How Virtual Learning Prepares Students For The Real World

Chelsea Penney
October 10, 2022

Imagine starting a new job without technical knowledge of the tools you need to do the work. Everyone around you is working away, but you are frantically learning as you go. You are dropped in without any practice and expected to keep up. Stressful, right? 

Now, imagine you start a new job wholly prepared with experience performing the job. Now you feel more confident and are more productive as a result.  

With online college classes and remote work environments gaining popularity, students must be prepared to enter the technological workforce. They need exposure and practice to be successful in the ever-evolving future. Virtual and hybrid classrooms in grade school allow students to gain familiarity with the technology they need to understand after graduation. 

How common are online colleges and remote work environments?

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 75% of college students enroll in hybrid or online courses. Upwork estimates that over 26% of American employees work remotely. 

Universities and employers are looking for applicants who can demonstrate capability in many programs, including project management systems, online messaging, video conferencing, spreadsheets, coding, and video and photo editing. By learning and practicing these programs early in their academic careers, students will be more prepared to enter higher education and the workforce.

The Digital Learning Collaborative states, “Knowing that remote learning and work are only going to increase in popularity and use in the future, students gaining online learning skills in Kindergarten-12th grade is essential for their success. A survey recently conducted by Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and FlexPoint revealed that [...] 80% of parents believe that online learning benefits their children’s educational experiences by helping them develop key skills for school and future success.”

How virtual learning prepares students for virtual work at home jobs:

Computer skills

Virtual school teaches technical computer skills as simple as turning the computer on, keeping the battery charged, and typing efficiently. Students also learn essential programs like how to use documents and format spreadsheets. They master logging in to websites, problem-solving when locked out, and changing passwords when they encounter issues. They practice checking email, sending messages, and communicating over video conferencing. These foundational computer skills are essential for keeping up in a digital world. 

Executive skills

Online learning also helps students lay a foundation of responsibility by teaching executive skills such as time management, organization, and self-discipline. Students must manage their time, prioritize their efforts and adhere to deadlines as they work independently. They will utilize critical thinking and practice self-motivation without a teacher standing over their shoulders. Students maintain their drive as they work independently, log in for classes, and turn in assignments.

One 5th grade virtual school parent says, “One of the things virtual school really helps with is skills that are so useful later on like self-regulation, executive skills, knowing your schedule, keeping track of your assignments, figuring out what you need to do when. I know my son would have gotten there, and he was already well on his way, but I think this accelerated his ability to develop those skills. [...] He’s really developed a strong set of executive skills and self-regulation that I think will help him later on down the line. He can already manage his own schedule, assignments, and homework. He’s learned what he needs to do, keeps track of his own workspace, and keeps it organized.”

Communication skills

Remote learning also encourages alternative means of collaboration and relationship building. Students learn to express themselves through video conferencing, direct messages, and emails. They need to practice asking questions for clarity and communicating their needs. Many virtual teachers begin their classes with a social-emotional check-in to allow time for students to express their feelings. This practice enables students to get comfortable talking with their teacher and allows the teacher to be sensitive to the class's needs and adjust their lesson plans. 

Clear online communication is essential in remote college programs and the virtual workforce. Understanding how to express yourself effectively helps prepare students for the future.

Digital skills

Online learning creates familiarity with computer programs and promotes problem-solving by exposing students to digital tools. They learn how to work productively in an online environment which is excellent exposure for college and virtual work-at-home jobs. Students can also benefit from one-on-one teaching, like personalized learning games and lesson plans. Honing their digital skills prepares them for technological advancements in their futures.

Remote work is the future, and virtual schools prepare students by building computer skills, encouraging executive functions, using clear communication, and practicing using digital tools. 

Proximity Learning participates on both sides of the spectrum by preparing students for jobs with remote work with virtual schooling and providing online teacher jobs from home. See where we operate or apply to teach with us today.

Chelsea Penney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing from University of Colorado Denver and her Masters of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M University Commerce. She loves living in Austin, TX and working on the frontline of the many marketing initiatives for Proximity Learning.

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