From using social media to connect with their friends and the world at large, to downloading songs, movies and the latest apps, if you’re like most parents today, you find yourself minimizing the sheer volume of time your teenage children spend online. But maybe it’s less about how much time they spend online, and more about what they do when they are online.
If trying to get your kids to get off the computer and reading a book is like pulling teeth, a solution may be to combine the two activities. As a supplement to classroom learning, online education for teens and young adults has come a long way in just a few short years.
Online learning offers several advantages that can suit a teenager’s learning preferences and lifestyle.
- Learning from the comfort of home – Online learning facilitates learning in a safe environment where parents can keep a watchful eye on their curious teenagers, giving them the flexibility to monitor how the kids spend their time.
- Flexible scheduling – Your teenager often has conflicting things on the go – from school and soccer practice to helping out around the house and socializing with friends. Online courses give your teen the flexibility to schedule their lessons according to their own unique lifestyles, ensuring that they will be more engaged and focussed during the learning process.
- Competitive edge – There is no question that these are competitive times, and today’s students need higher grades, achievements and extracurricular endorsements to guarantee university admission. Online learning provides supplemental lessons, testing, examples and exams to give teenagers that extra edge to succeed.
- Global, interactive learning – Most teenagers are highly social and look for opportunities to express their opinions and chat with friends. The interactive component of online learning allows teens to stay engaged through various forums such as email, Skype and webinars. As well, online classrooms become global as students can easily interact with other students around the world. Imagine how a class in geography or world studies or even literature comes to life for your teen as students from different cultures share their experiences and perspectives.
- Customized learning – Online courses and curricula allow parents and students to design their own learning experience. From determining learning levels to course selection and duration, online learning gives teenage students a customized learning experience that meshes with their unique needs.
Visit some of these online learning and education websites and give your teenager the tools and experiences to discover who they are today—and who they will become tomorrow.
- http://www.khanacademy.org/ - A website that offers free courses in multiple high school and university level subjects.
- http://www.gogonews.com/news.html - Current news and current events geared towards the teenage mind.
- http://teachkidsnews.com – Up-to-date and relevant news articles for kids.
- http://www.education.com/activity/high-school - Online activities geared towards high school students.
- http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/exhibitions/hist/biography/biographi500e.shtml - Introduces students to famous Canadians who have had an impact on our history and culture.
- http://www.2learn.ca/teens/ - Interactive online courses for teens grades 7 to 9.