While this disruptive innovation was taking shape, colleges and universities also were using online learning to avoid a disruption to the learning process as hundreds of schools closed temporarily amid swine-flu outbreaks on campus.

As the H1N1 virus spread throughout the country, federal officials talked about the important role technology could play in keeping lessons going, even if schools were forced to shut down or students had to stay home for an extended period of time—giving rise to the term “continuity of learning.”

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