School districts looking into 'virtual snow days' for students - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

School districts looking into 'virtual snow days' for students

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Just like some of you stayed off the roads and worked from home Monday, in some school districts, snow means virtual learning. Kids log onto computers at home, get their assignments and work all day, and it counts as if they were in the classroom.

This winter, school districts in Ohio, New Jersey and Indiana are trying out "virtual snow days."   Kids logged on from home, when they'd normally have the day off. 

"The results came back pretty favorably, that this is something that's doable and something that can work, and it's certainly something that we were open to," said Ohio superintendent Tom Hosler.

You'd think most of the kids just want a day off; surprisingly, a lot of them say they'd rather just keep working and not have to make up the days later.

"I think in some cases, it's a good idea, instead of us missing and having to come in over spring break," said one student.

"I think most kids actually will do it, considering they put in a rule: if you don't do the work, it will go in as an absence," said another student.

Many of the school districts already give their students laptops. Critics say virtual snow days wouldn't work for kids without home computers, the internet  or parental support, but others think it's worth a try.

"We have kids who are online every day doing assignments and doing work that require them to go to the internet for it," said Indiana Superintendent Dr. Stacy Humbaugh. "It's just the whole concept that they don't have to be inside the school to be able to complete those assignments."

Hosler says his main concern is quality. He'd want to make sure the lessons met the standard of an actual school day, but that doesn't mean he's not open to the idea.

"Learning can happen in other ways and other places, and as educators, I think we need to start looking toward that model more than we do," said Hosler.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

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