Online students socialize with other children through discussion boards and forums, online meetings, email and instant messaging, says Alpha Omega Academy (AOA), an accredited online academy for K-12. AOA also notes that the flexibility of self-paced online schooling allows students more time to pursue offline activities.
Wisconsin Virtual Learning, an online charter school, says they offer students the opportunity to socialize through live classes, online clubs, special events and supervised chat groups. They also offer outings and encourage face-to-face events.
An article published on the PBS Parents website suggests that socialization is not an issue for homeschooled children. Homeschooling, which often involves online courses, allows students the time to participate in volunteer activities, community sports and book clubs, says PBS.
AOA claims that online schooling allows students to interact with a broader range of students, sometimes on a national or global level. It can offer more diversity and fewer stereotypes. Both PBS and AOA also suggest that online schooling promotes more mature socialization and helps students build important skills in 21st century forms of communication, such as online meetings and email.
The American Academy, another accredited online school, reiterates that online students have more time to socialize and be active members of society in comparison to students who spend their days in a traditional classroom setting. They offer many suggestions for helping online students socialize, including travel, volunteering and a variety of community-based activities.