Wednesday, April 15, 2020


For the past thirty years we have been moving toward a time when technology would rule our world.  First computers, then the internet, cell phones, robotics, social media…

Now comes a quantum jump ushered in by Covid-19. 

We see that distance learning is now practical.    Elementary and high schools will probably go back to some semblance of normal, for the short term, because parents are use to the schools babysitting their broods.  But, think how much money school districts can save by not having to maintain facilities, bus schedules, school lunches, libraries, and support staff.  Teachers can be trained to work from home and coordinate electronically.   Parents that, in the future, will work from home can then supervise their own children’s learning. 

 Now that we see it possible, distance learning makes tremendous sense financially. 

Universities only need to maintain lab semesters.  Again, the overhead of not having to maintaining massive infrastructure, dorms, support staff, cafeterias, office space…  could bring down the cost of an education within the reach of all Americans.    This lock down we are experiencing will move us faster toward that realization. 

The same goes for businesses.   Much of their management could be accomplished through some platform similar to Zoom.    Now that technology is moving us in that direction, we can see most non-physical labor can be successfully and cheaply conducted by home workers.

This Coronavirus has shown us that moving toward a more technological and socially isolated society is not only possible but doable.

People resist change; but when there is an economical advantage driving the change, it will come regardless.

There will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; but the technology revolution has just taken a massive jump forward. 

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. I am afraid you are right and it makes me less unhappy I am old.

  2. I wonder if higher education and keep the big bucks flowing if distance learnng works?

  3. Ahh, if only my profession, as an elementary school teacher, was just the imparting of information. I suppose I could get used to not having the added mental health, socialization, meal provision, disciplinary, concussion protocol, and general moral boosting aspects of my job and just type words into my computer and upload attachments.

  4. But I'm sure you know that from your own years in the profession.

  5. I picked up a degree about ten years ago that was mostly done online. I did have to travel to the school for lab work for a couple of days about once a month. The place was about 150 miles away so those of us in the program would share a hotel room. It was very doable and they had most of the bugs worked out. Nowadays it should be relatively easy in many fields.

  6. Ordinarily we see eye-to-eye, OB, but distance learning doesn't work well for kids in the hood. They need the breakfast and the lunch. Their houses are too crowded, and they have to share computers if they have one. Also, maybe I'm being conceited here, but it seems like the kids need a kind word and a recognition of their individuality that would be hard to generate from online interaction. If it happens I hope I will be retired.

  7. Right. Distance learning is going to work real well for low income families with multiple kids and no reliable Internet service or an actual computer in the home. They do exist. When the public library was open, I saw kids there every afternoon who were doing school assignments from the library because they couldn't do them from home.

    Also, you do know there are parts of this country where people are still stuck using dial-up, don't you? And do you really expect poor school districts to issue laptops to every student starting in elementary school? How many school boards do you think are going to support that idea?

    Besides, we all know the main thing motivating most small towns to support schools at all is team sports. How many people are going to be willing to pay the taxes to support a school district if the football team vanishes?

    1. Your comment made me sad, to think that education is held in such low esteem. I guess it shows, doesn't it?

  8. So many of the things that make life worth living can't be done online - ever. Most of those things involve mutual human contact.


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