The information superhighway.
Several schools in
"This winter is causing a lot of people to go, 'OK, we don't want kids in school till the
While other kids in the region might have been sleeping in or playing video games, students at two Catholic schools were in class even if they were still in their pajamas.
As the storm bore down Wednesday, teachers downloaded the app and told students what to expect. Each teacher set up meetings that students were expected to attend.
Students could see and hear the teachers, and they could all see the first six classmates who signed in, too.
Hoban said a science teacher conducted a Jeopardy!-style review for a test, and students could see the board and hear the answers as each one took a turn.
"It was really fun and just takes the pressure off," said Hoban, who, not surprisingly, was a businesswoman before getting into education eight years ago.
The plan worked so well that the school is thinking of expanding the online snow-day lessons to the fourth and fifth grades, with students using home computers if there is another emergency.
On Thursday, teachers posted assignments by
Since early feedback was good, Brannick said, they decided to cancel Monday's
Brannick said they still needed to evaluate participation rates, but parents whom he heard from were happy with the arrangement, and students "really jumped in and engaged in it, although they didn't expect it to be the amount of work they received," he said.
"The concern is if all students would have access to the necessary hardware and software, what provisions are made for students with disabilities, and whether there is an integrated approach to providing cyber instruction for all subjects on short notice," he wrote in an e-mail.
Among the schools in
He said Hurricane Sandy got him wondering whether students could use the technology to stay in school in the event of another emergency.
When it looked as if schools would almost certainly be closed on Thursday, Gunderson sent word to teachers to prepare for a digital day. He also petitioned state education officials to count it as one of their 180 days. State officials said they would look into it.
"There was a lot of energy about it. I was really excited that there were so many people with a positive vibe," Gunderson said.
Some teachers made videos of themselves giving instructions, while students "were working on everything from Twitter to googledocs to learning management systems to old-fashioned e-mailing their teachers," he said.
"Everybody was commenting that it was a lot of work to do that day. Students were working just as hard or harder than they do in school," Gunderson said.
Monday was easier just because she had gotten the hang of, well, hanging out at home while still going to school. And it was better than the alternative.
"In spring and at the end of the year," she said, "we're not going to be in school."
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