Last updated: 21.06.12

Glenview school districts examining online learning options

E-learning courses are being examined by some of the largest school districts in Glenview, Illinois.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that School District 34 and High School District 225 are looking into the innovative field to evaluate the effectiveness of virtual learning environments and explore the possibilities provided by online learning.

On June 14th, a seminar was held by District 24, in which 113 teachers from 75 educational districts discussed concerns and information about the e-learning programmes they have already initiated.

Furthermore, a school board meeting on June 11th in District 225 resulted in attendees supporting the use of iPads to assist in education.

The region is now offering one English course and two US history classes as part of a pilot project that will allow students to utilise their own digital devices in the classroom.

Instructional technology director of the district Ryan Bretag revealed 100 per cent of teachers with iPads believe the tools improve the literacy of students.

He stated the pilot programme will involve comparing the successes of participants in e-learning classes with those using traditional print media.

Northbook and Glenview School District 30's director of educational technology Andy Kohl told the publication that staff in his area are developing a preliminary investigation into e-learning.

He noted educators intend to move forward at some time in the next school year.

"We are still working with our board to craft a final plan," the specialist added.

Director of educational technology for District 34 Brian Engel said digital educational tools could give students better ownership over their own education and would enable teachers to listen to pupils read over recorded emails.

This would help them to monitor how youngsters' literacy improved, he pointed out.

"As educators, it is our job to build from what students already know coming into the classroom," Mr Engel said in a report to his district's school board.

"The fingertip portability of [iPads] allows for learning at home, so learning does not stop just at school," he had previously been quoted as saying by the news source.