HyBrid Pedogogy and an Urgency of Teachers: A Book Discussion


I invite you to join me through the month of June where we discuss Hybrid / Digital Pedagogy. The podcast is a great introduction to digital pedagogy and we will build on that as we discuss An Urgency of Teachers (The book is open source). 

This book is a collection of essays about online learning and educational technology, trends, hopes, fears, and possibilities. This is a very timely discussion. Each week, beginning on Monday, June 1, I'll post some prompts (and encourage others to do so as well). 

Enjoy the podcasts and I look forward to our discussions. 

Kathy Tracey 



Welcome to the first week of our discussion on the Urgency of Teachers. During this conversation, we won't be discussing specific strategies as much as we will discuss the foundation and teaching philosophy. Why is this important? As we provide PD for our field, we can help our practitioners operationallize theoretical approaches to develop quality and equitable instruction. Lets begin with the first essay, WHAT IS A PEDAGOGUE?

From the book, 

What is a Digital Pedagogue?

Entering a classroom, we think first about its walls. We think about where the desks sit. Where we will stand. Whether there are windows, where the doors are, how the chalkboard, whiteboard, or overhead projector are arranged. And then we make decisions about teaching based on these environmental considerations. Should we rearrange the chairs? Should we stand behind the podium, or should we sit on the desk? Making decisions about how teaching will occur — what it will look like, how it will be performed — is as much a response to the environment in which we teach as it is to the lesson we have planned.

What about when we teach online? Where are our walls and chairs and podium in digital space? For some, the coded boundaries of the LMS replace the solid borders of the classroom, and discussion fora become the arrangement of chairs. Video lectures have been used to replicate an instructor’s presence on the screen, and quizzes with algorithmically automated teacherly responses offer feedback in lieu of written notes and gold stars. But it’s important to think bigger about where the walls are, where our teaching territory lies.

Questions for discussion: 

  • How does the LMS selected for instruction, where does the 'teaching territory lie?"
  • How do students make decisions about how instruction is performed when using an LMS? 

I'm looking forward to the conversation.

Kathy Tracey


Currently, I am teaching a graduate course for educators and was reviewing a mid course reflection when a student's response was extremely striking. She indicated difficulty staying motivated and on task while dealing with so much anxiety caused by our current crisis. This led me to reflect on our role as educators and how we can approach classroom instruction by keeping the content relevant, allowing for difficult conversations, creating safe spaces, and remaining alinged to our mission to provide basick skills and English Langauge instruction. 

So how do we bridge these increadible challenges through online instruction? I hope you have had a chance to review the chapter on Digital Pedagogue. This week, we will review  Learning is Not a Mechanism and consider a LINCS resource The Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets. 

The authors of the Urgency of Teachers end this chapter with,  

bell hooks writes, in Teaching to Transgress, “The first paradigm that shaped my pedagogy was the idea that the classroom should be an exciting place, never boring.” So, I want to end this piece with several questions: what kinds of tools can we find, build, or imagine that help make the work of learning “fun,” as hooks advocates? Can we imagine assessment mechanisms even that encourage discovery, ones not designed for assessing learning but designed for learning through assessment? When do we decide that a tool isn’t working, and how can we work together to set it down en masse?

I wonder if 'fun' is the right choice - and maybe we should replace that word with relevant. So how can we promote student discovery, adhere to our educational mission, and move beyond the LMS to use such a rich curration of relevant resources in the Digital Public Library of America?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Kathy Tracey