CONYERS — Many students are opting to log in on their first day of school rather than attend a traditional school.

Online education is one of the fastest growing education trends in the country. The free, online public school, Georgia Connections Academy, has more than 2,500 students enrolled statewide.

Georgia Connections Academy provides education for students in fifth-12th grades. The school is just like a traditional brick-and-mortar school. The only difference is that the students attend from home or wherever they are accessing the school via internet.

The platform is a teacher-directed environment with local and certified teachers delivering instruction and assigning grades. The school uses the highest quality curriculum and students receive real textbooks and all of their other learning materials (science kits, PE equipment such as jump ropes) at no cost.

Additionally, the curriculum is highly individualized and each student is given his/her own learning plan, as students learn best when lessons match their interests and abilities.

Students participate in clubs, write for the student newspaper and go on field trips just as they would in a traditional setting.

Since it is a public school, the same requirements exist as far as shot records and vacation days, and the students receive a diploma upon graduation.

Connections Academy graduates have been accepted to many of the nation’s leading colleges and universities. Students are prepared for the rigors of higher education with a college-preparatory curriculum, including many honors and Advanced Placement courses.

This is very different that home schooling. Rather, this is a home-based learning environment. At Georgia Connections Academy, the parents are not the teachers. The parents do not need to purchase the curriculum and come up with the lesson plans.

Students come to Georgia Connections Academy for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the students are actors or athletes who have to travel quite a bit. Some of the parents have jobs that require a great deal of travel. There are students who have physical disabilities that make it difficult to sit in a classroom for eight hours a day. Sometimes families are just looking for a different option.