Technology's great, but it could eliminate snow days
Technology's great, but it could eliminate snow days A boy slides down a hill after a storm brought snow to many southern California locales, near Yucaipa, California (Reuters / AP photo)
Technology's great, but it could eliminate snow days
Lexile: 1050L

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One of the best parts of winter could be melting away for many Indiana students. Advances in technology are making snow days more rare.

The state's Department of Education has granted permission for many schools to hold online learning days. They would be used in cases of inclement weather. Supporters say the practice will ensure students don't miss critical instructional time. And it will help districts avoid extending the school year to make up missed days.

But not everyone is on board with the change. The move to replace face-to-face lessons with virtual instruction has sparked concern from some members of the State Board of Education.

Board member Brad Oliver said he thinks the virtual option is worth exploring. But he wants assurances about how attendance and instruction will be monitored. He thinks lawmakers should define what constitutes an instructional day in a virtual learning environment. That would help to ensure students still receive the 180 days of instruction required by state law.

"I'm concerned about students getting lost in the cracks," Oliver said. He said he couldn't foresee a 7-year-old calling up the hotline to ask a teacher for help with homework.

Last winter, some Indiana districts missed up to 15 days of school due to weather. That forced them to shorten spring breaks, extend school days and tack on extra days at the end of the year.

Schools that want to use the virtual option must ensure that teachers are available to answer questions. And provide appropriate learning activities for those with disabilities.

Schools also need to ensure that even students without home Internet service can access online learning. Many districts are opening computer labs or providing lists of businesses and libraries with free Internet. Other, more rural districts, where Internet access can be a challenge, have stuck with traditional makeup days.

Critical thinking challenge: What things are essential to make online learning work?

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Assigned 29 times

  • DavidSa-Mor
    2/02/2015 - 03:42 p.m.

    It Provides normal amount of school days,doesn't take off any special days spring break or summer,also allows us to learn and have fun and learn!

    • RyanSh-Mor
      2/04/2015 - 11:05 p.m.

      -you provided strong evidence

      -you need to support evidence
      -you should use a quote
      -it needs to be longer

    • RenelynS-Mor
      2/08/2015 - 08:47 p.m.

      Your response was good, something that I like was how you used evidence to support. In all do respect though, your response was lacking in certain areas such as supporting your evidence and using quotes from the text to support why you think your answer is the correct one.

  • SpencerL-Mor
    2/02/2015 - 04:34 p.m.

    Somethings that are essential to make online learning work is the ability to be able to go "online". If children do not have internet the online learning would backfire. Children would end up having to make up more work. Another issue could be could be dishonesty. A student could use another device or open another tab and do the work. If these essential problems are not met online working will not work. _

    • KalravP-Mor
      2/08/2015 - 07:57 a.m.

      First... What threw me off was the 'somethings'. o.o

      You should elaborate on your response a bit more. How would they use another device?

      Also, I don't see a quote from the text.

  • CorinneL-Mor
    2/02/2015 - 05:40 p.m.

    In order to make online learning essential, the teachers should be able to reach their students from the internet, and the teachers should be able to take attendence. These elements are essential for a student to be able to learn off of the internet because, it allows the student to be able to learn just like they are in school. Teachers should be able to reach their students off of the internet because, it should be like an actual school day where if you have a question, it can be easily answered. It is also important that the teacher is able to see who is on the internet for the class at that time so that if one student was not able to attend the class, the next day she can tell that/those student(s) what the missed on the following day when they are then back in school. Therefore, it is important that when holding an online class, the teacher can reach his/her students and also take attendence.

  • SaraMo-Mor
    2/03/2015 - 11:06 a.m.

    things that are essential to make online learning work is that even if students without home internet can also go online, making sure that teachers are going to be available online to answer questions. for example, the author writes, "schools also need to ensure that even students without home internet service can access online learning." also, the author writes, "schools that want to use the virtual option must ensure that teachers are available to answer questions." in my opinion, i believe school districts should use computers to make up days missed form school. i think this because many families have plans for vacation for spring and summer vacation. but if we keep adding school days, people will not be able to make their plans during the breaks of school.we can relate this to the world because instead of wasting time on snow days, we can make use of our time and not make it up on days we are supposed to be off from school.

    • JhanviP-Mor
      2/04/2015 - 08:34 p.m.

      Great Job on your answer! I think your extension piece was spot on. Other than that, I think you need to work on following the RSSE structure. Overall, great response!

  • SaraiS-Mor
    2/04/2015 - 06:44 p.m.

    To make online working work is to make sure a student has internet access. The article Technology's great, but it could eliminate snow days talks about how many snow days are happening in Indiana and its making students miss school and not get 180 regular school days. To make solution the Board of Education is making students have online classes. The problem is that some students cant access the internet at home. The essential need to make online learning work is to make sure students have access to online and to make sure if they have internet access at home. Many children live in rural areas and cant access it so, the Department of Education is now putting computer labs in schools and making sure there is access at a nearby library. Students can learn even better with online learning and can get better grades.

    • MichaelMo-Mor
      2/08/2015 - 04:40 p.m.

      I love your response! It flows in a consecutive way and answered all of the question. Your ending was good and so was your intro. But, when i read the article, I think you could have also added to the answer that teachers must be available to answer questions as it said in the article. But overall, this was very good and deserves a 3-4 on the rubric! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

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