Alas, not the dessert.
Regarding the recent necessity of transferring the entire school curriculum online, I have heard numerous contradictory reports; running the gamut from high praise to complete waste of time. One can easily imagine the various factors attendant on the various opinions held. And all are probably true, with the consensus averaging into the middle range. This concurs with my opinion; this process has been fairly successful, in that the averagely diligent pupil and parents, combined with the averagely diligent teacher, has produced an averagely successful outcome – within the limits imposed. Whatever damage has been done to pupils by the lockdown and the necessary online classroom they have been attending for the last year is trivial, at least as far as their learning is concerned.
Regardless of the various personal outcomes, though, one would be correct and fair in claiming that, from a strictly operational viewpoint, this has been well-handled by schools. And so, I nod an approval to the IT monkeys behind it all.
However, that small blessing of my endorsement dispensed with, I now wear my worried face.
And this is because now that this trial run of remote, screen learning has been proven, both in the operational sense and in the apparent wide parent acceptance (admittedly, with no choice!), we can expect more of the same. More of the same means even more time spent looking at screens, and at an ever younger age. And when the new upgraded virus revisits its old haunts in its 2021-2022 Tour – and we have been promised this by the philanthropist king of the vaccines and his CDC courtiers – everything will be already in place for the stay-safer option of a more permanent remote learning ‘experience’. Of course, children already spend too much time in class looking at screens anyway, but at least this 2D experience is somewhat mediated by the 4D presence of classmates in meatspace. This new learning will do away with this distraction, and the need for the teacher-avatar to get changed out of their pyjama bottoms.
My worry is that these developments further legitimise the life online, from being an adjunct of teaching and learning, to being the main means. As I see it, the most important second order effect of this is to embed deeper in the child’s mind all the techniques and gimmicks, from garbage-level computer artwork to the lab rat level electronic feedback, of laboratory-style animal training as the default form of human learning. And to make the teacher rely on pre-made resources to facilitate this – such resources often made by the same interests that own and promote the online learning platforms! Thusly, making these geegaws and symbols the same foundation for our children’s school learning as they are in our adult world. i.e., the principal means of informing our distorted world-view and training our responses to this. Everything on-screen and everything controlled by those who own it. Their ambition for our future 4D world curated through their control of our children’s 2D world.
Online learning is ultimately an enemy of our children.
In short, this is programming in the manner of Pavlov. I would remind you that his famous experiments were with dogs. Alas, the powers that direct this coming mind experiment consider us and our children as an animal much further down the phylogenetic scale.
What think ye?