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Online Schools Can Make Students Feel Isolated

AdolescentAs online high schools spread, educators are ramping up efforts to counter the social isolation that some students experience, according to the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, sociologists and child psychologists are examining how online schooling might hinder, or help, the development of social skills. Some education researchers believe online students will be better prepared to interact in an increasingly digital world.

“For online high schools, the biggest obstacle is addressing the social interaction for the students,” said Raymond Ravaglia, deputy director of Stanford’s Educational Program for Gifted Youth, which Ms. Ray attended. “At that age, people really crave social interaction.”

Online high schools are growing more popular. Roughly 100,000 of the 12 million high-school-age students in the U.S. attend 438 online schools full-time, up from 30,000 five years ago, according to the International Association for K-12 Learning Online, a Washington nonprofit representing online schools. Many more students take some classes online, while attending traditional schools.

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