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Cyber Days versus Snow Days

I saw an article come across my twitter feed just now that certainly spurred my brain. The concept has been in practice at other districts across the country and I think it really has merit and potential for us, especially being almost 1:1 across the entire district.

The concept is simple. Instead of a snow day, which has always been a mini unexpected vacation, districts and schools are turning them into remote learning days instead. You don't have to be IN school in order to ATTEND school. You can still accomplish what you had planned to cover electronically. The term that has been used is a "cyber day". In my mind, the concept is simple. As teachers, we could plan activities or assignments for the just in case. We do it already with our emergency sub plans. But instead of having the folder sitting in the back of your desk drawer where your coworkers can find it, you have it somewhere accessible to the students if school is cancelled to keep them learning. For us, the choice for a location would be obvious. You could put everything into a folder on your Google Drive and then share it with your class at the beginning of the class or have it as a link on your website. Then, when a snow day was called, the students would know to go to their computer and get their work done that way. If the student doesn't have internet, it wouldn't (necessarily) matter since they could enable offline access to that folder. With the battery life the computer have, it would even be doable if they lost power.

Obviously, like everything, there are positives and negatives to it and it would certainly have to become a change in culture to make it actually work. But I'd love to see a change in policy be that a snow day is not a day tacked on to the end of the year and is done virtually instead. It's going to be pretty toasty around here come July at the rate we're going.

To check out the article from Moodle News that spurred my thinking, click here.


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