Swine Flu Could Necessitate E-learning

As students return to class for the fall semester, colleges and K-12 schools across the country are already seeing spikes in the number of students with suspected cases of the H1N1 virus. With serious concerns about campus closures and school interruptions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education last week released guidance for school leaders on monitoring and dealing with the situation.

Near Washington, D.C., administrators at a range of schools and systems, including George Washington University, Northern Virginia Community Colleges, and Fairfax County Public Schools, are among those actively preparing to use technology to help keep teaching and learning going even if a significant number of students cannot attend class in person or if classes are canceled for a significant period of time.

Many of these schools already use year-round e-learning, enabling students to take tests and quizzes, turn in homework assignments, review materials and communicate with each other online. In some cases, schools are now working to make sure that students, teachers and faculty are prepared to go fully online with classes and class assignments to ensure a smooth transition in case of a closure. Along the way, some of these schools are also using mass notification technologies to quickly get the word out to their school communities through voice, text and e-mail messages so that students, parents and staff can be informed and aware about schedules and preparation plans.

As students return to class for the fall semester, colleges and K-12 schools across the country are already seeing spikes in the number of students with suspected cases of the H1N1 virus. With serious concerns about campus closures and school interruptions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education last week released guidance for school leaders on monitoring and dealing with the situation.

Near Washington, D.C., administrators at a range of schools and systems, including George Washington University, Northern Virginia Community Colleges, and Fairfax County Public Schools, are among those actively preparing to use technology to help keep teaching and learning going even if a significant number of students cannot attend class in person or if classes are canceled for a significant period of time.

Many of these schools already use year-round e-learning, enabling students to take tests and quizzes, turn in homework assignments, review materials and communicate with each other online. In some cases, schools are now working to make sure that students, teachers and faculty are prepared to go fully online with classes and class assignments to ensure a smooth transition in case of a closure. Along the way, some of these schools are also using mass notification technologies to quickly get the word out to their school communities through voice, text and e-mail messages so that students, parents and staff can be informed and aware about schedules and preparation plans.

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