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Teaching Portfolio

Audrey Watters

Digital Pedagogy Lab Summer Institute 2016: Action


To explore the politics of the digital and to consider what “action” looks like with and through digital technologies

To challenge dualisms – thought/action, thinking/building, making//writing, digital/analog, public/private, action/inaction, “real world”/classroom – that permeate our cultural expectations of (digital) scholarship, (digital) pedagogy, and (digital) activism.

To ask what role “education” might play in critical/digital engagement.

To become more comfortable with constructing and deconstructing “ed-tech”

Questions and Provocations:

How do we privilege “action”? How do we privilege “technological expertise” and/as action? What types of actions “count”?

Many of the topics for this track involve exploring various digital technologies, but the track assumes that participants have zero background or previous experience working with them. Indeed, one of the areas this class will repeatedly explore is how our ability to “take action” or even “see action” might change depending on our familiarity, expertise, and/or reluctance to use certain tools. The point of introducing and playing with these various technologies is not mastery; rather it’s to think critically about what actions they afford and what they constrain – in the classroom and beyond.

“What Will Start Taking Shape By Friday” Project:

Participants should plan begin work on a project that would extend academic work beyond the research journal and/or beyond the classroom. Participants will present their works-in-progress to their cohort for feedback.

Recommended Readings:

The GitHub repository for this course contains more materials. See also: The Digital Pedagogy Lab Summer Institutute website.

Tentative Schedule:



Theme: Verbs

Discussion: What is “action”?


Theme: Numbers vs Stories

Discussion: Why/how does our culture privilege “building” and “making” as “action”? Our Nate Silver problem: Why/how does our culture privilege quantitative data?

Tech Projects: A Domain of One's Own, Intro to GitHub


Theme: Arguments in Public

Discussion: The assignment as “action”

Tech Projects: Updating Wikipedia; Getting Published


Theme: Protest

Discussion: The Protest Bot

Tech Project: Build a Bot


Theme: Hope

Presentations and feedback