Raising Digital Leaders
By: Kimia Pourali
When it comes to home schooling, there seems to be a bizarre stigma against our types of students that we must be unfit for brick-and-mortar education, proceed with weaker curriculum, elude our communities, and probably are somewhat socially inept.
Well, K¹² International Academy surely has refuted these critiques! In the modern age, just about everything we do seems to be digital. Our school has managed to amazingly harness a beautiful source of power and opportunity—the internet—and has turned the tables on these stereotypes of recipients of unorthodox education. Our school is raising not only digital learners, but digital leaders. And, why does that matter? Because the generations soon to be graduating out of online school, and those who are just beginning, will soon be the workforce running the world we live in. Internships, jobs, and life in general—the tools we use to accomplish most tasks—are all becoming digitized, and K¹² International Academy effectively serves as a simulation for such a future.
Our school trains us for quick communication, indirect cooperation, and delving so deep into the substance of matters that distance never weakens us. These "simulations" of our lives after online school exist not only in the fantastically rigorous and independent curriculum, yet also through extracurricular activities. K¹² International Academy’s plethora of clubs support this stance. Some examples of wonderful K¹² International Academy clubs include; National Honor Society (NHS) / National Junior Honor Society (NJHS), Model United Nations (MUN), Student Council (SC), Make an Impact, Mu Alpha Theta (MATH), The iGlobe (school newspaper), and more.
Firstly, all of these extracurricular activities provide leadership opportunities right off the bat.
NHS/NJHS, SC, and Make an Impact all encourage community involvement and promote awareness of current issues. SC, in particular, is just starting out, and the proactive advisors are reaching out to students for their input as we all work together to lay the foundation of our very own student government. This is a perfect example of what we might encounter when we grow up: we are employees, and maybe we have to build up a committee or organization at our workplace. What skills do we need? Well, with the leadership workshops, constitutional conventions, and bonding practices of SC, we’ve already been armed with the skills we need, and are prepared to hit the ground running. MUN extends beyond these topics to global awareness about national and international issues, along with strategizing relations and conflict resolution. Mu Alpha Theta emphasizes the importance of our math and science skills in the 21st century, while The iGlobe promotes creative, thought-provoking, and educational writing and debate. As K12 International Academy promotes unified, collaborative, and innovative environments, it also instills a digital and modern mentality suitable for our times and future; we learn to be visionary, but also empower one another; in leadership positions, lax some authority to be more of an architect of all input; sustain the pros, yet disrupt where we can be more efficient and improve; rely on research and data, but not to ditch our intuition; and be skeptical of what we hear instead of idle-minded, but be open-minded and curious enough not to dismiss ideas automatically.
K¹² International Academy thoroughly teaches all of the above, including critical thinking, analytics, and most of all, application of everything we learn. Rarely will a student blankly stare at their screen and ponder “how on earth would I even use this in real life?”—yet, enter most brick-and-mortar educational institutions and this appears as one of the biggest student complaints: standardization and simplification, to the extent of losing touch with real life. But, in K12? No way—the absolute opposite! Better yet? Since we’re an online school, the impact of our school isn’t just local; it’s global! It’s practically exponential. What every student takes away from K¹² International Academy is then channeled into our own communities, and the information is free to roam from there. It’s like a neural network; the ideas and bonds just keep growing and strengthening.
All things considered, K¹² International Academy has something fabulous to offer every student; the most expansive being the “training” and opportunities to raise us into true digital leaders, giving every student a unique edge in college, work, and beyond.