Being Critical of NGL

In response to Andrew’s post “Being Critical of NGL” and Deb’s comments

HI Andrew and Deb

I both agree and disagree with your comments.

I’m not sure that people haven’t been critical of NGL.

How much of the early isolation, confusion and frustration expressed by a number of us in the course weren’t a result of challenges with NGL?


Did David err in asking for 4 technologies to be downloaded in the first week?  Was this a result of his underestimating his familiarity with the NGL environment?  Would it have been better to adopt a more graduated approach?  Or was the, “throw them in and see who learns to swim”, a deliberate ploy?  Has our network struggled to get off the ground because of the way the technology was introduced?  Would we feel more connected if we had been moving at similar paces earlier in the program?  Have some of our colleagues been left behind (abandoned) as a result of the way the program has been developed? Are we even really connected now?

Computer Literacy:

Is it reasonable to simply put things down to computer literacy (I am computer literate, however these particular technologies are unfamiliar – so what does literacy mean in this context)?  There is also literacy (familiarity) with the world of NGL with its different ways of operating.

 The Students:

There is also a prevailing assumption of dependency (“ie While an online method of education can be a highly effective alternative medium of education for the mature, self-disciplined student, it is an inappropriate learning environment for more dependent learners“) which doesn’t seem to be founded on fact.  How much of this is simply based on unfamiliarity with the medium and how to operate effectively within it?  If someone was struggling to learn to ride a bike for the first time when they had never seen one before, we wouldn’t be describing them as ‘a dependent learner’.  As teachers, surely we would be reviewing our expectations … and whether we had provided adequate guidelines or instruction.  Is it unreasonable for learners to expect some degree of guidance from the ‘teaching’ authority?  Is this an issue of role expectation and lack of clarity of how that role might be changed in an NGL environment?  Should the facilitator be clear upfront as to what the students can expect/not expect?

Image courtesy of Paul L Dineen on Flickr

Yes, critical thinking is important, however some of what might be going on could be an assumption of SEKK (Surely everybody knows knowledge).

Food for thought!