The Ides of March have come and gone. We are more then half way through March. How did that happen? It is a short weekend for us as yesterday was a Virtual Day / P.D. (in service). It is never fun to have a shortened weekend, but as the days fly by, heading to break, it will be OK.
What is a Virtual Day and what does it entail? If something were to happen so we could not actually attend school, we need a way to continue delivering instruction. The reasons could be anything from a rain day to a flu epidemic to regional tensions or evacuation. Having the ability in theory does not mean that everyone would remember how to access what they needed in reality. So, we practice. The other benefit of Virtual Days is that they allow for a longer summer as nearly a week is delivered 'virtually' throughout the year. (One per quarter.)
The instruction can be delivered via a 'flipped classroom' model, by extending the thinking with virtual activities, or through online collaboration. I tend to use a combination. When we had a week of Virtual Days last year due to rain I video taped my math lessons. (It feels very odd to teach to an empty room, writing on the wipe board, and leaving pause time for students to think.) I also recorded audio clips so we could continue our Read Aloud. I provide them the opportunity for quizzes via Google Forms. Google Docs is how I have my students turn in anything written and how they collaborate with one another. Yesterday, for the first time, I had them doing some screen sharing with Skype. (Can't wait to hear what they thought about that!)