With all the talk of educational technology in this era of social distancing, I am reminded of Neil Postman, who said, “The act of reading a book is the best example of ‘distance learning’ ever invented.”
He put it this way in Building a Bridge to the 18th Century:
To use the term “distance learning” to refer to students and a teacher sending e-mail messages to each other may have some value, but it obscures the fact that the act of reading a book is the best example of distance learning possible, for reading not only triumphs over the limitations of space and co-presence but of time as well.
Crack open a book and you can not only learn from someone who’s several thousand miles away, you can learn from someone who’s several thousand years away.
(And even though I love the convenience of my Kindle, I try not to forget that paper is a wonderful technology.)