I have been teaching online courses since 2001 through Connecticut’s college distance learning program. Online learning is effective for what I’ll call “check the box” learning. There is no difference between writing papers and doing homework assignments online or in person. Basic mastery is possible for most subjects.
But even as an early proponent of online learning, as I served as a consultant for several large online learning companies, I noted that “human energy is irreplaceable.” That quote was in the now-defunct, E-Learning Magazine in 2002 and received both a lot of supporters and detractors for my candor.
As the onslaught of tech permeated our world, we have become a society with a lot more information but…. something… all of us over 40 know is missing. The in-person human connectedness that has been the best part of humanity throughout its history has been cut down significantly. I’m generally a future-oriented, technological enthusiast so I’ll spare the lecture about tech being “bad” but rather simply observe that the excessive use of tech has had overall negative effects on our school-age children.
Over the next few weeks – as your children stay home – we hope we can provide one outlet for in-person education, even if we do so with Skype/Facetime, or in our offices where we normally sit at least 6 feet away and always use plenty of hand sanitizer.