The term “Snow Day” incites memories of school days spent at home, in pajamas, watching hour after hour of cartoons. Now, it sounds as though these nostalgic Snow Days may soon be endangered and eventually forced to become a thing of the past.
Each year, several school districts lose multiple school days to treacherous weather. As a result, many school districts tack on addition school days to the end of the school year. The added days make up for lost Snow Days.
School districts can combat this by providing e-lessons. If the school district supplies tablets or laptops, the students should easily be able to hop online to their e-classroom. A prepared lesson can be completed to suffice for the traditional school day.
Though this solution provides a much-needed answer to this significant issue, no answer is without flaw.
Pros of E-Lessons Instead of Snow Days:
No school days tacked onto the end of the school year - Only a small percentage of students attend the days that are added onto the end of a school year to supplement for snow days. If e-school days are implemented, there is no longer a need to add on days to the end of the school year. I think it’s safe to say: this makes everyone happy.
No time lost – Students have instant access to e-lessons via their school-provided tablets or laptops. If a snow day is announced, students can hop online right away.
No Internet access needed … maybe – To supplement for the possibility of student that do not have internet access at home, some schools have permitted students to download assignments ahead of time, during school hours. Students are prepared and ready to-go when snow days hit.
Cons of E-Lessons Instead of Snow Days:
Cost – In 2018, the Anderson County school district in South Carolina spent $11 million dollars on Chromebooks for its entire school body. That’s a huge cost! As you may imagine, there would be several school districts - possibly even entire states – unable to afford the tech tools necessary to participate in the program.
Internet access is ideal – For the program to work to its fullest potential, internet access is needed. Using the school-provided tablet or laptop, student can complete recently-uploaded lessons. With internet access ensured, teachers would be able to make live changes. Without internet access, schools are left figuring out creative ways to supplement for the lack of an internet connection. Let’s not forget the nationwide rural communities that do not have internet access, or the quality internet needed to access school materials.
The outliers – Despite all the solutions this program proposes answers for, there will still be students that cannot complete the online lessons. This could be due to a poor home environment, lack of internet access or a host of other reasons. Hopefully, schools will figure out a way to suffice for this inescapable issue.