Valerie Irvine and Technology as a Form of Social Justice

Valerie’s presentation on multi-access learning gave me a lot to think about. I think she did a great job breaking down face to face, online, blended, and multi-access classrooms. Through this thorough break down, one could see the benefits to a multi-access classroom. My biggest take-aways from Valerie were not necessarily the multi-learning paradigm itself, but instead the importance of promoting inclusive learning environments, personalizing options for students, and being a flexible educator not stuck in your ways, or in your modality bias.

The importance of inclusive classrooms should really speak for itself. Not only will inclusive environments benefit learners, but the more choice we are able to offer students, the more engaged they will be in what they are doing. Valerie presented a means to promote this inclusive, engaging learning environment.

I will definitely head Valerie’s words, but it does not mean that I am without my reservations. While this might have just been for myself, I could not help but feel a sense of irony about the presentation. I felt less engaged, and more disconnected during the presentation done via video chat than I do during a presentation with a live speaker. Some of it had to do with the technological restraints of UNBC, which kind of also highlights another reservation I have about the idea of a fully realized multi-access classroom – if UNBC doesn’t have the tech, will a public school? While I am not sure if a multi-access classroom can authentically adhere to UNBC’s School of Education’s themes of people, place, and land, I think there are still a lot of takeaways which can be derived from Valerie’s work. I would love to hear more from her.

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