Sean Flynn

Online learning is great for people like me who love to learn by doing, who love to go to the place you’re learning about, go to the laboratory, the field trip, the farm and see how stuff is actually being done instead of just reading about it in a book.

I’ve been homeschooled from first grade and have experienced many types of learning environments. Over twelve years, I’ve taken courses completely online, in blended classrooms, and in tradition classrooms. Throughout my schooling, I’ve always studied subjects online.

An advantage to online classes is the breadth of subjects available. I’ve studied subjects as varied as Latin, Music of the 70s, Russian, and AP Calculus. I’ve also taken online courses at local community colleges. These courses can be done at the student’s pace and convenience. However, it can be difficult to stay engaged, especially if there’s no live instruction

I’ve also been enrolled in several cooperatives. I was in a very effective cooperative for three years of high-school where teachers taught the weekly material in class, assigned homework, and met the class online later in the week to review. I’m now in a similar co-op as a senior. I’m also currently enrolled in a traditional four-credit college class. While I enjoy the collaboration possible in a live classroom and being a part of the school community, the fifty-minute commute is time-consuming and it seems the class is often taught to the level of the least knowledgeable students.

Over the years, I’ve done well academically and have also pursued other interests and accomplished things, like earning my private pilot’s license—something I want to do for my career. That wouldn’t have been possible with traditional schooling.

All three types of courses have their pros and cons. Almost any subject can be studied online, but it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated. Traditional classrooms are more engaging, but a lot of time can be wasted. From my experience, I feel a blended classroom is the most effective. These courses combine the best of all types of learning and can be educationally rigorous and provide students a community. Since most of the learning is done outside of class, blended learning concentrates the instructional time and leaves time for other opportunities.

Personally, I feel that my educational self-reliance has greatly improved since I began blended learning, I have become much better at teaching myself various subjects. I feel more pride and accomplishment after completing a hard objective now than I did when I had a physical teacher watching over me. The ability to work at a pace that best suits me is another positive regarding blended learning. My family has a lot of health issues, so there is often great uncertainty with my learning schedule. In brick and mortar school I often struggled to stay with the class due to being absent with medical problems, but that is no longer an issue thanks to blended learning.

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FROM
Newburgh, NY

HIGH SCHOOL Calvary Christian School

POST-SECONDARY
Dutchess Community College



2018Lisa Mullis