Joe's Blog

Heads Up, Students

Probably not what your kids want to hear after the weather we’ve been having, but lazy snow days are about to be a thing of the past.

Great news for parents, right?

During the never-ending barrage of fat, dense snowflakes we’ve seen over and over the past few weeks, we imagine your family has looked a lot like several of ours – kids with faces pressed up against windows, cheering loudly, while we groan internally, wondering how we are going to manage one, two, or three days of rambunctious kids and working from home.

At Zanola, we have tools such as Smartsheet and Evernote to keep us connected no matter where our workspace exists that day. Working from home, as many of you know, demands focus and time management to juggle work, family, and home management all at once. Students, meanwhile, don’t usually hone these skills until they’re off to college.

… until now. This recent article in CNN explored an experimental “virtual classroom” that was tested out in various schools in the northeast and Atlanta during the past few months of rough weather.

Schools pretty quickly ran out of snow days this winter, and in an effort to avoid cutting spring breaks short or avoiding Saturday school (or the year extending into July), teachers and administrators are instead looking in to teaching through virtual classrooms, where students are given a reading, video, and online discussion (both through internal discussion boards and social media). The result was a surprising success, and is developing a model that more schools are sure to follow.

It’s never too early to learn time management. As more schools pick up the virtual classroom idea during inclement weather closings, we are sure that it will add another dimension to our students’ abilities and personalities. We’re excited to see how this experiment will impact the continuity of education in the future.

By Rachel Ballard