Participant Pedagogy: a #digped Discussion

Participant Pedagogy: a #digped Discussion

Ideas from this discussion were curated and archived via Storify here.

Hybrid Pedagogy will host a Twitter discussion group about participant pedagogy this Friday, May 25 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST (10:00am-11:00am PST) under the hashtag #digped. While the conversation will be, in part, inspired by our previous #digped discussion about Howard Rheingold’s Net Smart, you don’t need to read the book in order to join the conversation.

Teo Bishop writes in his recent article, “A Letter from a Hybrid Student,”

A teacher and a student, when presented as text on the screen, look exactly the same. They are just text. The internet is the Great Equalizer not only because it provides the world with a seemingly unlimited amount of information, but because it reduces us all to font, to pixels, to bits of sound and noise that only begin to approach our full complexity.

The rise of stuff like hybrid pedagogy, open source content, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) is changing the relationships between teachers, students, and the technologies they share. Pedagogy is no longer solely the domain of instructors; we must open the dialogue to students. Through this discussion, we hope to respond directly to the questions raised by Teo’s article, disrupting the student / teacher binary by finding productive ways to bring students and teachers more fully into conversation about learning.

In Chapter 3 of Net Smart, “Participation Power,” Howard Rheingold writes, “In the world of digitally networked publics, online participation — if you know how to do it — can translate into real power. Participation, however, is a kind of power that only works if you share it with others” (112). Rheingold discusses how blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and curatorial practices have changed the way we interact online, allowing readers to become writers and learners to become teachers. Rheingold writes, “Participation is deliberate” (145), which suggests that learning doesn’t happen when students merely follow the instructions of teachers, but only through mindful reflection about their own learning processes.

Some questions to consider in advance of the discussion:
1. How do students and teachers begin to talk with each other about pedagogy? What is the common language? Where is the common ground?
2. How do you define “participant pedagogy”? Who’s included as a “participant” and how does their inclusion change the discussion of teaching and learning?
3. If “participation is deliberate,” what does this mean for classroom practice? How do you (whether as teacher or student) come to class to deliberately participate?
4. Do teachers and students necessarily approach learning from different perspectives? Or can teachers become students, and students become teachers?
5. What are the implications for hybrid pedagogy, where students and teachers are both only text and more than text? Who holds the reins in the online classroom? Who holds them in the on-ground classroom? And is it possible to disrupt both?

If you are unable to join us on May 25 at 1:00pm EST (10:00am PST), we will continue the #digped conversation every other Friday for the rest of the Summer. If you have suggestions for future topics, feel free to add them to the comments on this entry or tweet them to @slamteacher.

[Photo by Pedro Vezini]

About the Authors

Sean Michael Morris (@slamteacher) is the co-Director of Hybrid Pedagogy. He considers himself a digital agnostic, and allies himself with adjuncts, students, and others who are contingent to the enterprise of higher education. His personal website can be found at seanmichaelmorris.com.

Jesse Stommel (@Jessifer) is Director of Hybrid Pedagogy and Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an advocate for lifelong learning and the public digital humanities. His personal site can be found at jessestommel.com.

  1. […] in the classroom and digital pedagogical practices encourage participatory pedagogy and collective action. This model of learning and teaching emphasizes the shared responsibility […]

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