• Academic Technology

Snow Day? Polar Vortex? Keep Class in Session.

The first polar vortex of 2019 is upon us. For much of the country, the polar vortex is keeping everyone indoors and at home.

With record high snowfalls in some regions and record low temperatures in others, snow day policies and syllabi alike are being disrupted leaving educators and administrators with a challenge: how to keep school in session while keeping students safe in icy conditions?

There is an answer – and it starts with the little circular lens right at the top of every educator’s laptop and smartphone.


Video has already become central to universities around the globe, capturing lectures, flipping classrooms, enhancing student practice and projects – and for more and more schools, it’s become a way to keep class in session even when campus is closed.

Don’t take our word for it. Just last week the New York Times covered the trend in a feature piece, Snow Day? That’s Great. Now Log In. Get to Class.

There’s almost no limit to how your teachers can use video to keep class in session. Popular options include:

  • Flipped classrooms – teachers record short videos introducing the day’s assignment. That assignment can then be discussed in class once school reopens. Flipped classrooms are a great way to let students take in information at their own pace, and to shift the focus of the classroom from lecture to conversation.

  • Remote lectures – teachers can simply record themselves presenting the lecture they had planned for the day, and sharing with students to review. Panopto even enables teachers to record both themselves and their presentation slides to better maintain the in-class experience.

  • Student video – for those teachers fortunate enough to be able to use the weather in the day’s lesson plan, you can encourage students to record their own video – from experiments with melting or falling snow to weather-themed creative writing and presentations – or more traditional assignments, as well.

The best part about video is that it’s easy. Just point and shoot with a smartphone or a laptop webcam and share the file with your students. If your school has a video library like Panopto, uploading and sharing video can be as easy as clicking a mouse.

Schools around the world rely on video and Panopto to make classes available even when students can’t attend. From Creighton and Eastern Michigan to Northwest University and  The University of Birmingham or hundreds of others, universities have found video is ideal for keeping students connected and learning, even when weather, security, illness, or any number of other problems would conspire to force a day off.

Video can help you keep class in session – even when the campus is closed.

Looking for a platform that can help you make video in the classroom easy – before the next Polar Vortex comes along? Try Panopto free!