“IRL” = In Real Life
Maybe I’m just a cantankerous curmudgeon, but I miss learning with other people in the same REAL place.
For me, Virtual learning is less effective – less engaging – less “dimensional”.
We miss the real nuances of the “material” sometimes because it’s so easy for us multitask while “attending” virtual meetings/trainings. We don’t see “body language” other than facial expressions . . . or at all from those who choose to turn off video.
I’d venture to say that most people in virtual meetings are lucky to retain anything more than 50% focus on the information being disseminated.
The dimension I miss the most is the felt TENSION that we lose in a virtual space. In real life, we can actually INTERRUPT another participant to clarify or make a timely neglected point. In the virtual world, the moderator can (and most do) create an environment that negates any possibility of spontaneity . . . rather these fresh emergent ideas are relegated to the “chat” where they sit until the presenter takes a 10 minute breather to “respond” to these ideas which have hence become stale and somehow less important while parked in chat.
Will we “return to the REAL classroom” when the world re-opens?
I hope we will not have forgotten how to orchestrate a good, old fashioned, Spirited, dialog.
Having said all of that, I feel obligated to acknowledge a wonderful by-product of this Virtual environment . . . I’m witnessing people and families “Gathering Together” more frequently than we ever could have in pre-virtual times.
I think we’ll do just fine.