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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snowbound but still learning

Brrrr.  Day #4 of our Kentuckiana snowmaggedon.  In Shelby County, we announced today's closing with some flair:

Here's a fun fact: Kentucky is "the first state to tackle the problem on a statewide basis," and several districts are piloting snowbound learning days.  When a snow day occurs, students know to log in and get their assignments.  (For those with tech equity issues, a "hard copy" packet is provided before the expected snow day or provided to the student when they return.)  The big question, of course, is: will they do it?  As always, students are willing to meet and exceed expectations.   I actually wonder if students prefer the personalized, individual, comfortable learning they can achieve at home rather than the desks in a row, bell-driven experience that occurs for most of our schools. (I think I can guess the answer.) How can we replicate that experience inside our schools?  (For further reading, Kentucky's pilot program is detailed in this national news story, and another article discusses how Lawrence County uses Google Classroom to make "no school" into "snow school.")

Here in Shelby County, several of our teachers and principals are using Twitter to communicate assignments, expectations and/or use of technology to continue learning at home.  Here is a sampling:

Whenever we return to the brick-and-mortar buildings (tomorrow? Monday?  April 24th???), I hope that we continue to find innovative ways to blur the boundaries of where and when learning can occur.  Until then, stay warm inside your igloos and be careful on the roads!

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