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While the web is connected learning, the classroom is distance learning

June 28,2011 by: admin

While some of the opponents lament about the isolation or the distancing that is caused by the web, the educators state that the web actually helps in reconnecting us with nature which is a holistic approach to learning. In fact, the web helps in bringing us closer to the way humans had learned for centuries prior to the print disruption which had truly created isolation and distancing for five centuries.

Starting from the first tools made of stones to their first clothing, humans had always augmented these skills with technologies so much so, that our entire civilizations are so structured that we live cocooned in our technologies such as our cars, homes, clothing, infrastructure, as well as the language that we have developed. These technologies keep us insulated from our reality, keeping us cooler or warmer when compared to the atmosphere. But the isolation also happens with the use of language. Although we think of language as a tool to connect, it may also lead to distancing, or avoidance of physical combat with the use of negotiation skills. It may even cause separation from one another. So, when we consider all of these technologies that we humans use in our daily lives, one can easily understand the meaning of the phrase ‘what we make, makes us.’

In the same way, with regard to education also we could say that ‘what we adopted, designed us.’ For instance, studying how adults learn – here college students will have to be considered as adults with regard to their learning capabilities such as point to experience or the real experience like actually going out to see the birds instead of looking at some picture in the book, and this could be the example where the learning begins. The researchers who have around 30 years of experience state that a person develops certain perceptions over a period of time and these perceptions may in turn be formed into a more discipline-specific conception by taking help the help of an expert. Formal education creates distances for students as they cannot experience reality and their learning begins not in the field but more at a conceptual level.

This is exactly how a classroom could be correctly viewed as distance education. In spite of all the positive things that happen in a classroom session such as discussions, bonding, group work etc., most often classrooms cannot afford to give the real experience while imparting learning.

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