Beam ME up, it is all “virtually” amazing!


Can you imagine?  A child sitting in the classroom, visibly bored, trapped in the mundane.  The clock ticks, one, two, three…Mrs. Smith announces, “Sally Smith, your mother will be picking you up at 2:05 for your orthodontist appointment, please proceed to the office…” The mind of the fidgeting 4th grader races to the game boy sitting in his book bag back in his locker.  He thinks of nothing more than beating his last score, when all of a sudden it happens… Ms. LaLuna is suddenly standing before him, looking him straight in the eyes.  He shakes his head, pinches himself, wonders, “am I imagining, is a figment of my imagination, am I in one of my gameboy games.  This is cyber-dude!”

His mind is now captivated, no longer thinking beyond the classroom, beyond the moment.  Mr. Chorak said there would be a visitor, I imagined someone to tell us about standardized testing and how important it is to “try your best, test matter!”  But this, this is unreal!”

No this is not unreal this is possible. It is plausible. It is necessary.  Imagine for just one brief moment how transforming it could be.  A virtual teacher, no a virtual specialist dropping into a classroom to take over the lesson to teach about a concept that children of all ages struggle with, whether it is fractions, the Revolutionary War, a literary device…it matters not.  What matters is that the classroom is keeping pace with the world around the child.  We must move to the point that we recognize that we do not teach math, science, reading, history, but we teach the child, the individual. 

The business world spends thousands upon thousands of dollars to initiate best practice in delivery forms that will intrigue, enhance, capture the adult student, yet we ignore what best practice in education for children, adolescence and maturing adolescence.  We are ignoring research on how the mind of a young person works.  The biorhythms of our students, how we learn must be at the forefront of education. 

Virtual teachers, it is plausible, technologically possible, and probable.  The time has come.  This will never do away with the primary educator in the classroom, but it will further the instruct ability of children around the world.  Teachers in the classroom in the “real” are necessary as facilitators, but to expect any one person to deliver day in and day out all the information and instruction that a pupil needs in the course of a school year limits the overall development of a child at any given time.  We can embrace the tendency of the human capacity to learn.  Research shows that most humans learn best through visual delivery (videos, media, etc) of information.  The engagement of this type of process is forthcoming and as an educator I am thrilled at the idea of being delivered to a classroom in Beijing on a Friday afternoon to share poetry with a group of 12 years old students!  Now that is cyber- DUDE, Scotty beam ME up!



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