As a kid, waking up to a snow day was the ultimate goal during stormy winters. There were rituals and superstitions that spread throughout the school to increase the chances of a snow day. I remember one friend of mine swore by wearing your pajamas inside out the night before, while another always flushed an ice cube down the toilet. In the morning we would wake up and turn the news on right away, just waiting for our school district’s name to scroll across the bottom of the screen. If it did, we would go back to sleep for a few more hours before playing in the fresh snow all day.
Coming from Wisconsin, this did not happen very often for my school district. As I got older, we figured out the recipe for a snow day: an unexpected storm that started after midnight but before 3 a.m. These factors meant that the city would not be prepared enough to get the roads clear. During the past couple of months winter storms have ravaged the country. Those affected the most are from the southern regions of the country. These areas are not prepared for winter storms containing a lot of ice and snow, and so small amounts of winter weather can shut down cities.
The ways snow days are announced has changed as our ways of communicating have changed. When I was very young now days were announced on the news or through phone trees where all families in a school district had assigned families to call once they received the first call. As it became possible, snows started being announced through pre-recorded automated phone calls to each household. Then snow days were announced on the school’s webpage. More recently, schools have started using social media sites like twitter to make announcements.
For a school that would be closed on February 13th of this year, the administrators decided to get creative. They have had a lot of closing for weather recently, and so Durham Academy of North Carolina wanted to make their announcement interesting. Two administrators made the video above to announce the snow day and posted it to the academy’s Youtube account.
The video has since gone viral, with most responses positive. People out of school reflect that they wish their administrators had been that cool, and others applaud the two men’s creativity.
I think the video highlights how new media has changed how people communicate. Even more specifically, the video shows how technology advances and the resulting social changes are being incorporated into educational settings.
DurhamAcademyComm. (2014, February 12). Durham Academy Weather Announcement [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhtqjdUi0nw