The U.S. Department of Education recently released new recommendations regarding schools’ continuity of instruction policies in anticipation of flu season, many of which hinge on using technology to deliver education. Along with sending home hard-copy packets of information with students in case of a flu outbreak, the document suggests making use of online materials and content, using conference calls and webinars to hold off-site lessons, and recording class meetings with audio and visual equipment to be viewed later.
In addition, the Department of Ed has asked Curriki—an open-source online repository of free curricular materials from commercial vendors, government and professional organizations, and educators—to establish a continuity of learning plan as part of a nationwide readiness initiative. In response, Curriki has pulled together information and resources designed to help schools, districts, and states get prepared for flu-related school closures.
Back in May, my colleague Michelle Davis and I wrote a story about technology’s role in providing continuity of education in light of the swine flu outbreak. In that story, as well as in light of recent events, it’s clear that online learning and the Internet can make a big difference in helping students keep up with schoolwork even when school doors are closed. Check out more information regarding the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, from the Department of Ed here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.