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What is your name?
What school did you graduate from?
Colorado Connections Academy Durango
What are your plans after graduating high school?
I am going to Colorado State University Global (CSU Global). I do not yet know what major I want to pursue, but taking care of the electives in the meantime will be great.
What’s your favorite moment from high school?
The high school had a debate club I participated in and it was a blast! We first debated climate change and then we debated gun rights, and everyone did really well.
Why did your family choose online learning and are there any achievements you’d like to share?
When I was going into kindergarten, I followed the same education path my two older brothers had, which was online public schooling. I've always loved the online learning environment and have been in online school ever since then.
Some milestones I achieved were completing the American Sign Language (ASL) course, taking two years of Spanish, and a year of German. I really enjoy learning languages, and this choice of online school has allowed me to learn a lot of Russian, some Polish, a small amount of Korean, and most recently, Japanese. I also was able to learn a lot of coding on Khan Academy in my spare time, and had real-life application of the math I was learning in school.
Do you feel this option allowed you to pursue a career or interest that you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise?
Yes, I do believe that this alternative learning option allowed me to pursue an interest that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. I love studying Eastern European history -especially the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth and First World War and afterwards. There are a ton of sources about this region of the world online, and doing online school made me really good at conducting online research. In addition to this, there is my aforementioned passion for languages which I believe was enabled greatly through my online schooling.
Are there any misconceptions you’ve witnessed about your alternative learning option? Is there anything you’d like to set the record straight on?
One misconception I have witnessed about online schooling is that it is just having students sit in Zoom meetings all day. This misconception has become far more prevalent after Covid-19, though I think it is because people were assuming that the quickly-put-together classrooms set up for [brick-and-mortar] schools were what online schools had been doing. However, my experience with established online schools has been that they have a robust curriculum path for you to go through, and the online meetings are well prepared and helpful.
This brings me to another misconception. In some, but not all online schools, a student may “chunk” a course or work ahead in it. “Chunking” is when you focus more on one or a few courses than others. The information stays fresh in your mind and for some students, they learn better this way. In my HS, I could work ahead and sometimes finish a subject early. For example, I finished my 2nd semester of German in about four weeks. Students that chunk or work ahead are not skipping out on learning. They still go through every lesson and take every assessment. The ability to finish early is not necessarily an indication that the curriculum is too easy or that a student is skipping out on work, but is often the result of flexible scheduling ability, a proficient student, and/or an efficient curriculum that simply teaches the content well.
My third and final misconception to address is once again related to the pandemic. When the pandemic hit, I too had to stop many of my basic activities because we online students still did extracurricular activities off of our computers and outside our homes. While it will of course vary by the individual, it is simply not true that we are always on the computer and/or don't get social interaction. Because of the flexibility of online learning, we can do a lot of different things outside of school and have a lot of in-person friends. Online learning offers the flexibility to tailor your education to your learning and lifestyle.
Favorite book: The Holy Bible
Favorite quote: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NASB)
Favorite movie: Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
Favorite podcast: One for Israel
Favorite hobby: I like learning languages and listening to old Polish and Lithuanian songs.
Coffee or tea? Boba tea is the best!