Digital Pedagogy Lab Moves West

In 2016—after hosting an inaugural gathering in Madison, Wisconsin and two “road show” events in Cairo, Egypt and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island—Digital Pedagogy Lab was given a long-term home at the University of Mary Washington. Championed there by Jeff McClurken, a forward-thinking special assistant to the provost for Teaching, Technology, and Innovation (now UMW’s Chief of Staff), DPL nestled in at UMW, enjoying the spacious, flexible environment provided by the Hurley Convergence Center (HCC) there. That year, the gathering welcomed 100 local, national, and international attendees; but it quickly grew to fill the whole of the HCC, bringing more than 200 participants in 2018 and 2019, from places as far-flung as Australia, South Africa, Norway, and more.

Recent changes at UMW, along with the growing demand for a larger and more diverse Digital Pedagogy Lab, have led co-founders Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel to seek out a new home for the Lab. The University of Colorado at Denver—home of the DPL-inspired ThinqStudio—answered that call. And in 2020, Digital Pedagogy Lab will move to the Auraria campus in the heart of bustling, beautiful Denver, Colorado.

Auraria campus is home to not only CU-Denver, but also Metropolitan State University and the Community College of Denver, and represents a unique environment where students from not only different disciplines and academic backgrounds mix and mingle, but also where traditional and non-traditional, Black, Latinx, indigenous, LGBTQ, disabled, veteran, and senior students cross paths and collaborate every day. We anticipate that this will be a perfect environment in which to continue to grow DPL.

As well, hosted now by the School of Education and Human Development at CU-Denver, and drawing off of the broad programs offered within the University of Colorado system, DPL hopes to bring in more STEM, early education, and K12 teachers, and will at long last be in a place to offer programming for those educators.

Sean Michael Morris will transition from Director of Digital Learning at the University of Mary Washington to Senior Instructor in Learning, Design, and Technology at CU-Denver, and will remain the Director of Digital Pedagogy Lab. Jesse Stommel has stepped down from his post as Executive Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at UMW to make room for a new Digital Learning Support office. He will remain at UMW, teaching in the program in Digital Studies.

Leaving UMW will be sad. We will miss all the wonderful people we’ve worked with over the years, namely: Cartland Berge, Jess Reingold, Jenn Hill, Eva Waszak, and all of the incredible students we’ve worked with, all of the amazing caterers who provided sustenance for hundreds of hungry educators, and more. And as DPL heads into its last few days at UMW this week, we want to thank staff past and present who made this event what it is today, especially Martha Burtis, Kris Shaffer, and Jeff McClurken. We are thrilled, though, that Stefanie Chae will continue to provide support for DPL as its event manager.

Digital Pedagogy Lab 2020 will take place July 27-31 at the University of Colorado at Denver. Look for registration to open in October 2019, and for more details forthcoming. We look forward to seeing you in the Mile High city next summer!

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