This week’s topic one readings all offer a unique insight into navigating how we teach as well as learn during this growing incorporation of technology into academics. While it seems the primary focus of Stommel (2018) and Vaughan, Garrison, & Cleveland-Innes (2013) is the appropriate integration of educational technology into academics, I found that both papers had an underlying theme of, as Stommel (2018) describes it, “Good digital pedagogy is just good pedagogy.” Stommel (2018) argues of a need for a framework that will advance education using technology as an engaging tool in collaboration with conventional education and Vaughan et al. (2013) describes how that framework should operate to inspire active curiosity and inquiry. This proposed framework promotes discourse and engagement with material, as opposed to what may become the old-fashioned method of instruction, in which a lecturer talks for an hour and students regurgitate what they remember on a test. In addition, rethinking how we educate ourselves and the overwhelming trend of technology in education allows us the ability to tailor a learning experience to a specific individual. Incorporation of online resources represents a huge opportunity to change our educational systems and institutions.
Regan & Jesse (2019) explain that this approach is not without its challenges as educational discrimination could be seeing a renaissance behind computer screens and appropriate usage and storage of private data is still a concern for educators, students, and government agencies. Though it may be grim, I find myself drawing comparisons between cyber security and physical safety. In the same way schools prepare for unwelcome visitors on campus, they must prepare for unwelcome parties viewing or using private data. End-to-end encryption of private data should be active in all instances of blended learning. I found it slightly unclear what the ideal balance of differential learning and educational discrimination is in Regan & Jesse (2019). How can we personalize learning to encourage engaging inquiry while not discriminating based on ability? I am inclined to agree with Regan & Jesse (2019) that educators deserve algorithm transparency in order to maintain a learning environment that can facilitate the goals laid out by Stommel (2018) and Vaughan et al. (2013) as well as avoid discrimination based education. I will be interested to see if their are other instances in the future of the line between personalization and discrimination becoming too blurry.
The common theme I find between the three readings this week is the possibility to revolutionize education in a way that benefits all, while being cautious not to abuse technology or let it be abused by others.
Stommel, J. (2018). An urgency of teachers: The work of critical digital pedagogy. Hybrid Pedagogy.
Vaughan, N. D., Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. AU Press. [Chapter 1]
Regan, P., & Jesse, J. (2019). Ethical challenges of edtech, big data and personalized learning: Twenty-first century student sorting and tracking. Ethics and Information Technology, 21(3), 167-179. DOI: 10.1007/s10676-018-9492-2