Activity 5: The Great Media Debate (Megan Li and Tim Wong)

For this unit, we have been exploring the great media debate. The great media debate started in the 80s and centered on media’s impact on learning. On the one hand, Clark (1994) viewed media as a delivery tool for knowledge. He found that there were no learning benefits to the use of technology and that the media is a “mere vehicle that delivers instruction but does not influence student’s achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causing changes in nutrition” (Clark, 1983, p. 445). On the other hand, Kozma (1994) believed that the debate should be reframed to “will media influence learning” (p. 2). Kozma (1994) viewed media and learning as an interaction between learners’ environments and their cognitive processes (p. 3), including the media used for instruction. He suggests that there is no relationship between media and learning because one has not been made yet (p. 3). For this post, we have been asked to find two articles that show techno-deterministic thinking and consider how the two opposing sides of the great media debate would respond to these articles.

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LRNT 523 Assignment 1: People in the Field – Bonnie Stewart

Photo credit Bonnie Stewart

Currently teaching at the University of Windsor as an Assistant Professor of Online Pedagogy and Workplace Learning in Ontario, Dr. Bonnie Stewart has a rich and extensive background in knowledge and technologies for a couple of decades (Stewart, 2020). She is an educator, researcher, and EdTech influencer that focuses her work on digital and experiential pedagogy, data literacies, and educational change in contemporary society. Since 1998, Dr. Stewart started teaching online with the approach of building learners’ digital and media literacies through openness and relevant social media platforms and tools (Stewart, 2012). Dr. Stewart was also involved in Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) research during its early days in Canada. She received teaching awards at both University of Windsor and University of Prince Edward Island, and presented different topics in digital strategy, digital education, and community capacity-building in conferences and workshops around the world (Stewart, 2017).

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Reflecting on 25 Years of Ed Tech (2002 – 2011)

Photo by eLearning Industry

After reading the second 1/3 of Weller’s book, one lesson that I see as having immediate relevance is the Learning Management System (LMS) 2002 in chapter 9. Weller (2020) stated that the LMS provided an enterprise solution for e-learning for universities and stands as the central e-learning technology (p. 63). My organization has also adopted the LMS as an e-learning enterprise solution with multiple operating systems such as Quality Learning Management System (QLMS), UDUTU LMS (a platform for e-learning), etc. in the early 2000’s. Conole, de Laat, Dillon, and Darby noted in the chapter that the LMS was often used as a place to dump notes…rather than engage in the more experimental pedagogies in constructivism (p. 64). For example, the LMS in my company seems to be a ‘good enough’ (p. 64) in-house system which allows their employees and contractors to sign up for training courses as needed (some conduct and safety courses would be mandatory). It also supports training completion tracking and recording for each individual. However, it does not make effective use of asynchronous communication to enhance employee and/ or contractor interaction and collaborative learning in this case. 

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Reflect on reading – 25 Years of Ed Tech (1994 – 2001)

After reading the first 1/3 of Weller’s book, 25 Years of Ed Tech, I realized I have taken education technology for granted without knowing a lot of history about it. Reflecting on my education and work, Ed Tech has always been a part of learning since I started elementary school more than 25 years ago. For example, I learned shapes and colours through some memory games in a computer, and I played running race game using two keys in the keyboard. According to Alcanja (n.d.), the definition of Ed Tech is “when computer hardware and/or software are integrated into the educational sector to facilitate learning”. Thus, if I were to write a similar book, I would start in the 1980s because Ed Tech has already started before the internet was born.

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What makes a good research question?

In this blog post, we were asked to share one or two key characteristics that make a good research question. Firstly, what is a research question? According to Heldt (2016), it is “what you need to learn in order to come up with a good thesis statement” (para. 1).

Secondly, a good research question acts as a guidance to provide your paper, project or thesis a clear focus and purpose (McCombes, 2019). Here are two features of a good question that stood out for me:

Feasible and specific

The question should be narrowed down and be more specific when there is a lack of time and difficulty searching for enough data (McCombes, 2019). As I usually work under a time-pressured environment, I need to consider the practical constraints and ensure the question is answered with well-defined concepts instead of broad ideas that do not provide clear meanings.

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Digital Learning Impacts in Rural Communities

In unit 4 activity 1, we were asked to discuss impacts of digital learning in pairs/triads. Terry and I selected Canva to create an infographic which highlights the positive and negative impacts of digital learning in rural communities. After reviewing several literatures and data on this topic, it was a great reminder for myself that internet and technology accessibility cannot be taken for granted. Something that seems easily available for me everyday does not mean the same for many others just like electricity, water and even shelters. On the bright side, the pandemic has actually generated some positive impacts to the remote communities hence bringing the connectivity gap a little closer.

I hope you enjoy reading our post.


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Unit 3 Readings Reflections

After the completion of unit 3 readings, I have learned that the opportunities to learn and socialize in continuously growing digital learning environments are ubiquitous (Veletsianos, 2016). This reassured my overall goal of cultivating my digital identity and digital presence (DIDP) plan in which I desire to learn together and establish life-long learning relationships with other stakeholders in the community.

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Visual Network Mapping

Figure 1

Megan’s Visual Network Mapping

For this exercise, I used Kumu’s stakeholder template to create my visual network mapping. You can select the link under Figure 1 to obtain a clearer image of the map. I selected this template because it provides a simplistic and feasible visual map that I can explore my network in a visually engaging way. Instead of focusing on one specific area of my network, I prefer to see an all-inclusive view of my networks. I located myself in the middle of the map and surrounded by five main elements: Organizations, Family and Friends, Schools, Digital Network and Leisure. As I was adding the nodes and edges to the map, I can see a map of connections and stories, personal and professional growth and development, relationships, values, learning, and reflections.   

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My Digital Identity Digital Presence Plan

In Unit 2 – Activity 2, I created a map of my technology use by applying White and Le Cornu’s visitor-resident typology (2011). The map demonstrates a resourceful insight to my digital presence which emerges in more digital spaces than I expected. I predict that my digital presence in the resident spectrum will further develop with the increase of knowledge and awareness of new technologies, media platforms and digital tools over the next two years. Schryver’s (2013) question in her blog, “Are you the ‘Real You’ online?” causes me to have some deep thoughts about my digital identity. I believe I have been representing my authentic self; however, I also edit my photos because I want to be reasonably presentable in public.  How much editing is acceptable to still show the real you? I think I will continue to define my digital identity throughout this course.  

In the following sections, I will discuss my overall goal and purpose by cultivating digital identity and digital presence, my approach for achieving this goal, strengths and weaknesses, strategies to address the identified knowledge gaps, and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) metric for measures of success.  

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My Technology Use Map

Figure 1

Megan’s Technology Use Map

Note. This figure demonstrates my use of digital technologies and “engagement with the Web” under four quadrants – Visitor, Resident, Personal and Institutional using the resident-visitor typology (White and Le Cornu, 2011).

Reflecting from the map, I realize my internet usage for different software and applications has significantly increased due to covid restrictions and full-time working from home during the last two years. I visualize my use of technology map would be quite vacant few years ago compare to how it looks like today.  

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Virtual Symposium Reflection April 11-15, 2022

The week of week of Virtual Symposium was a great commencement of the MALAT Program. As a newly joined member of the program, the symposium was a very instructive and mind-blowing space where I can learn from so many professionals, subject matter experts and current students regarding learning and technology. Each of them had an admirable story to share. The openness and the respectfulness of diversity and inclusion was truly recognized.

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This is the Time!

I can’t remember how many times I have questioned myself, ” Should I do it?”, “Is this the right time?”, “Can I do it?” Courage plays a tremendous part when hesitation and deferment happen frequently in the work-life balance equation. Here I am! Three weeks into the MALAT Program, and I am still feeling nervous and overwhelmed. At the same time, I am also excited and have no regret in starting this journey at this stage of my life.

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