Provost Academy: Taking the Virtual out of Online Schools! + $100 Barnes & Noble Gift Card Giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Provost Academy. All opinions are 100% mine.

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One of the most important aspects of your child’s education includes the ability to learn from other students. While we tend to stress academics when talking about what makes a good school, social interactions are just as important, especially when you reach the middle school and high school years. Kids in all age groups benefit from sharing learning experiences with their peers, but in the higher grades, social interactions also help prepare our kids for their futures.

While many parents find themselves considering online schools because of the wealth of benefits they offer, the one thing that holds them back is worry about socialization. Provost Academy, with schools in Colorado, Ohio and North Carolina, has eliminated need for that worry, offering students plenty of chances to connect with their peers!

Getting Social at Provost Academy

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Provost Academy deeply understands the benefits of being social. That’s why they strive to be the UnVirtual Online School! Their deeply trained staff challenges kids to really embrace the learning process and discover their passions through building one-on-one relationships. They also go above and beyond to help their students make connections with other students and experts who share the same dreams and goals.

The Provost Academy in Colorado serves grades 9-12. During these years, socialization is vital to a student’s future. In 9th and 10th grade, teens are actively trying to decide what they want to do with their lives when they graduate. Having the chance to hear from different people in potential career fields gives them a better picture of what to expect when they leave school.

In 11th and 12th, many teens have a general idea of what they want to do after graduation. Connecting with professionals in their chosen fields not only helps solidify their dreams, but also gives them important networking opportunities that can last a lifetime! Imagine your teen having a cup of coffee with a real marine biologist,archeologist or software designer!

Here’s a little secret about me: I wanted to be an archeologist when I was in high school. My guidance counselor dissuaded me from it because he felt it wasn’t a good fit for me. If I had a chance to talk to someone in the field and really find out what it was like…well, let’s just say maybe I’d be writing this from the ruins of an ancient civilization!

The best part: Provost Academy is fully accredited. The diploma earned from their online school is recognized by colleges as well as the military. Also, since it’s a public school, there is no cost to attend, yet the value is priceless!  Find more details at #MyUnVirtualSchool or check out the video:

Share your UnVirtual Idea!

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Do you have a great idea to help kids get social at Provost Academy? Share it at My UnVirtual School Idea! Want to know my idea? I think it would be fun to get kids together for a reading party! They can share their favorite authors, do a book exchange and spend some time laughing together.

Tell us Your UnVirtual Idea for a Chance to Win!

Want to win a $100 Gift Card to Barnes & Noble? Tell us your idea as to how an online school can be more social. All ideas are welcome, whether it’s simple or revolutionary. One comment will be drawn at random to win! Giveaway is open to US residents and ends on 9/12. Click HERE for the Official Contest Rules

What is your idea for an UnVirtual School?

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140 thoughts on “Provost Academy: Taking the Virtual out of Online Schools! + $100 Barnes & Noble Gift Card Giveaway”

  1. I have to agree that it can be more social through Skype. I also think a forum where people can interact and respond on different subjects in relation to class and other things would be nice.

  2. I completed my bachelors degree online through an accredited state university. I worked on many team projects where the groups ranged form 2 to 6. Online conversations using the school’s own “chat” ., online video streaming, exchanging work for proofing…I was amazed at well it we worked together and how the “online” skills I learned were applicable to today’s work environment. I would imagine today’s kids would be even more comfortable with distance learning, look how good they are with twitter, FB and whatever else they use. I would assign online study buddies, group projects, have online group classes with all the class online at the same time and use video streaming.

  3. online school can be more social with more get togethers. they can meet up once a month or something like that just to socialize.

  4. I think an online forum is a great idea for everyone to get to know each other and have questions of the day or something along those lines.

  5. It could be more social by having weekly in person discussions or discussions over the web. Also the class could write a short story and have each student write a part of the story and then have it published.

  6. I thin k that a Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook account for a online school would be a great idea. That way you can share what they are learning, places they are visiting such as museums or agricultural centers, and the course of study with others that might be studying the same or need ideas.
    I think that it would also be a great idea to allow input on these pages from student not only for their point of view but also to teach them how to use social media responsibly.

    jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

  7. I think some sort of group video chat would be wonderful. Even if it was just small groups of 3 or 4 students working on a project with one another. Perhaps some sort of a social media type app like facebook but more like a yearbook/directory of all of the students so they can get to know a little bit about their peers.

  8. You can use video chat and use different techniques to make it more interactive. Also, you can have an IM going to have everyone talking all the time.

  9. i work at home and my company has lots of social interaction, we use chat rooms video chat and we use hang outs for movie viewing etc

  10. I think it would be neat to get a group volunteer project together to better socialize with each other on a personal level working towards a common goal that benefits others.

  11. Getting together for field trips to zoos, museums, historical locations and having video chats would be great for a UnVirtual School

  12. Group field trips for urban kids work well, but for rural kids their social activities have to be done online (not really that social) or groups from sports or scouting or 4H.

  13. I think online schools today are more social because of technology, now you can have video chatting with teachers and other students. If you take advantage of modern tech than it can be quite successful!

  14. Hmm… I would say maybe a pen pal program. This way kids will get to write instead of always typing and learn proper grammar techniques.
    Thanks for the giveaway!! =)

  15. I think online school can be more social by using chat rooms and arranging a weekend or a week every year where students can meet up in real life.

  16. I think hosting setting up a weekly video chat session via Skype to discuss a specific topic would make an online school more social! Also a monthly field trip would be awesome.

  17. I think online school can be more social through student meetups for those that live near each other. Video / audio chat homework groups. And even just doing projects together outside of school work, like writing a blog together, making vlogs or other similar projects 🙂

  18. I do homeschool through K12. My kids really enjoy it.They have field trips and picnics to socialize with other kids. Every morning there is a class connections, which is all the kids signing in and having a class together.

  19. Leigh Anne Borders

    I think it means having great opportunities outside and AWAY form the computer that connects students. Like field trips to complement the curriculum or even just fun adventures for the students.

  20. I love this, it would be great to have forums to discuss and swap ideas. I think people would be more social online because i know from personal experience I’m very anxious when talking face to face.

  21. I believe online school can be more social because people seem to be more likely to speak up and talk more online vs in person. I feel when people are socializing online they are more likely to speak up and share their thoughts or questions.

  22. Skyping is a good way to meet other students while inside, and then meet and greets can be arranged for field trip type activities, like science or art museums.

  23. Skype is a great way to socialize with everyone because you can choose to video call, chat, or turn off your webcam and simply talk to everyone.

  24. Online school can be more social as students feel more comfortable expressing themselves in an online setting rather than a classroom where all eyes are on you.

  25. I think an online school could be more social if there was a means to keep everyone together and talking, like a facebook setup, or with webcams. Or maybe even a forum, so the camaraderie and fellowship could still be there.

  26. Allow the children to be more social via interaction. Whether it be skype, webcam, or something as simple as messaging one another!

  27. I homeschooled my kids all the way through school. I couldn’t be happier with the experience! We all enjoyed it so much as a family. I love seeing the schools that are becoming readily available online now, as it supplies all the more options for modern families.

    My idea would be that it’s always fun to meet up with like-minded people. If there was a way to keep up with other students and families in the same program, such as either web chatting or big get-togethers where students could socialize and get to know each other better as friends.

  28. I think an online social forum for students grouped by grade levels would be socially beneficial. There could also be weekly meet, chats where they need to attend at least once a month or something and all do a video chat session with set topics to discuss. Or maybe video chats about subjects.

  29. I’ve never been home schooled in the traditional sense, however I did most of my high school on homebound status and I can’t attend physical classes in college so most of my credits have been via online so I understand how socializing in these circumstances is very critical!

    I think creating a ning group or group where students can sign in and use strictly for homebound students to connect to each other would be a fantastic idea, especially if this is a nationwide school. If it’s more of a local chapter possibly weekly or monthly educational get togethers like museums or projects that are relevant to what the students are currently working on 🙂

  30. I think if they had multiple chat rooms and Skype on certain topics to allow students to discuss different issues together, it could be very social!

  31. When I was in elementary school, we partnered with another school for pen pals. We wrote letters back and forth all year and at the end of the school year we met up at the park for a luncheon playdate to finally meet in person! Mind you this was before the days of the internet and Skype and all! lol I thought that might be an old school way to put some fun into meeting other people who were taking courses the same way. 🙂

  32. I think an online school would allow for a family to become more social. Getting pulled here and there takes away from family time.

  33. I agree with the Skype/Facetime sessions. If it’s feasible, some time of annual trip or end-of-the-year party would be a nice opportunity to meet face-to-face.

  34. Maybe weekly classes where all are connected in that same class for idea sharing on-line via some connection link up – like skype or gotomeeting, etc. That way you might have discussion time with other students who might have same questions as you. Maybe quarterly regional (optional) meet-ups somewhere since the school is in Colorado?

  35. My best idea is Skype lessons so the children can interact with each other! I also think conference calling could work. I just started homeschooling my son and the social side is something I have been considering a lot.

  36. Kids love costumes! Why not have a costume party? The kids could dress up as their favorite character from their favorite book. They could vote for best costume, most imaginative, etc., & give out a few prizes, too.

  37. a season carnival would be great. they could have an event each season with seasonal activities, games, prizes, foods, and more. i love attending these types events with my kids

  38. I think having weekly meet-ups for local children, and using Skype as a tool to increase socialization with peers on a daily basis would be great ways to make an online school more social.

    Thanks for an awesome giveaway!

  39. I think an online school could be more social my having “one on one” time. For either chatting, tutoring or special projects.

  40. being able to open several cameras at once to see friends as well as teacher, monthly/weekly meetups depending on state or city wide school, also with the ability to access the web anywhere you can bring your child so many places to learn and be social.

  41. We actually have Skype meetings in the evening with other youth from our area. There we throw ideas around for making online buddies. We often plan concerts, amusement parks, and even beach trips!

  42. Besides having group field trips, get-togethers and parties, I would take advantage of technology and use Skype or Facetime to interact on a weekly or daily basis.

  43. Web chats and online forums definitely help kids to be more social. It helps kid’s in regular schools so I know it is even more important when taking online classes.

  44. An online school can be more social by making the most out of webcams. Group projects, presentations and discussions could all be great ways to increase social interaction.

  45. Set up sport teams by location. While it would require a coach and in person contact it would go a long way towards balancing out the online versus on campus socialization issues.

  46. I think online schooling can be more social via fun chatrooms. Make them bright and fun. Have a spell check program installed to help with their spelling, and obviously keep the rooms very monitored.

  47. Integrate small online video-based work study or class project workgroups so students interact with each other with teacher supervision

  48. My idea is to have the option to set up chat rooms! Whether it be strictly text or even video, students could get to know each other better while (hopefully!) helping each other out!

  49. My idea for idea for an UnVirtual School relates to creative writing. I think students would enjoy receiving snippets (chapters) of a story and writing the next chapter… then passing it along to another.

  50. My oldest son Skypes frequently with his friends while online and loves it! I think simple interactions with people they have something in common with is a great start to developing lasting friendships in which students from the same area can eventually start meeting up to study together!

  51. I think being able to use chatrooms or or some kind of online video conference would make online school more social. Thank you!

  52. Some sort of weekly hour-long video chat where they can actually see and speak to their peers, and not necessarily about school-related things, would probably be beneficial.

  53. I think any open forum for students to be able to talk about school assignments or ask fellow students for help and advice as well as just general conversation.

  54. I know a group of homeschoolers around here uses the power of the internet to allow their children to “meet” each other via Skype and a couple times a year they have a get together which allows for personal interaction.

  55. I love the idea of having a skype session (or similar program) for everyone to see each other face to face and be able to discuss things out loud.

  56. Classes could Skype each other, go on field trips, have ice cream or pizza socials or meet at the library for study sessions.

  57. Use school activities that require collaboration with fellow students, and create opportunities for face-to-face activities and field trips. Online schools probably improve socialization and learning in many ways, since kids are less able to judge each other by race, gender, clothing, appearance, or disability.

  58. I took my last semester of high school online to allow me to travel to amazing cities like London, NYC, and Tokyo as a model. I obviously met a lot more people through this experience than I would have in my tiny high school. It was the best decision I could have made.

  59. I think it would be great to use webcams for social interaction and to also set dates to meet up with other students.

  60. Leigh Anne Borders

    Having taken classes online for college, online school can be a great place to discuss things thanks to the forums.

  61. I think using web cams or Skype/FaceTime, etc for class times/certain subjects would make it more social plus it would open up more subjects for kids to learn about if the parents pooled their specialties! I also like the idea of meeting up for field trips.

  62. I think having an online chat group for your classes and easy ways to connect to fellow students through chat/video chat would be great. Also organizing online jeopardy type games with students for quizzes. Meeting up for field trips or study sessions where you can find students near you.

  63. If you could have a chat room or FaceTime abilities, that would make it much more social. Just being able to chat with other students will help them feel more a part of a community.

  64. I think online school could be more social if it’s done using a ‘meeting’ room program, with webcams..

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