Why Online Learning


Technology has changed the way we live, work, shop and play. 

We can communicate across oceans and continents in seconds. We can work from anywhere, increasing efficiency and productivity. Yet, American education has not fully embraced the power of technology to give students the ability to gain knowledge anywhere, anytime.  On top of that, American schools have become increasingly dangerous – both physically and spiritually.

Digital learning can change that. Digital learning gives students some element of control over time, place, path and/or pace. It allows students to learn in their own way, on their own timetable, wherever they are, whenever they can.  When monitored by parents who are actively involved in their child's education, digitally learning is a safe learning environment and is an excellent values-based option.

Pioneer Online Academy offers quality courses for all levels, from 2-12th grade.  Check out our course catalog and enroll your homeschooler today!  NOTE:  Enroll early. Fall 2014 Courses will fill up quickly

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Why enroll in online courses with Pioneer Online Academy?

Homeschoolers have already tapped in to the power of technology, and we are learning in a safe environment without any restraints of district budgets, capacity, or regulation.   Enrolling in online courses puts your kids light years ahead of the majority of institutionally educated children.  Students are already gaming, texting and posting on the Internet through the use of computers as well as mobile devices.  All of these can be utilized as another gateway to digital learning.  All of POA's courses, both self-paced as well as live, are not only accessible on laptops and home computers, but they are beautifully executed on mobile devices.

  • Personalized Learning: 

     

    • A generation ago, providing a customized education for every student in America was a dream. By harnessing the power of technology, that dream is now becoming a reality for homeschoolers.
    • Digital learning makes knowledge 3-dimensional. Students can watch video lectures and listen to podcasts from effective instructors from across the world. They can download great works of literature as well as the news of the day. They can master complex theories, especially in math and science, by playing games. Digital learning lets students learn by listening, reading and doing – whatever works best for them.
    • With personalized learning, students can spend as little or as much time as they need to master the material. Self-paced programs mean high achieving students won’t get bored and can accelerate academically, while struggling students can get additional time to gain competency and the confidence that comes with it.
    • Interactive and adaptive learning technologies allow instruction to immediately adjust to students responses.  Digital learning engages students in their own education. It empowers them to succeed.
    • Flexible scheduling allows students to take full advantage of their peak learning times to complete lessons in the self-paced courses.
    • All of our instructors are homeschoolers, and are well suited to adapt to multiple learning styles, multiple ages, and the diverse and distinctly unique needs of the homeschool community.
  • Anytime, Anywhere Learning: 

     

    • Technology makes knowledge accessible and learning portable. The Internet and use of Internet access devices – from laptops to eReaders to Smart phones – allows students to learn anywhere and everywhere, anytime and all the time.
    • With digital learning, education doesn’t start and end at times aligned with brick and mortar schools. It is not confined to the perimeter of your dining room table. You can learn while traveling, or on a field trip doing hands-on studies, or simply while enjoying the great outdoors or standing in line for a roller coaster.
    • Technology can extend learning through the day and throughout the year without adhering to "school" breaks and schedules. It can give students the ability to spend more or less time on a subject . Digital learning can ensure struggling students get the extra time needed to master material as well as accelerate learning for high achieving students.
  • Tap into Great Instructors: 

     

    • Technology can bring homeschoolers together – wherever they live or learn. Digital learning erases physical barriers that have prevented the widespread connection between homeschoolers around the nation and the world.  Access to a comprehensive catalog of online courses means a student in rural Kansas or inner city New York can learn a foreign language, forensic science or college-level courses – without traveling great distances to find homeschool co-op centers.
    • Experience blended learning.  For those who prefer to interact with other homeschoolers, they can learn with a live instructor who gives immediate feedback, in a virtual classroom facility.  Live courses are taught on specific days at specific times.  Instructors plan lessons and interactive group learning in a safe, monitored environment.  Students can learn in an online environment part of the day that simulates a classroom or co-op facility, even one-on-one tutoring, and for the other part of the day or week work on their self-paced assignments – essentially the best of both worlds combined into one amazing experience.
    • With technology, instructors can teach a course from any location to students scattered across the country or in other parts of the world. In states with a shortage of available co-ops or tutors in challenging subjects, such as chemistry and physics, a master instructor can teach online while parents can support students at home.
    • Digital learning takes the guesswork out of identifying the specific needs of individual students. Data can be used to pinpoint weaknesses so parents and instructors can focus on the areas where students need help rather than repeat a whole lesson. Targeted support can be rewarding for students and parents alike.
  • Enjoy the Journey: 

     

    • Digital learning allows parents to take lesson planning off their plate and spend more time encouraging students
    • Online interaction gives students the opportunity to collaborate and interact with other homeschoolers on projects and develop leadership skills.
    • Especially helpful if co-ops are scarce and social opportunities are limited in your area for homeschoolers.
    • In institutionalized schools, grade level promotion has historically been dictated by birthdate, attendance and minimum achievement. Instructional pacing, aimed at the middle of the class, may be too fast or too slow for some students who become frustrated, disengaged and unmotivated.  But digital learning offers the potential for students to study at their own pace and advance based upon competency and mastery of the material — it is student-centered, not school-centered.  In this environment, seat time requirements and the all-too-common practice of social promotion become obsolete.  A student will spend as much time as necessary to gain competency.  Additionally, digital learning adapts to situations where a student is ahead in one subject and behind in another.  Assessments, which are used to trigger progression, are available when students are ready and will accelerate student learning.
    • You should also have available to you online learning communities to gain professional development support as the parent and primary person responsible for your child's education.  Pioneer Online Academy provides a robust opportunity for parents and students to collaborate in our forums, and discussion groups ensure families can make informed decisions about courses, which instructors offer the best classes, share resources, and helps the community to continuously improve.
    • Instructors can serve students across the state or nation from one location.  This keeps the cost of our courses very competitive.
  • Outcomes Matter: 

     

    • History has proven that inputs, such as teacher certification, programmatic budgets and textbook reviews, do not guarantee a quality education. In fact, these regulatory processes often stifle innovation and diminish quality.  At Pioneer Online Academy, we resist creating a checklist of inputs and instead focus on developing an accountability framework that is based on outcomes.
    • The dynamic nature of digital content and its varied uses requires a fresh and innovative approach to ensuring high quality content.  State academic standards should be looked at as merely an outline to comply with state homeschool requirements.  Common Core is a dumbed down, political agenda-based approach which does not align with our academic policy.  We take it to a much higher level and our courses exceed those standards, always helping students to strive for higher goals.