When hurricane Sandy closed my campus for a few days, my students and I had to conduct our course online. It was wholly inadequate. Online learning cannot – and should not – replace the real-time dialogue of the in-person classroom.
Thanks to @kevin_corbett for bringing this article to my attention. I have to say, that while I understand this person's opinion, I don't happen to agree with it. I think it's written by someone who doesn't understand how to use online learning effectively because they are used to a classroom model and that's what they know best. Having obtained my degree online from a reputable school of technology, I don't feel in any way that I missed out on those personal moments with my professors or fellow students at all. We were all spread across thousands of miles, in some cases, and yet I felt that the conversations done in forums and email were much more animated and in-depth than many of the classroom courses I took in undergraduate school. There are plenty, as the author points out, that overuse PowerPoint slides and merely do presentations only, when more can be done. The class I just completed was mostly a presentation class, but I felt that considering that my students were literally half a world away from me, we were still able to make that connection and discuss issues effectively. If one has a classroom course, and it's switched to being an online course temporarily in the middle, it's bound to not be the same kind of experience. It's not meant to be the same experience. Social media and technology help to bridge some gaps that this teacher doesn't completely understand, and m-learning revolutionaries need to continue to work to get the word out on why it can and does work.
And that's my opinion.