In my Master of Arts in Learning and Technology (MALAT) journey, I have learned about legends whose work marks essential milestones in the educational technology field. Choosing only one legend to talk about the work that has been done in the educational technology field was a very hard task for me to do.
The reason I have chosen Dr. Maha as one of the influencers in the educational technology field is that she has a passion for critical pedagogy, social justice and equity, and she applies her values to her work. She also seeks to learn more about the experience of learners as she believes in the importance of the powers and voice of learners.
Dr. Maha Bali is an Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at The American University in Cairo. She is an editor at Hybrid Pedagogy journal, and editorial board member of Teaching in Higher Education, Online Learning Journal, Journal of Pedagogic Development Learning, Media and Technology and International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. She was the ninth person interviewed on the Leaders and Legends of Online Learning podcast and she was featured alongside fifteen amazing women of the open movement in the UnCommon Women 2018 Coloring Book. Dr. Maha describes herself MOOCaholic, Writeaholic and passionate open and connected educator, who tweets a lot at @bali_maha and blogs a lot at http://blog.mahabali.me.
She applied her values in social justice and equity by co-founding Virtually Connecting in efforts to preserve the social aspects of online and hybrid communication. Virtually Connecting was founded to allow virtual conference participants to meet and talk with conference presenters and attendees widening access to a fuller conference experience for those who cannot be physically present at conferences. What I appreciate about this initiative is the humble attitude of Dr. Maha as she recognizes that no one is perfect and there is a lot that can be done to enhance this initiative. She actively welcomes feedback in order to reform the processes involved in Virtually Connecting.
Another important aspect of Dr. Maha’s work is Equity Unbound which is emergent, collaborative curriculum which aims to create equity-focused, open, connected, intercultural learning experiences across classes, countries and contexts. She co-facilitated Equity Unbound addressing learners and educators at all levels (e.g. undergraduate, postgraduate, professional development) who are interested in exploring digital literacies with an equity and intercultural learning focus.