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Provost Academy: the UnVirtual Online School

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

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As a young student in high school, I really didn't know anyone since I had just moved to state. I had my first meeting with my advisor and I instantly began to feel connected to the school. Fast forward 20 years later…that advisor and I are still in touch.

From the moment we first talked, my experience became more than just high school. It became a source of inspiration, information, awareness and it gave me a sense of preparation when it came to challenges in life.

In fact, that high school advisor is the one that suggested I go into marketing, communications and writing because she thought that I had a knack for these things. She was right and she changed my life.

At Provost Academy in South Carolina, relationships matter as much as academics. Provost connects students with peers, mentors, and with opportunities. Plus Provost Academy is Accredited which means that your diploma the counts. With devoted teachers, administrators and advisors, Provost Academy works hard to develop one-to-one relationships with students and to inspire learning.

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PROVOST ACADEMY ~ THE UNVIRTUAL ONLINE SCHOOL

Provost Academy in South Carolina is all about putting the social into the virtual learning experience. Provost is an online public school in South Carolina that serves grades 9-12. Plus, there is no cost to enroll since they are a public school.

Provost understands that learning is unique to each of our students, and flexibility is required. We believe by working together we can create a distinctive learning experience for each student.

CHECK OUT THE PROVOST VIDEO

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MY UNVIRTUAL SCHOOL IDEA

My UnVirtual School Idea is for Provost to have Google Hangouts with some of their most accomplished students so that other students can ask questions and so they can at least see each other online.

SHARE YOUR UNVIRTUAL SCHOOL IDEA TO ENTER TO WIN A $100 BARNES & NOBLE GIFT CARD

Now you can enter to win a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card courtesy of Provost Academy #MyUnVirtualSchool. TO ENTER, comment on this blog post below answering this question:

HOW CAN AN ONLINE SCHOOL BECOME SOCIAL?

Giveaway runs through September 16, 2014 and one winner will be selected/notified by IZEA. Click HERE for the Official Contest Rules.

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165 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Such a great concept – very interested to see where to will go

  2. neat idea, I hadn’t really seen anything like it before

  3. I love the idea of online schooling, especially if it is public, therefore free. I have a child who I homeschool and this would be a great option.

  4. Provost Academy sounds amazing! How neat that your adviser inspired you so much and you are still in touch.

  5. Melissa Smith

    I love the idea of an unvirtual school! & your idea of the G+ hangouts would be so beneficial to students.

  6. D Schmidt

    We just started homeschooling and social interaction is a huge concern for me, I think this is a great way for people to interact based on a common subject.

  7. Patricia c

    I took an online class in college, and I got to know my classmates pretty well, thanks to our professor, who required a lot more social interaction than other professors. At the beginning of the semester, we had one class in a real classroom where we all introduced ourselves and learned how to use the online program. We also made profiles with pictures. Then, we had weekly meetings where one person was in charge of the discussion and everyone else was required to make a certain number of comments (Kind of like a Twitter party). I think something like that would work at this Academy, as well as a couple of field trips throughout the year. You could also give extra credit to students who work on projects together.

  8. Kelly D

    An online school can become social by having field trips and meetings.

  9. I know that’s a concern with a few moms I know. How to have their kids social while homeschooling them. But there are plenty of groups that meet up both on and offline.

  10. Mary Happymommy

    An online school can become social by having online discussions.

  11. ellen beck

    I think the best way for an onlibe school to bbe social is to have and encourage group projects so the kids get to work with different people and experience different ideas. I think an online school could at times be very lonely since there isnt any physical interations (seeing one another in person) and group projects would encourage some interactions. Another way to be social would be to have perhaps a place where the kids could share their lives- like a private facebook page monitored by the instructor or if each ‘classroom’ had a chatroom.

  12. Seyma Shabbir

    An online school can be social by using social media like twitter and facebook. It should also consider Skype, a great webpage and online videos on youtube!

  13. Rebecca Parsons

    I think an online school having video chats with other online school about subjects that matter and converse with each other on what they learned. Or having a hangout and getting to know what other kids do all over the country.

  14. Sharon Hudson

    With social media, online school can be social easily! Once the students make a connection they can become friends on facebook, twitter, etc and develop relationships.

  15. Lisa Davis

    An online school can become social by having periodic meetings in settings that relate to the subject (field trips). I like Ellen Beck’s idea of group projects too. The students can work on them virtually, through social media, and finally present their project either via video chat or gather at a venue for presentations.

  16. debbie

    I think that online collaborations, feedback, and frequent commenting can certainly make an online school social.

  17. livivua

    An online school can become more social via video teleconferencing

  18. Crystal Renee

    Maybe by having real meetups or even some sort of online hangout for the students to interact with each other.
    sellcrystal2 at gmail dot com

  19. alaine

    By using message board hangouts!

  20. Jennifer Tilson

    I would think that encouraging Skype type communications for both learning and for extracurricular activities would help make online schooling more social. I also think some local meet-ups face-to-face would be possible.

  21. rickel bart

    they can use chatrooms and arrange local lunches and field frips

  22. Carla S

    They can have twitter parties, do pinterest project collaborations, create forums for certain topics, and send email invites to everyone for events.

  23. Linda White

    Online discussions, field trip videos

  24. Jackie

    I think the best way for an online school to encourage students to be social is to create multiple chatrooms for each class (I go to a public university, and there’s a chatroom for every class, so it is possible) and assign group projects to students. This way they have to communicate with each other to get their work done, and the groups can be switched up on a weekly basis. This might work better in online schools where people don’t live in a close proximity, and it might be better for the shyer students. I know I wouldn’t want to have to worry about how my hair looks because I have a video conference with people I don’t know yet, especially if I’ve already signed up for what I thought was an online, no face time course.

  25. Stephanie V.

    online discussion boards and video chats run by current students!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  26. Adrienne gordon

    Probably best thru video chat options

  27. Amy Orvin

    Online school can become social by having online discussions.

  28. Tabitha

    By using social media.
    Video chatting and connection via teh web.

  29. robyn paris

    I think online school can get more social by having a group where everyone can discuss the class.

  30. Elizabeth Drake

    An online school can become social utilizing social media.

  31. Chrystal D

    I think with the right marketing they will be very successful!

  32. heather s

    Have videos and video chat

  33. Elizabeth

    I think lots of virtual and in-person group seminars would help!

  34. Dara Nix

    I think the best way would be through Forums and a Closed Facebook Group.

  35. David Hollingsworth

    An online school can be social by having weekly online discussions about currents events, and how people feel about them.

  36. I am wanting to homeschool my kids, but with the lack of social interaction it my only drawback. So I think with incorporating Facebook, facetime, etc to interact with other homeschooling kids on subjects and such

  37. Lauren Becker

    Online schools can be social by having message areas where classmates can discuss anything and everything, apart from where they do assignments. They can also have field trips or get-togethers since the students are in the same area.

  38. Kelly Kimmell

    By using social media and online forums.

  39. g. penrod

    Sorry the whole idea scares me. There is people out there who will take advantage of children in any way they can.

  40. Cynthia C

    I think it would be nice to have weekly get-togethers where students could meet and socialize.

  41. Linda Lansford

    ONLINE SCHOOL can BECOME SOCIAL by having televised classes to meet the other students

  42. Anastasia

    I think an online school can become more social through meet-ups in real life with students, video chats and even just simple collaborations on projects outside of class – like vlogs, blogs or other projects done for fun 🙂

  43. Jaclyn Reynolds

    It can be as social as it works to be. Interactions online for the students, meetups for school trips, even group project work online or with skype.

  44. Elisabeth Ashley

    Virtual schools can foster relationships between students through online discussion boards, video conferences, and other online tools. They also can organize field trips and other real-world meetups. Students may socialize better with each other by getting to know each other virtually, before being able to judge fellow students by their appearance, gender, race, or clothing choices.

  45. Crystal F

    You could use chat rooms or video conferencing to make online school more social. You could also try to do field trips with those that live close by. Thank you!

  46. Serena Powell

    I actually attended an online high school. My school had a community where students could create discussions and talk to each other. I felt that it made the school really social and allowed me to make friends without having to leave my house.

  47. WHITNEY

    An online school can become social through chat rooms, video chat (like skype) and discussion boards

  48. costana hornbaker

    video chat and online group projects ..

  49. Nicole

    Online school can be social through Skype, online chat rooms, & discussion boards, would be a great ideas.

  50. nickie

    An online school can become social by having online discussions and advertising on social sites.

  51. MaryAnn

    One of my online teachers has a twitter account for our class.

  52. christine j

    this is a great way for people for people to connect easier

  53. Lisa Breece

    I think an online school could become social in many ways by using social media, online bulletin and posting videos.

  54. cjjmesser

    I think Facebook groups, chat rooms, and maybe a monthly in person meeting would be good ways to be social

  55. Aliah

    There are so many ways online school can be social like Google Hangouts, private Facebook groups, Skype dates, Twitter chats…the possibilities are endless.

  56. Daniel G.

    Starting clubs and sports

  57. Daniel M

    able to chat with a lot of ppl at once, like a classroom

  58. LAMusing

    Online video discussion groups.

  59. The professors can set up facebook groups or G+ hangouts for the students to discuss classwork. Classmates can use social media to set up times to meet at coffee shops to study. Professors can be active on social media to be available to students as well

  60. An Online School can become Social many ways. First, in addition to the interaction of the online class itself, I think the key is to have an online discussion where people can interact with each other regarding classes, assignments, and other questions/comments that help both students and instructors alike. Skype and/or teleconferencing is always a good way to communicate with each other and definitely has a more personal feel to it. Facebook allows you to join in a Specific Group which would be ideal for an Online School. The concept of field trips is good, however, sometimes this is not feasible, depending on the students situation. However, it would be good to offer it to those who could participate. They say a “picture is worth a thousand words.” If the students used Instagram to post pictures regarding assignments – this would be a great way to communicate with each other. Also, Pinterest is another great way to communicate through sharing Pictures with a Synopsis or How To. The use of Pinterest could be very beneficial on certain assignments.

  61. Mary Beth Elderton

    With web cams and earphones/mics students could easily engage in “face to face” (sort of) groups online. Establishing Facebook and Pinterest groups would be another great way to share and be social.

  62. Carolyn G

    I think the school can be more social by focusing on networking the students on all social channels

  63. Betty Wojnar

    I think clubs and groups can be formed from the students interests

  64. I think they could have forums for students. It also seems that they should be blogging about successes they have, tips for going to college, and so many other ideas they could incorporate. Of course, using sites such as Instagram, Vine, Facebook, and Twitter.

  65. Lynsay Leitner

    What a great idea, online school is a great idea and kids don’t have to worry if what they have fits in with the kids in class. It can become social with online discussions

  66. Amanda

    I think constant communication is the key and figuring out which media is the easiest to use for the students.

  67. Laura J

    I think a forum would be good! My sister has a forum..that is not school related….but we create fun games..that could be educational for the kids yet fun and a great way to interact with others. Have it be protected so only those enrolled could see it and post….and have someone to moderate.

  68. jeannine s

    It can beomce more social with facetime/skype or any other video chat

  69. Meghan Lara

    Online classe could become more social by using skype and having study groups thru skype.

  70. Wehaf

    I think forums and message boards would be key, as well as some regular field trips to get everyone together in person.

  71. elcane desir

    i suggest adding parents and other teahcers

  72. Naya

    By creating opportunities and platforms for students to connect and share their passions.

  73. Denise S

    It can be social with forums or by setting up places to meet in the actual world.

  74. Laura S

    The school could set up opportunities for the kids (and parents, they need social interaction too!) to do community service or volunteer work

  75. kelly mcgrew

    an online school can be social by:

    using skype sessions for teacher-student interaction, “group projects”, verbal exams (such as for a language class), or “presenting a paper in front of the class”.

    you can also group people together with similar interests or in similar locations and urge them to exchange emails/phone numbers or even meet in person.

    have weekly meetings (if it is in a central location and not spread out over large locations) in a coffee shop, local library, local park, or a free museum.

    create a twitter page or facebook page that the students can ask each other questions and post questions to the professor as well as interact with each other and teach each other.

  76. In today’s technological world, it’s much easier to become social online in groups. My favorites to chat with both online and IRL friends are Skype and Facebook Instant Message.

  77. Carol Bryant

    Skype, email, facebook.

  78. Jenny Moses

    I think you’d have to utilize social media and create communities of interest on FB, Twitter, whatever the kids are using these days to keep them connected.

  79. An online school can be social by having live chat discussions where students can interact with each other and it could also utilize social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

  80. Birdiebee

    I do not know much about getting social online but I think an online school can become more social by having to interact with other students online in some time of chat session among all of the students and the instructor to make it more interactive learning while still online.

  81. Miz Vickik

    By using Skype or Face Time!

  82. Kristin Goodson

    They can have more interactive videos or updated blogs that teachers and students can interact through. If it’s a big online school in a particular area there can be a few physical meet ups. There can be live tweet ups or chats that are interactive

  83. by skypeing and facebooking really not sure i understand question

  84. Kitty

    I’d be helpful to have lots of online forums and video conferencing options.

  85. richelle bowers

    things like Skype, or IM (does anyone even use that anymore)

  86. Deanna

    An online school can become social by going on field trips, having Google+ Hangouts, offline meetings and online discussions and utilizing face to face programs like FaceTime and Skype.

  87. Karen Drake

    I think an online school could become more social by setting up a website with forums and chat rooms for the students and teachers.

  88. Douglas Houston

    Where were online schools when I was in high school, oh yeah the internet had not been invented yet. I think developing specific apps for social interaction would be best, that you can build in virtual chalkboards and face to face contact. I have taken online college courses and an online bulletin board was woefully inadequate as the only means of class communication.

  89. janna johnson

    monthly in person field trips!

  90. Michael S.

    The online classes I taught had interactive projects we could all explore, teleconferencing, a Facebook page, and lively message boards!

  91. Mihaela Day

    The ability to video chat would make online classroom quite the social place 🙂

  92. I think it would be neat to have closely monitored chatrooms. A web designer could even make them cute or colorful depending on the age group.

  93. Robin

    I think if the online school requires group projects then it will require the students to communicate with each other.

  94. AndreaH

    Online schooling is meant for, among other things, the convenience of not having to be in a physical building that might very well be miles and miles away from you. Therefore, it isn’t likely that there would be many physical meet and greets. However, online schooling, with the help of awesome technology today, can do many things to bring together the students. There are web chat programs, video programs, some professors like to have the students post introduction paragraphs on message boards at the start of classes and require students to comment on at least 2 of these from different people. There are some professors that require group efforts which bring students together and help them to learn to communicate with each other through the internet. To help the students collaborate, instructors can encourage use of tools such as google docs, wikis, and blogs. There are numerous ways that people can connect and be social during online schooling!

  95. Nancy

    I think an online school can become social via get-together on-line, via virtual community service projects, and with perhaps an occasional real life get together.

  96. wen budro

    An online school can be more social through social media such as facebook, twitter, G+ Also, local meetups could be established so that students could socialize face-to-face.

  97. betty league

    An ONLINE SCHOOL CAN BECOME SOCIAL by engaging their students to join in on field trips, online projects, and web chats about programs, classes, or activities. thank you

  98. Leela

    This looks like the wave of the future.

  99. Lisa V.

    Similar students can chat through social media to work together.

  100. Elizabeth Newsome

    Skype would help you interact face to face and make it more social. IMs and chat boards also help facilitate interaction and the social aspect.

  101. Olivia Hamilton

    I think video classes would help make online schools more social.

  102. Steve Stone

    I think something similar to yahoo groups would work for this.

  103. Lori Walker

    I think online can be social with the use of a blackboard classroom.

  104. Samantha

    You can make it an interactive experience with voices and possible messaging between students.

  105. Deb Esling

    My daughter attended virtual school for a year, and they way they added socialization to the mix was to issue each child a webcam hookup and headset. The “class” met online for one hour every day and had the opportunity to share ideas and make connections.

  106. You have to have live meet-ups between the kids in different areas. Maybe something like club days or group projects where you have to interact with each other.

  107. Dawn Keenan

    Of course, you have all of your social media out there. But my newest favorite is a site called padlet.com Its great for information sharing and collaboration between students. I love this site!

  108. An online school can be social through video chats, web groups, and scheduled meet ups.

  109. Heidi Back

    Field trips and group video chats

  110. an online school can hold webcam events

  111. BETH DUNLAVY HOPPE

    They can chat online and get to know each other.

  112. Lyz S

    Online schools can be very social if there are ways to interact, like message boards and chats.

  113. gina

    An online school can become social by organizing field trips, parties and utilizing Skype

  114. Amanda Sakovitz

    They could become social by having online forums and group activities or meetings in person.

  115. Sara Sharp

    Though it had nothing to do with my classmates one of my professor’s made me go on a “scavenger hunt” through town and find some things and take pictures and such. It was definitely social because in order to finish I had to have others take pictures of the places I was at when I found whatever it was in order to complete the assignment, no, I wasn’t allowed to just take a friend, lol

  116. kayla malik

    An online school could become social by doing meet-ups and field trips with the other students!

  117. I know many kids who go to school online and they make it more social by talking to their friends and the phone and even meeting them at summer camp, winter camp, etc. The few times they see each other in real life makes the online school way more social!

  118. Marissa Anderson

    I think online school is a great idea for today’s times. With all of the online connecting tools like skype, being social should be easy to accomplish.

  119. Jennifer Barr

    An online school can be social by using social media for example

  120. Michelle S

    I think getting together and doing a project that will help out the community, be it picking up garbage in the park.

  121. Susan Smith

    Online school can become social by having online discussions and meeting up in person to go to museums and other field trips.

  122. Ed

    Face time or group sessions would seem to be a fit.

  123. Jen Whitten

    Awesome idea! We homeschool and YES this is an important part of things! The G+ hangouts are a good idea! I know I’d let my kids enjoy that when they’re older! At their age, we’re good with face to face! Good luck!

  124. Kim H

    Online schools are needed!! You can make them social by having mandatory discussion groups and chat rooms

  125. Shannon

    I love that an online school which is typically an antisocial concept…could be social!

  126. Kathryn C

    can become social using social media, like Twitter parties for various subjects as well as using Skype and Teleconferencing

    Kathryn C

  127. trisha kilpatrick

    My children are homeschooled, but they are in a bowling league along with several other extracurricular groups. An online school could easier encourage small local groups who get together to socialize, study, discuss, etc.

  128. susan smoaks

    an online school can be social by having some type of get togethers or having a lot of skype interaction

  129. Diana B

    I’ve taken a lot of online classes and we stayed connected using the forums and instant chat program built into the class software, but it would great if they could be connected further through things like, twitter, instagram, or snapchat

  130. Richard Hicks

    An ONLINE SCHOOL could be more social if skype was incorporated

  131. Melanie Montgomery

    What about an email like pen pal program? I think that would be a good idea.

  132. They could utilize video chats and social media to get a discourse going.

  133. The school can use Meetup.com, to allow students to meet up with each other, based on their interests, like computer science, anime club, chess club,etc.

  134. sheila k

    the idea of using meetup.comto allow students to meet up with each other is a nice idea for making online schooling more sociable.

  135. brittani adams

    there are many ways like, making a school directory of students so that they can get in contact with fellow students near them. Making a google page is a goodidea to, or even just a networking website for themselves for the school.

  136. lilshuga2001

    By having Skype sessions or getting everyone together to meet up.

  137. amanda whitley

    the biggest would be social media. have the school make its own online page/forum where students can dicuss things going on.

  138. Jessica Whitehouse

    Not having the interaction with friends is the main reason why we are not homeschooling my teen. I think that if our online school offered field trips, study groups, or the opportunity to be on an athletic team or service club, we’d probably choose online over public schools.

  139. Erika W.

    I think online schools can become more social by having skype events, meeting up locally for clubs and field trips or even meeting regionally, if people are far apart.

  140. Alyssa F

    online school can be social through online social media settings. Something really great about online schooling is that it is computer based, so get a laaptop and head out into the sunny sky days. it helps with being more active too (:

    i would love to win! thanks doll!

  141. I took some online courses at my local community college as well as classes at the school. I do love the benefits of learning online.

  142. Craig Anderson

    We just started homeschooling and social interaction is a huge concern for me, I think this is a great way for people to interact with a common goal.

  143. Jake B

    It should include a forum/chat room type of system. Also where kids can interact if they want outside of the online that way they aren’t missing out on the social aspects of life.

  144. Tammy Richards

    Personally I have always enjoyed learning about current events or things in which I can relate to. Using discussion boards to incorporate current situations to the topics at hand could prove to be very beneficial for the students.

  145. CharityS

    With social media promotions, giveaways, and information about the school.

  146. april yedinak

    I think an online school can become social not only through online chat apps, but also if there were regional conventions or conferences where students and their families could meet.

  147. Julie Hawkins

    An online school can be social by having study groups and group events

  148. Buddy Garrett

    Social Media would be the best way for online schools to become social.

  149. cassandra

    An online school can be very social including meetups if possible, chat settings online and webcam time so you can see people that you are taking the class with.

  150. Sand

    By meeting up for field trips or school activities.

  151. MARIA simon

    create forums for certain topics, and send email invites to everyone for events.

  152. Sarah L

    Field trips where students can meet face to face.
    Thanks for the contest.

  153. Thomas Murphy

    Use web cams and social media.

  154. Have special contests from time to time could be social, especially as students work on their projects (writing or art contests, etc).

  155. amy smeltzer

    interact with other schools,of course

  156. Trisha McKee

    I believe an online school can become more social when you integrate more than just studies, just as a regular classroom does. In a regular classroom, there is chatting before and after class. Kids get to know each other through similar hobbies and interests. To take that extra step with online studies, students can feel a sense of getting to know each other, a true sense of socialization.

  157. amy deeter

    by having online meeting groups,questions you have,etc

  158. ioana c.

    I know some of the home schooling moms around here meet every Friday so the kids get to interact!

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