Thursday, April 12, 2012

How Does Cyber School Work?

Cyber schools are all slightly different, but I believe you find most have the same basic layout.
First most will contact you before you start school to go over what is expected, allowed and how the server (site) works. My cyber school had my mom and me come to their office to do this. It was quick, easy and they answered all of our questions completely and fully.
There should be a contact number in case there any problems. I encountered this when I lost my password for my login to the school the first day. I started running around my house searching for the sheet that had the password on it for at least ten minutes until I finally broke down and called the help center who informed me that my password was conveniently located on my lap top bag they gave me. Fail.
Another thing schools usually have is a main page that shows all of your classes that you have access to. My cyber school also shows the percentage of the class I've completed and my grade conveniently. If I click on one of them then it take me right to the class.
Next you will most likely have a messaging system. These can become complicated especially if the messaging system doesn't use usual e-mail addresses and sends you receipts after you send something. They can be tough to get used to, but probably one of the most helpful things you will have.
Also there may be some type of calendar where you can go to see all of the due dates for your classes, and stay on track. My AP class has this feature, but my usual classes are all due at the end of the marking period so there are no special due dates.
You may also encounter a help center. This is usually an interactive part of the site where teachers and students can interact through things like instant messaging and drawing on whiteboards.
There should also be a page that shows you all of your progress and grades. Like I said earlier mine is located right on my home page, but there is a separate page I can go to see all of my marking period grades together and their averages.
Other things that may be in your cyber school are things like announcements, extra sources for help and an online textbook (usually free). These shouldn't be too tough to use and figure out.
Finally there is a possibility of something my school calls 'interventions'. No, you don't go into a big room where people look concerned for you, and work through your inner demons. Instead it is something extra you need to do if you get below a 70% on a test or quiz. So far I've had about two of these. The one I had to do an extra Math lesson and in the other I just had to check out the help center the school has. These both took about five minutes, if even that.
Hopefully this gives you a clear picture of what cyber school will look and be like.

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