Today Hillary gave us all a bio-dot to put on our hand, as a measurement of our emotions (or body temperature).  Having poor circulation and very low blood pressure, mine remained black.  Bemused, I stuck my bio-dot on Mindy, my trusty laptop.  It stayed black.  Guess we are both dead…

But then it struck me.  A computer really IS dead.  It has no emotions, and certainly no facial gestures to indicate those emotions.

So how well does it substitute for a living, breathing, emotive human teacher?

This was brought into sharp focus by the video, “Faces” with John Cleese.  The ability to express ourselves through our faces and gestures is critical in human communication.  How effective is it to substitute that for a laptop and an Internet connection?

Am I going down the wrong career path? There was only one way to find out.

Research.  The last two days have introduced me to the idea of qualitative and quantitative research.  But even before that, a problem or issue needs to be identified.  Then, as Leonard Bickman and Debra Rog (2009) outline, questions need to be identified and then further refined and revised.  So perhaps the question could be regarding the effect of a lack of emotive communication in distance learning.  This would undoubtedly be a quantitative research study, but is it even worth doing?  I need to do some more digging into what comprises a solid research question…

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