As of this year, there are approximately 60 million students, that attend public school, private school, homeschool, undergraduate and graduate students, who take advantage of online classes as part of their education. Innovative technology-driven classrooms are the future of education, which is why Open Tent Academy is excited to be a part of it. There are many benefits of this empowering platform to educated, engage and excite homeschool children at every grade level.
There are many things to love about online education; however, here are some of our favorites:
One of the benefits of live online courses is the availability of a real-life, real time subject matter expert. Since parents rarely caregr4ozie themselves as experts in all things, it is a blessing to have the teacher presenting new material, facilitating the group, working with individual students and supporting work assignments.
Once students transition out of the homeschooling learning environment into college, trade school, the armed forces or even a career, it is essential the students understand what it means to be accountable for their success. Live, online courses provide a natural environment for the students to acquire greater self-discipline, responsibility and self-advocacy. With OTA’s Learning Management System, CANVAS, this is a gentle way to ease the students into independence.
Integration of Real-World Skills
Far beyond just word processing, presentations, projects and work within the virtual classroom will help students become better public speakers, mesh technology and their creativity and learn the same skills required by business regarding working in a collaborative, virtual environment – which MANY of your children will be doing within their career.
Peace of Mind
Live online courses provide parents with feedback about what a child can and cannot do independently; however, you are having the added benefit of having a teacher available to assist you. Simply put, the virtual classroom is just as much as a homeschooling parent’s resource as it is a child’s tool. OTA’s teachers are there to advocate for the success of the homeschooling parent and the homeschooling children.
Time and Flexibility
Because many students naturally understand the tech realm, they quickly become capable of navigating the virtual classroom features and content on their own. The parent now has time to teach another child, fold a load of laundry or maybe even enjoy a quiet cup of coffee while watching their child learn from the next room.
Powerful Interactive Tools
Content comes to life in our online learning classrooms, hosted by Jigsaw Interactive. Jigsaw’s features include:
- Interactive Whiteboard that allows teachers and students to create content. They can label diagrams, fill in outlines, color documents and so much more.
- Live Chat allows students to further conversations and questions within the classroom.
- Student Surveys and breakout rooms provide teacher-supervised areas for discussing questions and sharing ideas.
- Downloadable documents directly from the virtual classroom while instruction is in progress.
- Notes section in a virtual classroom where students can take their notes and convert to a downloadable PDF document after class.
- Live streaming via webcam so students can share projects (and pets!) creating an engaging environment for learning!
Teaching Effectively to Different Learning Styles
Each child has a primary learning style in which they most effectively process information. That is why some kids love watching videos and others prefer a more tactile approach such as building a model. It is essential to teach and communicate in each child’s learning style. The three main types of learning styles are Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. OTA’s online classes targets multiple learning styles simultaneously.
Benefits to Child Development
The development benefits are many; however, the highlights include memory, computer fluency, strategic problem solving, hand-eye coordination and skill building through the online educators at OTA.
Immersion in Material
Flexible homeschooling, where students immerse in a collaborative, interactive learning environment is a major benefit of online classes. OTA’s exciting courses like Marine Biology, art, geography or even literature will bring your learner to the next level. Utilizing virtual classroom tools, students can engage and learn with students around the world without ever leaving their home.
Open Tent Academy’s programs include courses geared for elementary, middle school and high school age learners. Depending on age, our classes run between 75 -90 minutes per session, and meet on a weekly basis for lengths of 10, 20 or 30 weeks. You can choose academics from the “core curriculum”, fun electives, or a mix of both. Students will receive an “end of course” evaluation, and a certificate as proof of taking the class.
Open Tent Academy is pleased to offer you an ever-growing number of interactive, online courses that will not only engage your learners but will take their academics to the next level.
Registration continues to be open for courses until the first week of October. Come see what Open Tent Academy has to offer you!
Eva Goldstein-Meola is not only co-founder of Open Tent Academy, but an instructor as well as a former homeschooling mother. She has lived in New Jersey, Florida, Western Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and now resides just outside of Jerusalem. Eva holds a Master’s Degree as a Consulting Teacher of Reading and Writing, IEW certification and a Bachelor’s Degree as an Elementary Teacher. She has also been involved in education since 1986 as a Private Tutor, Teacher, Reading Specialist, Homeschooling Mother, Homeschooling Teacher and Business Owner of an Online Education Consortium.