A Letter from the Director: Responding to COVID-19

I’m writing today to address the growing concern and difficult reality of the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have been clear: this virus is something we must pay attention to, and we must act if we are going to slow its spread.

As the director of an event myself, I commend EDUCAUSE for cancelling their ELI meeting in Seattle this past weekend; and though I watched the Association of Writers & Writing Programs consider the fate of their own event in San Antonio, and ultimately decide to hold the event—which attracts thousands of visitors and features a book room with over 700 exhibitors—I am concerned that more large scale events are not taking this seriously.

Digital Pedagogy Lab 2020 takes place July 27-31 at the University of Colorado Denver. At the time of this writing, there are two reported cases of COVID-19 in Colorado. Hopefully, we can stop the spread of the virus before that number increases. All of us at the Lab are keeping a close eye on the news and updates from the CDC and WHO, and we currently have no plans to cancel the 2020 Lab.

Although July is still some months away, I am sympathetic to concerns about travel to Colorado—or just about anywhere—and to how those concerns may impact your plans to attend DPL 2020. I’m also aware that our lower priced early bird registration rates end on April 12 (just a bit over a month away), and I don’t think any added pressure to register before we know more is appropriate.

Today, I’ve extended the early bird registration until May 10, 2020. My hope is that this will allow everyone who wishes to register for DPL 2020 a little more time to make that decision in the face of this outbreak.

Additionally, Jesse Stommel and I will offer a fully online one-week course—Critical Digital Pedagogy—simultaneous to the on-campus event for those who are unable or unwilling to travel to the States or to Denver. Stay tuned for more information about that course coming next week.

As I’ve said, we will be staying up to date on information out of the CDC and WHO in the coming weeks. I will let you know immediately if there is any news relevant to DPL 2020. Meanwhile, I remain hopeful and very excited to see you in Denver this July!

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Sean Michael Morris

Sean Michael Morris is the Director of Digital Pedagogy Lab and senior instructor of Learning Design and Technology at the University of Colorado Denver.

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