We asked Philip Downs, Superintendent at MSD Southwest Allen County Schools, where students receive a blend of traditional classroom learning with eLearning. Downs has been a client of ours at Standard For Success for a while, and shares how the right performance evaluation technology has transformed snow days at his schools.
We’ve all experienced it: Weather’s bad, school gets canceled, students, and staff rejoice just long enough to realize everyone has to “pay” for the snow day by working extra days or hours at the end of the school year. It gives productivity a black eye and halts students’ learning momentum. Everyone suffers because of it.
This is one reason why MSD Southwest Allen County Schools have embraced eLearning, enabling teachers to keep on teaching in a virtual classroom, rain or shine. “Snow days used to be for catching up”, says Downs. “Now we get more work done on snow days than in a typical work day.”
But the benefits of remote capabilities aren’t limited to making snow days more productive. Teachers and administrators no longer have time to do everything they need to do on-site, making remote capabilities vital on a daily basis, even for brick-and-mortar schools.
And with the right technology, evaluating eLearning teachers can be an easy task: Administrators are able to gauge teachers and enter every classroom without actually being there. From a web-based platform, they’re able to dialogue with teachers about their goals, needs, and next steps, and pinpoint problems and opportunities early; particularly which teachers are prepared, and which aren’t.
On the flip side, teachers always know exactly where they stand, and are able to ask for help and clarify next steps on the fly, avoiding misunderstandings and needless paperwork.
“It’s important to equip teachers, students, and administrators with the technology they need”, says Downs, stressing that ongoing feedback is crucial to eLearning environments. “Having evaluation technology has enabled us to have a two-way conversation with teachers, which improves teacher performance and ultimately benefits the students.”
The old adage is true: You can’t manage what you don’t measure. But in an eLearning environment, you can do neither without feedback that’s ongoing, personal, and free of time and space constraints.
It’s 2015, after all. Your teacher evaluation tools should add time back into your work schedule, not drain it. If that’s not what you’re experiencing now, consider a web-based, two-way performance evaluation technology. Your teachers and students will be better for it.