Andrew Downey shared an insightful post on his blog globalconnectionusq about some of the limitations of NGL. He mentions that it seems “that everyone is very positive about NGL but no one is discussing some negative aspects of it.” I certainly have been largely extolling the virtues of this learning method in my posts, due to my excitement at having a new bunch of techno tools to play with. Although I have touched on the challenges of workplace web-security as a limitation to working in the online space, I had not considered some of the other aspects Andrew draws our attention to in his post:
“Equity and Accessibility to Technology-could be a large issue for students who may live in rural or low socioeconomic areas or simply have logistical problems accessing it.
Computer Literacy-Both students and facilitators must possess a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to function successfully in an online environment
The Students-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 and can cause issues with appropriate use of the technology
The Facilitator-Lack of essential online qualities and may struggle to teach and grasp the concepts of the technology”
In fact, Equity and Accessibility in particular is challenging for me as a teacher, as my students are dispersed across the country and do not all have access to the best technology. This will be something I will need to consider at greater length as I look to design a fitting NGL activity in my context. Each of the other limitations he has discussed have also provided me with some useful food for thought. Thanks Andrew for thinking critically about this topic and sharing your ideas.