Snow wreaked havoc across the east coast this past winter. In Washington, DC, for example, school buildings shut down repeatedly because of snow; there was no reason, however, that students’ education—and learning more specifically—had to shut down, too.
Schools should be using online learning to allow students to continue to learn from their peers and teachers even when they cannot be in a physical classroom. Districts in such places as New Hampshire have adopted this solution so that students, teachers and schools do not lose valuable learning days during the winter. And countries such as Singapore have been ready with online learning solutions for several years to maintain continuity of learning in the event disaster strikes.
Given the affordable technology that exists, there is no reason that any school should be less prepared or their students set further behind. In the Washington, DC, area, according to this article in The Washington Post, some innovative teachers kept the learning going for their students—but judging from the piece, this was very much an ad hoc solution, not something with some deeper thought that was system-wide. That needs to change.
– Michael B. Horn