The Great Media Debate Continues…

By Gail and Luis

For this activity, we were tasked with investigating the Great Media Debate in the Ed Tech field where Clark and Kozma expressed opposing viewpoints.  Simply stated, Clark (1994) believes that media does not influence learning and compares media to a “vehicle” which delivers instruction whereas Kozma (1994) believes that new technologies offer opportunities to change things and how it has the potential to impact how teaching and learning occur.  We chose these 2 articles to demonstrate the relevance of the media debate by applying Clark & Kozma’s points of view to critique and question the articles’ claims.  

Quizlet teams up with TikTok for interactive learning.

In January 2021, it was announced that educators using TikTok for teaching would be able to reach their students in a new way by integrating Quizlet interactive flashcards directly into their short-form videos.  This integration would shift TikTok’s platform into the education world and support their Creative Learning Fund.  This fund aims to address the COVID-19 pandemic challenges to remote and hybrid learning by bringing educational programs created by educators and other subject matter experts to the platform.  

The director of growth at Quizlet, Phil Carter (2021) states, “this integration between TikTok and Quizlet is a unique opportunity to bring together the fastest-growing mobile entertainment platform, and the largest AI-powered learning platform to reach students where they are” (para. 3).  The presumption is that educators can enhance their TikTok videos with Quizlet’s links thereby allowing students to engage and learn in a more interactive way on the popular platform.  TikTok’s head of product, Sean Kim (2021) states, “the integration with Quizlet is an important step in our commitment to assist creators in the production of learning content, provide resources for learners and introduce emerging teachers to the TikTok platform” (para. 6).

Clark would argue that this new integration of video and flashcards would not influence student learning based on his initial claim that media are “mere vehicles that deliver instruction” and that TikTok combined with Quizlet are just a different delivery “vehicle”.  Sean Kim (2021) states the integration “can help build human connection, promote creating learning content and inspire enriching ideas” and although Clark would agree that there is strong evidence that different media attributes accomplish the same learning goal.  He would maintain that it is not the media that influences the learning and instead it is the method.  

Kozma’s position on this new media partnership would ask the question:  how does this integration affect learning?  He would dispute that technology is a “vehicle” and stress that this media partnership possesses certain characteristics which make it more suitable to achieve particular learning tasks (1994).  Kozma (1994) would argue that learning with media is a complementary process where the learner and the media (TikTok and Quizlet) interact to expand and refine the learner’s mental model of a particular phenomenon.   

Incorporating popular media into social studies learning.

Darcy White has over 20 years of experience teaching secondary social sciences and is currently a Social Studies Curriculum Developer in California. In this article, she describes how students spend a lot of their time in front of their phones and other devices. She also points out how easy it is nowadays for students to create and share content to a large audience. As a teacher, instead of competing with the multiple devices and trending technologies she decided to embrace the popular culture and incorporate it in her lectures. White believes that using a variety of media such as movies, TV sitcoms and TikTok videos among others can be an effective learning tool for students. White (2021) states,  “the trick is to give students the opportunity to relate to the topic” (para. 9).

Clark would be intrigued to learn how White has implemented the new media and technology to her lectures. However, he would still argue that White’s methods “do not influence student achievement” and that her use of media in her classes are simply a different way of delivering instruction and does not influence learning under any circumstances.  

In contrast, Kozma (1994) would argue that the use of various new media with their own distinct capabilities would complement those of the learners producing an improved learning experience. Kozma would concur with White in her use of various media for her lectures since he perceives learning as an “active, constructive, cognitive and social process”. Kozma would align with White’s beliefs arguing that by forging a relationship between media and learning, the process itself can also contribute to the creation of new methods of instruction delivery. 


EdScoop Staff (2021, January 28). Quizlet teams up with TikTok for interactive learning. Higher Education.

Clark, R. E. (1994). Media will never influence learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2), 21-29.

Kozma, R. B. (1994). Will media influence learning: Reframing the debate. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2), 7-19.

White, D. (2021, Sept. 7). Incorporating popular media into social studies learning. SmartBrief. Industry news.







“There is nothing ever static, it is always growing or building or changing” — Amanda Coolidge

I had the pleasure of hearing Amanda Coolidge, Director of Open Education BCCampus, speak at the 2021 MALAT Virtual Symposium on Open Education: what it is; what it does and its amazing impact!  The idea of open education and open textbooks was a foreign concept to me at the time.  I recall thinking about how much I had paid for my university textbooks.  How some were hardly used and how they were now gathering dust on my bookshelf.  While listening to Amanda speak, I also thought about how amazing it would have been to customise some of these textbooks based on personal experiences.  

I have chosen Amanda Coolidge based on her significant contributions and advocacy work in the field of Open education and Open textbooks in British Columbia.  Highlights of her and her team’s work include:

    • 2012: BC Open Textbook Project.  Since its launch the project has
      • Saved students more than $14 million in textbook costs
      • Impacted 130,000+ students
      • Experienced growth of the Open textbook collection.  The collection includes books and guides for post secondary education
    • 2012:  BC Open Education Librarians
      • Creation of the first open education librarians community in BC to learn about open education practices through sharing knowledge and providing support for others
    • 2014: Faculty Fellow Program 
      • Instructors brought together to determine efficacy of open textbook use and to provide mentorship to those new to open textbooks
    • 2016: Start of project to bring OpenStax books into Pressbooks
      • These books which could be edited, adapted and customized to meet students’ needs
      • By the Fall of 2019, there were 33 OpenStax books available in Pressbooks
    • Current:  Indigenization Project
      • Co-create open education resources to support incorporation of Indigenous epistemologies into professional practice

It is clear how passionate Amanda is about creating an equitable environment which embraces inclusion, diversity and accessibility.  She emphasizes the importance of collaboration and stepping out of our silos in order for change to occur.  

“Our greatest resource is the relationships we build in our community through collaboration” –Amanda Coolidge

I have included the following links for more information about Amanda Coolidge and her work:  

Amanda Notes

Between the Chapters 25 Years of Ed Tech:  Open Textbooks

From Lost to Belonging by Amanda Coolidge – OpenEd 2019 Keynote

Open Education BCCampus

Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast Episode 299


BCcampus.  (2019, October 28).  From lost to belonging by Amanda Coolidge – OpenEd 2019 keynote.  BCcampus.

Pasquini, L. (Host). (2021, March 25). Between the chapters #20 opening up a textbook & more access to learning with @acoolidge. [Audio podcast episode]. 25 Years of Ed Tech: The Serialized Audio Version Bonus.

Stachowiak, B. (Host). (2020, March 5). Growing up open (Episode 299) [Audio podcast episode].  In Teaching in Higher Ed.



The Weller Journey Continues: 2002-2011

This week’s reading from Weller (2020) took me on a ed tech journey through 2002-2011 which I found fascinating as I reflected on where I was at the time.  The chapter on Twitter and social media was interesting as it gave me a better understanding of how Twitter had initially been used and the Between the Chapters: Twitter & Social Media podcast (Pasquini, 2021) just solidified it.  Listening to Sue Beckingham and Chrissi Nerantzi share their personal experiences about figuring Twitter out to discovering how they were able to create online networks which formed into online connections/relationships and then the experience of meeting these connections face to face illustrates the positive aspects during those early years compared to the challenges facing Twitter at present time. 

Weller (2020) mentions the blurring of the lines between professional and personal on social media and this is an issue that continues to be challenged in my profession that our regulatory college had to create a Social Media interpretation guideline (2018) for its registrants.  These new ways of connecting online outside of our clinics posed new challenges.  Many of us form close relationships with our patients because we see them on a regular basis and personal information is disclosed at those appointments that they become “friends” or seem like “family” so then how do you NOT accept invites to follow or be followed?  Or how do you decline a “friend” who is asking you to follow them so they can share information about their personal views on topics such as anti-fluoride which do not align with your practice philosophy?  On the other hand, what happens if a dental professional blogs or tweets against fluoride yet continues to work in a profession where the evidence clearly supports the use of fluoride in the prevention of cavities?  Misalignment of practice philosophies can have serious consequences for the professional and the dental office they work at.

Weller (2020) makes the point of how Twitter was able to democratize the academic space.  I believe this to be the case for some disciplines but not all especially in those highly specialized disciplines where there is value placed on your training, experience and research.  At dental conferences, speakers bring their clinical and research experience to share with colleagues and will share their social media links to connect and answer questions. Twitter or social media is used to connect those using new techniques or to discuss individual cases.  However, challenges around professionalism, confidentiality and ethics can arise when posting and sharing online.  In addition, I believe that because there is value placed on your training that many of these institutions are less than willing to re-imagine how their programs could be moved to a more open and less regulated one.  


College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia. (2018).  Interpretation guidelines:  Social media

Pasquini, L. (Host). (2021, March 24). Between the chapters #16 being in community on Twitter & social media with @suebecks & @chrissinerantzi. [Audio podcast episode]. 25 Years of Ed Tech: The Serialized Audio Version Bonus.

Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press.

Reflection on Weller: 1994-2001

Photo by Ann H from Pexels

After completing the assigned reading from Weller (2020) and learning more about the educational technology (ed tech) field, I was surprised to learn details of the challenges that early technologies faced when being implemented such as the lack of “buy in” from students and faculty, or the additional tech and support the technology needed.  It led me to reflect back on Roger’s diffusion of innovation theory, to help explain why some of these technologies may not have been easily adopted while keeping in mind the notion Weller (2020) pointed out that ed tech is a fast changing field and has led to the mindset that you need to change with it or risk being left behind.   

I was also surprised to learn that as web based learning gained popularity, people began to look for different models of teaching because of the new challenges which arose (Weller, 2020, p.27).  This point stands out because it seems odd to me that questions were not asked and addressed prior to the implementation of the technology? Wouldn’t there have been a plan which included teaching model options? Was technology implemented with the hopes of bringing new solutions which ultimately introduced a new set of problems which may or may not have been predicted? In my work field, decisions are to be evidence based even when new products/innovations come out.  It is in my nature to ask for evidence to support or back up its claims.  I recognise that at the time, institutions were keeping up with the changes and that there was little to no research on web based learning at the time but I wonder what does the research show now? I look forward to continuing learning more about the histories of ed tech and discovering what we can learn from those histories.


Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press.

A Couple of Takeaways


Photo by nicollazzi xiong from Pexels

A couple of things stood out for me after listening to George Veletsianos’ (2021) audiocast where he answered some questions posed to him by our cohort.  The first thing was George’s response to the question about what he would have liked to have known when he was just starting in research.  Hearing George share that he wished that someone had told him to spend time focusing on what interested him served as a good reminder for me and is a beneficial piece of advice.  This will help me in the future as I prepare to make some big decisions regarding my MALAT research project.  I anticipate this research project will require a lot of time, work and commitment.  For this reason, I should ensure that it is something that I am passionate or very interested in conducting research otherwise it is likely that I will have an unpleasant first experience with a research project.

The second takeaway for me was George’s response to the question about how to approach conducting a literature review.  After watching Leary et al.’s (2017) YouTube video, I was under the impression that I would have to review ALL relevant literature as part of my MALAT program completion.  After listening to George, I am pleased to learn this is not the case.  Instead, George suggests that we should think of a literature review as a “review of relevant literature”.  Just adding the word “relevant” into the phrase will ensure that I remain on task and not get overwhelmed by all the available research and knowing that is an “a-ha” moment for me.


Leary, T., Childs, E., & Zornes, D. (2017, May 24). Conducting a Systematic Literature Review. [YouTube]. Research Shorts.

Veletsianos, G. (2021, August 11). Personal interview.  [Personal interview]

What Makes a Good Research Question?

Photo by Burak Kebapci from Pexels

After doing some online searching, I have discovered that a good research question is comprised of the following characteristics:

      • It should be clear and specific yet not too narrow or too broad.  The question needs to have a focus.
      • The question cannot be answered by a yes or no response but instead be answered through the research process.
      • The question should be a go between your existing knowledge and the problem you want to solve.
      • It should possess recognizable aspects of a theoretical framework.
      • It should be feasible to answer through research within a certain allotted time frame.

Other things to consider when creating a research question are to choose a topic of interest because of the amount of time spent  focused on the topic.  And consider a research question that is relevant to your field of study or how it could contribute to society.


Grant, C., and Osanloo, A. (2014). Understanding, selecting, and integrating a theoretical framework in dissertation research: Creating the blueprint for your ‘house’. Administrative Issues Journal: Connecting Education, Practice, and Research. DOI: 10.5929/2014.4.2.9

Monach University. (n.d.). Developing research questions. Monach University.

Royal Roads University. (n.d.). Thesis statements/Research questions/Problem statements. RRU Library.


Where Am I? Visual Network Map


I created this map manually by using Kumu which was a first for me.  This was not a difficult task as I had envision in my head what my network map could potentially look like.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when I completed it and in awe of all the connections I have made.

My map starts with me in the centre and I have colour coded different sections of my map and specifically focused on the networks formed in my career.  My Education networks are red and includes the new networks being created at Royal Roads.  My education connects to my dental hygiene network/career in purple.   Purple is the colour of dental hygiene/dentistry and when I started dental hygiene school, I had a non-existent “dental network” compared to some of my peers.

My dental hygiene network started in the program with my 20 classmates and has grown by working in various dental clinics and dental hygiene institutions. From there, I have cultivated a community of dental hygienists who I often reach out to for collaboration, support, and guidance.  I have close relations with my 20 classmates and often see them at the Pacific Dental Conference or most recently at Zoom events put on by our Association or College.

My dental hygiene career has taken me on a new path in Public Health with the First Nations Health Authority represented in orange.  This role has presented me with opportunities to connect to new dental networks provincially and federally.  My work has also given me the opportunity to forge relationships with First Nations communities in BC and relationships with the dental programs from the various Health Authorities in the province coloured in blue.

After seeing my visual map, I am impressed at the dental network that I have built over the span of almost 20 years and have been reflecting based on the readings from Dron and Anderson (2014) as to what I would classify a “group” or “network” or “set” based on the readings from Dron & Anderson, 2014.

I see my BC Dental Public Health Community of Practice as a group.  These dental hygienists and I meet once a month, “to work collaboratively to develop excellence and continuous quality improvement of dental public health services” (BCDPHCP, 2019, p. 1).  This is a group by definition as there is restricted membership to attend the meetings with certain fixed roles:  Chair, Co-Chair, Recorder and a Terms of Reference.

Overall, this has been an eye-opening exercise to see my networks visually mapped out this way and I see how many of the nodes are connected to various other nodes within my map.


British Columbia Dental Public Health Community of Practice. (2019). British Columbia Dental Public Health Community of Practice Terms of Reference. Unpublished.

Dron, J, & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching Crowds. Athabasca University Press. (pp. 93- 197).

Creating my Digital Identity and Presence

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”  

Alice in Wonderland

I have found comfort in knowing that I am not an anomaly in my MALAT cohort when it comes to having a near non-existent digital identity. Prior to last week, I never felt the need to have a digital identity nor did I recognize its value.  My digital map clearly illustrated that I was a “Visitor” and I viewed the Web as defined by White & LeCornu (2011), “[the Web] is not a ‘place’ to think or to develop ideas…,Visitors do their thinking off-line.  So Visitors are users, not members, of the Web and place little value in belonging online.” 

After taking some time to reflect upon the assigned readings, my opinions have been challenged that I need to take a new stance.  I recognize that there is value in becoming a “Resident” and that I have knowledge, experience and questions that are valuable to contribute to online networks.  So now, I have to devise a plan of how I am going to create my digital identity.  

My plan needs some goals.  They are:  

      1. To create a LinkedIn account to raise my dental professional profile.
      2. To create a Twitter account so that I am able to follow others who I have shared interests with.
      3. To develop and craft my blog into a professional portfolio of my learning and work.  

I will need to investigate the process around creating a Twitter account and LinkedIn account by seeking advice and guidance from trusted and experienced colleagues. This is personally a big step for me and I want to ensure I have control over the space I am creating and I plan to have the accounts set up by mid-May.  With my blog, I agree with the points made by Watters (2015), “[t]o own one’s own domain gives [me] an understanding of how Web technologies work.  It puts [me] in a much better position to control [my] work, [my] data, [my] identity online.” 

Currently, I feel comfortable with using digital technology and have a basic level of digital literacy.  However, there are gaps and I will need to ensure that I use my new “MALAT network” who are “Residents” to help me address these gaps.  I plan to solicit feedback, hints and tips from my peers, instructors and dental colleagues as I begin to create my digital identity.  I will also continue to read literature and ask questions to classmates and colleagues.

Measures of success will be establishing connections with my dental community and other professionals on my LinkedIn account.  Contributions to my comments section on my blog from peers and colleagues.  In addition, I will make a conscious effort to comment and engage in discussions on my classmates blogs.  My Twitter account will be established and I will be following my peers who have Twitter accounts as well as 5 professionals in the field of Learning and technology.  


Carroll, L. (2012). Alice’s adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass. Penguin Classics.

Watters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web we need to give students. Bright

White, D. S., & LeCornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).





Updated: My Digital Tech Use Map — Activity 2

After watching the video, Just the Mapping by Dave White, I quickly sketched out a draft of my digital map on a scrap piece of paper.  I decided to create the final version on paper and colour code my tool use.  Red for everyday use, blue for weekly-monthly use and green for rarely-almost never.  

During the preliminary sketch, I was consciously aware that I would lean more to the Visitors side of the map due to my lack of a digital presence on the Internet.  However, my work and school have created situations where I have had to create a digital “footprint” in order to stay connected or because it is required.

After taking some time to reflect on my map, two things stood out to me.  First, I was surprised at how my use of Zoom has trickled into all four areas of my map.  Some of my work Zoom calls are recorded and shared with stakeholders to disseminate information and may include a YouTube video for educational purposes which explains the overlap of the YouTube and Zoom bubbles.

The 2nd thing was the small green “Games” bubble all alone in the upper right quadrant.  It is included on my map because my sons created an Clash of Clans account for me so that I could share the experience of online gaming.  I am sad to report that I am not very good at maintaining a “clan” because I need check in daily.

My conceptual map highlighted the lack of activity in the Personal/Resident quadrant.  This is not surprising as I am aware that I have a little to no digital online presence but it brought forth the following questions:  does this mean that something is “wrong” because of lack of activity in this area?  Should we aim to have a good balance in all areas?  I felt that this is a very “black and white” classification approach for the most part.  However, with increased tool use, the lines are being blurred between Visitor and Resident even though I have tried to keep things separate.

Cormier’s alternate tension pair offers more insight and an additional layer to my conceptual map. Cormier (2018) says, “…V&R tends to look at things from a tool perspective rather than from the perspective of what someone is trying to get done”.  I find that there is more of a balance in this tension pair and can easily think of different situations where I will use digital vs analogue based on a collaborative or individual need.  For example, I initially drafted my map on a piece of paper for myself. If I need to do collaborative work with a group I find myself gravitating towards a digital collaborative tool to get the work done.  I find that this tension pair is more informative regarding my digital technology use.


Cormier, D. (2018, March 31).  Digital Practices Mapping – Intro activity for digital literacies course. WordPress.

White, D. (2013, September 13).  Just the Mapping.  YouTube.

Reflections from the 2021 Virtual Symposium

After attending the Virtual Symposium this week, I reflected on the ideas and themes that resonated with me from a dental professional perspective.  I questioned the ideas of open learning, collaboration  and potential opportunities within dental.  According to Cormier (2017, 49:10), “Most people don’t care where you got your degree from…there are very few jobs where people actually care what you know”. This broad general statement may apply to many work sectors however, this is not the case with dental hygiene education in British Columbia.   

Although you do not need a degree to be licensed in BC, there is status associated with some programs and there is stigma with others.  There are 6 accredited dental hygiene programs in BC and 1 degree program.  Many graduates complete a 2 year diploma program with the option of completing a degree through online studies.  1 of the dental hygiene programs is private; 18 months in length with a considerably higher tuition cost.  The main difference between the diploma and degree is the ability to own a private independent dental hygiene practice.  

I have worked in the dental field for over 15 years and know discrimination exists based on where you received your education.  I have had many conversations with employers, colleagues, students and educators who confirmed that some programs have higher status.  Employers/dentists do care where you were trained because dental hygiene programs are not seen as equal, even though all dental hygiene students need to pass the same National Board exam.

With the idea that dental hygiene education programs are not seen as equal, is there an opportunity to create an Open Educational Practice or Open Educational Resources?  Are some of these institutions territorial of their work due to a long standing history and not willing to share?  Coolidge (2021, 50:20), stressed “…the ability to share materials in a variety of formats is incredibly vital”.  This has  resonated with me and made me continue to ask the question: does open sharing of work exist in dental?  

Most recently, the 4 regulatory Oral Health Colleges in BC worked quickly and collaboratively in the early stages of the COVID pandemic to create the Oral Health Care during Phases 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 Response document.  The British Columbia Dental Association and the British Columbia Dental Hygienists’ Association hosted a joint webinar for their members about returning to practice. Prior to COVID, the Oral Health Colleges and Associations worked in their silos with little to no collaboration among the groups.  

These groups working together highlight some of the points raised in Harris’ session.  Harris (2021, 25:01) said, “No one person can do it all.  It’s the strength of the team that allows you to succeed”. These groups identified the need to work together to ensure safety of the public and their members; egos were put aside.

Moving forward, I would like to take Harris’ (2021, 23:24) question forward, “Where do I fit in here?” I see lots of potential opportunities to advocate for changes needed in dental hygiene education which involve technology.  With the sudden pivot last year to online learning, are institutions willing to share resources for others to use or create a community of practice that is inclusive to all?  I plan to initiate some conversations with the leads of some of these dental hygiene programs to identify gaps and search for possible solutions.  


British Columbia Dental Association & British Columbia Dental Hygienists’ Association. (2020, June 6).  BCDA/BCDHA: Return to work forum.  [PowerPoint slides].  Vimeo.

College of Dental Hygienists of BC, College of Dental Surgeons of BC,  College of Dental Technicians of BC & College of Denturists of BC.  (2020, August 18).  Oral Health Care during Phase 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 Response.  CDHBC.

Coolidge, A. (2021, April 12). Open Education:  what it is; what it does and its amazing impact! [Blackboard Collaboration presentation].

Cormier, D. (2017, April 18).  Intentional messiness of online communities.  [Blackboard Collaboration presentation].

Harris, C. (2021, April 14).  The person in the middle of the road: one educators journey supporting training and education.  [Blackboard Collaboration presentation].