eDays, not calamity days

MY NOTES FROM EDAYS, NOT CALAMITY DAYS PRESENTATION AT THE OSBA 2011
CAPITAL CONFERENCE. MY EDITORIALS ARE IN ALL CAPS. 🙂

Mississinawa Valley Local school district
– Pilot school for eDays

Replace snow days with eDays?
– ancedotes: take away sled time? 🙂 Big learning experience

Background/History
– Supt. brought in through a video
– Learning can continue when the instructor can’t be in front of the
students
– District covers 80 square miles, miss days after snowfall due to
wind
– Superintendent Wendel formalizes plan that is used as a basis for the
house bill
– House bill dies, could be due to lobbying from the AFT
– Applied for waiver days from the ODE to try it out.
– Big response from across the nation, spent a lot of time in
interviews
– Governor Kasich re-institutes the 5 calamity days and adds 3 online
days to the budget bill

School plan
– Teachers are already required to come in two days in the summer. One
was used for eDay PD
– The other day was used to complete lessons
– Teachers were paid for two days, but more was put in on their own
time.
– Prepare students and parents. Teachers took class time to show the
students, parent meetings in the evening in an open computer lab
– Variety of lessons, and a student product (an assignment and
assessment)

eLesson Components
– Target
Pick some standards that are hard to hit in the classroom due to other
standards
– Instruction
Reading
Podcasts
Vodcasts
– Teacher contact information
–Duplicate the learning that occurs in a normal day

Lesson types
– Rubric was used to grade the lesson: Basic, Intermediate, and
Advanced
– Everyone was required to have a Basic lesson, but the goal was for
the teachers to move to intermediate and/or advanced lesson plans
– Component of an eDay Lesson: Student Tasks, Student Product
– See Darke County ESC for rubric

What happens on an eDay
– Teachers/students notified
– Teaches enable lessons, using First Class
– Teachers will be available for consilt during day either by phone or
email
– Students have 2 weeks to complete assignments if needed

What if students don’t have internet?
– Initial survey showed that only 11% did not have Internet, 50%
free/reduced lunches
– Discuss with students ahead of time
– Weather permitting:
? Community building open with laptops and tech coordinator
? School building will be open
– 2 week window to complete assignments
? Work on them during non-instructional times of school day
? After school hours

Sample Pages
– First class

WHERE IS MOODLE? GOOGLE DOCS?

  • Teacher is usually online to assist during the day
  • Only open up the current eDay’s lesson, didn’t want students to
    complete all the eday work on the first day

WHY NOT? IF THEY CAN COMPLETE IT SUCCESSFULLY, WHY NOT LET THEM COMPLETE
IT ALL?

  • issues that cropped up: lessons took too much time, computer sharing
    in households with multiple students
  • Teachers learned a lot of what works and what doesn’t work the first
    year
  • Found out some students only had dial-up, video was difficult

NICE USE OF A DIGITAL CAMERA TO “SCAN” IN PAGES TO PUT ON A WEBPAGE

  • Lessons are stand alone

I HOPE THEY AREN’T TEACHING SKILLS IN ISOLATION, THEY SHOULD BUILD
SOMEWHAT ON THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR (MAKE UP DAYS WOULDN’T BE UNTIL
ALL CALAMATY DAYS ARE EXHAUSTED, WHICH WOULDN’T BE UNTIL JAN OR FEB).

  • Surfing the Internet took a lot a time because there is so much
    stuff out there. Actually inspired the teacher to integrate other
    resources that were found.
  • Elementary PE: Timed sit-ups, push-ups, and measure reach.

NO SHOVELING SNOW? 🙂

  • Teacher’s daughter wanted to do some of the activities after the
    eDay ended

Statistic Comparisons
– 100% of the teachers believed their eLessons were of high
instructional value
– 72% of the students said they were able to learn by completing the
eLessons
– 80% of the parents thought the lessons were of high instructional
value
– 52% of the students said the learning equaled what they learn on a
“regular” day, 60% of parents
– 100% of teachers, 57% of students, 67% of parents believed the school
should continue the eDay program
– Older siblings liked helping the younger students complete some of
their tasks

Lessons Learned
– Too much time between the actual eDay and when they are due. More
information and tasks were given than what would have been given in a
normal class period
– Students were frustrated in the completion of the lesson and the time
it took
– Students are passive learners
– There should be no athletic practices during school time on eDays
– Parents view parental involvment as something that occurs inside the
school
– Incorporate this type of technology throughout the year
– Online time cannot equal chair time
– Automated system for product return is necassary
– Need a consistent, agreed upon method for student/teacher
communication
– Lack of completion consequences needs to be more fully developed
– More parent/student prep needed
– Need to have a contingency plan before you need the contengency plan

COULD AN EDAY BE USED TO ALLOW TEACHERS PD DAYS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR?

CONTIGENCY PLAN FOR SERVER ISSUES?

Q/A
Q:How do you deal with students special needs?
A: Modified classroom teacher lessons

Q: How did you structure your pilot?
A: 100% of the teachers involved, followed the steps listed above

Q: If two weeks are too long, are you going to change? Do teachers
prepare lessons for each subject in self-contained classrooms?
A: Havent approached the two week window. Teachers create lessons for
each subject.

Q: Moodle?
A: Looking at it.

Q: Costs?
A: Practically nothing, since First Class was already in place. Already
had days in place for PD. Probably 4 or 5 hours for each lesson.
Research takes time

Q: Union buy in?
A: Union and administration identified the need and mutually agreed to
it. No one wanted to be there mid-June. Waiver days gave them two
additional days at Christmas.

Q: No computer?
A: Places open for computer use, and two weeks to have things done.

Q: Outside of snow days, such as no electricity due to winds/ice.
A: Discuss as a district.

Q: Is there a real problem with students working ahead?
A: It depends on the teachers and how the lesson was designed. What’s
in their lessons, how it’s set up.

Q: How did you report this to the state department?
A: The survey data was reported to the state, along with the waivers
for the eDays.

Comment: Mt. Vernon had a day without electricity, so they just used the
two weeks to get the work completed.

Teachers in elementary use Moodle and theme lessons.

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