“Our Certified Aging In Place Specialist Classes Are Online But Not Virtual”

We can take classes online in real-time and avoid so many of the logistics that might be necessary to attend a class in-person as well as being able to have our pets, children, and others who depend on us nearby.

The move from in-person learning

March 2020 signaled the end to in-person learning as we knew it. A few people have reintroduced it, but it is not the same. It may never return to what it was. That is not such a bad thing either.

Enter online classes to the rescue, but not in an on-demand asynchronous viewing of the material. There are a few different types of online classes that we do not use, and one that we do. Our classes are live, real-time, synchronous, non-recorded, non-scripted, fluid, interactive events that are as viable and meaningful, or even more so, than in-person events.

Online learning has come to mean in some applications that the courses are pre-recorded and that they can be watched in whole or in part at the user’s option and timetable. This means that the user always hears the same material, even though it may become obsolete or new supplemental material might be available. It also means that the user is isolated from other participants and cannot have conversations or any discussion about the material.

Online classes are better than in-person ones

With online classes, as opposed to virtual, the instruction is happening as the participants are viewing it. Nothing has been recorded for later playback. There is no pausing of the material or watching it in segments. The only difference between what we might be doing by attending in person – and this is huge – is that no one has to leave the comfort or familiar surroundings of their home or office.

True, there is no ability to touch someone else – a handshake or hug – and some people may miss this human interaction. However, some people feel more comfortable this way and more in control of the moment.

In terms of logistics (arranging to get to the meeting location and actually traveling to get there whether by air or ground), being away from our home or the office, dedicating the time away from our normal activities, and spending additional monies to cover these expenses, in-person classes don’t seem to work as well as the online ones do.

Then there is the issue of personal comfort (seating at the meeting, room temperature, kitchen and restroom facilities, and being able to see without someone in front of us obstructing our view of the material), the time savings in not traveling to the location (even if it is local), and being in a more relaxed, learning frame-of-mind.

Online versus virtual

The term virtual is often applied to remote learning because the person receiving the education is not physically present where the material is being presented. However, virtual seems to be the word associated with learning that has been recorded and designed for access and playback at will. Want to watch 20 minutes at midnight or 6 am? How about another 20 minutes at lunch or in the evening?

Granted that virtual learning has a place in one’s overall education, but it definitely is not the same as being present live or being able to interact with the material, the instructor, or other participants.

Call it remote learning (but done in real-time), a video conference, a Zoom meeting, or one done on other platforms. The point is that such instruction is happening live as the participants are experiencing it. It is not recorded, and it cannot be paused or stopped to pick it again later in the same spot.

Join us online at more than 40 available opportunities during 2022 for the Certified Aging In Place Specialist classes and other ones also.

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