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How online schools make virtual learning successful

How online schools make virtual learning successful.
How online schools make virtual learning successful.(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:15 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - What’s new for many schools as they go back to learning, is old hat for the Great Lakes Learning Academy.

It’s been teaching students online for years.

“We have more than just a google classroom,” said superintendent of GLLA, Heather Ballien.

Great Lakes Learning Academy teaches 6th through 12th grade, using a unique online program to connect students to teachers.

“We have a platform where our students can log in, parents can log in too,” said Ballien. The students then use that platform to interact with our teachers, that’s where the learning happens and where the communication comes in and where students gain access to the supplementary materials they may need.”

This curriculum allows students to learn both through live lesson and in courses that can be accessed at anytime.

A balance Ballien says brick and mortar schools are struggling to find right now.

“Understandably so, because they aren’t set up to deliver education in that way, so when they were kind of thrown into the deep end ‘so to speak’ they have had the challenge to figure out how to make that work,” said Ballien. “They are missing the robust platform that we have and it makes all the difference.”

That’s why Great Lakes Learning Academy is working with surrounding school districts as they adjust to remote learning this fall.

“We are happy to help each other out, give them tips and tricks of the trade and in the end it’s all about the education of the kids.”

For Heather Rose who has experience teaching in traditional and online schools, she’s found success by creating a ‘teacher student bond’ despite not physically being in the same classroom.

“For the new teachers coming in who have never had to create something out of nothing in this virtual world, it’s going to be hard,” said Rose. “It’s about letting the students know you are not a robot who creates your stuff, you are a real person and you both have the same goal which is to learn the material.”

As for parents and students diving into online learning this fall, Rose suggests to use the next few weeks to create a learning space in their home, form a schedule, and find ways to minimize distractions.

Great Lakes Learning Academy says they have seen an increase in interest in their school this summer as more districts are finalizing their back to school plans.

The cyber school will begin online class on August 31.

They are currently still able to enroll students for this school year.

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