The State of Things: a #digped Discussion

All pedagogy is necessarily adaptive because it takes place within and regards the extant world. Digital pedagogy must be even more adaptive because it relies upon, at least in its manufacture, the whims and invention of engineers, code creatives, and a marketplace driven by the distraction of the new, the shiny, the better-than-last-year, the perpetual 2.0. Digital pedagogy is a pedagogy of machines as much as it is a pedagogy of minds and bodies — and not machines just as tools, but machines as environments, as extensions of our own learning processes, as approaches. And so, while “pedagogy is essentially a critical thinking exercise directed at learning and teaching,” digital pedagogy is a critical thinking exercise that considers our use of machines, and our lives as co-dependent with them.

In the last few years, teaching/learning and the digital have increasingly collided/colluded. The MOOC, the broadening of the LMS, the calcification of some approaches, and the response to that calcification — all have waged (mostly) friendly conversation about what it means to learn and teach and create in digital and online spaces. At the beginning of this year, Cathy N. Davidson asked, in a collaborative learning experiment, whether all our traditional approaches to education were invalidated by the encroachment of the digital into our professions. The answer was a resounding “maybe,” with exuberance for new media balanced out by a reluctance to embrace it.

Over the last two years, Hybrid Pedagogy has asked a lot of questions about digital pedagogy through our regular #digped chats, through our rollercoaster MOOCs and digital writing experiments, and even (much more subtly) through our decidedly different, collaborative peer review process. Throughout the changes, the breaking news, the crises, and the outcry, we’ve used these conversations for reflection, critical praxis, and play. A community has grown around them, one that reaffirms for us that all pedagogy is always only as valuable as the voices that contribute to it. We have not been the only authorities in these conversations — our work has been collective.

On April 4, 2014 at noon Eastern, after a brief hiatus during our MOOC MOOC: Dark Underbelly discussion series, #digped returns to a Twitter stream near you. Not exactly #digped 2.0 (though not exactly not that, too), we’ll look at digital pedagogy itself. A state of the union, a general assembly. We’ll consider the adaptations we’ve made and how we must continue to adapt — where we are in this emergent critical thinking exercise. De rerum natura.

We’ll offer up a smorgasbord of questions during the hour-long conversation. Here are a few in advance of the chat, to get us started:

  • Where is digital pedagogy happening? Is there an “online” and an “on-ground” any more?

  • Pedagogy can be a form of activism. When and where does digital pedagogy become activism? What sorts of causes and banners should a digital pedagogy take up or concern itself with?

  • There’s a perennial discussion around whether or not to “teach the tools”. If digital pedagogy is a pedagogy of machines, how do we separate out the tool from the learning, the method from the means? How does a digital pedagogy differ from an analog pedagogy?

  • What are the most relevant and important questions to be asking right now about digital pedagogy and digital learning? And how should we chart our #digped course over the next year?

Enter the fray on Twitter under #digped on Friday, April 4 at 12:00pm ET. Check out to see when to join us in your time zone. If you have suggestions for future topics, tweet them to @slamteacher or @hybridped. And continue the discussion in the comments.

The Twitter chat is Storified, but we invite you to continue the discussion in the comments below.

[Photo, E-Volve by Keoni Cabral, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0]

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