HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Like the internet that makes it possible, online learning has many applications. Types of courses vary, as well as the extent that students study online. Some do it full-time, but many use it as a supplement to traditional school. For example, high school senior Libby Rogan at Dollar Bay High School takes Spanish II online.
“I'm taking it because my school only offers one year of foreign language, and the colleges I'm applying to require at least two years,” she said.
Proponents, like Finlandia University officials, say online learning spreads resources across the country and world. The school runs several online classes designed for high school students who don't live near a university. They can dual-enroll in the courses for college credit.
“These are aimed at students that are in more rural areas, as they don't usually have the dual-enroll option,” Director of Admissions Travis Hanson said. “They are in an area that's a ways distance-wise from a college campus. So they can get these college credits 100 percent online.”
A screen in place of a teacher does affect how students learn, for better or worse.
“It is definitely harder online to take a language, but online classes generally provide audio, so you can practice both listening and speaking,” Rogan said. “It is harder because you don't have someone physically in front of you teaching you, but it does enough that it's not too difficult.”
When run through a public school, online courses are usually free.
In the final part of the five-part education series airing on the November 18 TV6 Early News, TV6 takes a look at charter schools.