Online Socialization: How to Connect in a Virtual Space
When considering online school, many may wonder if the student will miss out on social interactions. In fact, according to a recent article in Your Teen Magazine, “while 40% [of parents] are considering a virtual learning approach, one concern repeatedly pops up, particularly for parents of teenagers: How will my kid socialize?”
Comradery is just as important as coursework. While it can get lonely sitting behind a computer screen all day, the right program helps to combat the feelings of isolation. Laurel Springs offers a number of online socialization options to not only enrich the learning experience, but also strengthen the community feel.
It Takes a Strong Village
A well-rounded education depends on more than courses and grades. Many students enjoy school for the time they spend with friends and the extracurricular activities available. When you choose online school, especially in an asynchronous learning environment, students are not surrounded by their peers. In order to rebalance schoolwork and social interaction, Laurel Springs offers the following to full-time students:
- Clubs. Over 30 of them! From Art to Yearbook, and many other options in between. While a teacher serves as an advisor, students run the monthly meetings. Club Meet & Greets take place a few times a year to introduce students to the different offerings. Then students meet in virtual classrooms to take part in activities related to their shared interests.
- Virtual Field Trips. Several times of year, students in K-12 are invited to attend Virtual Field Trips around the world! Through the use of video and interactive gaming systems, they travel to a variety of destinations to learn about history, culture, tourism, and so much more.
- Social Networks. Students 13 and older are invited to join LSS Connect, a social networking platform where they can chat with fellow students and learn about a variety of events and family resources. Alumni also have their own community online. LSS Alumni Connect launched as a platform for reconnecting, reminiscing, and reaching out for support in whatever the future holds.
- Year-End Celebrations. Students don’t have to miss major high school events, such as prom and graduation! Every year, students are recognized for their induction into the National Honor Society and congratulated on their completion of another successful year. During this time, students “immediately display a true bond based on their months or years of connecting online,” says Rachelle Wafer, Student Engagement Manager.
Involvement On- and Offline
Laurel Springs believes that students should be engaged in their classes and in their everyday lives. It’s become a mission to provide students with what they need for a fully well-rounded education, without missing out on the social interactions needed for personal growth. Laurel Springs strives to provide students with online socialization opportunities to feel fulfilled academically and socially in an inclusive, welcoming environment.
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