Schools Close, But Learning Continues
According to Susan Patrick, President and CEO of International Association for K12 Online Learning, all secondary schools (grades 7-12) in Singapore close for one week each year, but students continue their education through online learning.
"Singapore trains all of their teachers to teach online, using a learning management system and digital content. All secondary school teachers and students use online learning and they have 100% e-learning in their schools every day. In fact, to ensure all teachers and students are comfortable learning any time, any place, Singapore holds e-learning week once a year. They physically shut schools down and the continuity of learning continues through the well-developed and continuous use of the e-learning delivery model that is used in the face-to-face classrooms, too" (email communication, January 8, 2008).
e-Learning Week provides several opportunities. It forces all teachers to utilize technology tools and to teach online for a week. It gives students an opportunity to experience online learning without the commitment of doing it for a whole course. e-Learning Week is part of Singapore's emergency preparedness plan. An outbreak of Avian Flu... no problem, schools would close and move to online courses until the threat has passed.
When you consider the cost-savings anticipated by the short-term Four Day School Week one school is trying, indications about reaching a critical mass in online learning by 2019, Disruptive Innovations, both shared in previous posts, not to mention the emergency preparedness concepts.... it is an intriguing idea.
I also wonder how they phased in such an ambitious project? Did they start with one day and add on until they reached a week. What kind of training were teachers provided? What was the response from the community?
Despite the challenges and unanswered questions, the idea has merit and would make for an ambitious strategic plan.
Click here to go to my wiki to view the research study.