Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who Says a Snow Day Means Not Having Class??

Just because the weather outside is frightful does not mean that education can't still be delightful.  The age of 21st Century education and learning allows education to continue even when school is closed.  How might you ask?  Well, here are just some ideas to get your mind flowing...especially those teachers who have AP kids and are on a strict schedule.

With it being winter for the majority of the United States and talks of snow days and snow storms, I thought this would be an appropriate post for today.

1.) If you have a Facebook page, you can still "hand-out" assignments to your students via Facebook, and they could still "hand them in" by attaching in a message or providing a link.

2.) If you have a Classroom Twitter account, you could still share assignments and links to readings for students to complete over the snow day.

3.) Want to teach from your computer, use a site like Join.me and share your screen with your students.  Be an easy way to explain math problems in a step by step process or share a document they don't have access to.

4.) Upload a PowerPoint to Slideshare or add the slides to a Prezi so that students have access to notes and a lesson if needed for a quiz or test when they get back to school.

5.) Use TitanPad or TodaysMeet and have a backchannel chat with your students over a topic you are discussing in class.

6.) Use the site JustPaste.it to share a Word document that you want students to use or answer questions.  I always made any worksheets using Word, and with this site you have the ability to upload the Word Document and it will maintain the formatting.  You can then create a URL to share with students.

7.) Use your email and send students a text message to their phones to let them know you have a new assignment/project posted to your website.  See my blog post about sending text messages from email.

8.) Embed a video from YouTube or link to an article and have students use a site like Wallwisher to discuss the video.  Or have them type a response in JustPaste.it and share the URL.  Make sure to approve messages first before posting!

9.) Plan ahead, have students know that they will always have a free writing assignment to do.  Provide them a list and tell them to choose a topic each snow day, or designate numerical order for each snow day.

10.) Math teachers, use Twiddla and plan a time to meet with students online to go over math assignments, problems, homework, etc.

I always hear teachers say that kids think because they have a snow day that work assigned before the snow days is not due when they come back to school.  If you set the expectation that work is to continue over snow days, then the problem will take care of itself.  If students know that they will still have work over snow days, then it will definitely take care of itself.

If you have students that don't have access to the Internet, then you can ignore these.  This is just something for us all to think about.  How is the landscape of education changing?  Because this was never a possibility just FIVE years ago.
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