Neither Rain, Nor Sleet …
The age-old motto of the US Postal Service (USPS), and before that the Post Office, is that neither rain, sleet, snow, or dead of night will keep them from their appointed rounds. Remote, Zoom-based CAPS Classes are similar in that the outside weather conditions have no effect on us.
We don’t have to wade to our cars in the pouring rain (or trudge through ankle-deep or more of cold, wet snow) and get soaked getting in or out of our cars and then entering the building as well. We don’t have to contend with heavy winds and try to keep our car on the road or remain upright as we walk.
We are insulated from outside weather conditions when we attend the online CAPS Classes in the Zoom format – no need to leave home and no place to go. We can even dress down or put on a cap or jacket – or cover up with a blanket – if we feel so inclined. Footwear is optional as no one sees that part of us. We don’t need to bundle up to go outside in the cold weather or take a sweater for the meeting in case the room is cold – we get to adjust the temperature of our location ourselves.
A very quick commute
In addition to not being phased by the outside weather conditions, unless they cause a power outage where we are, we arrive at the meeting instantly. There is no commute – no brushing the snow off the windshield, no warming up a very cold car before getting into it, no dealing with a downpour, and no need for evaporating the dew or humidity that might have settled on the windshield and mirrors,
We get up, get dressed, eat or not, get a coffee or something else to drink, and sit down with our computer. It can even be a notebook or cellphone where we have the liberty of walking around or changing locations in our home where we attend the program.
When we are not challenged by getting out the door to leave home and arrive at the meeting location, we can be ready for class without any of those anxieties or worries. We are ready to concentrate on learning and focus on the material that will be presented.
Remote learning is not virtual learning
The term virtual has come to apply to any activity conducted online on in a non-present format. The traditional definition of virtual is something simulating an actual event but not real itself. In this sense, virtual can be applied to learning that is prepared and shared with us when it is prerecorded or rebroadcast after an earlier airing. It’s not really happening as we watch it.
Contrast this with actual, real-time classes that are taught at the time someone is sitting in front of it and participating in it.
Yes, they are remote because we aren’t actually where the classes are happening, but no, they are not virtual because we are there in realtime as they are occurring. Call them online or remote, but don’t label them as virtual.
Seeing a virtual label on an online program signals that it is a podcast, video, self-study, or otherwise recorded event that we can enter as we like, stay as long as we desired, come back from time-to-time, and even skip less interesting parts or fast forward to the end. This is not an effective learning experience although we may take away some knowledge from such a presentation.
Join us for engaging online learning
While I’m not able to speak for any other instructors except in the general format of their delivery, our classes are quite engaging with plenty of participation, real-world examples, expanded material, discussion, and even more interaction than someone might expect in an in-person format. The classes are quite engaging and anything but virtual where the participant is viewing the material passively. The remote sessions demand engagement.
This move from in-person to online or remote learning has been a long time in coming, but now that it’s here, the entire learning experience is so much better. Let’s hope that we don’t return to the way it was. It is so much easier to attend and therefore much easier to be absorbed in the material being presented rather than worrying about getting to the meeting, returning home again later, or having concerns about anything going on at home that is diverting our attention.