I will honestly admit that I was overjoyed on Wednesday to look out my bedroom window and see...well...nothing. I was overjoyed to turn on the TV (thank goodness I still had power) and find that George Mason was closed. I enjoyed sitting on my couch, listening to the 40 mile per hour wind gusts, finishing the TLA course, and updating our class wikis. This was much easier than writing our wiki articles together in the classroom. I could rest assured that anything I missed would be added to later on, anything that was irrelevant would be removed, and I could temporarily suspend my type-A tendencies and rely on my classmates to fact-check everything I posted.
Snowmeggedon has been a lovely week. While many find it overwhelmingly monotonous to be confined at home, I have been thoroughly enjoying the experience. I've been immensely productive, yet much less stressed in the midst of that productivity. I've been seriously thinking that if I could only teach from the comfort of my "reading room", or from an inconspicuous corner in Panera Bread, well, that would be the life.
With the advent of online learning that future may not be far off. For now I'm beginning to think about the potential value of wikis in high school education - especially after losing a week of instructional time. In all likelihood it will be another 100 years before Virginia again has the kind of winter than makes distance learning imperative. In the meantime, I'm toying with the idea of implementing a Wiki-based review for AP US History. For the past two years I have been trying to find effective strategies for AP review but have not been completely satisfied. I am mulling over some thoughts about setting up a Wiki before spring break and giving students a calendar of responsibilities in much the same way as we've had in ITS class. In this manner review can begin to happen outside of class long before it starts in class.