Connectivism: Do we still need physical space for teaching and learning?

George posted the above stimulating question in the forum

Though we seem to have overcome the space problem by communicating or connecting asynchronously or synchronously via e-chat, forum, Elluminate or Ustream, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, Slidewares, blogs, wikis, and various web resources etc, we could hardly read or learn through the sense of “smell, touch or body language etc of other human, animals or artefacts” in e-learning or e-connection. 
So, the sensory-motor skills and affective domains would not be easily addressed in e-learning.
That may account for the difficulties in teaching and learning of those related skills on the web.  Actual outdoor games and activities are important in the building of physical and mental health (i.e. the knowledge of physical and mental well being).  Perhaps connectivism could provide theories, knowledge and principles in certain disciplines, leaving the skills to be practised by the learner.

Typical examples that require motor and sensory skills include: cooking, swimming, driving and gymnastics.

I have “learnt” how to cook some dishes by watching Youtube, but have to actually practise in order to make a delicious meal.  Watch this video on Youtube on cooking the crab

Can you smell the crab?

Perhaps, you need actual piping to connect the smell.

Have you thought of any ways in overcoming those limitations cited above?  I am sure that there are always innovative ways to teach and learn the affective and sensory-motor skills, via connectivism.  Suggestions?

3 thoughts on “Connectivism: Do we still need physical space for teaching and learning?

  1. Pingback: CCK08: Week 11 End of Term Feeling? « Clyde Street

  2. As an instructional designer charged with developing online content and a network aimed at educating first responders and outdoor professionals and recreationists, this question represents one of my key struggles: water and rope rescue (our specialty) is something that occurs in the physical space. Getting students into a physical space for learning is the challenge, and our solution is employing more online content, interaction and resources. As an educator, however, I know that quality learning will only transpire if we can get trainees to engage, create and explore using what they have gathered in the “meta-space,” if you will, applying it in a hands-on fashion.
    The solution I’m trying to develop right now involves practical, useful projects; for example, having trainees learn the importance of prior planning in emergency management by actually making that plan. If we can get students to share those projects, they can obtain valuable feedback from all others in the online training space, as well as contribute to the content that future trainees will use to understand the concepts.
    I’d feel a lot more confident, however, in not having to rely on every trainee being motivated enough to log off, go practice, and then log on to show they did and get more feedback.

  3. Hi Reid,
    Great idea to have trainees involved in practical, useful projects, and learning the importance of prior planning in emergency management by actually making that plan.
    I have browsed through your website and it looks wonderful: impressive information with pictures illustration
    What sort of tools have these trainees used in their sharing of those projects?

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