Distance learning and online computer classes should replace classroom learning. Agree or disagree？
With the advent of computer technology， especially the internet， more and more students choose to take their courses online for a brand-new learning experience. On the other hand， the traditional classroom learning seems to be facing more challenges. Is online education feasible？ Yes. And probably good as well. Will classroom learning be displaced？ I believe not.
To be frank， online education provides fresh learning experience unheard of before. The most distinct benefit comes from a flexible schedule. Students， especially adults with part-time jobs or even full-time jobs， take full advantage of this point. They are now free to choose any program that fits into their daily schedule. Compared with the traditional idea of “going to school”， this is better illustrated as “the school is going to you”. Another obvious advantage is the multi-media learning platform. Computer technology promises vivid short plays， detailed lectures and even games designed for the course， all of which appeal to students a great deal.
However， it is clear to me that online education has certain innate setbacks which render it unable to compete with the traditional classroom learning. Firstly， communication is very limited online. The opponent may argue chat-rooms are great tools. However， face-to-face communication can never be replaced， because it conveys information besides the words that form a sentence， but also intonations and body language. Facial expressions and gestures all facilitate understanding during a conversation. Suppose a student finds part of the lecture baffling， he can directly ask the professor in the classroom and probably they will communicate with the help of notes， pictures， blackboards and their body language. These tools are simply impossible to combine during an online course.
Yet another important downside of online education is that it has the potential of turning students into negative learners， because they do not and cannot participate in classroom activities. Since everyone is learning by his or her own on a computer， chances are slim that they can form real-life study groups， which in a traditional setting do projects and researches together. For example， if a student enrolls in an online drama class， it’s natural to play a part in the drama to gain in-depth perspectives on this topic. However， the student is unable to join the activity online， simply because it is not feasible. Gradually， the drama topic seems to be drifting away from the student because he is not actively involved in the learning process. A traditional classroom setting， on the other hand， provides a lot more opportunities for students to take an active role in the learning process.
To sum up， online education is fascinating in some ways and does offer different learning experience. However， it cannot and should not replace traditional classroom learning， due to the lack of communication and participation. A classroom always remains the best place to learn.