What's Your Game Plan? Implementing an eLearning Day requires a lot of planning by various stakeholders in your district. Before implementation a district must first apply and be granted permission to participate in eLearning Days as part of the Flex Pilot Program created by the Office of eLearning. If your district is interested in participating during the 2015-2016 school year please first consider the items below.
Board approval and support –- Start dialogue early with the school board and constituents to gain support for eLearning.
Survey student population to determine at home WiFi access.
Identify specific concerns for special needs students and plan alternative arrangements. Consider rewriting IEP's to allow for eLearning Days. Potentially plan on eLearning Days at school for students with special needs.
Determine lunch count for free and reduced students and make arrangements for food delivery/pickup for those students during an eLearning Day.
Identify and plan for meaningful professional development opportunities for staff during part or all of the eLearning Day. Consider all staff (teachers, parapros, bus drivers, cooks, secretaries). What do they need to learn? Consider publishing the staff professional development plan to the community.
Define teacher expectations -- What types of virtual assignments are appropriate but also rigorous and relevant?
Communication with parents is imperative to the success of an eLearning Day -- Provide procedures, plans, and expectations well in advance. Reminders should be sent prior to the eLearning Days.
Provide a technology hotline for students/parents –- Log phone calls and issues, provide walk through procedures, make house calls, and be available for students to meet tech at school if needed.
Consider what skills you hope to build in your students and teachers.
Collect student and parent feedback following the eLearning Days.
Provide alternative assignments for those without Internet or find ways for students to download assignments at school the day before an eLearning Day.
Differentiate your virtual lessons if needed for students with special needs. Make sure to include clear instructions.
Define student expectations -- do students need to check in with you during the eLearning Day? Review homework submission procedures, coordinate submission deadlines, etc.
Contact local libraries -- Give them eLearning dates, inquire about WiFi access, and ask them to allow students to work there during the eLearning Day.
Contact local restaurants -- Inform them of eLearning dates. Do they have free WiFi access? Will they consider running lunch specials for eLearning students?
Contact local day cares -- Give them eLearning dates as they may have more students on these days.
Contact local churches -- Churches with WiFi might open their doors for groups of students to work together and even offer adult supervision or homework helpers.
Contact local law enforcement -- Let them know the dates students will not be in attendance.
Parents -- Do a press releases in the local paper, host a parent information night, publish information on school website, and make videos available. It is important to educate parents and get their support for this endeavor to be successful!
Publish where free WiFi access sites are located to students/parents.
Take photographs of the adult learners throughout the eLearning Day and share through social media and the local newspaper.
Ask students to submit photographs of what their “learning at home” looks like.