Select Page

Episode 189, Saturday April 20 at 6 pm Eastern

Special Issue; Special Show: Exploring Higher Education Futures at the Intersection of Hope, Justice, and EdTech

Session Abstract:

In Episode #189 of Silver Lining for Learning, we will explore a special issue of the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. Edited by a team of experts in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia our guests ponder higher education futures at the intersection of hope, justice, and educational technology. Join us in this thought-intensive session and help us imagine bright and hopeful futures of higher education.

More about our guests below the video

Dr. George Veletsianos (Γιώργος Βελετσιάνος) is a Cypriot-Canadian academic, born and raised on the divided island of Cyprus. He now lives and works on the lands of the Dakhóta Oyáte (Dakota People), in Mni Sota Makoce (Minnesota), where he is Professor in the Learning Technologies program at the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He holds the Bonnie Westby Huebner Chair in Education and Technology, and prior to his current position he held the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology (2013-2023) and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Flexible Education (2019-2022). He is a former Fulbright scholar, a D’Arcy McGee Beacon fellow, a BCcampus Open Education and Advocacy fellow, and an early-career fellow of the EU Network of Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning.

Dr. Veletsianos has been designing, developing, and evaluating digital learning environments for nearly 20 years. His research agenda is focused on addressing complex problems related to education and society, such as inequitable access and harassment that academics and knowledge workers are subjected to when they share their scholarship online. Because possible solutions to these difficult problems cut across multiple disciplines, his research has embraced collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and methodological pluralism. His research agenda focuses on three strands: (1) design, development, and evaluation of online and blended learning environments , (2) the study of learning experiences and participation in emerging online environments, and (3) learning futures. In these contexts, he studies learners’ and faculty experiences with online learning, flexible education, networked scholarship, and emerging technologies and pedagogical practices. Dr. Veletsianos wrote and/or edited four books, and has individually and collaboratively published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and reports. His latest book is Learning Online: The student experience (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). He is recognized as one of the most cited researchers in the fields of education, online learning, and instructional design and technology (Baas, Koyak, & Ioannides, 2021Bodily, Leary, & West, 2019Bozkurk et al., 2015Ioannides, 2023Ratnasari, Chou, & Huang, 2024), but is skeptical of metrics and concerned about their (mis)use. He has received funding from such organizations as the Canada Research Chairs Program, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, National Science Foundation, and the Commonwealth of Learning.

Dr. Camille Dickson-Deane is the Deputy Head of Research for the School of Professional Practice and Leadership at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. She is a Fulbright and Organisation of American States (OAS) scholar with her research focusing on pedagogical usability, individual differences and contextualized online learning designs. She serves on two Q1 editorial boards Educational Technology Research and Development and Internet and Higher Education, along with serving as an advisor for the open science publishing project EdTechnica and an Associate Editor for Journal of Computing in Higher Education. She is also an Australian representative on the EDUCAUSE Horizon Report panel of experts having served since 2021.

Sakinah Alhadad is an educator and researcher working at the intersection of psychology, learning sciences, and education. The broad goal of my translational research and educational practice work is underpinned by equity and social justice. My research lives at the intersection of psychology, education, the learning sciences, and digital design-based methods. I am adept at interdisciplinary research methods, adopting quantitative and qualitative methodologies as appropriate per project. I have a particular interest in critical methodologies. In working towards justice-oriented higher education, I focus on the minoritised and the racialised, from an intersectional perspective. My overarching research interest is in how knowledge may be constructed, evaluated, integrated, and valued for a diverse, justice-oriented future. This program of research honours and centers conceptual and methodological tools that treat education inequity as a social and historical problem. I am concerned with understanding the social, cultural, cognitive, and emotional dimensions of human learning as they contribute to educational wellbeing, equity, and justice. To this end, I study the processes that people engage in within settings that cultivate transformative learning, as situated in pedagogical mediation, and in epistemic thinking and feeling (or epistemic cognition and emotion). Methodologically, I am interested in what forms of inquiry, language, and environments can most generatively, authentically, and respectfully illuminate issues relevant for educational justice in learning and teaching. Thus, I am interested in how we can engage in educational research that researches with rather than on people. Hence, I prioritise collaborative approaches to research and design, partnering with teachers, students, and stakeholders to study the conditions that foster educational wellbeing, equity, change, and justice. Teaching: I prioritise the pedagogy of care, equity, and justice to foster culturally-inclusive epistemic fluency. As I subscribe to philosophies of teaching that focus on educating the whole person (à la Paolo Freire; bell hooks), I consistently apply evidence-based, learner-centered, digitally-enabled pedagogical strategies with educational dignity and liberation for diverse students at the heart of my practice. I design, develop, facilitate, and evaluate innovative curricula and teaching approaches with the aim of enhancing learning wellbeing, student retention, and success, whilst fostering knowledge and capabilities for the changing world of work as entangled with societal and environmental challenges. I work to optimise student learning such that students are equipped to meaningfully contribute to (and be in!) society as efficacious, purposeful, empowered, metacognitive lifelong learners and civic citizens. My teaching expertise is extensive and deep (across the spectrum of undergraduate-postgraduate-professional learners; and all teaching modes: blended, online, hybrid), spanning from large first year courses in psychological science and education, to specialist undergraduate and postgraduate level courses, to that of academic development in University L&T.

Jen Ross is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Education, co-director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education, and Education Futures fellow at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, where I am programme director for the MSc in Education Futures. I research, teach, and publish on online and open education, digital cultural heritage engagement, and digital cultures and futures. I’m one of the team behind the Manifesto for Teaching Online and the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC. I co-ordinate the Digital Cultural Heritage cluster in the Centre for Data, Culture and Society, and lead the Digital Cultural Heritage Research Network.

Shandell Houlden is an interdisciplinary cultural theorist, writer and communication specialist. Her work uses feminist, creative and anti-colonial methods to examine topics in internet and media studies as well as education technology. With an expertise in social and environmental justice, she publishes across disciplines, including in education, health communication, and media studies, and teaches using flexible and open design to facilitate equitable access to learning. Houlden is also a postdoctoral researcher at Royal Roads. Her work focuses on COVID-19 misinformation and health communication strategies, as well as education futures in a post-COVID-19 and climate emergency world. She is a volunteer member with the Sooke Climate Action Committee as well as a volunteer with local nature connection communities that work with both youth and adults, which inform her practices as an educator.