Two Tech Pieces Endangering Snow Days

For children, snow usually sparks feelings of wonder, awe and jubilation. Not only is it fun, but the natural beauty can cause one of the most joyous unplanned occasions for children: the Snow Day.

 

 

Unfortunately for today’s children, snow days may become a thing of the past thanks to technological advances. This Two for Tuesday, we’re highlighting two pieces of technology cramping the snow day style.

 

Web Conferencing 

Video conferencing, from Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts to WebEx and MegaMeeting, has become increasingly popular in recent years, and they’re starting to gain some traction in the classroom. Not only are colleges, such as Boston University’s Graduate School of Medicine, banking on web conferencing software in the event of extreme winter weather, but high schools and elementary schools are also incorporating the tools into their winter arsenal.  Gibault High School–a Catholic school in Waterloo, Illinois–introduced their E-learning day earlier this year. Students and teachers did a literal dry-run with a snow day simulation, and the E-learning day was a success with both students and teachers alike. While an E-learning day might sound like a total drag at first, students claimed that they were still able to get their work done and have time to enjoy the snow; perhaps technology is giving students and faculty the best of both worlds because E-learning days keep the administration from extending the school year into the summer.

Tablets

Textbooks are out and tablets are in. Not only do tablets cut down on textbook costs and save paper by eliminating hard-copy assignments in the long run, but they offer much more to students as a learning tool… and a snow day (typically) won’t stop them. In New Hampshire, the Sau 13 school district introduced Kuno tablets–an education-specific Android tablet–to their students in October. The benefits of the Kuno table is students can complete their work even if they don’t have access to the Internet at home. Sau 13 is looking into approving blizzard bag days so that they can continue safely educating students during the winter–eliminating disruptive snow days. While the students learn at home, the teachers also have to be available to answer questions and help with work. As long as 80% o of the student body signs into class and turns in their work, the district does not have to make up a snow day at the end of the year.

The real question here is would kids rather play in the snow and remain in school for a few days in the summer or work through their snow days and get out before June? Too bad, they’re not the ones calling the snow day shots.

 

Cover Photo Source: V. J. Matthew

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.