Tag Archives: digital pedagogy

Proposal for HASTAC 2015: Social Media for Activist Pedagogy

This workshop brings together speakers from different institutions, academic and alt-ac careers to discuss how social media can effectively be used in the classroom for activist pedagogy. Subjects covered include the use of twitter for social justice and dealing with trolls and doxxing, a study of Google Drive for feminist pedagogy, how to use PearlTrees, an academic pinterest, for teaching, and studying the application of classical rhetoric to digital rhetorical strategies online.

Anastasia Salter, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of Central Florida, will discuss the use of Twitter and Tumblr as a space for fan production, commentary and passionate discussion of cultural texts, while at the same time presenting challenges regarding the persecution of marginalized groups, silencing, doxxing and threats. She will discuss the constraints and challenges of Twitter and Tumblr and ways and limitations of bringing them into the classroom to support inclusive academic discourse.

Emily Van Duyne (Visiting Professor of First Year Writing at Richard Stockton College) will lead discussion further into invisible boundaries and limitations by studying the ways in which classical rhetoric can be used to understand what can and cannot be said within a digital environment. She discusses the empowerment and social responsibilities online platforms bring to learning communities as well as their limitations.

Sara Humphreys (Lecturer at St Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario) will then direct discussion to an example: Google Drive as a means of providing collaborative pedagogy in postsecondary classrooms. She will discuss how marginalized students, particularly female multilingual speakers, gain agency while participating on Drive, because their contributions are foregrounded through the Drive comment function. In this sense, Drive is potentially a feminist platform in that it allows the contributions of marginalized students to be made more visible.

JJ Pionke (Applied Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) will then lead us to discuss another example platform: Pealtrees, best described as an academic Pinterest. Pearltrees is an easy tool for allowing students to build their own research collections from online sources, and facilitates pedagogical collaboration by allowing a class to work simultaneously on a single repository of sources. The site allows for some limited annotations, uploaded documents, and social media sharing–ultimately providing another avenue to discuss the public and collaborative nature of 21st century digital education and its limitations.

The goals of this panel will ultimately be to discuss the affordances and limitations of public digital scholarship at the undergraduate level, and to provide a number of examples for the audience to work with. Each speaker will speak for ten minutes on their proposed subject and provide an example for the audience to take away with them and use. Once the speakers have completed their talks, Adeline Koh (Director of DH@Stockton and Associate Professor at Richard Stockton College) as panel chair will open and lead discussion between the speakers and audience. We expect that the majority of the rest of the time should be used for discussion between audience and presenters.

New Article: Introducing Digital Humanities Work to Undergraduates

My new essay, Introducing Digital Humanities Work to Undergraduates: An Overview has just been published in the journal Hybrid Pedagogy. Abstract: “This article provides a brief overview of an assortment of digital humanities projects that can be implemented in primarily undergraduate-focused institutions. Readers should be able to decide on what level they would like to start at, and build some possible ideas to “scaffold” the project, or stages of development and release for the project. At the end of the overview I offer an activity that can be easily applied by instructors interested in conducting digital humanities workshops at their institutions and an annotated list of additional resources. My goal is to provide an easy introduction for instructors to think through possibilities for incorporating the digital humanities within an undergraduate curriculum with either free or inexpensive digital tools.”

The Political Power of Play: Keynote for Re:Humanities 2014

Below are my slides for “The Political Power of Play”, my keynote address for Re:Humanities 2014, an undergraduate digital humanities conference put on by the TriCollege Digital Humanities Initiative (Haverford, Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr Colleges). The full text of the keynote has also been published as a peer reviewed article in the journal Hybrid Pedagogy.

Digital Pedagogy, Play, and Mass Collaboration: A Duke Hybrid Pedagogy Event

I am excited to announce that I am moderating an event on MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and play in education with Pete Rorabaugh (@allistelling) and Jesse Stommel (@jessifer), editors of the journal Hybrid Pedagogy at the Duke Franklin Humanities Center in November. The event is sponsored by the Duke Greater than Games Lab and the Duke PhD Lab.

A description of the event is below. We’ll be livestreaming the event on the FHI Youtube channel, and everyone is encouraged to watch and take part via the Twitterstream: hashtag #dukehp.

Digital Pedagogy, Play, and Mass Collaboration
Speakers: Jesse Stommel and Pete Rorabaugh
Moderator: Adeline Koh
Date and Time: Monday November 12, 1.30pm-3.30pm
Location: FHI Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse 


This summer Hybrid Pedagogy ran the experimental course, MOOC MOOC, a mini-MOOC, a meta-MOOC, a MOOC about MOOCs. The course was announced in the Hybrid Pedagogy article, “The March of the MOOCs: Monstrous Open Online Courses,” in which Jesse argues, “Content and learning are two separate things, often at odds…  Most content is finite and contained; whereas, learning is chaotic and indeterminate. It’s relatively easy to create technological infrastructures to deliver content, harder to build relationships and learning communities to help mediate, inflect, and disrupt that content.”While institutions ponder how to make excursions into new media more efficient and profitable, the pedagogues at the digital table must push the other side of the envelope. We should be creating critical and reflective sandboxes that invite learners to set their own goals, make mistakes, collaborate, and improvise.

In Deep Play, Diane Ackerman writes, “We may think of play as optional, a casual activity. But play is fundamental to evolution” (4). George Dennison offers a similar account of play in The Lives of Children, in which he describes “children’s natural play” as “expansive and diverse, alternately intense and gay,” whereas more formal play (games with umpires, rules, etc.) becomes “strained and silent,” “serious,” and “uncomfortable” (195-196).

An attachment to outcomes discourages experimentation. In “Organic Writing and Digital Media: Seeds and Organs,” Pete argues that “process takes precedence over the product.” This talk will emphasize the ways that play can function not as a methodological approach toward a set of outcomes but as the outcome in and of itself. We will open a conversation about how social media and digital space make learning voracious and lively by inviting new (and often wild) modes of interaction.

The event will be livestreamed on Youtube, and everyone is encouraged to participate on Twitter using the hashtag #hpduke.

Role Playing Games (RPGs) in the Classroom: Fleshspace vs. Digital (A #THATCamp CHNM Session Proposal)

We are being increasingly encouraged to “gamify” the classroom. Educators such as Cathy N. Davidson (Now You See It) (@cathyndavidson) and Jane McGonigal (Reality is Broken) have suggested that games can help engage students in deeper ways than traditional learning methods.

I’d like to discuss how we can best implement Role Playing Games, or RPGs, in higher education. RPGs are well suited to the classroom because of their structure, which encourages students to identify with their character and their game (and learning objective.) Some excellent pedagogical examples include Reacting to the Past at Barnard, a series of elaborate historical games where students roleplay real historical characters with the possibility of changing historical events through mastery of historical and cultural knowledge (for more information, see my blog post here), and the Practomime project, where Latin students have to thoroughly assimilate into the ancient Roman world to save the world.

The following questions may be of interest: how we can use digital tools to enhance these role playing learning efforts (course websites, wikis as “codexes”, social media for team building/knowledge sharing)? Further, how, and should, these role-playing become digital in form? Most successful classroom RPGs have been “fleshspace” based, where gameplayers meet in person. How can we use the digital to enhance the “fleshspace” experience, and to augment or transform it?

A Digital Pedagogy Unconference at #MLA13: Join Us!

[This has been cross-posted at Brian Croxall’s website.]

Brian and I are thrilled to announce that we’ll be holding an “unconference” on digital pedagogy as a preconference workshop for the Modern Language Association Annual Meeting in 2013.

What are “Unconferences”?
The ten-year old unconference format emerged as a response to weaknesses of the traditional conference presentation. Unconferences are participant-driven gatherings where attendees spontaneously generate the itinerary. Perhaps the best example of the unconference format in the humanities thus far has been the THATCamps which originated at the Center of History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. The growth of interest in the unconference format within the humanities can be seen by the exponential growth of THATCamps, from one event in 2008, to three in 2009, to twenty-six in 2011.

Why an “Unconference”?
For the last several years, the MLA conference has increasingly welcomed new styles of presentation such as lightning talks and electronic roundtables, all aimed at increasing interactive discussion among the attendees. The organization continues to call for more change. In the Spring 2012 MLA Newsletter (PDF), both the MLA’s Program Committee and its Executive Director encouraged MLA members to consider new forms of presentations for the upcoming convention in Boston.

Our three-hour “unconference” on the subject of digital pedagogy is an attempt to answer this call to re-envision the conference format and introduce yet one more form of presentation at the annual Convention.

Unconference Theme: Digital Pedagogy
Attendees of our Digital Pedagogy Unconference will consider: what would you like to learn and instruct others about teaching with technology?

While interest in digital pedagogy has grown along with the rise of the digital humanities, these two fields are not identical. Although all instructors are being increasingly encouraged to incorporate technology into their pedagogy, not all of these instructors may want to become digital humanists. As such, digital pedagogy has a broad application for scholars of language and literature.

More Soon!

  • We expect to offer 50 seats for the unconference workshop and to charge a small fee to sign up.
  • Expect a website for the unconference to be forthcoming in the summer/fall of 2012, with more details and instructions about how to sign up.

We’re both incredibly excited, and hope you’ll join us there!

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