PROFILES OF ONLINE LEARNING SUCCESS
In recognition of National Online Learning Day, we celebrate our online community and highlight
three remarkable students who have found success with online learning.
Wednesday, September 15 marked National Online Learning Day in the US and the occasion was recognized around the globe.While the Covid 19 pandemic and school closures has kept online learning in the spotlight for the past 18 months, the awareness and demand for online learning has been on the rise for nearly two decades.
In The Beginning…
Ron Packard, Founder and CEO of US-based Pansophic Learningled the charge for education reform in the year 2000. Pansophic Learning is a global school management organization serving over 35,000 students in five countries. Among the dozens of schools managed and powered by Pansophic Learning is Dubai-based iCademy Middle East, the GCC region’s first internationally accredited online school. Prior to his current role, Packard founded K12 Academy, one of the first, and still one of the largest, online education providers in the United States.
In his groundbreaking book published in 2013, Education Transformation, Packard explains how education has fundamentally remained unchanged for the past 100 years“While technology has blazed a remarkable rail of transformation in the larger culture the last twenty years, our schools have not kept pace.”
With a Changing World Comes Changing Needs
As the world evolves and becomes more complex, so do students’ needs. Students, parents, and education professionals agree that the one size fits all education model that trained the factory workers and homemakers of the 1940s-70s, often fails to meet the needs of today’s students.
“Now, more than ever, parents expect a customized learning experience” says Cody Claver, General Manager of iCademy Middle East. Claver continued, “over the years, the reasons why students are choosing iCademy Middle East have multiplied along with our annual student enrollment numbers.”
Lucy Dawson, an Enrollment Coordinator for iCademy Middle East, added, “Families who reach out to me are motivated for many reasons, but the top three are, the flexibility that comes with 24/7 access to learning, ongoing concerns about the pandemic and other medical concerns, and the success they have experienced from trying online learning.”
Marco’s Path to Freedom
After a 2ndterm of poor grades and a lack of motivation, the parents of 11-year-old, Marco, requested a school conference. According to his teachers, Marco was bright and had the potential to be a great student if he could stay focused in class. Unfortunately, no solutions or plan was offered.
As Marco’s distraught mother explained her family’s plight to an officecolleague, a 3rd co-worker overheard their conversation. Realizing that Marco’s behavior sounded a lot like his own son’s from two years prior, he anxiously joined the conversation and recommended that Marco’s mom call iCademy Middle East. Today, Marco’s mom describes that phone call as one of the best parenting decisions she has made.
Marco has attended the American curriculumonline school for the past year. He is now in grade 8 and a A/B student. Marco finds his coursework rigorous, but he enjoys the challenge. “My iCademy Middle East teachers encourage me in a good way. I like the way they comment on my projects. They challenge me to do my best and I accomplish more than I thought I could. I am in 8th grade and already taking a high school French class.”
When asked to explain the difference between online school and his old school, Marco said, “In my old school there was lots of noise in the classroom and constant disruptions. Some students would hold up the class with a lots of questions, bad behavior, and side conversations. I would get bored and lose interest quickly. At iCademy Middle East, I don’t have to worry about unforms or being late. It’s just me and my work. I can finish it as quickly as I want or as slowly as I want. I know what’s expected and I get it done. Online learning gave me freedom!”
Among iCademy Middle East’s 1600 students, Marco’s story is not unusual. In traditional schools, highly advanced students often get bored because they’re working faster than the rest of the class. And although there are lots of resources for students who are struggling, there are comparatively few resources for students who are ahead and need to be challenged.
Traditional schools require every student to attend classes 5 days a week and approximately 6.5 hours each day. Many students today have interests and aspirations outside of school that requires a more personal approach to school.
Although iCademy Middle East is known as an online school, it does not consider itself a technology company. iCademy Middle East is a highly advanced learning system delivered by highly skilled and talented educators who are experts in online pedagogy. Head of School, Diane Claver, and most of her academic leadership team have been providing online education for iCademy Middle East for nearly a decade.
For more information on online learning or iCademy Middle East, contact the school at 04 440 1212 or visit www.icademymiddleeast.com