In learning about Audrey Watters, I came across this article. In it she slams the online math site Khan academy. In the article she explains that it is not the magic bullet that many claim it to be and that most students need, basically, human interaction in order to make the learning meaningful.
I fully agree with her. I often think about why I pay to go to a yoga class, particularly Bikram yoga where the same 26 postures are done and the instructors use a script that they may stray a little from, but over the past six or so years that I have been going I have almost memorized by now. Why not save money, heat up a room in my house to 100 degrees and download the Bikram yoga app and go it alone? The fact is, I need someone telling me what to do sometimes and I like the feeling of a shared experience with others. As Watters puts it,
“Most of us are just not that autodidactic.”
While online platforms have taught me so many amazing things, there are somethings that I just need human interaction in order to complete. Maybe it’s the bond you feel when working with someone, maybe it’s a little bit of executive functioning failure, maybe it’s the empathy and connection you feel and make when working with another person on something difficult.
Technology is rapidly starting to replace face-to-face human interaction and I think we can see its effects. The climate of the culture we live in today can be fast-paced, hostile, and lacking the context and intent when translated to digital form.