Boxing and the Cool Halls of Academe

Gordon Marino, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Aug 20, 2004
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Hockey is a lot like boxing - close enough that some wags say the two are indistinguishable - and if there are lessons to be learned in boxing, the same lessons are available to be learned in hockey. At any rate, like the author, many of my own life experiences were shaped in the arena, and while my hockey career was completely undistinguished, I would never have traded it for anything. We read from various writers that online leaning is deficient because it never puts the self at risk, because cause and consequence are inextricably tied to the body. Maybe (though I doubt it). But I have never claimed that online learning means being tied to a computer. I have always argued that the value of the medium is that it allows us to escape the classroom and live in the real world. Pierre Trudeau once said, "sports is everything." What he meant was, "living in the world is everything." Online learning extends our capacities so we can live in the world more effectively and more frequently. It frees us and gives us the ability to put ourselves "out there" in the world.
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