My Experience at the Digital Pedagogy Lab

I’d like to express gratitude to Douglas College people for supporting, encouraging, or otherwise showing interest in my participation in the July 30-August 3 Digital Pedagogies Lab at the UMW in Fredericksburg, Virginia. DPL is a unique international event that brings faculty, instructional designers, technical and pedagogical researchers, and other educators together to discuss and learn about navigating modern learning environments, with focus on social and human issues. I am determined to share what I learned at this summer institute for the benefit Douglas College faculty, staff, and students.

Here are a few takeaways gathered from the 5-day Digital Pedagogy Lab I participated in this year:

  • There are a lot of dedicated, passionate people involved in researching, developing frameworks and solutions, and practice of teaching and learning skills in the modern digital environment.
  • “Digital” includes questions concerning modern literacies, citizenship, social justice, agency, and creativity (and is not a synonym for technology or EdTech)
  • There are important distinctions between digital skills and digital literacies
  • There are open, sharable resources on creating and implementing a digital fluency framework for a PSE (more on this later…)
  • A deep dive by educators into how to inform and protect students in online learning environments is necessary
  • There are tools to help faculty self-identify how they use the LMS, and this can help get more value for instructors and students.
  • There are open, sharable resources to encourage and support digital citizenship, and critical and thoughtful inquiry into academic integrity ( Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers)

I was in the Digital Literacies track, and we engaged in collaborative work under the guidance of Jade E. Davis, PhD, a Columbia University scholar and Director of Digital Project Management for Columbia University Libraries

What is the Digital Pedagogy Lab?

Digital Pedagogy Lab is an annual learning and teaching event that provides an “in-depth dialogue and practical experience to educators working in under-theorized digital learning spaces.” Themes include:

  • The facility of online and digital learning
  • The ways that educational technology and instructional design make space for, or do not make space for, student agency
  • Accessibility, disability, equity, student rights, teacher agency, and the representation of unheard and silenced voices in education
  • Pedagogies, policies, and critical practices that support agency, creativity, and inquiry

For more detail, please visit Digital Pedagogy Lab

Continue reading “My Experience at the Digital Pedagogy Lab”

We are all treaty people – Site C: Treaty power or power politics?

 

Thu, 5 July 2018 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM  at the Aboriginal Gathering Place (4650)
Douglas College 700 Royal Ave New Westminster View Map

Speakers:

Chief Bob Chamberlain of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs

As the elected Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Chief Chamberlin takes an active role in the defense of Aboriginal Title and Rights and is committed to overcoming the challenges and impacts of fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago. Further, he frequently engages in lobby efforts at both the provincial and federal levels to ensure the protection of First Nations water rights and safe drinking water for our communities.

Gordon Christie, Professor of Law, Peter A Allard School of Law

Professor Christie is of Inupiat/Inuvialuit ancestry and researches in the areas of Aboriginal rights, Aboriginal title, indigenous self-determination, and the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal groups. Professor Christie’s research also focuses on the intersection between indigenous law and Aboriginal law that has developed through Canadian jurisprudence on section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Julian Napolean, Dane-Zaa and Cree from the Salteau First Nation in Treaty 8 Territory and Member of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Security

Adrienne Peacock, Faculty Emeritus, Douglas College, Department of Biology

After graduating with a Ph.D. in Zoology from UBC, Adrienne worked as a consultant to an environmental group and then, for over twenty years, taught biology, ecology and environmental science at Douglas College.

Reverend Emilie Smith, Rector of St.Barnabas Anglican Church, New Westminster

Dave Seaweed, Aboriginal Students Coordinator, Douglas College

Accessibility:

Please message the organizers with any accessibility concerns. Best entrance from campus parking lot or Royal Ave for those with mobility concerns. Barrier free washrooms available.

(Posted at the request of Stephen Crozier, Douglas College)

Have you seen the LIGHT(board)?

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton.

Douglas College acquired a new piece of edtech a year ago called the Lightboard. But just what is this lightboard thingy?

Basically, it’s a piece of illuminated glass, on which instructors can write their lessons/lecture notes–just as they would a whiteboard or blackboard in a traditional classroom. The real magic comes into play when the video camera reverses the image, allowing the instructor’s writing to read properly from left to right.

The benefits of this technology are clear:

  • ​Instructors face their audience (students) directly through the glass. [No longer is there a need to turn your back to the students to write on the board.]
  • Students, in turn, see exactly what the instructor is emphasizing.
  • Lightboard sessions are recorded; therefore, the instructor leaves with an MP4 file that can be uploaded to their Blackboard course space or shown to the class by playing it from the instructor computer.
  • Instructors do not need to learn new technology or develop new skills. The Lightboard is fully supported by the ATS team.
  • Using this technology is particularly gratifying to convey difficult concepts, sensitive topics, etc. The recording can be played and replayed as many times as necessary for students to master the content.
Check out this video showcasing two Douglas College instructors and a student discussing the benefits of the Lightboard. And, if you’re interested in finding out more, please contact us.

Happy Holidays, all!

Wow, it’s been such a busy month.  Between work and personal commitments, doing the holiday baking and decorating, gift shopping, trip planning, it’s no wonder folks get stressed at this time of year. So, I’m looking forward to a few days off where I can kick back and reflect on the year that’s been and the new one still to come.

From Steven and I at the Douglas Educators Network, we wish you health, happiness, and hope this holiday season. Check back with us in January. The new year awaits!

Are you feeling emotionally safe?

Recently we held a workshop at Douglas College titled “Creating emotional safety in learning spaces,” which was facilitated by Leva Lee of BCcampus; Sandra Polushin, CFCS faculty; and Steven Bishop and Hope Miller from the Learning Designer team of Academic Technology Services.

And how did we land on this topic? Well, it started over a year ago when Ross Laird presented a two-day workshop titled “Storming the Ivory Tower.” As one plank of his 10-plank framework, emotional safety is a critical component of teaching the whole person.

Our goal in running this workshop was really to start a dialogue at Douglas College about what emotional safety means and how it impacts each of us in our various learning environments. None of the facilitators professed to being an expert in the field of emotional safety, but they were willing to guide the discussion around this important topic.

To that end, the facilitators used Liberating Structures activities to generate thoughts, ideas, challenges, and solutions, as well as to model how such topics could be tackled in learning environments. Two hours flew by as participants completed three activities–Impromptu Networking, Drawing Monsters, and 1-2-4-All–each activity building on the insights gleaned during group work.

I’m happy to report that feedback from participants was very positive. They liked the format and saw the benefits of using Liberating Structures to delve into topics such as emotional safety.

But, did we succeed in creating an emotionally safe space for participants to come together, share, tackle tough topics, and problem solve? Absolutely.

If, after reading this, you are interested in joining Douglas College’s Whole-Person Community of Practice, please contact either Steven Bishop or Hope Miller.  You can also consider joining the Vancouver Liberating Structures User Group.

What does that have to do with technology?

By Steven Bishop

I am getting better at answering the question, “What you are talking about is important, but what does that have to do with technology?” This question is probably more implied, and probably more personal and internal, than one I am asked by others directly. My job title is Online Learning Designer, a role that involves:

  • supporting faculty with their use of the college’s Learning Management System (LMS)
  • collaborating with educational and informational technology staff to ensure currency and quality of online learning environments
  • instructing faculty in the design and production of online learning objects
  • providing “exceptional client-centered service on a consistent basis to all stakeholder groups”

Depending on what one thinks technology means, there is lots of room for interpretation of the above functions. Because the environment is technological (e.g. digital, computer-based, online), there can be an assumption that the primary work is within prescribed technologies. Ursula Franklin, defines a prescriptive technology as that which “Each step is carried out by a separate worker, or group of workers, who need to be familiar only with the skills of performing that one step. This is what is normally meant by division of labour.” (Franklin, 1990)

Franklin also identifies holistic technology as “…associated with the notion of craft” and involving decisions that can only be made while the work is in process, by the artisan themselves. Holistic technology is endangered in our modern, compliance-based, and prescriptive technological environment, where one misplaced character in a line of code causes failure, and where algorithms decide what information we are fed on our smart phones and computers.

There are a number of reasons why I think a holistic approach to Educational Technology is needed, Continue reading “What does that have to do with technology?”

Place-based learning – a few questions

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

Where am I?

What is the latitude and longitude of this place?

How far above the earth am I suspended?

Where does this water come from?

How is the coolness provided here?

Where does the warmth come from?

How is it that I am precisely at the perfect distance to the sun, so that the moon exactly eclipses the sun?[i] And the sun warms but does not destroy this place?

Where is the closest place I can walk on the earth with bare feet? Drink from a pure stream? Slip into a clean lake or river?

When was the last time I scared a mountain lion with only my voice and fierceness away from its prey and saved a little dog?[ii]

Who lived here before me? And who lived here before them? How far down would I have to dig to find the ancestors of this place? What did they find to eat, only here? Wrap themselves in, from only here? Create shelters from only here? Heal their wounds and ailments, from only here? Remember their predecessors to this place?

Who are all my relations in this place?[iii]

How will my successors appreciate what I have done here? How I have lived? What love I have received and given here?

How am I to respect, appreciate, and honour this place?

I wrote this reflecting on several overlapping themes in my work and personal life. I am participating in an Indigenous Studies Working Group at Douglas College, in conversation with friends and family who live in semi-remote rural places, and working on developing a new program that strives to use digital tools to enable instructors and students to co-create place-based learning objects that reference local history, environmental concerns, economics and vernacular sensibilities. I am interested in collaborating with others with similar interests…

by Steven Bishop

 

[i] As relayed during a conversation with Dr. Paul Jacobson (Jacobson, 2017)

[ii] As relayed during a conversation with Susan Aldridge, who did exactly this during a walk on her land in the Slocan Valley. (Aldridge, 2017)

[iii] “All my relations” is a saying used to express awareness of the interconnected nature of the universe. We hear it often as part of Indigenous welcoming to British Columbia post-secondary events. “It also reinforces that everyone and everything has a purpose, is worthy of respect and caring, and has a place in the grand scheme of life.” (Kaminski, 2013)

 

The difference between film-making and video

veeterzy-98988
Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

(Part two of Naive Art for Educational Media)

Have a vision for your project. Is it a high concept, short and artful film, or are you wanting to provide practical information? Instructor or topic introductions, how-to instructions, and concept explanations can be effectively produced with lower production values, less time and cost if a few simple guidelines are considered.

Assess your resources

If you have an in-house production team, take advantage of their skill, knowledge, experience and access to equipment and software, especially if high production values are needed.

If you don’t have concierge-level support for your media projects, determine if training is available for a do-it-yourself approach. We have a new Ed Media program at Douglas College that does exactly this. There are also video-tutorial courses on Lynda.com to help get up-to-speed with pre-production, production and post-production tasks for media projects.

If you have little time for planning with experts or training opportunities, all is not lost. You can resort to a naïve art approach to video and audio recordings. Well, maybe not too naïve, as you’ll see from the following suggestions.  Continue reading “The difference between film-making and video”

Naïve Art for Educational Media

Media Easy Wins – Part one

In painting, “fine art” involves formal training, skillful technique, and the use of perspective, refined colour palette and subtle representations. Naive art might lack many or all of these qualities, and has been judged as “technologically primitive” by Western academia. It is also recognized as authentic, simple and honest. And it can be impactful. Consider the work of Henri Rousseau, a particularly influential naive artist.

Gypsy-dream

By Henri Rousseau – La zingara addormentata, Public Domain, Created: Dec 31 1896

What does painting have to do with educational media?

The analogy draws attention to the value of video and audio educational media created by amateurs. Many instructors I have met do not have formal training, or the resources to get formal training in creating video and audio learning objects. Help from professional media experts may be difficult to obtain. Subject matter experts are often challenged to create multiple ways to represent their knowledge to students.

In the recording industry, a fair amount of recorded creative work is not used in the final product. In education, unused video or audio recorded content may represent poor planning at best and wasted time and resources in the worst case. Time and budget-constrained educators have to be creative, competent and efficient to make the best use of opportunities to communicate their knowledge to others via video or audio recordings.

Instructors are also in a position to use multiple means of representation (the first principle of Universal Design for Learning) to convey meaning to students, and to allow the same for student assignment submission. Adopting an on-the-ground, essential approach to media production can be an effective way to encourage alternate modes of expression.

The next post in this series offers a few ideas from our recent experience to support the creation of simple, artful, and impactful recordings for educational purposes.