How to be social in an online school

Student studying
Mickey Ravenaugh

Do you think distanced learning essentially means disconnection? When you focus on the phrase ‘online school’, do you picture lonely learners working solo, solemn in front of their screens from morning till night? If so, here’s an updated image to keep in mind and replace that: a global network of switched-on students, connecting socially through a hub of activity, sharing ideas, conversations, culture and laughs. All these learners need do is log in and open up to the possibilities: 

  • Saying yes to each educational opportunity that catches their eye in the programme 

  • Trying out new, safe social experiences from the comfort of their home 

  • Testing their personal capabilities with the support and care of highly-trained teaching staff 

  • Forming lasting friendships with like-minded students around the world 

  • Claiming their space in the welcoming atmosphere of the virtual classroom 

  • Building up their confidence for an interactive future beyond school 

While independent working is a vital skill for every ambitious student to master, personal connections are clearly crucial – and within online schools especially. Though divided geographically, students in person-centric online schools will come together every time they sign in for a group session with their teacher. Thanks to recent great leaps in interactive technology, forming lifelong bonds through online classwork has never been so easy, or rewarding.  

During collective sessions, teachers will lead personal interactions through learning portals, inviting lively group participation, setting up virtual breakout rooms, and maximising the scope for teamwork and collaboration. Participation is open to everyone, and unlike in traditional classroom formats, everybody’s progress receives equal attention – there’s no room for any student to go unnoticed, or unseen. 

Away from these lessons, secure messaging boards provide additional space for students to express their thoughts, problem-solve, and seek peer or teacher support, while dedicated staff, such as Pearson’s expert Success Coaches, will devote time to forming dependable bonds with students and their families. It’s all brilliant training for what’s to come at university and beyond: a carefully curated mix of one-to-one engagements, collective debates and expression, plus quiet time for students to progress through their coursework at a comfortable pace. 

At Pearson Online Academy UK Global, we also shout loud and proud about our wide range of free, extra-curricular activities. So, if you’re curious about coding, burning to flex your journalist muscles through blogging, or keen to conquer the world with your pro chess moves, we’ve got the social event to suit you. Our clubs, tournaments, competitions and creative spaces will keep students’ social lives fresh throughout the year, bringing classmates into contact with even more peers like them.  

Right now, perhaps better than any other establishment open to aspiring young students, online schools have the power to match our fast-paced world of international living, quickly expanding social networks across borders, oceans and time zones. From Singapore to Scotland, Qatar to Kolkata, a carefully curated online school programme will bring a cohort of young learners close together, setting them up for a future of cross-country friendships that lacks just one thing: limits.