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Online Learning: The Battle for Authenticity and Human Connection

By May 14, 2020May 25th, 2020No Comments

Whether or not you are an advocate for virtual learning, we must now embrace it with open arms. It remains the most convenient and accessible method of teaching ourselves about any topic. The Future of Work depends on our ability and willingness to adapt to the online world of education: a place where an infinite amount of tools and resources are made available to us.

Whether it is to develop a new skill, revisit a learned one, or advance in an area of expertise, there is content for everyone. The risk, however, is that while the role of “student” is accessible to everyone, so is the role of “teacher”.

Online platforms are limitless to those with the motivation to learn. What happens as a result is a multitude, or sometimes even an excess, of individuals who have the intention to share information in their field but whose knowledge and methodology may not be consistent with their predecessors, contemporaries, or successors.

A Google search of “how to grow an ecommerce website” will generate thousands of search results that may leave the user overwhelmed. What’s more, the producers of the content may be coming from several different industry backgrounds, making it harder for the user to parse out exactly which course or content will work best for them.

Here at Space Age, we believe in the Future of Work, and, more importantly, the Future of Workers. With so much information published on the Internet, it can be easy to dry out one’s thirst for learning with a page that offers more than what was originally asked for.

The solution? There’s a few. As an educator who has shifted her entire clientele online in the last 7 weeks, I can safely say that the personality of the individuals and the chemistry between instructor and student is truly distinguished amongst the endless search results.

I find that an energetic, inspiring, and motivating tone in voice and body language matters more online than in person, where we are not as self conscious since we cannot see a reflection of ourselves throughout the lesson. Having the front facing camera allows us, as instructors, and students, to take more control of our behavior; and when we take more control, we can be more productive.

While not all virtual learning platforms occur in real time, the rapport between instructor and students can still be developed through inside jokes that endure through each successive video lecture, a consistent tone and overall branding of the course, video editing style and attractive aesthetics that keep the student engaged, and, most importantly, offering an avenue to directly contact the instructor to ask questions and discuss the topics.

As the uncertainties of online learning persist, so will its lifespan: for where there is room to grow, there will be growth.



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