One of the biggest promises—or some would say threats—of flipped classroom/blended learning school strategies in winters past was the death of the snow day. These legendary insta-vacations were to be replaced with “cyber days,” where students would keep pace with their studies online at home. Goodbye snowmen and hot chocolate and hello MOOCs and remote check-ins!
A cursory glance at the Tech & Learning newsfeeds this winter suggests that transformation has been more hype than hope. The only mention we could find was schools deciding not to partake in e-learning days. According to the Rhode Island Providence Journal, not a single school took advantage of a new state law that offers virtual instruction during snow days or other emergencies. The reason? Reality. Reporter Linda Borg writes: “The language in teacher contracts is clear: teachers work 180 days plus professional development days. When you have kids doing assignments online, how are teachers going to be compensated and held accountable?”
While it’s fair to say that the editors here at Tech & Learning are biased toward the use of edtech, we also like to keep it real. In “Adapting to the New Classroom”, contributor Sascha Zuger digs in deep to find out how several schools have implemented new technologies to achieve real results. Notice the lack of exclamation points in the piece. Building collaboration amongst students, improving graduation rates, and standardizing assessment plans aren’t the sexiest of subjects, but we believe you may find them most important.
— Kevin Hogan
Managing Director, Content