So, welcome to my world.
Welcome to my vision.
The future is not perfect. We have seen that with the Covid-19 pandemic that has forced us to pause in our normal routines.
We have seen this in the way some schools in Europe have suffered new outbreaks and in the UK several universities' halls of residences are under different forms of lockdown.
Face to face teaching will never be the same as online teaching, and it will never disappear, but there are arguments that we need to reduce the human contact for a while and this means creating a new learning environment for millions of children around the world.
The digital answer is to use platforms such as Skype and Zoom, and with both you can have more than one student in attendance.
I have taught in both styles of class - a virtual classroom with 10 children using a split screen view and also one-to-ones. I find both have their positives and negatives, but then I find that with all forms of teaching - nothing is perfect in this existence.
With the virtual classroom I find it can be great to have enough children engaged that they actually lead the class. I also find it negative that it is very difficult to provide extra help for those weaker students in the class and it is easy to leave those children trailing behind.
With one-to-one classes I love the fact that you have the full attention (between 99-100%) of the student to the teacher and vice versa. Communication is estimated to be around only 20-30% verbal, so the rest is visual and this can help a great deal when dealing with language learners. The drawback is that sometimes it is difficult to take notes as a teacher or student, so it is essential that we provide a copy of the class video and/or chat.
It may seem strange as it is only now that a majority of young people and parents are thinking about learning online, but I have been teaching for over 8 years using the internet and have found the tools at our disposal changing and improving over time. It is now a lot more fluid and easier to provide interesting and engaging lessons to people from all over at their preferred times than it was a few years ago. That's for sure.
As for saying that the future is not perfect, I say that looking at the present and how the world seems to be rejecting the digital learning option for the moment. However, it is a present that means teaching needs to be embracing this future if it hopes to be able to survive this new reality.