It never ceases to amaze me the role that technology plays in education and the acquisition of new skills. For example, yesterday was a snow day, despite the fact that my daughter didn’t have school and I wasn’t teaching in a typical classroom setting there was tons of learning occurring in my house.
While I was lesson planning in Google Drive, creating new ASSISTments for a PD session, and attending 3DGameLab camp on video game design, my 8 year old was asking for more practice work in Khan Academy and learning about computers on Discovery Kids Puterbugs. Even today with a sick day for one of my kiddos I’ll still be working from home and as she feels better I am sure there will be Khan and Puterbugs in her future. Yet, this independent learning and working from home still hasn’t permeated the walls of most educational institutions. The change process in education seems as though it plugs along at such a slow pace that it is always behind the needs of society.
Maybe it doesn’t need to be a snow day where it counts as a missed day of school. These days could be educational opportunities for digital learning. However, with parts of the country still without internet access, the digital divide impedes this as an option in rural communities. Certainly, this is an option that could be explored more in the future. Think of the financial savings of this day not being added to the end of the year. One less day that the school busses need to run. One less day the lights need to be on in the classroom. Just because we are not in the physical four walls of a brick and mortar school doesn’t means that learning can’t occur. Even at the elementary level this is a possibility with the right supports for teacher professional development and technology resources in place.