The Techno Files: Loni Davis
The Techno Files is a series of short interviews featuring people associated with the MA in Learning and Technology (MALAT) program.
Loni Davis is a California-based consultant who - to me - exemplifies life as a scholar-practitioner and boundary-spanner. She is about to teach in the new online-only version of the MALAT program. I recently interviewed her for Crossroads.
Could you share a bit about your interests and how they relate to MALAT?
As both a public school educator early on in my career and an organizational development (OD) consultant for the past 20 years, I have always had a keen interest in this intertwining of the social and technical. I have been particularly interested in how new technologies shape the key social structures of workplace and education. In my recent dissertation research, I examined how individual’s mobile practices are shifting the spatial, temporal, and psychosocial boundaries of workplace. I believe this “shifting” has profound implications for how we design and manage the workplace going forward.
In both my roles as an educator and an OD consultant, much of my work has focused on designing learner /learner or participant/participant interaction (as central to all learning and change). The affordances that new technologies and social media bring to this endeavor have only made these efforts more challenging, complex, and interesting. I have been drawn to Royal Roads MLAT program because it has a clear, and in many ways, cutting edge mission of developing leadership in learning and technology - not as an “add-on expertise or set of skills” but as core to a changing world of education and learning. I also come to Royal Roads in the spirit of the phrase “we teach what we need to learn” and know that I have as much to learn as I hope I have to offer in this academic community.
What is intriguing you about your current work with different organizations?
Speaking of learning, one of the things that faculty, staff, or students may not know about me in that I am currently in the middle of using and learning four different learning management systems (LMS ) — associated with different courses I am teaching. Given that, I’m doing my own experimental research about the pros and cons of these various LMS systems particularly in terms of which ones do justice to facilitating learner /learner interaction. I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Could you share a quote that inspires you in your work?
Technology enables a space of possible forms of cognition and interaction; there is a non-linear and complex relationship between technological possibilities and social systems.” (Fuchs, 2008, p.78).