Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Distance Learning and Snow

One of the big advantages of distance learning is not having to slide into the parking lot on campus, only to discover that your class has been canceled because the professor couldn't get out of his/her driveway due to the snow. You could say that snow really only affects online classes when it's snowed so hard that the server goes down (repair people can't get in, frozen pipes flood the server room, an ice age happens and glaciers cover the state--you get the picture). So why am I talking about snow?

While the classes aren't directly affected if the university closes for bad weather, services are. The library closes when the campus closes, so we won't be here to answer your calls. I do try and check email from home, but it's not always possible (my home computer crashed this weekend--and there aren't any handy tech people to give me a loaner at home!) However, there isn't much I can actually do at home--I can't reset your Library PIN, I can't do anything if a database goes down, etc. I can, and will, give advice on searching and alternative sources of information if you are having access trouble. So, when in doubt, email me if you can't get anyone on the phone at the library. No guarantees, but I'll try.

The University Snow Line (closings due to bad weather) is 203-392-SNOW (or -7669). If that line announces closings or delays for campus, figure the library will also be closed or delayed. You could also call the Circulation Desk, 203-392-5756, which is the desk that will always be staffed if the library is open. Normal closings, holidays, etc., are listed on the Library Hours page, http://library.scsu.ctstateu.edu/hours.html and can be checked on the Library Information Line (automated, select-the-number-for-your-choice), 203-392-5750.

Students: don't forget that online faculty may also be affected by closings, since many faculty may prefer (or need) to access online classes on campus with the institutional Internet connection.

So, enjoy the winter weather (for all in the Northern Hemisphere) and be glad that you don't have to brave the weather to go to class!


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