Last updated: 09.08.12

Louisiana's Tangipahoa parish to use e-learning tools

Virtual learning environments are to be set up in a number of schools in Louisiana's Tangipahoa parish.Writing for the Advocate, Heidi Kinchen explained the e-learning course will not involve sending students home with a laptop and forgetting about them.Instead, officials of the educational authority are to allow students from the sixth to the 12th grade to engage in online learning, while either attending classes during evening or regular hours and participating in face-to-face meetings with teachers on a weekly basis.Assistant superintendent Lionel Jackson was quoted by the publication as explaining that e-learning courses are more interactive than other forms of education and can be better at encouraging students to pay attention.Furthermore, homebound, expelled or homeschooled students will also be able to utilise the online learning courses, he added.The innovative digital learning project will focus on the Crystal Street School, which was originally set up as a type of boot camp for youngsters with disciplinary problems.A meeting was held on August 8th between the school board's Hammond Delegation and community members or parents at the Tangipahoa African-American Heritage Museum, which enabled people to have any questions or issues they had about the e-learning movement to be resolved.Chief academic officer Theresa Hamilton noted that five years of figures show the Crystal Street School is not managing to improve the attainment of struggling students or improve graduation rates, with Mr Jackson arguing that the virtual learning environments should have a better chance of success.Chief academic officer for the Tangipahoa Parish Melissa Stilley had previously suggested in the Advocate that online learning courses could create a larger number of opportunities for academia while helping to address some of the region's requirements, including the need for the system to save money.Superintendent Mark Kolwe argued: "This isn't cutting edge, but it's close."