Design and Technology in Online Spaces: Health, Work, Education and the Future

“Design and Technology in Online Spaces: Health, Work, Education and the Future” by Michael Menchaca of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, United States, has been announced as the first keynote to be presented at The European Conference on Arts, Design & Education (ECADE2022), on-site and online from the University of Porto, Portugal.

The ECADE2022 Organising Committee is currently calling for papers to be presented at the event. Submit your abstracts by April 22, 2022 to participate.

To participate in ECADE2022 as an audience member, please register for the conference.

The presentation will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.


Design and Technology in Online Spaces: Health, Work, Education and the Future

Conventional wisdom and popular media typically focus on the more negative facets of the online world: isolation, poor infrastructure, challenges with student learning, and too many Zoom meetings. However, the reality is that online technology has provided an alternate outcome to an even more potentially disastrous reality. This was no accident. Programmers and designers have tinkered for years to create robust online spaces that support health, the workplace, and especially education. The calamitous times of the pandemic only emphasize the utility and necessity of these spaces. In this talk, I will highlight some of the important work supporting the design and implementation of online spaces, including in areas of health, work, and education. I will also briefly talk about what designers envision for the future.

For health, data indicate that distance technology likely saved lives and lowered exposure. I will review some of the important advances in telemedicine and remote learning that allowed for managing risk during the pandemic. In the workforce, beyond just managing exposure, telework has transformed how we work and many companies continue to provide permanent options. Most significantly, in education, exposure to remote teaching has led to purposeful, design-based learning that has transformed learning experiences in all areas: primary, secondary, post-secondary, training, and even informal.

However, each of these areas still faces significant challenges, including patient experiences, working abroad, tax implications, infrastructure, and even global collaboration. But rather than allow such challenges to inhibit progress, we can rely on purposeful design and both fiscal and human investment for success. I will outline some of the major challenges in each of the areas discussed and conclude with a focus on how purposeful design and futurist thinking can help build back better in a post-pandemic future. In short, I will show how we can embrace online spaces and not lament how we have been forced to rely on them.

Speaker Biography

Michael Menchaca
University of Hawai’i at Manoa, United States

Michael Menchaca

Michael Menchaca is Chair of the Department of Learning Design and Technology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He specialises in distance education, and has designed, implemented, and coordinated online and hybrid programs for over 20 years. He serves as editor for the IAFOR Journal of Education: Technologies and Education Special Edition. He was an IT specialist for many years in the public and private sector. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of online learning, technology integration, and social justice with technology.

Posted by IAFOR