Virtual Reality?: Is an Internet Class Really a Class?

A professor, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, sasses Internet class-taking:

At the most basic level, to be a student has always meant actually dragging one’s exhausted body into class with readings in hand, being (more or less) awake, alert, listening, and ready to open one’s mouth. And to be a teacher, for me, means seeing the faces of the students and how their bodies reflect their thoughts and emotions, hearing the timbre of their voices or the lilts in their dialects, experiencing them before me in the rich mix of ideas.

Are his points valid?


  • Is this Plato bemoaning writing because it weakens the memory?
  • Is this simply another technology dinosaur who hasn’t figured out that the delivery of ‘education’ to the masses is changing?

And what about the issue of resources?

  • Moving bodies around takes a lot of fossil fuels—aren’t we in an age of energy scarcity, environmental degredation, and global warming?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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