What is eLearning?
eLearning is the use of technology to enable people to learn anytime and anywhere. MSD of Wabash County eLearning days will offer a blended learning environment for students. Teachers will create standards-based lessons with resources and the assignment being available through a learning management system (LMS). Students will also use the LMS to submit their completed assignments.
Assignments for primary students will be in the form of a checklist to parents. Their activities/project will reflect previous lessons and will provide an opportunity to apply what they have learned. The checklist may also contain optional practice or extension activities, depending on the needs of each child.
What is an LMS?
A learning management system is used to organize a class. If you communicate with college students you may have heard them talk about Angel or Blackboard. MSDWC teachers are using Edmodo or My Big Campus as their LMS. Features/uses of an LMS include: announcements, calendar, gradebook, discussion board, access to digital curriculum, quizzes/tests, make and collect assignments, and cloud storage. Of course, teachers are at different places in learning to use an LMS. Not everyone is using all of the features, but will begin to give and collect assignments in the coming weeks.
What are the dates for the 2015-2016 school year?
- Tuesday, September 30, 2014
- Wednesday, November 5, 2014
- Tuesday, January 20, 2015
- Thursday, March 12, 2015
What will it look like for students?
There will not be a rigid schedule for students to follow but they will be expected to complete required lessons by the next school day. If it fits better into your family schedule your child might divide the work between the two evenings. Or spread it out over the two evenings as well as short sessions during the actual eLearning day.
Teachers will be available online for questions or concerns at a specific time during the day. This schedule will be available to parents and students prior to the eLearning day.
Why have eLearning days?
Having the technical and organizational skills necessary to do independent, online learning is important for our students. Having time for professional development is important for MSDWC educators.
- According to a study completed in 2011, 32% of college students take at least one online course.
- Even face-to-face courses in college require work to be submitted electronically.
- An article in the Indianapolis Recorder reports that employers feel that 35% of new hires/applicants do not have adequate computer skills.
- Corporations are using eLearning for training purposes
- Most companies require online applications
- Ability to provide teachers an entire day of professional development. (In past years, the DOE allowed six days where students were sent home after lunch so teachers could have professional development. This time will be replaced by the full days of eLearning, without a huge expense to the district for adding additional contracted days.)
- It is possible that, in the future, snow days could become eLearning days and would not have to be added on to the end of the school year.
What if we don’t have Internet access at our home?
While assignments may require Internet (not all will), there are several options for families without Internet access:
- For some assignments the required files can be downloaded while at school in advance
- For some assignments, the student may be able to do the actual thinking/writing process while at home and then quickly upload it when they return to school. (For example, if the assignment is to write a response to a blog, the student could complete it in a word processor while at home.)
- Parents may consider other options, like taking their child to a family member or friends who have access or to one of the many places with free public access, including MSDWC schools.
Note: students will not be penalized if they cannot get Internet service, but they will be responsible for either doing alternative assignments or completing the work requiring the Internet while at school.
Locations with public wi-fi:
Normal hours Tuesdays 3-7:00 Thursday 3-5:00
A room in the Town Hall will be available Wednesday hours on November 6 - 8:00 - 5:00
Hours: Monday 2:00-6:00, Wednesday 2:00-5:00, Friday 9:00-1:00
No access currently, but hoping to have it soon.
Students in the LaFontaine area can get access near the school building.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 1:00 - 6:00
Thursday and Friday 9:00 - 6:00
Pam’s Cafe Urbana:
Wi-fi access during hours AND when closed, access in parking lot.
Monday - Saturday 5:00 am - 1:00 pm
Multiple restaurants in Wabash also have free Internet access, but remind students to keep food and drink away from their device.
What if the student's MacBook or iPad is not working?
From experience, this is a rare occurrence but if it happens there are a couple different options:
- Because the Learning Management System is web-based, students may use any other device to upload their work.
- If the student doesn’t have a device at home, they may come to school, visit the library, or use another friend or family member's device.
- If the student cannot find a way to complete the assignments, they will be accepted as “late.” (Each teacher has a defined policy as to their acceptance of late work.)
- When the student returns to school, they will need to take their device to the tech department to be repaired.
Can a student work, go on a college visit, or shadow an employer during this day?
Each student can organize their day in a manner that suits them. They will be required to complete all work before the class’s next meeting but there is no specific time requirements otherwise.
What about MSDWC students who attend Heartland Career Center?
Students have the option of participating in the eLearning Day. If students choose to attend Heartland on an eLearning day, they will earn extra credit. Students/parents will need to provide transportation. (parking passes will be provided)
Will students in the life skills or other WMAP programs attend school?
Yes, in order to provide an adequate education for these students, they will need to attend school on the eLearning days. Students in the following classes will need to attend school:
- Mrs. Dutton’s class at SES
- Mrs. Rodgers' class at NHS
- Ms. Faust's class at SCE
What if a student wants to eat breakfast/ lunch at school?
Breakfast and lunch will be available to any students who wish to come to school. (As usual, their card will be debited for the meal.) Meals will be available at Northfield, Southwood Elementary, and LaFontaine Elementary. Students may go to whichever building is more convenient, regardless of attendance area. A letter will be sent the week of September 30 which includes a form for reserving meals. If you want your child to eat a school breakfast or lunch on the e Learning Day, this form should be returned to the school office prior to October 9. Parents are responsible for transportation and supervision of students who eat a school meal.