Things to Consider Before Implementing eLearning in K-12
Is eLearning the answer?
In the face of snow days, emergencies and yes, deadly virus outbreaks, eLearning offers to keep students on track, and the curriculum moving forward, but only if you've done your due diligence. Take note of these three considerations before you jump on the eLearning bandwagon.
1. Select a Learning Management System (LMS)
While eLearning doesn't need an LMS, teachers and students do. A Learning Management System provides an online platform for teachers to create content and learning materials, deliver it to their students, track and report progress and maintain communications. There are many software options from which to choose, and cost is a consideration, but keep in mind the more robust the LMS, the more opportunities to expand your learning network.
2. Schedule Professional Learning for Teachers
eLearning is different than traditional face-to-face learning. Online pedagogy is not something teachers can just ‘pick up’. While some universities have implemented eLearning in their teacher training programs, many teachers have had little if any preparation with eLearning. There are online learning organizations like the Online Learning Consortium that offer online teaching certificate programs but they come at a cost. Additionally, administration, teachers and students will need training to use the critical functions of the LMS.
3. Ensure Students have a Digital Device & Internet Access
eLearning is delivered online, that means students need a digital device and an Internet connection. Network design and the cost of broadband access can be substantial, but they are essential to eLearning. So is network management. If you are unable to hire network support, you will need to secure ‘in house’ experts to implement and maintain your network infrastructure. Further, some students may not have access to highspeed Internet from home. Without it, eLearning is only as ubiquitous as far as the network reaches.
Digital age learning is here, but it doesn’t happen magically. eLearning can be successful, but not without some scaffolds in place.