What are the strengths of live classroom teaching?
Goh Poh Sun (First draft 0800am, on June 7, 2015)
What are advantages of live classroom teaching? Why do we take time, and pay for the experience of a live concert performance? Even when a video of a teaching presentation, often in high quality and modular; or a concert performance is available online? I believe we value the experience of a live teaching session, the immediacy of being present and engaged, through more than a digital visual and auditory experience. A live teaching session gives an additional sense of space, and place. Live teaching, and a live concert performance engages more of our senses, even when there is no opportunity to interact directly with the teacher or performer. We see a presentation, in a wider context. We hear a presentation, both with our ears, and by feeling it. Live teaching or a performance offers the possibility of "live" audience engagement, by posing questions, and having an interactive conversation with some audience members. Attending a live teaching session reduces the possibility of outside, or online distractions. Our attention is more focused. We are more present in the moment.
Many of these qualities can be replicated with an online educational experience. This is increasing with the wider use of multimedia, videos, interactive elements, audience engagement tools, and soon to enter mainstream immersive 3D and virtual reality interfaces. Our task as educators is to constantly focus on using sound educational and pedagogical practices, while simultaneously blending the strengths of live teaching, with online learning.