Digital Pedagogy: a Genealogy

A timeline created for a Digital Humanities panel at MLA 2015 with the goal of tracking parallel (intersecting) histories of edtech, digital humanities, and digital pedagogy. My goal, though, is ultimately not historical -- not to mark key "watershed" moments, but to put these histories alongside one another (in a single timeline) to consider the various parents and siblings of our contemporary notion of "digital pedagogy."

Teaching the digital humanities is not equivalent to digital pedagogy. The evolution of DH, though, intersects at key points with the development of educational technologies and innovative pedagogies in the humanities. A history of DH should track and theorize this overlap, considering both how DH is changing our scholarship and how DH is changing (and is changed by) our classroom praxis. This is especially true as we think increasingly about the proliferation of DH at undergraduate-focused institutions.;xNLx;;xNLx;The long history of DH runs parallel to the history of educational technology, online learning, open education, digital writing studies, and digital pedagogy. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Digital pedagogy has been variously defined. Brian Croxall and Adeline Koh offered an inclusive, broad-stroke definition in their introduction to the MLA Digital Pedagogy Unconference: “digital pedagogy is the use of electronic elements to enhance or to change the experience of education.” And Katherine D. Harris described the components of her digital pedagogy -- which she borrows from the “mainstays of Digital Humanities” -- during a NITLE seminar: “collaboration, playfulness/tinkering, focus on process, and building.” ;xNLx;;xNLx;Digital pedagogy is an orientation toward pedagogy that does not fetishize digital tools. Thus, Harris focuses on process and Croxall and Koh use the seemingly vague, but in fact quite lovely, phrase “electronic elements.” The phrase dissects the notion of an educational technology, turning the discussion to a consideration of the smallest possible element that might influence teaching and learning: the electrical impulse. At this level, we’re not talking about how WordPress has been used in composition classes, or how Smart Boards failed to revolutionize K-12 education, but about how the most basic architecture of our interactions with and through machines can inspire new pedagogies. Thus, Kathi Inman Berens writes, “the new learning is ancient.” This is the point at which the genealogies of DH and digital pedagogy converge.

1801-01-01 00:00:00

The large-format blackboard is first introduced in the US.

1840-01-01 00:00:00

First distance education courses offered on short-hand postcards

1915-01-01 00:00:00

John Dewey, Schools of To-Morrow

“Unless the mass of workers are to be blind cogs and pinions in the apparatus they employ, they must have some understanding of the physical and social facts behind and ahead of the material and appliances with which they are dealing.”

1930-01-01 00:00:00

Radio lectures

1938-01-01 00:00:00

Lloyd Allen Cook, Community Backgrounds of Education: A Textbook and Educational Sociology

“This mechanizes education and leaves the local teacher only the tasks of preparing for the broadcast and keeping order in the classroom."

1946-01-01 00:00:00

The vacuum tube-based computer is introduced.

1946-01-01 00:00:00

The field of humanities computing arises

1960-01-01 00:00:00

The first Learning Management System, PLATO (Program Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations), is developed.

1961-01-01 00:00:00

Seymour Papert began teaching the Logo programming language to children.

1968-01-01 00:00:00

First Automated Essay Scoring Software

Project Essay Grade (PEG) was later shelf until the early 1990s.

1970-01-01 00:00:00

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

“Our advanced technological society is rapidly making objects of most of us and subtly programming us into conformity to the logic of its system.”

1980-01-01 00:00:00

Seymour Papert, Mindstorms

"Children begin their lives as eager and competent learners. They have to learn to have trouble with learning in general and mathematics in particular."

1983-10-21 07:02:44

Computers and Composition Launches

1987-01-01 00:00:00

Work on TEI begins

1994-01-01 00:00:00

bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress

“The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom."

1996-01-01 00:00:00

First fully online accredited institution launched in the U.S.

1997-01-01 00:00:00

Turnitin the Plagiarism Detection Service Launches

1998-01-01 00:00:00

Howard Rheingold, “Technology 101: What Do We Need To Know About The Future We’re Creating?”

“It is possible to think critically about technology without running off to the woods — although, I must warn you, it is possible that you will never be quite so comfortable again about the moral dimensions of progress and the part we all play in it. I know that I’m not.”

2000-01-01 00:00:00

The term "Digital Humanities" coined

2002-01-01 00:00:00

Enrollment in online courses grows rapidly

Enrollment in online courses at post-secondary institutions grew from 9.6% in 2002 to 29.3% of total enrollment in 2009 (or 5 and a half million students taking online courses).

2003-01-01 00:00:00

HASTAC founded

2003-01-01 00:00:00

Penn Sound

Al Filreis and Charles Bernstein found Penn Sound, an online collection of over 1500 poets reading their work. In some ways Penn Sound is the spiritual predecessor to Al Filreis's Modern Poetry MOOC launched in 2012.

2004-01-01 00:00:00

Blackwell publishes A Companion to Digital Humanities

2004-01-01 00:00:00

Moretti publishes first essay about distant reading

2006-01-01 00:00:00

NEH Office of Digital Humanities

Enter story info here

2008-01-01 00:00:00

The word “MOOC” is first used

to describe a series of connectivist educational experiments in Canada

2009-07-26 05:32:04

Cathy Davidson, How To Crowdsource Grading

"This course proposes an evaluation system that matches the purpose of the course, where students learn how to be responsible judges of quality and helps them learn to be responsive to feedback as well."

2010-10-10 19:13:27

ds106 Launches

at Mary Washington University

2010-11-21 13:17:38

What is a MOOC?

A short video by Dave Cormier, Neal Gillis, Bonnie Stewart, Alexander McAuley, and George Siemens

2011-01-01 00:00:00

Sebastian Thrun offers AI MOOC with 160,000 registrants

2011-01-01 00:00:00

Jentery Sayers, “Tinker-Centric Pedagogy in Literature and Language Classrooms”

“The physical design of classrooms may need to be reimagined with shared boundary objects and hands-on experimentation in mind, perhaps using studio spaces in art or even labs in the sciences as models.”

2011-01-01 00:00:00

Paul Fyfe, "Digital Pedagogy Unplugged"

"Instructional technology ... includes books and backpacks and overhead lighting."

2012-01-01 00:00:00

The Year of the MOOC

According to the New York Times

2012-01-01 00:00:00

Hybrid Pedagogy publishes first article

2012-01-01 00:00:00

Cheryl Ball, “Editorial Pedagogy, pt. 1: A Professional Philosophy”

“... student and teacher, author and editor, reader and scholar learn from each other (and the lines between those roles blur in an editorial pedagogy).”

2012-01-01 00:00:00

Brett D. Hirsch, Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles, and Politics

“To bracket pedagogy in critical discussions of the digital humanities or to completely exclude it from these discussions reinforces an antagonistic distinction between teaching and research, in which the time, effort, and funding spent on the one cannibalizes the opportunities of the other.”

2012-01-01 00:00:00

Adeline Koh, Introducing Digital Humanities Work to Undergraduates: An Overview

"You are already a digital humanist, whether or not you know it."

2012-08-01 00:00:00

MOOC MOOC is born

2013-01-01 00:00:00

The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities

Following this panel, several DHers prominently disavow MOOCs. My response in the comment thread at the Chronicle about the panel: "What I've said repeatedly is that "MOOCs are a red herring." What I believe exuberantly is that we need to be more thoughtful and critical in our engagement with online learning in all its varieties. MOOCs are not one thing. To imagine that they are is, well, just bizarre. Like any pedagogical mode, they come in lots of flavors, many of them distasteful, some of them not. MOOCs are rolling out with increasing rabidity, though, and I think DHers need to be part of the conversation about them."

2014-07-29 03:30:13

Audrey Watters, "Teaching Machines: a Brief History of Teaching at Scale"

"Thomas Edison predicted in 1913 that textbooks would soon be obsolete. In 1962, Popular Science predicted that by 1965, over half of students would be taught by machines."

2015-01-01 00:00:00

Coursera gobbles MOOC market-share

As of January 2014, Coursera had 21 million enrollments, for a total of 332 million minutes of time spent.

2015-01-01 00:00:00

Free-range Learning

Learning communities thrive online extra-institutionally, supported by the 1500 blog entries, 98,000 tweets, and 695,000 Facebook status updates posted every 60 seconds.

2015-08-10 00:00:00

Digital Pedagogy Lab

Digital Pedagogy Lab is a five-day practical institute that explores the role and application of digital technology in teaching. The institute will provide hands-on practice with and discussion of networked learning, new media, and critical digital pedagogy.

Digital Pedagogy: a Genealogy

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