However fast your bandwidth and however high-resolution your webcam, you cannot fully replicate a multi-sensory, face-to-face experience online – at least not for now. There are occasions when learners really do need to get hands-on with tools and equipment (perhaps even with each other), explore a real physical space, be aware of the body language of others in the room or just experience the magic of the occasion.
Most learning does not require you to be face-to-face with others – just like you happily listen to music on your iPod, watch sport on TV or films at the cinema – but some does. While face-to-face learning will increasingly become the special case rather than the default, it will still have a valuable role to play. Imagine if you never, ever got to go to a theatre, watch a live band or join the crowd at a football stadium.
Next: Extend the blend along the whole learning journey
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