THE CLASSROOM AND THE COMPUTER SCREEN Online Education - Page 9

remains the same, regardless of of students assembled into an whether it is played back for one undifferentiated, faceless mass. Such student or for thousands. Student- impersonalism may suit a keynote viewers contribute nothing to the address, but it fares poorly as the lesson; they are entirely passive. How mainstay of a classroom routine. I have could a prerecorded teacher even know also experienced instructors who if a viewer is paying any attention, let possess the charisma of a doorknob; alone grasping the lesson? This teacher they plodded through their well-worn cannot read her students’ responses to notes with no apparent awareness that the lesson, much less adjust to those other humans are present. These responses. examples show that the internet is not Any education that gives a central place to prerecorded Even though video recordings, by themselves, cannot do the sympathetic work of great educating, they can serve as useful tools in the hands of effective teachers. videos—where the only educational medium where sympathy and fellowship can be hindered Even though video recordings, by themselves, playback is the primary mode of cannot do the sympathetic work of instructional delivery—is one that great educating, they can serve as replaces teaching with performing to a useful tools in the hands of effective camera, and treats students as unseen teachers. A “live” teacher might assign viewers. The relationship between a prerecorded videos to her students as a recorded performer and his unseen precursor to meaningful interaction. viewers does not provide the This is the “flipped classroom” sympathetic interaction that is central approach, where student-to-teacher to a sound education. and student-to-student interaction Admittedly, live classes in occurs after the students complete conventional brick-and-mortar settings preparatory work on their own. can succumb to the same problem. For Instructional videos supply fodder for example, I have spent entire semesters the students’ preparation. In so-called in large lecture halls where hundreds flipped classrooms, an effective teacher 9