The alive and the online
This evening, I went out to the local symphony’s Christmas Concert. A wonderful gathering of many in this small city. They played the score for the Christmas film – The Snowman by Peter Briggs. Plus lots of carols and they had the whole audience singing joyously.
As I enjoyed the orchestra and the “event” – it got me thinking about education and how we (yes, me too), do oversell the online teaching thing. Meaning in a nutshell – we tend to paint in black and white and don’t for a moment stop and consider that there will always be people meeting face to face. No matter how powerful the technology. We need to gather “live” and in the flesh and blood – there is something in this, that can’t be substituted for.
Yes, you can learn a language or almost anything, alone. But there are valuable reasons to learn “together”. Like the very valuable reason I went to the concert and braved the cold rather than sit at home and listen to it (and probably much better quality, acoustically speaking). It will always be necessary to be “alive”. There is something special about people meeting – the smells, the eye contact, the looks, the tingle in the air. This can’t be copied. And by my mere attendance, the orchestra too – “lived” and would never walk through that same door again. The mere fact that we were together – created a moral force that stretches out into tomorrow….
So too us teachers whether in a class or meeting our students. We will always need that face to face, that humanity and a meeting place that is “alive” rather than just online…. Let’s remember this.
Here is the video – The Snowman. A Classic. Enjoy! Lots of materials for teaching this (worksheets/ppts) on EFL Classroom 2.0