Too. Many. Good. Quotes. @jessifer is like Confucius up in here.
— Joanne Dolan (@SlightlyJo) October 13, 2014
For me this tweet pretty much summed up Jesse Stommel’s visit to campus last week.
Stommel is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at University of Wisconsin-Madison and his work focuses on lifelong learning and the public digital humanities. He is also the Founder, Director, and CEO of Hybrid Pedagogy: a digital journal of learning, teaching, and technology. Jess was invited to campus by faculty members Chuck Rybak and Caroline Boswell, and sponsored by CATL, to talk about a range of topics including social media in the classroom, digital assignments, digital humanities, and collaborative student research. But for me, the day had one central theme – pedagogy.
Jesse calls himself a pedagogue and all of his talks focused on how best to support deeper student learning and engagement. The moniker of “digital” and “technology” was almost misleading. Had we bleeped out all of the references to technology, the points would still have been significant and relevant. His guide for Digital Assignment Design could be applied to all assignment design, his discussion on Collaborative Student Research in the Digital Humanities had takeaways for all student research mentors, and even his workshop on using Social Media in the Classroom became a discussion on how the small choices we make in class define our teaching philosophies. Despite my role on campus as a techno-guide for faculty, my passion is teaching and learning, and Jesse’s insistence that technology should enhance and focus learning rather than direct it, spoke to me
While I know we are all busy, if you can spare few hours of your time, I strongly recommend that you watch one or more of our recordings of these sessions, particularly on a day when you might be in a difficult place with your teaching. There is little more inspiring than a teacher who is passionate about his practice, and that is what Jesse brought to campus.
(Featured Photo above courtesy of Charnae LaLuzerne)