When I initially posted my thoughts on what digital facilitation means to me, I used the image of a man performing a balancing act. As an educator, I chose it because we have to balance the use of digital technology in education and the human element. The facilitation week and the lessons I learned from other groups on facilitating the digital learning environment validated my opinion of the balancing act. I think balancing technology, learners’ needs, and social issues are critical to an effective and impactful learning experience.
Working with my fellow cohorts in designing and developing our facilitation week was an enriching experience because of the lessons I learned along the way. Three thoughts that resonated with me during our digital facilitation week are:
- Incorporating the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework in the learning design enhanced learners’ experience with the subject. During our synchronous and asynchronous sessions, the learner’s engagement was high, and there was an immense sharing of ideas during our session.
- Creating a safe space for learners to engage in constructive dialogue was necessary. This can be achieved by developing rules of engagement right at the beginning of the course.
- Employing various learning strategies, for instance, introducing our topic, asking thought-provoking questions, and using small group activity enhanced the learning experience and reinforced critical information about the subject.
The balancing act of educators to promote digital technology to enhance the learning experience is becoming more critical. I learned in this course that the idea of technological solutionism, famously coined by Evgeny Morozov, is “an endemic ideology that recasts complex social phenomena like politics, public health, education, and law enforcement as neatly defined problems with definite, computable solutions” (Dow Schüll, 2013, para.1). We cannot fall into this trap of the techno-solutionism approach. Listening to my fellow cohorts, Audrey Watters, and participating in group four’s debate on data analytics and surveillance, two burning questions I have are:
- How do we, educators and facilitators, influence decision-makers at our workplace to critically assess and question technology they bring into our work environment?
- How do we even go back to the basics and ask ourselves underlying questions such as what am I trying to solve, who am I serving, and what are my alternatives, with artificial intelligence and big data seems to be the big shiny object in our industry and perhaps in others too?
Looking back at my initial post on the same topic and the ideas and questions I brought forward, the ideas I had still hold true; however, the beauty of learning is the questions it generates as one continues in its learning journey. The facilitation week answered my initial questions, and now I have two more questions that I am confident will be answered as I continue to explore learning and technology.
Dow Schüll, N. (2013, September 9). The folly of technological solutionism: an interview of Evgeny Morozov [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.publicbooks.org/the-folly-of-technological-solutionism-an-interview-with-evgeny-morozov/