High-Tech or High-Touch?

As the world works together to battle a global health epidemic, it’s empowering to see the sudden rise in neighborly behavior being shown by individuals, businesses, and nations. This sparks the question: why must it take something so negative to produce that kind of empathetic behavior? Human beings are becoming less and less interactive with each other every year. This can be accredited to the rise of technology, specifically personal devices like cellphones and laptops. Empathy is drastically decreasing in college students, according to a recent study. It’s reached record lows, diving 40 percent below that of 1979. So what can be done?

There’s a fascinating distinction between what is known in education as High-Tech and its counterpart High-Touch. The former is fully dependant on the advancements of modern science, always changing. The latter is based on traditions as old as time, human connection and empathy. Neither is more important than the other, but one seems to get buried anyway. That’s where live, story-based adventures can fill the gap.

Acting out stories instead of watching them on a screen can bring High-Touch back into the spotlight. This is done by introducing interactive and fully immersive worlds and stories that react to the decisions of the participants. The characters that the learners encounter offer live interactions, giving them the opportunity to experiment with human connection, right and wrong, and discovering their own set of heroic morales. The more those connections that are made, the more a learner will understand the people around them, thus increasing empathy.

Courage, honor, and compassion are values that our adventures focus on every summer in our mythical realm of Sidleterra. Compassion is inspired with the help of empathy, which comes from a High-Touch environment. High-Tech still plays a role as we incorporate STEM-based activities into all of our adventures, but the High-Touch interactions are a necessary continuance of the lesson.

You can read more about High-Teach versus High-Touch and find links to more research studies here:

kids hold up their foam swords, surrounded by monsters at a birthday party adventure

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