Attending the 2021 MALAT symposium was an enlightening experience for me. The variety of presentations was impressive, and the dedication and commitment to each individual research project, consultation project, or professional area of research was clear from every presenter I had the opportunity to hear or read.
Two speakers I found particularly captivating, were Dr. Bill Muirhead and Dr. Lorayne Robinson, who spoke on digital privacy in an age where it seems, everything is now digital. Their discussions on potential ethical solutions and their drawbacks drew my attention, both as an educator and a parent of children being raised in a digital age. I left the session with more questions than I had upon entering, although the questions will help to shape how I approach digital interventions and interactions in a lasting manner. Most poignantly – Does everyone involved understand AND consent to the true reaches of their involvement/engagement?
Earl Einarson‘s Applied Research Project on incorporating indigenous worldviews in online environments was also thought provoking, however in a different sense than Dr. Muirhead and Dr. Robinson presentation. Earl chose to research a subject where peer reviewed catalogues of existing research does not currently exist. Choosing to be a ‘place maker’ in this niche of learning presents an interesting challenge. A wealth of knowledge (dated or not) does not exist to draw from, however there are no limits to what could be explored or discovered. Leading the way for this research provides great value to the learning field, and to the lives of communities and individuals effected by this work.
An additional presentation that intrigued me, was the padlet presentation “A meta-analysis of virtual reality methodology on empathy training focused on healthcare providers”, by Alistair Linds. Empathy, and empathy training is a topic that I encounter frequently in my employment. While I appreciate Alistair’s attempts at augmenting reality to provide training to healthcare providers, I question the appropriateness of the delivery method given the topic. Empathy is a very subjective topic, and those with low empathetic capabilities often require additional context, or perspective to develop understanding of how others may feel in a specific situation. Virtual Reality, from what I am aware of, may not have the ability to provide deeper context to those who function with lower empathy capacities. I am interested in seeing Alistair’s work progress and reading about his findings.
The symposium provided me insight and relief. The insight gained provided a look at how diverse and broad our projects may be, toward the end of our studies. The relief came from hearing how approachable and accessible the program was, from the perspectives of current learners, nearing the end of their journey. The symposium was a valuable use of my time, and an informative way to kick off the MALAT program.
Muirhead, B. , Robinson, L. (2021). Living and Learning Online: Why Digital Privacy is Everyone’s Responsibility [PowerPoint slides]. Royal Roads University MALAT Program: http://bit.ly/MuirheadRobertsonVS2021
Einarson, E. (2021). How can we incorporate Indigenous Worldviews in the creation of online culturally safe learning environments? [PowerPoint slides]. Royal Roads University MALAT Program: http://bit.ly/EarlMarkVS2021
Linds, A. (2021). A meta-analysis of Virtual Reality methodology on empathy training focused on healthcare providers [PowerPoint slides]. Royal Roads University MALAT Program: https://youtu.be/XV5UAsUqaws