eLearning Q&A

  • WWS eLearning:  School Cancellation eLearning Day FAQs

     

     

    • What is eLearning?

     

    eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum, also known as blended learning.  eLearning content can be published online through a learning management system, LMS. An LMS allows for course creators to streamline eLearning content into one easy-to-access location.  eLearning involves the use of technology and innovation strategies to engage students in their learning, create a collaborative environment, and promote digital literacy/digital world skills.  eLearning is a component of instruction at WWS.

     

     

    • What LMS does WWS use?

     

    Students in K-4 use Google Classroom and students in grades 5-12 use Canvas.

     

     

    • How does eLearning and eLearning for School Cancellation fit with WWS’s 5 Strategic Priorities?

     

    1. 1. Student Learning and Achievement:  K-12 aligned instructional practices, a method of innovation, 21st Century career ready skills
    2. Family and Community Engagement  community support through focus groups and coffee talks; parent involvement through LMS; and community partnerships with wi-fi
    3. Safe and Healthy Environment:  ability to continue learning during school cancellation, focus on digital citizenship, policies in place for child protection, acceptable use
    4. Workforce Growth and Development:  professional learning for staff with technology and innovation strategies and designing engaging lessons; used as a mode of professional learning with staff “courses” in LMS
    5. Fiscal Responsibility and Stewardship:  Open Education Resources (OER)--access to free curriculum content and use of e-textbooks delivered through LMS, energy/resource conservation

     

    • What is a benefit of using eLearning for School Cancellation Days?

     

    Utilizing eLearning for school cancellation allows staff and students to make-up the learning in real time instead of at the end of year and avoids the need to add days to the calendar.

     

    WWS has been approved by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to use eLearning Days for school cancellation during the 2018-19 school year.

     

     

    • How was the structure of eLearning for School Cancellation Days determined?

     

    Staff member focus groups provided initial input to questions which included a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, professional learning/resources needed, structure of lessons, day of/window timeframe, and accountability for staff.  Discussion groups and administrators reviewed and discussed key areas to provide additional input.

     

     

    • When will eLearning for School Cancellation Days occur?

     

    To best serve students and the continuation of learning through purposeful and meaningful lessons, K-6 students will have a 10-day scheduled make-up window and 7-12 students will make-up the work the day of the cancellation.  

     

    Parents, students, and staff will be notified which kind of make-up day will be used when school is canceled.

     

    2018-19 Scheduling of eLearning for School Cancellation:

    1st Day canceled:  eLearning

    2nd Day canceled: Flex Day as scheduled on WWS calendar

    3rd Day canceled:  Flex Day as scheduled on WWS calendar

    4th Day canceled:  eLearning

    5th Day canceled:  eLearning

    6th Day and after canceled:  Days added onto end of WWS calendar

     

    The superintendent reserves the right not to use “day of” or “window” eLearning should too many closures take place in a short period of time.

     

    Options for making up the multiple days in a row include

    1. Schedule eLearning window later in the year
    2. Add day(s) to the end of the school year

     

     

    • How will staff and students prepare for eLearning for School Cancellation Days?

     

    Scheduled Practice Days/Time frame:

      1. Students and staff utilize the LMS throughout the school year.
      2. Designated school cancellation practice in class:  November 5-20; students and staff will practice during class to troubleshoot questions and seek additional training if needed.
      3. Designated school cancellation practice for assigning homework:  week of November 26; teachers assign at least one homework assignment/activity through LMS.

     

     

    • Will students need and have access to the internet?

     

    Many WWS students and teachers have the ability to access digital learning away from our schools.  Using eLearning does not mean that WWS will provide a device to all students or staff nor that all households must have broadband access.  Wi-fi listings and open access lab times will be provided to staff and students. WWS has sought out Westfield Rocks Partners who will allow students to access their wi-fi without making purchases as long as students are working on their schoolwork.  Additional partnerships and wi-fi access for all are being explored. Weather dependent, during an eLearning day or window, school buildings may be open for students to access technology, wifi, and support services available for any students needing to access technology and/or an alternative to online learning.

     

    • How will instructors and support staff be reached during eLearning to facilitate and support student learning?

     

    Teachers and staff will facilitate and support instruction during eLearning.  Staff will be able to be reached by students and parents through email, Canvas/Google Classroom, phone calls, social media, help desk, etc.  Teacher office hours will be communicated prior to eLearning taking place on LMS, with posted assignments, and on school websites.

     

    Kindergarten - 6th Grade

    Students in grades K-6 will be informed of their lessons, activities and assignments through Google Classroom (K-4) or Canvas (5-6) by 5:00 pm on the first day of the ten day window.  All work must be submitted through Google Classroom (K-4) or Canvas (5-6) by the start of school on the tenth and final day of the eLearning window. When possible, all content will be released prior to the eLearning window to allow students to download the content while at school.

     

    7th grade - 12th Grade

    Students in grades 7-12 will be informed of their lessons, activities and assignments through Canvas by 9:00 a.m.  All work must be submitted through Canvas by the beginning of school two school days after school has resumed.  For example, if an eLearning day occurs on a Tuesday, students will have until the start of school Thursday to upload assignments.  When possible, all material will be released prior to the eLearning day to allow students to download the content while at school.

     

     

    • What can be done if technology is not working on an eLearning Day?

     

    If there seems to be a problem on the district’s side, please call your school office or tech help desk (number to be provided).  If the problem is widespread, WWS will communicate the problem and any solution we have via the website and social media. If the problem is in your home, teachers will work with the students when they return to school.

     

     

    • How much time is the student expected to work online during the eLearning Day?

     

    No minimum or maximum amount of time is expected.  Student “work load” is determined by grade level, the lesson plans for that day, the types of courses students are taking, and the amount of time needed to complete the learning experiences.  Teachers strive to mimic the same workload, taking into account passing periods and transition time a student would experience in a regular school day.

    Students in grades K-6 should expect to have an eLearning assignment for reading/writing, math, science or social studies, and a special area class.

     

    Students in grades 7 - 12 should expect to have eLearning work for each class in their schedule.

     

     

    • Is e-Learning aligned with the curriculum and each teacher's lesson plan?

     

    Yes. Often times this is referred to as a Blended Instructional Approach. WWS eLearning assignments are designed to be a logical continuation of learning experiences used in the classroom, and should help to maintain important educational momentum.

     

    Are designated break times included in the schedule?

    No. eLearning days are practical opportunities for students to practice the skill of time management.  Students determine when they will start work on eLearning days. This also means that students determine when breaks are taken and whether to work in an uninterrupted stream or to break the learning experiences up during the day.  It is recommended that K-6 students complete their work over a series of days within the ten day window. “Brain break” activities that include movement and music may be included at the elementary level to encourage taking breaks and refocusing.

     

     

    • What if my student receives accommodations?

     

    All students who have accommodations (IEP, 504, ILP) will be provided with or have access to those accommodations during eLearning.  Student IEPs will have eLearning provisions written into their learning plans. Teachers of Record (TOR) will work with families and case conference committee teams ahead of eLearning days to clarify expectations for learning and how support will be offered.

     

    Will there be offline support for students whose accommodations cannot be met through online learning?

    For students with disabilities who do not use an LMS for learning or for whom an LMS is not appropriate, teachers will provide parents with appropriate educational materials and learning activities for student use.  Language for eLearning days/LMS usage should be outlined within the accommodations section of the students IEP/504. TORs may also offer office hours to grant access to technology services/wi-fi.

     

     

    • I have an EL student.  How will my child receive the support needed?

     

    For EL students, teachers will provide parents with appropriate educational materials and learning activities for student use per the Individual Learning Plan.  WWS will be proactive in establishing ways that support will be offered on eLearning days to EL students.  This may include time outside of eLearning day/window/EL teacher office hours for students to complete the work.

     

     

    • How does eLearning for weather cancellation account for attendance?  Will eLearning assignments be graded?

     

    WWS schools will use completed assignments as the measure of attendance.  If a student does not complete an eLearning assignment, they will be counted as absent for that day/period. Grading of eLearning assignments/activities will be consistent with everyday practices.  All eLearning assignments are considered meaningful to a student’s learning; therefore, students will be expected to complete all work.

     

     

    • How will parents be provided with information to support their children during eLearning events?

     

    Parents will have the opportunity to learn about LMS during Parent University, Meet the Teacher night, videos, newsletters, podcasts, and other resources/help links.  Feedback mechanisms will be created to gather additional input after eLearning School Cancellation events occur.

     

     

    • Is adult supervision needed for eLearning experiences?

     

    No.  eLearning assignments are designed to be completed by the student with little or no parent involvement required unless specifically stated by the teacher.  Some material in the homework may be new, but accessing the homework and using technology should be something students are used to doing independently. Students experiencing problems or frustrations should be encouraged to contact their teacher.  WWS encourages parents to use this opportunity to learn more about their child’s daily school activities.