The Digital Pedagogy Lab 2016 Institute

“Any radical pedagogy must insist that everyone’s presence is acknowledged.” ~ bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress

In August 2015, eighty educators gathered in Madison, Wisconsin for the inaugural Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute. The four fellows attending the Institute reflected on the work they did while there. One of those fellows, Robin DeRosa, wrote about the collective experience of the group,

What we learned if we learned anything at the Institute is that the public only works when the public is empowered to speak in ways that the structures that contain that public might not endorse or facilitate.

Another fellow, Stephen Barnard, reflected on steps to take once the Institute ended:

I cannot think of a better expression of praxis-oriented pedagogy than an education that emphasizes doing what it seeks to teach. Thus, educators should get to work designing and constructing pedagogical practices that live up to their promises.

We look back on their experience, and the varied experiences of other participants, as we work to shape this year’s event.

Digital Pedagogy Lab’s 2016 Summer Institute will take place on August 8 – 12 at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. Today, we are opening pre-registration and accepting fellowship applications. Registration will officially open on March 31. Pre-registration ends on March 30 at noon Eastern time. Last year, most institute tracks filled prior to the close of early bird registration, so be sure to pre-register to reserve a spot.

Digital Pedagogy Lab is a 5-day practical institute that helps prepare learners, educators, librarians, administrators, and others to teach and work with digital technology. The institute is part of the outreach mission of the Hybrid Pedagogy 501(c)3 non-profit. Last year, the institute was co-hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison. This year’s event is a partnership with University of Mary Washington. We offer significant discounts to adjuncts / students and a few full fellowships. The learning community we create together will be welcoming to a wide range of skill levels and interests.


Jesse Stommel is Executive Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at University of Mary Washington. He is also Director of Hybrid Pedagogy: a digital journal of learning, teaching, and technology and Co-founder of Digital Pedagogy Lab.

Sean Michael Morris is an Instructional Designer for the Office of the Associate Provost for Digital learning at Middlebury College. He is also co-director of Digital Pedagogy Lab and Hybrid Pedagogy.

Amy Collier is the Associate Provost for Digital Learning at Middlebury College. In this role, she provides strategic vision and leadership to position Middlebury as a leading innovator in creating and sustaining a global learning community through the effective use of digital pedagogies and technologies.

Audrey Watters is a writer who focuses on education technology — the relationship between politics, pedagogy, business, culture, and ed-tech. She has worked in the education field for over 15 years.

Lee Skallerup Bessette is an Instructional Technology Specialist in the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at the University of Mary Washington. Her specialties include networked learning and digital pedagogy.  

Keynote Speakers

Tressie McMillan Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Tressie’s current research examines how we learn for work in the new economy.

Martha Burtis is Director of the Digital Knowledge Center at the University of Mary Washington. In this role, she oversees a peer tutoring program that offers support to students at UMW who are engaged in digital projects and assignments.


Participants choose between one of four tracks and work collaboratively in small workshop-style classes. There will also be large group activities, and moments of intersection between the tracks.

Intro: This track will offer an introduction to critical digital pedagogy for those who are just getting started with digital learning and have more questions than answers. We’ll think about how our pedagogies are reflected in the very specific choices we make as teachers, but we’ll also be involved with practical experimentation in the matter of the other three tracks at the Institute: Praxis, Action, and Design. Instructors: Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel

Praxis: This track will offer an in-depth investigation of critical digital pedagogy as it shows up both in theory and practice. Individual sessions and workshops will focus on teaching philosophies, in-room, hybrid and online teaching techniques, and discussions of the impact of the digital on traditional and critical pedagogies. Instructor: Lee Skallerup Bessette

Action: The Action track will provide tools, examples, and inspiration for digital activism — from web site development and Domain of One’s Own, to Twitter, blogging, and more. Discussion will center on the history of digital technologies, as well as issues of privacy, ownership, and social justice in digital environments. Instructor: Audrey Watters

Design: This track will explore critical instructional design, both inside and outside the learning management system. Discussion and practice will emphasize new learning modalities — including MOOCs, self-organized learning environments, and rhizomatic learning — as well as practical concepts such as emergent outcomes, peer assessments, and more. Instructor: Amy Collier


We are working to make the institute as affordable as possible. Tuition for adjunct faculty and students is greatly reduced (over 50% off the standard rate). In addition, we will be offering some tuition scholarships and a limited number of fellowships to defray the cost of tuition, travel, and lodging.

  • Early bird (ends May 15, 2015): $750
  • Full tuition: $950
  • Adjunct / Student: $400

Pre-registration for the Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute will be open through March 30, 2016. Seats are very limited, so we recommend pre-registering to reserve your spot for the Institute. Payment will be due by April 7, 2016 for those who pre-register now.

When you pre-register, you’ll be invited to apply for one of a limited number of fellowships or scholarships. The deadline for fellowship/scholarship applications is March 30, 2016.

If you’d like further information about scholarships and fellowships — or more details as the event draws nearer — subscribe to the DPL e-mail list below, follow @digpedlab, and watch If you have any questions, contact Jesse Stommel and/or Sean Michael Morris.

Please plan to join us from August 8-12, 2016 in Fredericksburg, Virginia for this unique institute dedicated to discovering, innovating, and practicing Critical Digital Pedagogy.

Find Out More and Pre-register Now

[Photo, “Happy Bokeh Wednesday” by Kevin Dooley.]

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