Private Catholic Secondary School
Islandeady, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Recognising a growing demand from parents for home-based education, the Academy has developed a distance learning facility and provides a Parent Support Programme for those families who need this assistance.
The Virtual Classroom programme offered by St. Patrick's Academy will allow second level students to participate in a classroom setting for the subjects that suit their specific educational requirements without the need to physically attend the school. The program will allow the student to take part in normal classes for their required subjects through the use of video conferencing technology delivered over the internet. The student may take as many subjects as they require and will have the same schedule for those chosen subjects as the students attending the school in person.
Benefits of the Virtual Classroom
The primary benefit of the Virtual Classroom program is that will allow the student to fully participate in a class without having to leave their home environment. The ability to ask questions and hear the questions of other students in a real time environment is far more beneficial than other alternative services such as correspondence courses. One can learn so much from a question of another student during a class, and also the ability to resolve questions through the teacher rather than at a later date can only benefit the growth in knowledge of the student.
A common sentiment among parents who have decided to provide their children with their education in the home environment is that they have a number of subjects that they find challenging to teach. It is common that parents look for assistance through grinds or the help of others for such subjects. This in itself is usually not a problem, but the travel and inconvenience of this can take its toll, especially when there are other children that also need to be taken care of. The virtual classroom removes this inconvenience by providing support for these subjects in the student's home during the normal school hours, ensuring that afternoons and evenings are free for other activities.
There are also parents who wish to have their children educated at home but do not feel comfortable doing so. This may be due to a lack in confidence in their abilities to direct their children in their education or other reasons. The Virtual Classroom provides the support for these parents to educate their children in the home environment by allowing the students to take a full or partial curriculum through the school.