September 2, 2016 (Elementary in school practice day, Secondary eLearning day)
September 30, 2016 (Elementary in school practice day, Secondary eLearning day)
November 8, 2016 (Elementary and Secondary eLearning day)
January 13, 2017 (Elementary and Secondary eLearning day)
February 17, 2017 (Secondary eLearning day)
April 13, 2017 (Secondary eLearning day)
What are Elementary in school practice eLearning Days?
Madison Consolidated Schools is committed to preparing all students and families for eLearning days and this begins at the elementary level. Each student, beginning in Kindergarten, is issued a device which is integrated into daily learning within our classrooms. Students are taught how to access necessary apps, locations, lessons, as well as, do necessary work to complete assignments digitally.
Teachers will work with students early in the school year to ensure each student is ready for eLearning days, should there be an opportunity for elementary students to participate in a scheduled district-wide eLearning day. As an example, several of our buildings are used as polling locations on Election Day, so we have a scheduled eLearning Day for all students. Madison Consolidated Schools is approved to utilize eLearning days in the event of inclement weather and the implementation, frequency, and timing of those dates are based on recommendations from a Guiding Coalition made up of teachers, parents, and administrators based on best practices.
What are Secondary eLearning Days?
Madison Consolidated Schools Secondary eLearning Days offer full access to online secondary (6th-12th) school instruction provided by students’ individual teachers. Teachers will create lessons in My Big Campus, the school’s learning management system. These lessons will be interactive and relate to the Indiana State Standards for the specific class. Six eLearning days will occur throughout the school year, and students will have access to teachers via the Internet. If students do not have Internet at home, they may attend either a study hall hosted by the school where wifi is accessible or one of the open computer labs, the public library, go to a friends home, or one of the numerous local businesses offering free wi-fi.
According to educational research, there were an estimated 1.8 million K-12th grade students that enrolled in online or distance-education courses in 2009-2010 (February 2013 Fast Facts, http://iNACOL.org) and that trend is exponentially growing. We now have 27 states with state virtual schools and 31 states, and Washington, DC, have statewide full-time online schools. (Keeping Pace with K-12 Online & Blended Learning: An Annual Review of Policy and Practice. http://kpk12.com/reports/.) There is a consensus that effective online programs have the ability to improve student learning and achievement. Virtual and blended learning models (a mix between online and brick-and-mortar classrooms) can provide individualized instruction, that focuses on mastery, as well as additional opportunities and course offerings to students. There are currently 5 states that have passed into law an online learning requirement for core diplomas. Numerous others, including Indiana, are attempting to pass similar legislation.
Nearly all institutions have a major interest in eLearning. Over 80% of higher education institutions offer at least several courses online and more than half offer a significant number of courses online. (The state of E-Learning in Higher Education: An Eye Toward Growth and Increased Access, http://www.educause.edu) The proportion of college and career-ready students that take at least one online course has increased steadily over the last decade. The 2012 Survey of Online Learning reveals that the number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed 6.7 million with 32% of current college students taking at least one course online.
At Madison Consolidated Schools, we have been exploring online education in varying degrees with tremendous success. Credit recovery virtual labs, alternative education programs, and hybrid (blended) high school courses have all contributed to an increasing graduation rate and are providing more options for our students. If trends continue, by the class of 2017 nearly all students will be required to take at least part of their higher education/career coursework in an online environment. Our MCS mission is to educate all students to reach their potential, and student learning is the foremost thought in our minds as we try to prepare our students for a now global marketplace. It is our hope that the eLearning Days will provide our students with an online experience that will be foundational to future growth and success.