- Posted December 10, 2013 by
Washington, District of Columbia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Wintry weather 2014
Could This Be the End of Snow Days?!
Ok, enough of the dramatics. You are probably wondering what I’m talking about.
Yesterday was a snow day for kids in the Washington DC area. Of course the announcement the night before led to an eruption of joy, screaming, and a social media frenzy. Updates were posted on every social network and met with joyous responses from friends. It was a snow day! A day off! A day to hang out in the house in your pajamas, drink hot chocolate, and just relax.
Then it happened.
My oldest daughter, who is a junior in high school, alerted me to an email she received. She then stated the words that may ultimately knock Earth off its axis.
“Daddy, I need to get online at 3:30 for math.”
Those 10 simple words standing on their own are rather innocent. Yet, when taken together and in context, they are cataclysmic.
At 3:30 we started to go through the steps to “get online for math”. Once we finally conquered all the tasks required, the teacher was starting up the day’s lesson. School was out, but CLASS WAS IN!
So there my daughter sat, engaged in the class via the power of the virtual world. The teacher was writing on the screen and my daughter was furiously keeping notes. The teacher was asking questions and receiving answers via the chat window. CLASS WAS IN!
Think about the ramifications here folks. The sanctity of a snow day is no longer safe. The pure innocence and unabridged joy of escaping just one day from the scheduled daily grind was eroding with each passing minute on her laptop.
I’ve talked a lot about the beauty of online tools, the virtual environment, and how it can really transform education. However, with many things in life, anything good, can also have a bad side.
What happens when adults aren’t able to get into the office due to inclement weather? They typically work from home (WFH) and don’t miss a beat. In fact, WFH has become so commonplace that some employers are turning it into status quo. What happened yesterday means kids now have the ability to WFH. Oh the humanity!
What if this becomes the norm? What if instead of an announcement on the news stating school is closed, they say students are to WFH today following a normal schedule? Students will be expected to get online and attend class just as if they were physically at the school. Teachers would get online and lead a lesson from their home computer. No longer would kids (and teachers) look forward to these unique experiences. Snow days, my friends, would be gone forever!
I don’t think we have much of a choice either. This was just one class, one teacher. It will spread. In a few years, it will probably become the norm. The technology behind it will continue to improve and full video interaction will ultimately be implemented. The kids of the next generation are screwed.
Parents, take advantage now. Enjoy snow days with your kids like never before. They are soon to be gone forever.