To the editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. Barnes' letter concerning e-Learning Day. I started teaching 43 years ago. Over my many years of education, I have made numerous adjustments to my teaching methodologies as technology has advanced.

Being an "old-school" teacher, I was very skeptical about the e-Learning. Teaching a regular biology course, my first thoughts were, "These students won't get anything done. It will just be a wasted day." Much to my pleasant surprise, 80 percent of my students completed their e-Learning assignments. That was a far better homework completion rate than I usually get on a regular basis in the traditional classroom setting.

As adults, we must realize that students today are digital learners and that their workplace will be even more computerized than it is for us. As educators, we have to prepare students for the future. More than the content of our classes, with the e-Learning days, we are training students to complete virtual assignments in a set amount of time. This is what our students will be facing in their post-secondary education and in their careers. If we can teach students that type of discipline and send them from Madison Consolidated Schools with that skill, then we have given them a great tool for success.

I understand Mr. Barnes frustration with the access to the assigned websites, but many of these sites are not constructed for so many "hits" at once. Let me assure him that teachers of this corporation spent hours in professional development learning to design their digital lessons. If anything can be said, it was more work for the teachers, not less.

Just think of the possibilities of e-Learning days. No more snow make-up days. Students can work from home. Upperclassmen can begin to accumulate college credits with on-line courses. Perhaps in the future local businesses could partnership with our e-learning days to design computer-based activities that would prepare students for their particular industry.

Please do not be so quick to judge. Give us a chance. This was just our first try. Things will get better.

Lynda O'Neal

Madison