Debunking 5 Myths About Online Learning

2/28/22

Tailoring your child’s education to fit their needs and goals for the future has never been easier. Technology makes it possible to connect like-minded students and families across the globe in an environment empowering kids to learn when and where it fits in their lives.

The accelerating prominence of online learning has continued to grow in the K–12 space, yet the efficacy of virtual learning outside of a pandemic still remains a bit of a mystery to many. 

What are some of the stereotypes surrounding virtual learning? We’ve been in the online learning realm for 30 years, so we’ve heard them all! Let’s run through—and debunk!—some of the most common myths relating to online learning.

Myth 1: Online Schools Are Not Accredited

A robust, innovative, and flexible education is absolutely available online and schools are accredited to reflect this. Being accredited means a school and its programs have been vetted by a board of experts to ensure it meets specific criteria. It’s a thorough process that takes time and ensures all standards set forth by the accrediting body are met. If a school is accredited, they will make it known. It can be a red flag if a school says they are accredited, but information about its accreditation is not readily available. 

Myth 2: The Quality of Education Suffers in an Online Environment

If this were the case, somebody better let the nation’s best universities know. Laurel Springs School students—alumni of a fully-virtual school—have gone on to study successfully at Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Cornell, Harvard, Standard, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, Yale, and more.

Quality does not suffer due to different methods of delivery of learning. In fact, it can be enhanced by new approaches. Because our students each have an individualized academic path developed with the help of a counselor, the exact opposite of this myth could be argued. We use a collaborative learning management system of communications technologies and tools to help Laurel Springs students follow a personalized learning plan.

You don’t have to take it from us, though. Our students frequently share how the quality of a Laurel Springs online education has elevated them as scholars.

Myth 3: Online School is Easier Than a Brick-and-Mortar Experience

If you mean easier in the sense that it is easier to get to class, you may be spot on. Most would argue that opening a laptop from your learning space, in your comfy clothes at a time you are best poised to learn is easier than getting up, getting dressed, and on a school bus all before 8 in the morning.

But that’s where the “easiness” comparison stops. Asynchronous learning challenges and engages students at all age levels. In our Lower School, we support K–5 students in developing curiosity, emotional growth, and academic preparation. Meanwhile, in our Middle School, 6th through 8th graders hone their time-management skills, becoming independent learners and exploring their academic capabilities. After the middle grades, our Upper School students put their noses to the grindstone in college prep, including an array of dual enrollment, honors, world language, and Advanced Placement options.

Last, but certainly not least, is The Academy at Laurel Springs. This intensive top-tier program caters to the strongest and most studious scholars who go on to be the visionaries and leaders of the future. The word "easy" is not top of mind when we think about the rigor of our programs. Instead, we think of: innovative, flexible, limitless, exceptional, empowering, we could go on and on.

Myth 4: Online Courses Require Less Time Commitment

A robust K–12 online school doesn’t develop the curricula, concepts, and assignments to take less time to learn or complete. 

For us, marrying flexibility with asynchronous learning means students have the opportunity to truly master concepts at a pace that makes sense for them. It's about getting your education and having time to pursue other things, too. 

Whether a student is looking for ways to balance school with an intensive athletic schedule or has a specific career path in mind at a younger age than most, providing an educational option allowing for students to pursue ALL that is important to them means they don’t have to sacrifice one goal for another. 

Laurel Springs pupils put the work in. They just choose to do so in the early mornings, evenings, weekends, holidays, winters, summers… you get the picture.

And while online students put the time into learning, just as traditional students, at schools offering rolling admission—like Laurel Springs—students can enroll in our programs when they’re ready.

Myth 5: Online Students Never Hear from Their Teachers

And the verdict on this is… incorrect! At least at Laurel Springs, it is.

Faculty, counselors, and staff at Laurel Springs remain true to their roles as active participants, alongside students and their parents, from start to finish. Students are not left to teach themselves the curriculum, nor are they alone when it comes to planning their educational path. Our education team comes from diverse academic backgrounds to help guide and support students through their personalized educations.

While online students often learn in an asynchronous environment, they are welcome to check in with their teachers for questions on assignments, exams, and course material just as they would be in a brick-and-mortar school. We are only separated by distance. And teachers provide meaningful feedback on every assignment, ensuring they’re as engaged with your student’s learning as they are.

At Laurel Springs, you and your child’s connection to our academic staff start even before the teachers. Our team of experts dedicated to academic planning helps map out your student’s goals, strengths, and interests.

Online learning releases students from the constraints the walls of a traditional classroom create. In the end, the myths surrounding online schools are just that—myths. Learn more about the students who thrive at Laurel Springs. Then book a seat at one of our upcoming Virtual Open House events during which you’ll explore our online K-12 learning experience.