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Comparison Between Traditional and Online High School

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The Differences Between Online High School V. Traditional High School

Is Online High School Right For You? Here’s The Low-Down on Online Studies.

Every student has a different learning style. Some are visual learners, some are verbal or physical learners, and some think they can’t learn. Now, the world of education is changing to accommodate the different minds and thinking processes of every type of learner. Online school, A.K.A. remote learning or e-learning, is quickly gaining popularity.

Online universities have existed since the conception of the internet. Finally, primary schools, from elementary to high school, are taking the necessary steps to be inclusive of all learning approaches.

Student using Macbook in a lecture hall

Defining “Online High School”

First, the online learning derives from the concept of “distance learning,” which developed in the mid-19th century around the beginning of the U.S. Postal Service. Coined “correspondence colleges,” universities provided learning opportunities and curriculum through the mail, evolving over time to become the sophisticated online high schools and universities they are today. To learn more about the history of online education, visit

While online universities were the first to go virtual, high schools quickly followed suit and are on the rise at an astounding rate. According to K12 Inc., in 2013-2014, 300,000 American children were full-time online students as well as over 1.2 million. 

Debunking Myths

Stereotypes, misinformation, and assumptions surround online schools, but they are simply myths. It is essential for you to research and fact-check to determine whether a statement made–such as the ones below– is true or false. Let’s walk through three common myths regarding online school. 

The quality of education is lower.

False. Accredited online high schools, whether private or public, must be reviewed and approved by a regional or national accreditation agency, the same agencies that accredit traditional high schools. The wide range of classes also ensures that each student is receiving the education acceptable for the age, grade level, knowledge, and skill.

Online students can’t meet with teachers.

False. Students often may schedule specific one-on-one time with their teachers. This allows for time flexibility for extracurricular activities, which is a common reason for students opting to take online classes.

Universities and colleges won’t accept online high school credits and diplomas.

Again, false. The majority of high education institutions will take an accredited online school diploma and credits. Most colleges do not even blink at a distance-learning diploma considering how many colleges are now offering one-hundred-percent online undergraduate and graduate degrees.

High school students throwing their caps in the air at graduation

Deciding Factors

To further ease your mind, let’s weigh the opportunities and obstacles of attending an online high school. As previously stated, learning experiences should be tailored to the individual. E-learning could be beneficial for a student looking to graduate early or an athlete who’d rather focus on the playing field. However, students struggling with time management might not benefit from the relaxed structure of the online classroom.

The Pros

  1. Reduced social pressure
  2. Flexible time commitment
  3. Unique learning opportunities
  4. Early graduation
  5. Not just for teenagers

PS: Don’t worry, you will still have in-person graduation at Fairborn Digital Academy.

The Cons

  1. Reduced social opportunities
  2. Self-discipline and motivation is key
  3. Less access to organized high school sports and interest clubs
  4. Equipment requirements (computer, wi-fi, camera)
  5. Must be able to teach yourself


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