School goes digital with eLearning day

Students will virtually attend class from home, while getting attendance and completing assignments online

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On April 29, the school will pilot an eLearning day. Students won’t physically attend school, but will rather take their own attendance from home. They are still expected to participate and learn, but will use their computers to access online assignments and discussions.

The eLearning day will be used to compensate for the number of canceled school days due to inclement weather during the polar vortex. Consequently, the final day of school will be moved back from May 28 to May 24.

Director of curriculum Tina Malak gave some insight into the inspiration behind the digitized day. “The idea came from teachers who serve on the T-3 committee, our technology committee,” said Malak. “They were aware of some schools doing it and wondered if this is something we can explore because we have the capabilities. You know, we’ve been one-to-one for a while. It’s something students are pretty familiar with.”

Students will first sign into a Google form to be checked in for their own attendance at 1 p.m. If a student cannot access a computer or does not have wifi, they are also free to download the class data and participate offline.

“I think having a day at home will be a lot more beneficial than coming to school for another day after finals,” said senior Matthew Gasienica. Additionally, if there are any technical problems, the Help desk will be available from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Teachers will also be available via email or an online group to answer any questions students may have.

Director of communications Tony Hamilton said, “Piloting an ‘eLearning day’ will provide valuable information for school administrators as they consider whether to utilize such days in the future for inclement weather days.” The eLearning day will then be used to gauge expectations and garner feedback on the institution for future use.

“What we’re going to do after April 29 is come back together, all the department chairs, and say, ‘Hey, what were the hiccups that you had?” said Malak. “Was everything flawless? Could we have done something better?’”

April 29, a Monday, is scheduled to be a Blue day, so students should have the flexibility to work on their assignments over the weekend.

Roderick Marzo
In the Citgo Innovation Academy, freshmen Nicholas Leone, Michael Hassell, and Michael Swiec display their technical prowess while studying for a test. The students are comfortable and familiar with electronics; they are more than prepared for the eLearning day.

Chris Duda
Juniors Brie Salomon, Callie Madej, and Sophia Antonopoulos discuss how they feel about the eLearning day, and how they will view their assignments online. “I think it should be interesting,” said Antonopoulos. “It’s a lot better than having an extra day added on to the end of the year.”

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