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New Digital Learning Collaborative Report Analyzes Policy and Guidance of eLearning Days

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Report explores the increasing use of online "snow days" and the use of digital learning to avoid interruptions in instruction

DURANGO, Colo. - eTradeWire -- The early winter storms that have hit multiple states this year have resulted in a wave of headlines reporting on school districts closing schools, and shifting instruction online until they reopen.

Is this practice growing? How many states allow schools to shift instruction to online? And how do state agencies ensure that online instruction, used in this way, is effective?

A new report from the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC), eLearning Days: A scan of policy and guidance, explores these and other questions. It finds that a dozen states have policies to allow eLearning Days, and an additional four states have at least one district using a waiver or other means to implement such days. These states are predominantly in the upper Midwest or Southeast.

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DLC researchers found that state guidance and district implementation guides can assist policymakers and practitioners in many areas including:

·       Teacher preparation

·       Student expectations and training

·       Parents/guardians expectations and training

·       Students with special needs

·       Communication expectations and requirements

The report provides the first national scan of eLearning Day issues and covers many of the details to be addressed in planning for eLearning days, but experts stress the need for extensive planning. Few of these issues can be addressed in a short period of time, particularly those that entail working time and conditions, or other issues in employment contracts. In addition, students, parents, and teachers have to become comfortable with instructional practices during eLearning days, which is likely to take time. Some schools, including in other countries that have implemented eLearning days, include a practice eLearning day in their planning, to have everyone learn the process on a planned day with plenty of preparation time.

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The implementation of eLearning days is still in an early stage. As more schools implement such days, we expect further findings to emerge regarding both pitfalls and best practices.

To learn more, and to explore state-by-state policies and practice, download the full report at www.digitallearningcollab.com. Findings from the report will be presented and discussed at the Digital Learning Annual Conference (http://deelac.com/), February 24-26 in Austin, Texas. Additional conference sessions and conversations surrounding course choice are planned as part of this unique digital learning conference. For more information contact us at info@evergreenedgroup.com or call 616-340-8066.

Lauren Vashaw-Mass

Source: The Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC)
Filed Under: Education

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