History of E-Learning days

Technology has come a long way since seniors and juniors first started school. Schools utilize technology more now than they have before. In several different schools including Joliet West, each student and teacher is given a laptop. Students rarely have to do work on paper, it is all on their computers. These computers can be used when there are “snow days” which West calls them Emergency learning days. 

“Snow day” is something that will always bring joy to students. There aren’t many days where students have the whole day off anymore. Everything is now done online. There are some instances where students get the day off. This includes power going out, or no access to the computers. When students are able to work from home the school counts it as Emergency learning days. These days are used when the weather conditions are not safe for students to wait for the bus or to walk to school; typically when the temperature is -20 with a wind chill. 

During emergency learning days, students stay home and go on zoom with their teachers or have their work assigned to them online through Google Classroom. Once in-person learning is canceled, all after school activities are as well. This makes it hard for the superintendent to decide whether or not to cancel school. “It is hard to tell what weather will look like the day of,” according to Dr. Guseman. Students and parents will receive an email about school closures along with it being on social media platforms. The school will communicate with the parents anytime before 5 o’clock in the morning about school being canceled. 

Another way that technology was utilized was during COVID. During the lockdown students went online 5 days a week on zoom with their teachers. This was considered their school day. The students got 10 minutes in between classes and the teachers would assign students school work so they could follow along with the class instruction. Once students were able to go back, there would be 2 days a week that students would be in person and then the rest of the week everyone would be online. Although this was a safety concern for teachers and students, the school was precautious making face masks mandatory. This was more challenging for teachers but, “there is nothing that can replace in-person learning,” according to Dr. Guseman. 

Once all students went back to school, whenever someone was diagnosed with COVID, they got to go on zoom and participate in class so they wouldn’t miss anything. This situation raises many questions for students and parents. Why can’t zoom be utilized for things other than Covid? Why can’t students with any other sickness including Flu, Strep throat, or anything else contagious like this use zoom so they don’t lose track of their work in class? According to Dr. Guseman, the reason only students with COVID can utilize zoom is because the government is still putting COVID under the ‘emergency’ category. The government controls a lot of what the school is allowed to do as far as E-learning days or sick days. 

Schools have come a long way to help ensure students’ safety and allow them to still participate in school. This creates a way for students to get out for summer break on the exact date instead of worrying about if students will have to make it up or not. Without technology, things would be a lot different.