e might have a difference of opinion when it comes to choosing online school education for our kids but Online schools are popping up one by one in India and there is a list to choose from. If you have not heard of online schools yet it's important o understand how they work and would they work for your needs.

What is an Online School?

An online school (or virtual school) is a school that delivers education to students primarily over the internet. The online schooling concept is supported by a learning management system (LMS) which is a virtual platform that provides a classroom dashboard to the learners.

How Does an Online School Work?

The delivery of instruction and course materials for most online schools takes place over the internet. The teachers work remotely and conduct classes for different batches. It works in the same way as a physical school- having assembly time, having a class teacher, and subjects similar to what is offered in schools. However, depending on the school, parents might also be given the responsibility to proctor exams and submit assessments.

What are the Advantages of Sending Children to an Online School?

How parents think about online education can differ for different people but some advantages save time and money, I have listed them below.

1. Increased flexibility- Students can learn at their own pace and in their style. There is no need to worry about traveling long distances or joining ridiculously early morning batches. The competition reduces that children face in schools, children learn to self monitor their work and understand their responsibility. Some schools offer morning or afternoon shifts as preferred by the parents and the students.

2. Increased accessibility- There is no geographical limitation to getting admitted into an online school almost every child in the world has access to the internet and this number is only rising. Students otherwise spend a lot of time traveling, they are required to wake up early just to catch the bus which almost takes a trip in the entire city before they reach the school. ( This may not be true for all the routes though)

3. Personalized Attention- Since the student-teacher ratio in online schools is much lower than in traditional schools, each child gets more personalized attention. Teachers can easily monitor the students, the assessment reports are easy to monitor, the assignments submissions are easy to assess.

4. Cost-effective- Most online schools are significantly cheaper than traditional schools. Since the schools do not charge for food, transport, and infrastructure, parents need to pay only for the tuition fees, books, and admission depending on the curriculum they choose.

5. Easier to keep track of grades and progress- Since all the coursework is submitted online, parents can easily keep track of their child's progress and grades. This becomes a blessing both for parents and teachers, as they can see the progress, the missing work, and help as required.

In India, there is a rise in online schools and this means more parents are trusting the online mode of education, given its advantages. I have listed some online schools which are running successfully in India.

21k school - The school offers Pre-Primary Program (Nursery, KG 1, and KG 2), Primary School (for Grades 1 to 5), Middle School ( grades 6 to 8), and Senior School (9 to 12). The school offers an American curriculum, British Curriculum, and Indian Curriculum. The school has its virtual platform to conduct classes, children use their login and password to connect. They can see all their assignments and communications through the platform. The school recently announced the milestone of achieving 3000 admissions.

K8 School - This school offers online learning and is powered by Discovery Education. They offer classes from KG to grade 8. The school offers American Curriculum, and they have digital books for all the subjects. They offer blended learning where live classes are integrated with digital materials. Since the school is associated with Discovery the students get access to Discovery materials.

Bonsan International School - The aim of the school is to bridge the learning gap for children of 6-12 year old who do not have access to traditional physical schooling, due to living in remote locations, conflict zones or with psychological or physical disabilities. The school offers Indian and International curriculum. They run two batches, one in the morning and the other in the evening to cater to students from different tie zones.

Cyboard- The School is offering admissions for Nursery to Grade 6. They conduct their sessions through their own LMS(learning management system) which is accessible to parents, teachers, and students. They offer a cyboard Kit which has books, notebooks, and stationery materials.

AOL School- This is a CBSE accredited school, they have pre-primary, CBSE and NIOS curricula. They offer ibooks to students. They work in a similar fashion like the CBSE schools.

SpruhaEdu- They offer online classes to grades 5 to 8 and from grades 9 to 10. The subjects for grades 5 to 8 include English, Mathematics, Science & Social Science with Additional languages – Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Sanskrit. The subjects for grades 9 to 10 include English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Business Studies, Home Science, Psychology, Indian Culture & Heritage with Additional languages – Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Sanskrit.

The Virtual School- The Virtual school is an e-school or online school that provides lessons to students from 1st Standard to 12th Standard using web-enabled technologies. The Virtual School offers CBSE, ICSE, and other State Board curricula.

It would be too early to decide if online schools are better for students compared to the offline medium. The education depends on the comfort of parents because this also means that children will need their parents around during the sessions.

Now that many parents are going virtual with their work they will be comfortable with online schools. It's important to verify the schools, get demo sessions from the schools before enrolling, understand the fee structure and mainly analyze how comfortable you and your kids are with this step before making a decision.

This article is my personal opinion on online schools and I have collected the information about each school mentioned by visiting their website.

Jan 6, 2019
Digital Learning

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