The Limitations of Online Learning

broken sculpture

The limitation of online instruction is that much of it presumes education is entirely a matter of information transfer…and forgets that humans require more than answers to questions in order to live educated (and liberated) lives.

The big question we face politically with both funding of the arts and with online schooling is really one of philosophy. Do we simply value getting things done, or is there an art, a form, a beauty that adds real value to written communication, the practice of history, etc.?

Schools may think they can save a lot of money on education costs by moving online, but they have to embrace a new and restrictive definition of education in order to successfully make such an argument. The internet is already better at content distribution than most classrooms, but it is not better at giving people the skills they need to perpetuate liberty and democracy.

The internet is already better at content distribution than most classrooms, but it is not better at giving people the skills they need to perpetuate liberty and democracy.

The trend toward online education (and its sudden necessity in the Covid19 era) often disturbs me because it seems to accompany a trend away from wholistic education that prepares students for life. I am hopeful about the combination of online learning with “stay home, stay safe” policies, though, because an extended time in a shared space might reveal the limited scope of online education…and most information-based learning programs.

When individuals discover they don’t know how to cook (or grow) good food – or, more importantly, resolve conflict with the people they live with – they might begin to ask questions about where and how they are supposed to develop these skills…and this might lead to a demand for education that is about individuals rather than information.

One thought on “The Limitations of Online Learning

  1. Are you afraid that online learning is going to be the new thing and schools are not going to reopen?

    On Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 3:04 PM Human-Centered Learning wrote:

    > listenlovelead posted: “The limitation of online instruction is that much > of it presumes education is entirely a matter of information transfer…and > forgets that humans require more than answers to questions in order to live > educated (and liberated) lives. The big question we ” >

    Like

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