SNOW DAY – the best 7 letter combination a teacher can hear (most of the time).
Since this is a mainly tech-oriented blog, I thought I’d reflect for a moment on technology has changed the time honored rituals of – will-we-or-won’t-we-have-school and the less exciting – when-will-my-street-be-plowed.
I didn’t grow up in a snow belt area, so I don’t have personal memories of how eager students and parents previously learned about the status of school on snowy mornings. I’m told that it involved tuning into the TV or radio and listening for the list the announcer shared when convenient for the broadcast. Later (and currently), the ubiquitous “crawl” at the bottom of the TV screen evolved to give constant (and repetitive) info about closings.
With websites and apps, today’s eager hunt for this radically day-changing info involves less watching and listening and more acts of hitting the “refresh screen” on the browser.
Today I was out of bed at my usual 5:15am and the first thing I saw on my iPad (which I use as my alarm clock) was a notice that Columbus City Schools were closed. This was good news, but not completely relevant b/c my children are in a different district and my school is under a separate diocese notification.
I wanted to know quickly whether I needed to continue my carefully timed “get out the door” routine or if it was a snow day and I could go back to bed. So I went to a local TV news website and saw this:
It’s not a terribly pretty site, but it’s definitely a “just the facts, ma’am” portal.
Since the list was likely to grow at the now 5:30am time mark, my waiting and nearly constant screen refreshing began. This made for an awkward time of prayer as I toggled between the reflection I read daily on my iPad and the, now two TV sites I was viewing. With each screen refresh, I eagerly scanned the list (and I’ll admit – prayed) to see if the diocese and/or my children’s district was called off.
At about 5:40, 5 minutes before I needed to move to my next step in the morning routine, BINGO! The two notifications I was seeking came up! Allowing my children to blissfully continue to sleep, by 6 am I was back in dreamland myself. Thank you technology and Mother Nature for bringing us this SNOW DAY!
Now, the question (besides how I will use this “bonus day”) is when will the streets in my neighborhood be plowed? Columbus, after taking a lot of heat for poor snow removal and communication about it last winter, has created a cool new website called Columbus Warrior Watch:
Apparently the plow Road Warriors are networked and real-time data about their progress and their plans feeds into a color-coded map. I don’t know whether it will get my street plowed more quickly (as it’s designated at the lowest priority level), but it will be another interesting map to watch on-line.
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