Virtual Education: It’s just not the same.

Virtual Education: It’s just not the same.

As our team at iCreate is growing, we are becoming less virtual and it’s amazing how much more effective we are as a group when we can be with each other physically, interacting in-person beyond just email and phone.  It’s also just a lot more fun.

This first hand experience of being mostly virtual at the beginning, and then coming together in one physical location fuels my intuition that the same dynamic exists in education.

The more recent push for classrooms – both K12 and higher ed – to be virtual, online, remote – has always had me skeptical of just HOW effective this can be for improving education.  There’s so much to gain with face-to-face interaction, whether it’s peer to peer or teacher to student.

If education goes entirely or mostly virtual, how can we teach kids the invaluable interpersonal skills that are inherently learned outside of a curriculum by simply being in one physical room together?

How will students learn to read expressions and develop an acute level of emotional intelligence if they are watching a screen, scrolling through online tutorials, interacting with just a computer?  Sure there are cost savings to an online/virtual classroom model – but these are short term savings.

In the long run students will grow to adults that lack the abilities to be present with each other and interact and collaborate in a way that’s productive and fosters innovation.  What costs are we saving if we don’t foster innovation, after all?

 

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