Letter: Virtual learning opportunity

Published: 7/16/2021 7:00:09 AM

Over the last eighteen months, students, teachers and parents have experienced what for most is a new and unfamiliar form of education: virtual education. Soon students and teachers will be returning to in-person classrooms. Most will welcome this return, but maybe when we have time to stand back and examine the experience of virtual education, we will realize that the virtual format has opened new possibilities for our educational process.

In our complex society and lifestyles, the ability to continue our education throughout our lifetimes is increasingly difficult. Although many people have not realized it, many others have been able to continue their education at colleges and universities scattered all across the country without the often expensive cost of moving to the traditional on-campus setting.

But even short of the more daunting goal of getting another degree, virtual education has enabled schools to retain contact with students when inconvenience or, as we learned recently, outright crisis intervenes. Maybe the process of integrating virtual learning and its associated technology should be a regular part of the curriculum. Realizing that not everyone is a great virtual learner or teacher, I’m not advocating moving away from traditional in-class education, but at least keeping everyone familiar with the tools so they’re not strange and frightening when and if they become a temporary necessity. Maybe when we can all take a breath, we will see that some of the experiences in the pandemic have actually opened new doors. Indeed, that’s what education is all about.

Christopher Toy



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