So, this is in regards to the “Living Together Apart” article; I forgot to jot this down earlier…
The article referred to a study in which students were asked their opinions on learning experiences in Second Life. Apparently, it was found that while Second Life was an interesting addition to course presentation, it should not replace the traditional classroom environment (i.e. face2face). So that got me thinking, what is it exactly that we (or “they”; the students) like about the traditional classroom? I mean, is it just because that’s the way education has been managed for centuries–we just expect it to be that way? Or is there something more: do we need to have that type of interaction with peers and instructors in order to best support our learning? Is the social aspect an integral part of learning?
Think about Kindergarten for a minute: that’s all about the social part of learning. In fact, some of the most important learning kindies are doing is learning about social interaction: sharing, taking turns, cooperating, etc. Obviously, for these little people it’s vital that they have the opportunity to share a space with peers in a face2face environment. But what about post-secondary–do we still need to engage with peers face2face because we need to learn how to interact with people? Shouldn’t we be past that part our learning?
I guess I’m kinda wondering if our need for the traditional classroom is nature or nurture…?
Holmberg, K. & Huvila, I. (2008). Living together apart: Distance education in a virtual world. First Monday, 13(10). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2178/2033