Snow more learning

Millard begins E-Learning Initiative

Sree Kolli, Online Editor

“Waking up in the morning to a tweet from Sutfin calling off school because of the snow outside is one of the best feelings I’ve experienced as a high school student,” junior Teju Boinpally said.

Usually, students are elated to have an unexpected day off every now and then.

However, this school year has had some of the worst weather Millard has seen in a long time, resulting in several inches of snow on multiple occasions as well as freezing temperatures. These dangerous conditions have resulted in a total of six snow days, making many students worried the district would cut into either spring break or more of summer.

“Let me just say, news about cutting spring or summer break made me as happy as thinking about a puppy getting run over by a truck,” Pirisingula said.

However, after several meetings, it became clear how great of interest students nor teachers had in coming to school during spring break or in June, so the district decided to try a new approach: replacing the next extra day with E-Learning.

E-Learning, a concept of digital learning, is an initiative  Millard has been pushing for many years through the heavily integrated use of Google Classroom.

On the last snow day, March 7, teachers were instructed to take this initiative to a new level by assigning work from their own homes that students could complete on their laptops at home. Teachers assigned homework such as finishing up lab reports, writing rough drafts of essays, and filling out note sheets

After coming to school the next day, many teachers and students voiced their opinion on their own E-Learning experience.

“I didn’t mind having to hand out an e-learning assignment. Since all of my classes make frequent use of Google Classroom, I knew that students would easily be able to accomplish the tasks,” AP World History teacher Terry Meyer said.

Though subjects like history were easier for students to tackle on their own, plenty of kids expressed how some subjects like math, were much harder to manage.

“Many of my teachers didn’t really enjoy E-Learning. I only received two legitimate assignments, everything else was studying or answering a question on Google classroom because my teachers [they] said they thought it was useless,” sophomore Bridget Neville said.

Though some students disagreed on whether the E-Learning experience was beneficial, many agree it is better than coming to school during a break.

“E-Learning could definitely use some improvements. Teachers could record themselves lecturing, or post additional videos for us to watch that would help us better understand the material. However, E-Learning was still much better than extending school,” Boinpally said.

It is not clear yet whether E-Learning will continue as the last resort or end up completely replacing the concept of adding school on to the end of the year.

“I think right now we are still exploring all the ways that E-Learning can happen.  As we continue to get more familiar with this approach, I think teachers and students will find more ways to be productive,” assistant principal Aaron Bearinger said.

Bearinger sent home practice ACT questions to all juniors during the snow day to continue their preparations for the nationwide exam coming up shortly. Many students found this extra practice and time extremely helpful, especially from the safety and comfort of their own homes.

“I hope E-Learning becomes more prevalent in the future, as it saves students from having to go out and brave dangerous conditions while promoting learning at the same time,” senior Ethan Chen said.

Despite individual opinions on E-learning, this is surely not the last time Millard students will participate in such electronic schooling.