Most students at Jefferson probably don’t know about or remember Telelearn days and that may have been for the better. Telelearning days came to an end due to the logistical issues that it created. Current seniors were the last group of students to get to experience them.
“Telelearn days were a result of a response to a number of issues at that time where instructional time was being negatively impacted,” said Brandon Kosatka, Director of Student Services.
However, some people had conflicting views on the method of instruction and course work of Telelearn days. Senior Ansh Gandhi experienced only one Telelearn day during his freshman year.
“The thing I appreciated the most about Telelearn Days was the laid-back vibe of it. After spending hours in transit only to slog through school doing nothing but busy work, being able to be equally productive at home saved a lot of time and let students get more sleep during their dedicated commute times,” Gandhi said.
In addition, staff members, such as counselors, also benefited from the Telelearn days.
“[The counseling staff] would use those days to have students do online things like take surveys…that was a good way for us to assign something that would reach a lot more students than if you just assigned it on a regular day,” counselor Christina Ketchem said.
On the other hand, she also noted that there was a lack of regulation on work assigned on Telelearn days that made it difficult for students to manage.
“I think some kids thought [the assignments] were too hard. There were a lot of complaints about too many hours to do some of [the assignments],” Ketchem said.
The class of 2019 students experienced the most recent Telelearn day in 2015 before the program ended.
“There were a lot of issues about why it stopped, but the gist of it was logistics and if we value instruction students should be provided the instruction, not just the work,” . Kosatka said.
The question now is: Should we bring them back? We recently had a couple of snow days where Telelearning may have been applicable. However, due to the problems cited by students of unregulated course work, I would not recommend bringing them back. Teachers may still be assigning more work than is necessary or able to be done and students may feel overworked on snow days where they previously had free time. If an organized schedule and some workload regulations are put in place, then perhaps Telelearning can be brought back. As a student myself, I want to make sure that I am provided the best education while also making sure not to overwork myself. The benefit of spending time with family and friends on a snow day is more appealing to students than working on school work. Adding Telelearning days back into the school year would be an unnecessary change with more detriments than benefits.