Monkseaton High School, Tyne and Wear are one of the many schools across the UK to have been badly hit by the weather. For them it was worse than just another snow day. Their building suffered, resulting in the three of its 100 roof panels becoming distorted - allowing water to come through and damage many of the school’s computers (You can see the report about this on the North Tyneside Council website)
Of course the school has been closed whilst repairs are being made. Thousands of the schools and colleges in the country have had to also close, disrupting learning. Through innovative thinking, Monkseaton has been able to use their new IT systems to continue personalise learning, keeping students and parents informed, and continue teaching by sending out school work via e-mail and their web site
As a result, the number of students accessing the school website has increased dramatically in the last couple of days. It’s a great demonstration of how IT can support learning to continue outside of the classroom in any situation.
Hopefully the bad weather won’t last for too much longer although if it does, Monkseaton can continue to work around the problem and teach outside of the classroom on the next snow day.
In my experience those hits on a school website during snow days are not students accessing work but actually parents checking the school is closed. We have a main school website and a separate VLE hosted indifferent places. Our VLE was down no one noticed. Our school website, which has snow updates on had a 1500% increase in traffic. Going by traffic alone is not a good indicator of students working, especially when most of them were out sledging.
Getting teaching staff who are not at all comfortable with technology to "send work by email" and retrieve it again for marking is half the battle! we also have a seperate VLE and whilst it wasn't down, the staff failed to use it to set work for students who wewrn't at home anyway! our site also saw an increase in hits of around 1500% at one point it became so slow as to have virtually crached, but I agree, this was either parents checking for a closure or staff wanting the day off!