Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics


This article was written on 05 Apr 2019, and is filled under Volume 14 2019, Volume 14 No 1 - 2.

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Technology in Education Column

by Dr Sandra Bassendowski

Dr. Sandra Bassendowski

The Technology in Education column is written by one of our CNA Centennial 100 Award Winners, Dr. Sandra Bassendowski, who is a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Sandra recognized a need, and offered to write this important feature for the CJNI in this column, focused on how technology can be used in nursing education and by nurses in general. Sandra has been recognized by the Canadian Nurses Association, as well as the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association and the University of Saskatchewan for her inspiring, dedicated work in her educational practice.


Learning with e's

The challenge is this: Use the image to the left, (or another of your own choice) incorporate it into your blog, and write a post about learning based on it. It’s OK – the photo is mine and it’s licensed under Creative Commons so you can use it with attribution. See what you can make of it!” The above challenge and photo comes from the blog “Learning with e’s” by Steve Wheeler(July 20, 2015).

Sandra Bassendowski

One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was that I have a similar photo with worn and used desks and I reflected on what my photo says to me and how I could use the strategy of #blimage with students. Educators frequently find themselves positioned between what has traditionally been done in teaching and learning environments and what is now needed to take advantage of the available technological tools and virtual environments. How can we find value in these in-between spaces? How do we become innovative? What is needed for innovation to occur? How do educators make new connections, switch lenses, and implement new strategies in different types of settings and environments? (Herz, 2005). 

The newer generations of students have different perspectives about teaching and learning than past generations.  Classrooms need to shift from faculty dissemination of information to a focus on more learning that is self-directed, creative, and individualized so that students engage in relevant learning activities (Chicca & Shellenbarger, 2018).Today’s students have been raised to question everything around them and challenge the status quo. I believe that the partnership of new educational pedagogies and innovative technologies will continue to make the biggest difference in the transformation of our educational environments. We will be faced with copyright issues, appropriate use of teaching tools, and the need to transition from our long-held traditions, but we can use a variety of initiatives to enhance educational experiences.

A few weeks ago, I walked into the auditorium at the end of the semester and stood for a couple of minutes looking at all the empty chairs. At that moment, I thought about the current tools of technology and how they support learning “at any time and any place” and that maybe we should be striving for empty classrooms with row upon row of empty chairs. This image enforces the idea that we have choices for delivery of course content and encourages us to consider the question about how we define face-to-face delivery. I am more inclined to think of the learning space portrayed by the photos as ‘chair-to-chair’ teaching and that the face-to-face interaction can be (should be) virtual and/or physical. By using innovative tools of technology, we can connect with students, regardless of where they are, and deliver high quality course content. These are exciting times in education!


Herz, J.C. (2005). The space between: Creating a context for learning. EDUCAUSEReview, 40(3), 30-39. Retrieved October 25, 2009 from

Chicca, J., & Schellenbarger, T. (2018). Connecting with Generation Z: Approaches to nursing education. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 13(3), 180-184. 

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