CityVP Manjit

5 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Distance learning is this idea of learning far away from the physical locality of an education provider.  This conception of distance places the institution ahead of the student.  Otherwise the correct description for e-learning or any off-campus activity is "near learning".  

The word "distance" is still a good word to use in terms of education, if that is we are prepared to expand our personal meaning of what education is, rather than pray to a particular Church of Education and whatever dogma or ideology that is rooted from that particular institution.

A Michael Bolton about distance can be just as educational if we notice things that educate us and it can be very distant in terms of education if it only entertains us.  In this we arrive at short-distance learning and long-distance learning.

Even in entertainment we can laugh and that laughter is connected to something we learned about the world that adds to the amusement.  For me it is always an education to watch the Two Bobs portrayed in the movie Office Space - because I personally remember being one of those guys in my own life.   Education thus is not at all the ability to recite information from a book for that is simply regurgitation, it is to draw something out or to "educe" it.

Distance is either a term associated with learning or it is a term associated with relationships, but relationships is a form a learning otherwise we are stuck in Groundhog Day - which evokes the movie starring Bill Murray where the same day keeps repeating itself.  When it comes to learning that is what we do to our kids and from that we recognize that traditional education is based on a foundation stone of boredom - for what else explains why our school years seemed to go on forever.

When I attend night class, the traditional parameters are still the same but technology is available to make that education far more short-distance.  Due to prescribed formats which we need to conform to, education becomes long-distance.  This is why distance-learning is distance regardless of physical location.  Education happens in the mind, spirit and body and not in an educational institution or even an e-learning platform.

Until we are willing to change our own experience and make distance work for us, we are only becoming distant from the very education we tell ourselves that we support or commit to.  There are positives and negatives in distance and the means to the positive is not an exercising of positive thinking, it is an exercise of education.  We can actually create negative distance through positive thinking.

Since education is such a personal experience for me, I like the distance of an online learning journey.  For me social media is not the best application of social, anywhere we we can shorten the distance in social and get closer to face-to-face is sweet in my book, and if we have a hang up about social media it is in the interest of the social media industry.  Why do we otherwise need online media properties utilize social engineering, of which the LIKE button is one example.  Nothing wrong with the LIKE button, other than the word "like" is as subjective as hell.

By creating a necessary personal distance from social media, I have transformed my online relationship to the creation of learning media.   The majority of people who utilize beBee are going to be social media people - for no online property can exist solely on education, just as television cannot support itself as an educational medium, and the negatives of distance that social media causes in me is to consume media for entertainment, which in physical terms would have been classified as averse obesity.   When I become "distant" that is negative.

Positive distance works with me viewing beBee as learning media and this is positive short-distance - which is the proximity between my fingers on a keyboard and the eyes that observe a computer screen.   Closer learning is as important as closer relationships and both are therefore a form of distance.  When I am in class, just because other toastmaster club members are physically in the class with me, they may be distracted or locked into social media, so even though I am in touching distance, they themselves are far, far away.

The same thing plays out in the home, when family are on their cell-phones.  It might be a family moment on Instagram, but it is negative distance when technologies space us out.  We do need relaxation and to get away once in a while and chill, but we choose television over taking a walk - because a television is closer at hand and not because we must watch it.   A walk on the other hand is an alternative form for constructive thinking.  Walks help me think, therefore the act of walking can be highly educational.  It is only educational if we do what Richard Feynman explained about the power of noticing.

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