FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After last year’s winter forced so many schools to close, some leaders at the state level are asking if e-learning should count as a day in the classroom? Only a few districts have been allowed by the state to try out something called e-learning. Southwest Allen and East Allen are two in our area. Leaders here say it’s working wonderfully while those at the state level say it’s riddled with problems.
“We shouldn’t use e-learning to subtract days, it should be to add days and enhance learning,” State Board of Education Member and President of Marian University Dan Elsener said.
That’s the point of contention for State Board of Education Member Dan Elsener. To him, there’s no substitute for time in the classroom with a teacher. Elsener thinks some are using it to cut corners.
“Isn’t that nice? Now we don’t have to make up a day in May. And you know how tough it is to make up a day in May or June.”
Before all districts are allowed to use e-learning, board member and school teacher Kari Whicker says administrators and teachers need to take into account every child and their unique learning and financial situations.
“The question isn’t if e-learning is bad, it’s good. And the people who are doing it well are doing it very well. But, before we open up the floodgates have we asked everything we need to ask,” State Board of Education Member and teacher with Huntington County Community Schools Kari Whicker said.
For SACS Superintendent Philip Downs, e-learning should be a substitute. Because keeping educational momentum on days off is important.
“We’ve spent a lot of time making sure every child regardless of disability or financial situation is accounted for and there is a plan for. We have plans for all of our workers. There has been a lot of work in the background in this to get ready to do this,” Southwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Philip Downs said.
Teachers and parents tell Downs it’s setting their kids up for success in the future.
“We’ve got graduates who come back and say they are so much more prepared for life at the university because of what we have been doing with technology.”
Regardless, the state board of education will continue to talk about e-learning policy and present it before the legislature next year.