Our Views: Technology answered storm

We’re all heard about the perils and promise of online learning, but after a huge winter storm visited south Louisiana, learning from one’s laptop became a necessity for some.

When severe weather forced area school campuses to close, St. Joseph’s Academy held virtual classes, assigning students to complete lessons and email them to teachers. It was a natural expedient for a Baton Rogue school where all students are issued laptops and already do much of their learning on the Web.

St. Joseph’s is certainly not alone in following that trend. The Internet is second nature for today’s generation of students, and throughout south Louisiana, people of all ages were able to conduct many forms of business from home when the weather kept residents away from their traditional workplaces.

The storm reminded us, though, that not all or even most of our professional and academic obligations can be handled virtually. After days of traffic hazards, the opportunity to physically commute to work and school seemed a welcome one.

There’s no exact substitute, apparently, for the personal engagement that comes from seeing a co-worker, classmate or teacher face to face.

The technology that allowed south Louisiana to remain connected through the storm was a wonderful thing. The storm’s disruption reminded us, though, that in the world of the future, there will still be a place for the traditional campus, the familiar office.