Tensions and reflections

Tensions and reflections

Throughout this course, an aura of positivity surrounds NGL. I do not know if this is because no one wants to bring the negative aspects to the table, or simply because NGL does have transformative abilities within the educational space.

Reading the articles “Technology and education – why it’s crucial to be critical” and “All models are wrong – but some are useful” made me realise that there is an absence of critical thinking within NGL. This made me question the negative aspects of NGL.

Firstly, the amount of technology, and its constant promotion can be an overwhelming experience for students. Throughout this course, I felt like new technologies were constantly shoved in my face, (right from the blog’s creation to the integration of Diigo, Reddit and nameless other tools). Would it have been better to integrate the technology gradually? Or was the constant promotion of technology a deliberate strategy to compel students out of their comfort zone? Was it a way of enhancing deeper reflection? Collaborative learning?

Or, were some students left behind because of the way technology was introduced? . My statement stems from the lack of posts from other people’s blog, which in turn, makes it difficult for me to comply with my requirement as a student, to link to other people’s posts.

In addition, as students, I felt like we struggled to “take off” as a network, simply because each of us was moving at a difference pace within the NGL environment, with most of us (including me) hovering in liminality. A few weeks ago Mitch and Keturah disagreed with my post “Are we a group, network or collective?” I still stand by my view, even stronger than before. In truth, I think we are evolving, but believe as a learning community, we have not established ourselves as a network, but as a group or task-based community that is simply aiming to meet student requirements.

One of the shortcoming of NGL that I have found is a sense of isolation.  No one has commented on each other’s blog, and there as been a lack of presence from the facilitator. As a result, the NGL course and the connections within it, did not provide me with feedback or motivation that could have enhanced further action within my own learning.

This post was not meant to be one of negativity, but as acknowledged by Hearn (2013) it takes courage to critique, which is “required if technology and education is to become a genuinely significant area of academic endeavor,” (Selwyn, 2014).


Hearn, A. (2013). Situation critical. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 10(2-3):273-279.

Jones, D. (2015). All models are wrong, but some are useful and its application to e-learning. Retrieved 27 August, from, http://djon.es/blog/2015/08/28/all-models-are-wrong-but-some-are-useful-and-its-application-to-e-learning/

Selwyn, N. Technology and education: why it’s crucial to be critical. Retrieved 27 August from, https://www.academia.edu/7771394/Technology_and_education_-_why_its_crucial_to_be_critical



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