In the 2013-2014 school year, Blackhawk Christian and other schools across Fort Wayne experienced an unusually high number of school cancellations. These cancellations caused schools to start thinking creatively about how to make up days of school without forcing students to stay too many days in June.
One of the solutions to this problem that many schools, including Blackhawk, decided to try was e-learning. The concept of e-learning is that students will not be required to come into school on a make up snow day, but rather, they will have lessons and assignments that they are expected to complete in their own time during the day at home.
Last year, on Good Friday, Blackhawk piloted the e-learning day. After experiencing general success, it was decided that Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day would be used as e-learning make up days for the 2014-2015 school year.
E-learning had mixed reviews last year, but most students seem content that e-learning will be used again to make up school days this year. Junior Megan Schnurr stated, “I hated it. Teachers that usually wouldn’t give homework had to- so that made it a lot of work.” She went on to say that despite the difficulties last year, she was not upset about doing e-learning again.
Some students, like freshman Courtney McKown, enjoyed the e-learning day. “It’s independent. That’s good and I get to sleep in!”
Senior Madison Arrington, for one, is just happy about not having to make up the two days at the end of the year. “I just want to graduate,” she says. “This year we know how it works and it’s more laid back. I don’t have as much that I have to do as last year.” Junior Ross Norton agreed saying, “The work is usually a little easier on e-learning than it would be in class.”
Many of the complaints for e-learning last year revolved around the amount of work that students had to do on the day at home without the face-to-face support of their teachers. In regards to improving these problems for 2015, teacher Matt Harmon stated, “Teachers are trying to create assignments that should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Students can email me or any other teacher at any time through the day with any questions they have about the assignment.”
Although there were some kinks in the process for the first run of e-learning, students and staff alike are enthusiastic about the e-learning days this year. Freshman Emma St. Peters shared, “Even though I like coming here, I’d much rather do e-learning than have to come into school!”
Students: Don’t forget to do your e-learning assignments Monday, January 19th. For high school students, assignments are due upon returning to school Tuesday. For Junior High, assignments are due on Friday of the same wee.