PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – It seems like almost every other day there are multiple school delays and closings.
One local high school is turning snow days into opportunity. Quigley Catholic has for the past few years instituted “cyber-days,” where students work from home on their computers. How does it work?
The teachers post their lessons online, says Mitch Yanyanin, Athletic director and Technology Coordinator of Quigley Catholic High School. They have a website that isn’t accessible unless there’s a cyber-day — then students can log on, usually by 8 a.m.
They then go to their teacher’s specific site for the day’s lesson.
“The lessons may be readings, written exercises, YouTube videos [or] TED Talks,” Yanyanin said.
In addition, “if a student has a question, they can post it on a public discussion board for that particular teacher. Another student in the class can answer the question, or the teacher can post a response.”
The student can also send the teacher a private message through email if they want. The class is more or less in real time, with, “lag times about five to 10 minutes.”
The students need to email the school secretary by a certain time. If they are late, “the secretary calls their home just like they would on a regular day of school and speaks to their parents,” says Yanyanin.
Also the students have a deadline to finish their work, which is at 2:30 p.m. when the school day is over. After that, the website is shut down.
Yanyanin says they, “started it 5 years ago”, so the students that are there now have always had cyber days.
He adds the last time they had a “cyber-day” they only had, “5 students who had not come to school”.
Yanyanin says there is another advantage. Their students come from a large area so when weather was bad, “we may have a third of our students who weren’t in class because the roads were poor” — which is less constructive than having a cyber-day Yanyanin says.