Saturday, September 6, 2008

Opportunities arising - can we grab the brass ring?

Dennis Carter, an Assistant Editor at eSchool News recently posted an article that resonated with me....
Four-day week on the rise in education:
High gas prices, long commutes have colleges and K-12 schools taking a close look at longer days, shorter weeks (posted Thu, Aug 14, 2008)
School districts and universities are taking cues from the business world and instituting four-day weeks, a trend that some say could become the norm as gas prices and energy costs continue to rise....

A listing of school systems already testing these waters was given, and some of the pluses to this approach were pointed out...
  • free from their regular classes, students are enabled to take job shadowing experiences and community involvement activities.
  • enable students to work on projects together, and be out in the community to see what the rest of the world is doing!
  • all athletic events are scheduled for Fridays and Saturdays, meaning class is not interrupted by team/sporting schedules.

My response was YES!... this would provide the time-tabling space to implement something which has been a strongly held opinion of mine for several years now;
that no child should be able to graduate high school without completing at least one course module (25% of a credit course) through an eLearning environment ... even if it means they need show up in a learning lab or school library during that scheduled period in their timetable to access a pre-booked computer, with a teacher available nearby should they need the added support.

It's so much easier and friendlier to start the eLearning process among friends, and with the teacher available face2face if you just don't "get it".

In our post-secondary educational and our working lives, more and more of the options, the choices, and the interesting extras are showing up as online learning sessions. We do a real disservice to our graduating students if they exit grade 12 without experiencing and learning "how to learn" in an eLearning world.

This environmentally-driven move to a four day week in education provides a real opening for a blossoming of eLearning possibilities...
  • "Do Friday's classes from home",
  • or "pick up a credit that we can't offer you, from one of our affiliated school districts",
  • or "take an advanced credit from the local college or university"
...these now have a time space in which to operate.

Wonder how soon this scheduling will show up in Ontario?

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