Thoughts about the Future

The COVID-19 pandemic forced dental programs which had only ever been face to face to quickly move to online instruction in order to complete the 20/21 school year.  With this sudden shift to online learning, institutions re-evaluated the previously held notion that dental programs could never be taught online because students needed face to face instruction to develop competent clinical skills and the necessary communication skills to have close personal face to face interactions with their patients. 

In 2030, blended or hybrid dental programs have become the norm allowing dental students increased flexibility to do a portion of their studies from home.  However, moving to this model required learning institutions to rely on the steady, reliable nature of the LMS as described by Weller (2020) which led to an increased use of learning analytics.  With learning analytics, Pelletier et al., (2021) explain that institutions were able to harness the data to respond to student needs early by identifying those who exhibited low engagement or did not perform well on early assessments.  By doing so, institutions were able to ensure that there was little to no attrition within cohorts,  With the gathering of all this student data issues arose issues of whether it was legal, ethical or both.  Zijlstra-Shaw & Stokes (2018) state, “the issue of what is essential data for tracking learner performance and what is data captured because it is available and might be useful in the future presents an issue for the ethical and informed use of student data” (e659).  By 2030, institutions had worked through some of the challenges faced early on with the push to blended or hybrid dental programs.  


Pelletier, K., Brown, M., Brooks, D. C., McCormack, M., Reeves, J., Arbino, N., Bozkurt, A., Crawford, S., Czerniewicz, L., Gibson, R., Linder, K., Mason, J., & Mondelli, V. (2021). 2021 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report Teaching and Learning Edition.

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

Zijlstra-Shaw, S., & Stokes, C. W. (2018). Learning analytics and dental education; choices and challenges. European journal of dental education: official journal of the Association for Dental Education in Europe, 22(3), e658-e660.

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.