In the article, "Decoding Digital Pedagogy: Beyond the LMS," published in Hybrid Pedagogy, Sean Michael Morris makes it clear that there is not just one teaching philosophy that should be argued for, and that it is, in fact, important to see that different approaches need to be applied, especially when learning goes online.
He illustrates this point using the example of the LMS, stating that the interface of and functionalities control how teachers can teach. He states that due to the fact that the LMS was premature and played to the most common denominator, no matter how wonderful the pedagogue, the infrastructure of the tool itself was limiting, and additionally, it convinced faculty members that teaching online was easy, a mere relocation.
He emphasizes that:
“ slotting your pre-written materials into an online framework and calling it a class is not interesting or sound pedagogy.” Instead, he feels that “the digital pedagogue looks at the (technological) options, refuses the limitations of the LMS, invites her students to participate in — indeed, create — networked learning – not using technology just for technology sake.”
Morris recommends that digital pedagogues should constantly be asking themselves the following questions about the technologies that they are incorporating into the classroom:
What tools are available for me and my students to play with?
How can improvisation occur online to reinforce learning?
Does digital learning end when the course ends, or is it sustained perpetually by the online learning environment (aka, the Internet)?
Who are my students, and where can they be found? What are my students’ URLs? What is mine?
Do disciplines matter online? Do canons exist? What is the point of rote memorization when everything is available online all the time?
Where is my authority now that all authority is a Google search away?
What happens when learning is removed from the classroom and exposed to the entirety of the digital landscape?
Digital Pedagogy: Is there too much Technology in the Classroom? Tiffany Ford
In her blog post, “Digital Pedagogy: Is there too much Technology in the Classroom, for Top Hat, Ford, a computer science faculty member, states that many instructors feel that by using “electronic elements in their teaching, they are practicing digital pedagogy.” Ford argues that this couldn’t be further from the truth. In order for technology to be incorporated effectively, there needs to be a purpose to it, and it should not be done for its own sake.
Ford uses the example of a blog entry. She asks:
Why would I have my students blog?
What is the point of having them write out their thoughts?
Am I discussing why I’m using this technology-based tool for their learning and what they should be getting out of it?
She also argues that if an instructor is “going to implement a new technology or digital component into your classroom, it doesn’t mean that students will ultimately feel more connected to the subject and thus learn more.” She emphasizes that there is no point of incorporating something into your teaching just for the sake of having it.
She offers three suggestions for effectively incorporating Digital Pedagogy
1. Focus on Collaboration: Employers today feel like the ability to work together is extremely important in employees, therefore when instructors choose technologies that facilitate the development of these skills, it is truly beneficial. This can add a dimension to group work that helps students build the necessary soft skills.
2. Design for inclusion: ensure that the technology being incorporated allows everyone to participate. Be mindful of the digital divide, and that not all of your students are tech savvy.
3. Works Towards Class Participation: Engaging tools work the best.
Her final word of advice is to “Take the time to think about what you are trying to accomplish and look for the best technology fit that is both easy for you and the students to learn and also will help you achieve your goal.”
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