Last night, we had a massive storm system pass through Nashville, and it knocked out the power at my school. Initially, the administration planned on a 10:00 am opening with shortened blocks. By 9:30 the power was still not restored, so classes were cancelled for the entire day.
For me and my students, this was not a problem. I had uploaded screencasts covering content for all of my courses for the next two weeks. I simply emailed my students and told them to work on the problems that I had assigned for today, then watch the next screencast. They will come to school tomorrow ready to work on the scheduled assignment, as if we had never missed a day of school. I’ll answer any questions on the problems they worked on at home, but we should stay on track with the syllabus.
It is so easy to record a screencast now (www.screencast-o-matic.com), or create an asynchronous dialogue with your students (www.voicethread.com), there is no excuse for any class to fall behind a scheduled syllabus. Embrace the tools available, and be the most effective teacher you can be, even if classes are cancelled!