What else can I do? (Part 5 of the DPL Fellowship Application Series)

We try to integrate Fellows into the community of the event in a variety of ways. In lieu of a workshop, is there another, creative way you could participate?

(This is question #6 from the Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL) Fellowship application for 2018, which is due on 12/31/17 and can be found here:  http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/join-digital-pedagogy-lab-2018-fellow/)

In lieu of a workshop, what else can I do? Participate in facilitating discussions or panels, live-tweeting and integrating the experience on social media and blogs, design art that integrates my learnings from the Summer Institute are just three ideas that immediately come to mind. I almost never go to conferences now without a student (or multiple) to mentor and guide through their talk or poster and the experience overall. The point of participation in any conference to me is being present, listening deeply, networking as much as possible, and synthesizing and reflecting the experience online so others can participate.

The possibilities are great for service to all involved if the mind and body are willing. And I am game the vast majority of the time.

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Workshops, Workshops Everywhere… (Part 4 of the DPL Fellowship Application Series)

As a DPL Fellow, you may have the opportunity to present a 75-minute workshop. Please include a title and a short description for a workshop you might lead. *

(This is question #5 from the Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL) Fellowship application for 2018, which is due on 12/31/17 and can be found here:  http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/join-digital-pedagogy-lab-2018-fellow/)

For what topics would I lead a workshop @DigPedLab Summer Institute?

Many come to mind. I’ve led workshops on increasing student agency within the classroom (i.e. active learning). I’ve led talks and workshops on integrating social media into teaching and professional practice. I could very easily lead a workshop on my current passion – applying Design Based Research framework into a Teaching context, with the main players as teachers and students.

The better question here, though, is for what topics would I NOT lead a workshop @DigPedLab Summer Institute?

My basic framework for all workshops that I lead involves providing authentic space to enable and empower participants to learn something more about themselves and their own pedagogy. Creative and reflective exercises are part of every workshop I lead. I also include lots of references and extension exercises (stuff to do at home).

So what topics would I apply this framework to within the Summer Institute?

My teaching life has been primarily focused on the first two years of chemistry in higher education, with both online (hybrid and blended) and face-to-face sections facilitated. Within my research life, I exist at the intersection of Chemistry, Learning Sciences, and Statistics with a specific focus on the integration of social media into chemical education.

But more than talking about myself (or what I’m currently doing) for 75-minutes, I would be more interested in helping others explore their own pedagogy, their own intersections, and the ways they can expand their pedagogy to incorporate more open and active practices that expand student agency. Thus, a working title for a workshop might be “The 21st century pedagogical revolution: Becoming more open in your classroom while expanding student agency and transparency”.

I’m pretty sure this has inevitably been done before, though…

How do my interests intersect with the Digital Pedagogy Lab? (Part 3 of the DPL Fellowship Application Series)

Please give us a little background about yourself in the form of links to your work online or a short overview of your pedagogical interests. *

(This is question #4 from the Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL) Fellowship application for 2018, which is due on 12/31/17 and can be found here:  http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/join-digital-pedagogy-lab-2018-fellow/)

Holy cow, what a question! You said this application was supposed to be minimal work, Sean Michael (@slamteacher)! Ha!

Although – to be fair – I did answer a lot of this question in the previous question. To define what Critical Digital Pedagogy meant to me also meant that I would define who I am as an instructor. Or least give significant clues to who I am in that role.

So – here’s the short delineation of who I am as instructor – I’m more interested in helping my students discover who they are as learners than I am in covering specific content. I believe in instruction as open, collaborative, and transparent. Instruction involves empowering, coaching, mentoring, facilitating, evolving, joking and communicating with, etc. my students and, in general, jointly finding joy in learning. I classify my teaching style mainly as jazz. My online pedagogical presence primarily exists on Facebook (it’s private though), Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, and Instagram (in the preliminary stages). I’ve also done online pedagogical outreach through the AAAS Science NetLinks 5 Questions for a Scientist series, NSF EPSCOR STEM Families Webinar, and a week as the host for @RealScientists.

And earlier this year, I tweetstormed on all the things I wish I had known as a young faculty member:

All of this is only a small slice of what I do as an instructor but it seems like enough for the moment.

The Digital Pedagogy Lab and I obviously have much in common. We share a commitment to innovation and a knowledge that while we don’t have all of the answers to teaching and learning, we love the questions and try to meet students and teachers where they are.

In my early days of teaching (2002-2006), I reveled in having a public webpage through my institution. The webpage was a place my current and former students could revisit and refresh their knowledge of chemistry. I have mourned that webpage since they deleted the server that housed it, and, recently, I have decided to rebuild the webpage again, expanding it with my current work and interests, and house it under WordPress. That work is immediately on the horizon and will hopefully make the online pedagogical picture of who I am even clearer.

 

What does Critical Digital Pedagogy mean to me? (Part 2 of the DPL Fellowship Application Series)

In the length of a single tweet (280 characters), offer your definition of Critical Digital Pedagogy. Include text here, or tweet and share a link.

Question #3 (technically) from the Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL) Fellowship application for 2018, which can be found here:  http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/join-digital-pedagogy-lab-2018-fellow/

(Warning in advance – this is going to be SO MUCH LONGER THAN 280 characters)

In other words, what does Critical Digital Pedagogy mean to me?

I have been asking this question of many friends and colleagues recently…

Generally speaking, upon a cursory glance and without consulting the very comprehensive definition offered here by Jesse, we (the folks I asked + me; convenience sample size of 5) have all defined the words first in terms of what they mean to us:

  • Critical – Essential, Important, “make or break”, “something you can’t live without”
  • Digital – anything that requires technology to access (so anything computer or smart device enabled or requiring online exposure or presence)
  • Pedagogy – technically the teaching of children (Andragogy talks towards teaching adults) but loosely used to incorporate teaching all

When asked what the next level of definition should be, we deviated quite a bit. Some stated what they are currently requiring digitally in their classes and whether any of it was critical. Some talked towards the goals they want their students to achieve and how they could digitally incorporate tools that enabled students to achieve those goals into their classroom pedagogy. I went two different directions when defining Critical Digital Pedagogy in terms of which audience I was teaching, mentoring, or facilitating discussions among: my students or my peers.

My basic teaching mantra is that the more I talk, the less my students seem to learn. Therefore, for my students, I tend towards the latter next level definition. I want my students to learn: 1. how to reflect upon their learning; 2. how to communicate in the spoken and written form effectively; 3. to assess their progress easily; 4. to connect with their peers inside and outside the classroom (at a minimum). The tools I incorporate into my classroom experience to meet these goals include: blogs, a social media extension to the classroom, online homework, self-created video lectures and online resources, and apps including PhET simulations and alchemie games. Many arguments could be made as to whether any of these digital pedagogical tools are well designed or effective. But my continued hope is to reach my students where they are, not where I’d like them to be. And to that end, when I’ve surveyed them, there has been a general consensus that all of the current tools add something to the classroom without taking too much time or requiring too much money (the online homework is the only tool that is not free and as we use Norton, it costs $25/semester for each student) from my students.

For my peers, my next level definition was deeper and more complex because when it comes to my peers, I see online (and particularly social media) access as a social justice issue in many ways. As a very privileged white female, who is also #LGBTQi (but has been given minimal crap due to being such), I am often included in conversations that I think others are far better suited for and are often not included in due to race, disability, etc. And I have the ability (and I would daresay – the obligation) to listen first to these voices, many of whom I connect with on social media, and then try my best to enable them to participate in the conversation in whatever way is mutually acceptable. Online access (and critical digital pedagogy), in its best form, broadens the communication and participation of those involved in the important conversations that shape our careers and our lives.

The bridge between these two groups thus incorporates basic statistics sampling constraints: time, money, and access. And for something to be critical to my teaching pedagogy, it needs to minimize time and money and maximize access. Digital tools, for the moment, at least allow the possibility of working within these constraints while moving ever closer to achieving my pedagogical goals.

 

 

My Digital Pedagogy Lab Fellowship Application (A Series) – Part 1: Introduction

So, recently I was enticed by @Jessifer and @DigPedLab to apply for their Digital Pedagogy Lab 2018 Institute Fellowship. It was a general announcement so if you’re interested, please apply.

While I really wanted to connect with so many wonderful friends on Twitter who regularly attend the Digital Pedagogy Labs (you know who you are – Maha, Bonnie, Lee, Jesse, etc., etc., etc.), the timing of the Lab could not be worse as it exactly overlaps #BCCE2018 (http://bcce2018.org/), which, as a standing member of the ACS Biennial Conference Committee, I am required to attend.Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 9.28.55 AM.png

If you’re interested in applying to the Digital Pedagogy Lab Fellowship for 2018, the applications are due on 12/31/17 and more information can be found here:  http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/join-digital-pedagogy-lab-2018-fellow/.

In the midst of looking at the application, I realized that some of the questions (listed below) were interesting to answer anyway.

  1. In the length of a single tweet (280 characters), offer your definition of Critical Digital Pedagogy. Include text here, or tweet and share a link. *
  2. Please give us a little background about yourself in the form of links to your work online or a short overview of your pedagogical interests. *
  3. As a DPL Fellow, you may have the opportunity to present a 75-minute workshop. Please include a title and a short description for a workshop you might lead. *
  4. We try to integrate Fellows into the community of the event in a variety of ways. In lieu of a workshop, is there another, creative way you could participate?

I proposed blogging about them instead.

And that idea gathered some traction…

And therefore, here we are. This will be a 5-part series (including this introductory blog post) that will attempt to answer the questions (exclusively from my perspective, of course, as that is the only perspective I know).

PLEASE, PLEASE feel free to join the conversation, though, in comments on this post, comments on Twitter, or blogs of your own.