“It is possible to think critically about technology without running off to the woods — although, I must warn you, it is possible that you will never be quite so comfortable again about the moral dimensions of progress and the part we all play in it.” ~ Howard Rheingold, “Technology 101“
The scene: Highway 36 as it descends into the Boulder valley. Flatirons in the springtime evening. The towers of CU-Boulder glowing like a village in Tuscany. Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris drive along the road, taking in the landscape.
Jesse: Let’s start a school.
Jesse: (undaunted) A school for teachers and also for students, where they could learn about learning and teaching. Too many teachers aren’t taught to teach. Learners should be empowered to be teachers.
Sean: You’re not wrong.
Jesse: Let’s start a school.
Jesse: I don’t know. Tomorrow?
The year was 2002.
Thirteen years later, the need for a school of critical digital pedagogy is tremendous. The most recent Babson Survey Research Group report states that 6.7 million students are enrolled in online classes. This number doesn’t account for the millions more who use digital technology in hybrid environments — collaborating in Google Docs, discussing on Twitter, using SlideShare to share presentations, interacting virtually with learners across the globe to conduct research, and more. Digital teaching and learning has become more and more ubiquitous, and as much in K-12 as at the college level. All this requires that we think more critically about when and how (and also whether) to use digital tools in classrooms.
Teachers at every level have generally been unprepared or under-prepared for teaching in hybrid and digital environments. In higher education, where subject matter expertise is the qualifying factor for teaching and critical pedagogy is an unfamiliar language, instructors and professors have little or no access to guidance, mentorship, or support for their digital teaching.
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. This is Hybrid Pedagogy as a school. The inaugural institute will take place August 10 – 14, 2015 on the beautiful University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Participants will choose between one of three tracks and work collaboratively in small workshop-style classes. The learning community we create together will be welcoming to a wide range of skill levels and interests.
Jesse Stommel is Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also Founder and Director of Hybrid Pedagogy.
Bonnie Stewart teaches technologies, literacies, communications, and adult learning principles at the University of Prince Edward Island, and has been involved with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) since their early days.
Sean Michael Morris is the Director of Hybrid Pedagogy, Senior Editor for Instructure‘s Research and Education department, a former instructional designer, and the former English program chair at the Community Colleges of Colorado Online.
Audrey Watters is a writer who focuses on education technology — the relationship between politics, pedagogy, business, culture, and ed-tech. She is the author of The Monsters of Education Technology and the blog Hack Education.
Praxis: In this track, we will explore philosophies of teaching, and think specifically about the ways our pedagogies are reflected in the specific choices we make as teachers. We will discuss and experiment with various technological tools — from the chalkboard to moveable chairs, computers, mobile devices, social media platforms, and learning management systems.
Identity: This track will focus specifically on issues of digital identity, including perceptions and presentations of race, gender, and ability online, institutional hierarchies, equity and disparity, and inclusion or exclusion in Digital Humanities, Ed Tech, and other computing and technological fields.
Networks: This track will focus on the nature of digital networks and network-building, from blogs and social media to open courses and collaboration. It will include discussions of professional learning networks, rhizomatic learning and communities, bridging face-to-face learning environments and MOOCs, and the social contracts of closed and networked spaces.
Each day of the institute will begin with discussion which will play into the day’s work. A small breakfast will be provided before sessions begin mid-morning, followed by lunch. Afternoons will be split into two sessions and followed with keynote presentations, a mini-unconference, and other activities. Each day will end before dinner.
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 (before May 15, 2015): $750
Full tuition: $950
Adjunct / Student: $400
Registration for Digital Pedagogy Lab will open on March 16, 2015. Seats for this pilot year of the institute are very limited. We encourage you to take advantage of the lower early bird pricing in order to secure your seat. 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 digitalpedagogylab.com. Information about scholarships and fellowships will be available in the next few weeks. If you have any questions, contact Jesse Stommel and/or Sean Michael Morris.
Please plan to join us from August 10-14, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin for this unique institute dedicated to discovering, innovating, and practicing Critical Digital Pedagogy.