culinary school or keep moving forward in my career path with the job I have now until I can be an executive chef at a luxury hotel.
It is important to note that the teachers that enabled my graduating from Poudre Global Academy helped make me the person I am today. And, their guidance is honestly the reason I got accepted into Colorado State.
To learn more about how to scale a successful personalized learning program, click here.