11 reasons the face-to-face classroom is a wonderful, magical, one-of-a-kind place for students and professors.

1. Our aches, pains, and worries evaporate into nothing 95% of the time.

2. We all get to ask deep, powerful questions and have opportunities to hear perspectives from each other in real time.

3. We all frequently open up and share personal details about our life. The classroom is a safe place.

4. We regularly learn new perspectives and gain insights from each other.

5. We are really good at discussing “hot button” issues in friendly, powerful ways.

6. Wonderful surprises always await and conversations veer in many different directions, including to the “off topic.”

7. We have the academic freedom to teach each other and to discuss what and how works best for us as a group and for our course.

8. College is not required.

9. The latest technology isn’t needed (and sometimes is a hindrance!) for effective teaching and learning.     

10. Classrooms are one of the few places in society where deep, intellectual conversations are not demonized but welcomed and celebrated.

11. We all get to see “light bulb” moments in each other and even have them together. 

 

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Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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3 replies

  1. While I have not figured out a way to accomplish #11 in the online classroom yet, I DO find all the rest of the list alive and well in my internet classes. Students who would never speak up in a classroom often reveal all types of personal experiences and perspectives in the online environment. Others find that their creative juices get flowing at midnight when they are writing rather than at 9:30 AM in the classroom. Don’t get me wrong: I adore teaching face-to-face. And the live classroom has benefits that cannot be duplicated online. (And Andrew, I think that is doubly true for your classes which are so open!) However, I feel that I personally learn just as much from my internet students and am surprised and delighted by how well I get to know them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Johanna. Sounds like you have wonderful online classes! I knew your face-to-face classes were great. I hope to teach a fully online course soon to see what it is like first-hand.

      I had some online classes as an undergraduate. I do remember that these classes sometimes had more powerful discussions because people were semi anonymous and had time to really develop ideas before “speaking.” The blog assignments have helped achieve some of this.

      I do also love the idea of teaching at 1 am in the morning!

      Like

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