Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Face-to-Face Learning (Free Choice Article)

Hello Class,

I read the article "Point/Counter: Should We Let Students Opt Out of Face-to-Face Education?" by Don W. Brown and Ralph Maltese. In this a arguments for and against the value of face-to-face education is made. Face-to-face education being the traditional form of education where students and teachers together in person; this is contrasted with purely online education where student and teacher meet over the Internet. The first author, Don Brown, argues that a purely online education is sufficient and face-to-face education is unnecessary. Brown continues stating no teacher can provide the expert information the Internet can provide and social growth occurs online, just as it does the traditional face-to-face situation. The second author, Ralph Maltese takes a balanced view. He acknowledges online learning is a valuable resource, but does replace the nuance of face-to-face communication and learning experience of working with other students in person.

I agree wholeheartedly Mr. Maltese and I am little surprised by Mr. Brown's narrow-vision of K-12 education. Online learning and other recent technological additions to the traditional classroom are certainly valuable; I would never give them back or turn them away.  Online learning is limited in its social interaction and humans will likely never reach a point in our social development where face-to-face interaction and collaboration is obsolete. Working with other humans in-person is a uniquely engaging and challenging in ways that online interaction cannot with our technology replicate. Going to traditional school and meeting with, working with, dealing with others even outside of the classroom curriculum is valuable social education that cannot be completely replicated online. While some social interaction occurs online, it is a stale version of face-to-face communication  Online learning provides education together with face-to-face education is by far better than any of two individually. Why not use the strengths of both.

Thanks for reading,


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