Video Preview: http://bit.ly/digitalhuman There is no one pedagogical strategy that works for all students and teachers or in all situations. The space of the classroom is shifting and dynamic, so we need our pedagogies to proliferate, not to congeal. Like Mary Shelley’s monster in Frankenstein, who is also an amalgam, we are being (re)made online, as our flesh is reduced to a husk, a remainder. We crave, and are nostalgic for, a visceral experience of the body, and our increasing cultural interest in the zombie is part and parcel of this. The zombie is not the villain in this scenario but a metaphorical antidote to the erosion of our physicality. As our reliance on technology increases, the zombie asks us to discover in the digital what remains voraciously humane. As pedagogical beasts, zombies advance slowly and deliberately. They limp, stumble, moan, and clamor as they surge forth, all in imperfect unison, a cacophony of sounds, always walking, always reaching. And so a hybrid digital pedagogy demands we create more collaborative and less hierarchical spaces for learning -- lest we use computers to replicate the vestigial structures of industrial-era education.
Text of Zombie Pedagogies: Embodied Learning in the Digital Age
Photo by ickr user Robby Mueller Zombie Pedagogies Embodied
Learning in the Digital Age
Jesse Stommel @Jessifer
Photo by Zsolt Halasi Video Preview bit.ly/digitalhuman
Im utterly squeamish when it comes to watching or reading
horror. I scream frequently, and not in a light, non-committal way;
my screams are loud and guttural, emanating from the pit of my
stomach and rattling in my lungs, windpipe, throat, and mouth. I
often nd myself unintentionally clutching the person next to me,
and, in a few rare cases, I've even begged out loud to be taken
home.!! ~ Jesse Stommel,Something That Festers
Photo by ickr user SebastianDooris Monsters are not
Photo by ickr user kevin dooley The monsters body is a cultural
body [Monsters] can be pushed to the farthest margins of geography
and discourse, hidden away at the edges of the world and in the
forbidden recesses of our mind, but they always return!! Jeffrey
Jerome Cohen,Monster Culture (Seven Theses),
The zombie body is lively, in many ways more lively than our
own. The zombie offers something we cant get from representations,
avatars, and emoticons.
Whether living or dead, all human bodies undergo decay. Our
hair decays, our skin decays, the teeth in our mouth decay.The
process of decay is, in fact, necessary for the breakdown and
eventual replacement of dead matter with new life.
90% of the living cells in our body are not human.Theyre
bacteria and critters like this one, the follicle mite, which lives
in the eyebrows and eyelashes of most adults.
Photo by ickr user Bistrosavage Many of our technologies live
upon us like these parasites.
Photo by ickr user kevin dooley The physical universe is not
all that decays. So do abstractions and categories. Human ideas,
science, scholarship, and language are constantly collapsing and
unfolding.Any eld, and the corpus of all elds is a bundle of
relationships subject to all kinds of twists, inversions,
involutions, and rearrangement.!! ~ Ted Nelson,A File Structure for
the Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminate
Photo by ickr userYogendra174 For many teachers, the increasing
disembodiment of us and our students leads to a pedagogy that is
even more fundamentally disembodied.
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.! John Dewey, Schools
ofTo-Morrow Photo by ickr user Thomas Hawk
We need to handle our technologies roughly -- to think
critically about our tools, how we use them, and who has access to
Photo by ickr user Nomadic Lass Even our digital work is
embodied.When we interact via computers, our feet are usually still
quite literally on the ground.
all learning is necessarily hybrid! Hybrid Pedagogyis an
open-access journal that! : is not ideologically neutral; :
connects discussions of critical pedagogy, digital pedagogy, and
online pedagogy; : brings higher education and K-12 teachers into
conversation with the e-learning and open education communities; :
considers our personal and professional hybridity; : disrupts
distinctions between students, teachers, and learners; : explores
the relationship between pedagogy and scholarship; : invites its
audience to participate in (and be an integral part of) the peer
review process; : and thus interrogates (and makes transparent)
academic publishing practices.!
Hybrid pedagogy does not just describe an easy mixing of
on-ground and online learning, but is about bringing the sorts of
learning that happen in a physical place and the sorts of learning
that happen in a virtual place into a more engaged and dynamic
conversation. Photo by ickr user orangeacid
Photo by Praline3001 A class is an independent organism with
its own goal and dynamics. It is always something more than what
even the most imaginative lesson plan can predict.!! ~ Thomas P.
Learning happens at the breaking point of its various
containers.The semester is arbitrary.The course is breached.Canons
must yield.!! ~ Jesse Stommel,The Digital Humanities is about
Breaking Stuff Photo by ickr user crdotx
Photo by EmreAyar What is broken and twisted is also beautiful,
and a bearer of knowledge.The Deformed Humanities is an origami
crane a piece of paper contorted into an object of startling
insight and beauty.!! ~ Mark Sample,Notes towards a Deformed
Photo by ickr user Dirigentens It doesnt matter to me if my
classroom is a little rectangle in a building or a little rectangle
above my keyboard. Doors are rectangles; rectangles are portals.We
walk through.! ~ Kathi Inman Berens,The New Learning is Ancient A
course today is an act of composition.! ~ Sean Michael
Morris,Courses, Composition, Hybridity!
Everybody is an intellectual in that we all have the capacity
to think, produce ideas, be self-critical . . . [This] demands a
new kind kind of literacy and critical understanding with respect
to the emergence of the new media and electronic technologies, and
the new and powerful role they play as instruments of public
pedagogy.!! ~ Henry Giroux, On Critical Pedagogy Photo by ickr user
into a mountainrange;lenses extend! ! unwish through curving
wherewhen till unwish! returns on its unself.! ! ! ! ! A world of
made! is not a world of bornpity poor esh! ! and trees,poor stars
and stones,but never this! ne specimen of hypermagical! !
ultraomnipotence. We doctors know! ! ~ e e cummings,pity this busy
Photo by ickr user RLHyde Our bodies and esh have become
materials, food for the industrial and social machines.The work of
education, and especially of the digital humanities, is to explore
the ways in which that esh ghts back.
i Additional Material Presentation based on my chapter,Toward a
Zombie Pedagogy in Zombies in the Academy: Living Death in Higher
Education! ! Jesse Stommel, ! March of the MOOCs: Monstrous Open
Online Courses! ! Pete Rorabaugh and Jesse Stommel, ! TwitterVs.
Zombies: New Media Literacy & theVirtual Flash Mob"! ! Jesse
Stommel,The Digital Humanities is about Breaking Stuff! ! Jesse
Stommel,The Decay of the Digital Human! ! Mark Sample,Notes towards
a Deformed Humanities! ! Sean Michael Morris,Courses, Composition,
Hybridity! ! Kathi Inman Berens,The New Learning is Ancient