Registration Opens for the Digital Pedagogy Lab 2016 Institute

Registration is now open for the Digital Pedagogy Lab 2016 Institute in Fredericksburg, VA. 100 of us will gather together, from August 8 – 12,  in four small cohorts for a week of thinking, discussing, and practical application of Critical Digital Pedagogy.

WHAT: 5-day institute exploring educational technology and digital pedagogy

WHERE: on University of Mary Washington Campus in charming Fredericksburg, VA

WHEN: August 8 – 12, 2016, beginning in the morning on Monday and ending just after lunch on Friday

WITH WHOM: leaders in critical digital pedagogy and a small cohort of brilliant and curious colleagues

As we began planning last year’s Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute in Madison, WI, I wrote, “Pedagogy starts with learning as its center, not students or teachers, and the work of pedagogues is necessarily political, subjective, and humane.” This is the work of the Institute — to gather face-to-face to figure out how this can happen ethically in digital environments.

When I helped launch Hybrid Pedagogy in 2011, I wanted to begin (and continue) a discussion about the future of education. Specifically, I had seen conversations underway among instructional designers, critical pedagogues, digital humanists, face-to-face teachers, online teachers, administrators, graduate students. I had been in these conversations myself from all of these perspectives, but too often the conversations were happening in different rooms — and I saw that much of what gets said in one room is parroted into the next room without nuance. Failures get repeated. Successes are not adequately communicated. And edtech companies too often swoop in with marketing sirens blaring to “solve” manufactured problems.

The first goal of Hybrid Pedagogy was to bring these conversations into the same virtual and physical rooms — to put all the stakeholders of education more fully into conversation. The goal of the on-ground Institute is to find practical ways to incorporate what we’ve learned (and what we continue to learn together) about how our pedagogies work (and get frustrated) in digital spaces.

The track I’ll be teaching with Sean Michael Morris this year is called Intro, in which we hope to bring participants back to the start of our work with critical digital pedagogy. Where does the work of pedagogy, the work of teaching and learning, to quote bell hooks, “most deeply and intimately begin”? And how does this translate (or not translate) with digital tools and in online environments? This track is not just designed for beginners. Rather, we’ll approach our subjects from a place of beginner’s mind. How does the first thing I do in a classroom, the first word of my syllabus, the landing page of my course site, shape the learning environment we’ll work within? How does the first sentence of my teaching philosophy — even the first word — tell students (or potential employers) who I am as a teacher? How can we create more (and more varied) points of entry in our courses, programs, learning environments?

Each of the tracks at the Institute — Intro, Praxis (with Lee Skallerup Bessette), Action (with Audrey Watters), and Design (with Amy Collier) — is aimed at finding a sweet spot between critical thinking and application. Each hopes to bring together folks of all skill levels, from all disciplines, educators broadly writ — including teachers, librarians, instructional technology specialists, education activists, edtech writers, program administrators, etc.

Pre-registration has been underway for several months, so tracks are filling fast. Register now to reserve a spot in the track of your choice. Registration includes tuition, light breakfast, and lunch each day of the institute. Information about lodging options is available on the page for the event. Activities include work with your chosen cohort, practical workshops from digital pedagogy leaders, keynotes from Tressie McMillan Cottom, Sean Michael Morris, and Martha Burtis, and more. We hope you’ll join us in Fredericksburg this August!

Register Now

[Photo, “Lite Brite”, by Ray Ordinario]

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