As I write this post, most of the school districts in our area are out for a "snow day." We have already been out for three days and it looks like we probably won't have students at school tomorrow either. Both teachers and students like "snow days" at first but what we don't like is having to come on a Saturday or losing some of our break to make these days up. I'm wondering in this day and age why we even bother to reschedule classes that are canceled.
With the advent of the internet and web 2.0 tools, is there even a reason to reschedule a day that has been missed because of weather? Couldn't we and shouldn't we be able to place assignments on classroom websites and let students work on these assignments at times that fit their schedules? We could post videos to youtube, have discussions on edmodo, and twitter and text our students all from the comforts of our homes and the students could respond in kind from their homes.
Many schools have virtual learning environments already at use. What would make these "snow days" any different from what a student does in a virtual class with an instructor that is many miles away? Schools could save money by not running buses to make up for the missed days and students and teachers would both benefit by the ability to get work done on these days. Isn't it about time we begin to question why we do things the way we do them? Isn't is about time that districts have the courage to try and challenge the idea of "seat time?" Learning can take place at any time these days and we should begin to acknowledge that.