Missouri High School Offers eLearning During Snow Days
At one Missouri high school, elearning may be the latest solution for excessive snow days.
Though this winter has barely just begun, last winter set records across the U.S. as students lost weeks of school due to snow, snow, and more snow. In the midst of the frequent school cancellations, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School (SFBRHS) developed an elearning program last year. While still in its early phases, the program may serve as a blueprint for other schools facing weather-based cancellations this year.
Called elearning days, the alternative snow days at SFBRHS are highly reliant on the school’s learning management system of choice, eBackpack. On days students can’t physically attend school due to weather concerns, they will be instructed to watch videos, do assignments, and access other instructional materials in the morning. Teachers are responsible for posting materials by 9 am, and students must submit any questions by noon.
While the plan is an innovative solution for a recurring problem, the elearning program does have some limitations. First of all, it will only last for two consecutive school days. Then, the students will have snow days as usual. Also, there are conditions in place in case students do not have Internet access, due to financial or weather-related reasons. To be used on a wider scale, accessibility would certainly have to be taken into greater consideration to suit a diverse set of needs.
Aside from the obvious concerns of accessibility, elearning snow days could solve many problems. In a day and age when almost everything we do is transferable online and many companies are implementing remote work procedures in the real world, it’s only natural that this flexibility be applied to the school world as well. After all, the purpose of school is to prepare students for the future. And if all goes according to plan, the workplace of the future will be entirely digital.
What do you think: Should other schools implement elearning days?
Hannah Nyren is the General Manager of EdTech Times. A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.