Digital Pedagogy Statement

3d rendering of the virtual human silhouette on laptop screen, concept of online education

Digital pedagogy is a concept where accessibility and equity must balance out innovation to effectively guide all learners. We now live in a time where the hottest new technology, whether a writing tool, phone app, AI machine, etc. can change in an instant. One challenge with digital tools whose lifespans are unpredictable, or worse, offer egregiously inaccurate responses, is that they eliminate the capacity for human learning and growth. In other words, keeping in mind that students, first, bring their own skill levels to digital tools matters, and secondly, the resources they have available such as type of computer, software capabilities, and other hardware/software capabilities affect their digital learning on a foundational level. By encouraging affordable, open-source, and equitable tools, digital literacy becomes a more practical approach than a treacherous path full of paywalls, daunting learning curves, or other conflicts.

Because digital tools can be an adjustment from more “traditional” pen or paper ones, they need to be affordable, user friendly enough to support a wide range of students; this does not mean there will not be a learning curve but that one is achievable for a wide range of students. The intent for the technology matters considering the possible learning curves or barriers to students’ integration of a digital experience and learning.  and integrating the personal, and professional goals of the students in taking the course, or participating in that learning setting.  

While digital pedagogy and learning settings must remember and consider the user, meaning, the human being behind the technology; human beings no matter their familiarity with the digital skill or tool in question need the resources and a positive learning environment to foster their skills, especially when thinking of possible weaknesses in accessibility. Unlike the digital tools themselves which contain different presets and “default” settings, humans bring their own unique experiences and intentions to their use of said device. Ideally, teaching them new digital competencies means they will find more possibilities open to them by digital technology. Keeping this in mind means paying attention to the occurrences extrinsic from the purely technical side; especially since human beings are not, and will never be, as categorized, programmable as digital tools whether a blog, Twine game, forum space, etc. and other traits stemming from digital tools, must account for the diverse backgrounds in students, unpredictable nature of digital tools for example links not working, being incompatible with the student’s resources, etc.

To accomplish circumventing these pitfalls means a combination of factors: attention to detail in resources available, maintianing compliance with the school/institution where digital pedagogy happens, and acknowledging the diverse perspectives and knowledge students bring not only to a digital experience but their preferred learning styles and creative uses too. In the age of the LMS or organizations of students, we must still recall the significance of a user-friendly experience making their software/hardware something that conveys their original ideas and goals.

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