In preparation for the unpredictable Indiana winter ahead, Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) students in grades K-8 participated in a mock eLearning day. An eLearning session is designed to provide instruction via technology that would have otherwise taken place in the classroom. MVCSC students and teachers are familiar with the use of technology in the classroom having implemented a 1:1 technology initiative last year. In the event that MVCSC administration determined that winter weather had made the roads unsafe for travel, an eLearning day would be initiated. Through this mock session teachers and students were able to add a little fun to the process by wearing their pajamas while completing the day’s instruction.
McCordsville Elementary School (MES) Kindergarten Teacher Courtney Streicher demonstrated to students how to navigate through their lessons on their iPads using the new learning management system Canvas. Students learned how to use hyperlinks to navigate to the desired location. The kindergartners caught on quickly as they went through their vocabulary and math lessons.
Fourth grade MES teacher Chad Wimmenauer stated that he believes students and staff are experiencing less anxiety this year, having already completed one year under this model. His students know exactly how to communicate with him and understand he will answer their questions within five minutes or so. Their curriculum is relevant to their current studies and therefore, students will not lose a day of instruction/learning.
Fourth grader Gavin Joy said, "Mr. Wimmenauer goes through directions nice and slow so we won't have any problems at home. I like the iPads because they don't waste paper and they let us do what we do in school. I also like it because I get to eat an omelet at home! I love omelets!"
A parent guide for Canvas was sent home with the students of fifth grade MES teacher Katie Taylor. This user-friendly sheet helps the parents who may not be tech savvy help their child navigate through the learning management system.
Greg Rollo, Director of Technology, shared there is a help desk manned by the MVCSC technology department during the actual eLearning days. Any curriculum questions are referred to the student's teacher while his team fields questions about technology, video access, connectivity and filters. Parents and community members complimented the team for their efficient and effective response during the 2015-2016 school year.
The mock eLearning day provides a smooth transition for students and staff to continue the challenging academic curriculum that MVCSC provides. The computer devices are a tool for staff to use as they provide blended learning environments for students, which includes books, pencil and paper.