‘Remote school’ replaces snow day

Snow days? That’s so 20th century. When ice and snow closed the roads in Gainesville, Georgia, Lakeview Academy offered “remote school” classes.

Some teachers provided lessons to snowbound students in real time, said Connie White, the academy’s technology director. Teachers can use Moodle, a free web application that allows them to post content to online forums, as well as DyKnow, which allows teachers to make interactive whiteboards.

“It’s like being at school but in a blended environment,” White said. “They can hear the teacher and follow along with slides.”

The private school provides laptops to middle and high school students.

Seventh-grader Katie White said her studies included an online quiz on static electricity and a digital history lesson on World War II. She devoted the rest of her afternoon to playing in the snow.

Via Center for Education Reform’s Newswire.

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  1. What a wonderful idea! But wait….. ummmm…. that one little caveat, “the private school provides laptop computers to middle and high school students.” Now, if those of us in the world of public education could just do the same.

  2. Nancy Hudak says:

    Maine does provide laptops for 7th and 8th graders, so this idea might work in those grade levels. However, one has to think that this school typically uses remote classrooms for one reason or another anyway. Georgia is not known for having snow days.

  3. Mike in Texas says:

    I’m sure that kids all over were glued to their computers to do their school work and not on Facebook, IMing or looking at who knows what (actually I do know but would prefer not to say)

  4. As I know kids that attend this school, I can validate that there were times they were not focused on their school work… they are teenagers after all. Seems to me that happens in the classroom even without computers.

    I also know the regulations the school has for the laptops and if any of them were pursuing inappropriate sites, they’ll be punished for it. A friend’s son experienced that punishment first hand in the fall. The remote school concept had never actually been put into use and I’m sure additionally policies will be implemented as they review the results.

    In the near future this idea isn’t an option for public schools… even if you provide them with laptops, where I live there is no guarantee they can access a high speed connection that would be necessary. (In areas where the infrastructure is in place you still have to financially underwrite a plan for universal access.) However, trials like this from private schools can provide useful data (if not analogous application) that open up the practical expansion of technology in public schools.