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More School Districts Turning to Virtual Learning Days to Replace Snow Days

More School Districts Turning to Virtual Learning Days to Replace Snow Days

Every winter, schools forced to close for snow days debate whether or not the days off would be best be used as virtual learning days.

According to Education Dive, in fact, more and more schools are experimenting with learning at home.

"More schools nationwide are transforming expectations around what students do when the weather is too dangerous to attend classes,” the article said.

During virtual learning days, or “e-learning days,” students who are unable to attend school due to the transportation issues from inclement weather are able to continue learning over the Internet.

Schools are implementing “e-learning days” in various ways. In one Ohio school district for example, a measure was passed to ensure that e-learning days will be implemented if any more than five school days are missed due to inclement weather. This helps to avoid adding school days to the school calendar to make up for the missed days.

When considering the effectiveness of e-learning days, Education Dive says plenty of data exists to prove they are worth the planning that goes into implementing them.

"The president of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (InACOL), Susan Patrick, recently noted that one 2006 study on e-learning found that students in Singapore devote a week annually to remote learning, with successful outcomes. And in a 2009 report by Patrick for InACOL, she pointed out the fact that few rigorous research studies regarding the effectiveness of online K-12 learning had been published,” the article said.

But e-learning days won’t be possible for all districts.

In districts with a high number of low-income families, virtual learning days could not be possible for students without Internet access at home. More innovative districts have worked to help set up hotspots and the like for students without access, but there are still many districts that struggle nationwide to do so.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/19/2016

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