What is Digital Pedagogy?

The following blog post is co-authored by –

Anaid Shaver, KJ Chew, Rifat Sabbir Mansur, Sam Salous, Zhenyu Yao (in alphabetical order).

The authors practiced a fast blogging technique to discuss a topic and write down the keynotes collaboratively under 30 mins. 

“We did not know it was different from online teaching. We are not sure what digital pedagogy is.”

These were some of the opening statements we had in the group. Our discussion revolved around interpreting what “digital pedagogy” is. 

For some of us, digital pedagogy is not a thing that you do, it is a “force” that exists that has multiple elements. For instance, when we talk about Kahoot, it is not a digital pedagogy. It is deeper than that. It is its own force in itself and it invites learning in the process. It is also always evolving. The use of “hacking” as a form of manifestation of learning also supports the idea of what digital pedagogy can be. For others, some view digital pedagogy as a study and a philosophy, indicating that one needs to spend years and effort learning it. An instructor needs some training before he/she is assigned to teach a course. Similarly, one becomes a digital pedagogue by spending years researching, participating, writing, and presenting on digital pedagogies. The most important factor in teaching is that it is still a human endeavor rather than just based on the technologies. 

However, what makes it “digital”? For some of us, we think some of the authors have “digital” as a conversation starter. They do not want to restrict the conversations, mindsets, and definitions of what “digital” is. They want us to break out the restrictive thinking and mindsets revolving around LMS and digital teaching. This means digital pedagogy does not mean it has to be in a virtual setting. It also does not have to be using digital tools. It is a way we can facilitate learning better in creative, flexible, and expansive ways.

On the issues of banning digital tools or technologies in the class, we think student agency is important, and we should be teaching students how to use the tools, like laptops. Instead of discussing with them using laptops for social media, we can have discussions with them on how to use laptops for learning. For instance, one of our group members provides them links to look for using their laptops to learn about critical thinking. The instructors should focus on how to make their class materials more interesting. Especially, at the college level where teaching is not a form of babysitting. It might be helpful to develop more flexible teaching approaches, such as recorded lectures, where students can follow through according to their own convenience. The key aspect here is that teaching should excite students into being curious and learning more.


Thank you for reading our discussion blog.
Have a wonderful day. 
~Ri. 🙂 

8 thoughts on “What is Digital Pedagogy?

  1. Hi Ri,

    I agree that it was interesting how some people seemed to be taking “digital pedagogy” as a jumping off point for other ideas, but it was also very exciting for me to read. I liked that the writings by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel took a step back and realized technology isn’t new, and that tying your pedagogy too closely to the newest tools isn’t an effective way to approach “digital” pedagogy. Maybe calling it digital pedagogy at that point it is a little buzzwordy, but I really like the idea that someone can practice digital pedagogy not by using the newest tools but by carefully considering what tools are best for the job, and embracing innovation in teaching and learning rather than trying to replicate existing pedagogy in a digital format.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Thanks, Ri, for the post. I agree that we cannot entirely ban the use of technologies because of our incompetence in engaging content and activities. On the other hand, even if we give it our best shot, we might lose to social networks’ attractiveness. These new technologies and social networks are addictive, enticing, and deceiving in design and are hard to compete with. So, parents and teachers have to lay some boundaries down to protect their children and themselves.

  3. Thanks Ri for this interesting set of insights. I agree with the main thrust of this post, which is that there is no a priori method for employing or integrating the digitial into the classroom. One of the most difficult things is balancing a flexible approach that utilizes multiple methods of learning — videos, online media or posts, forum discussions, etc. — into the classroom against the potential for losing their focus with the temptations for using the same online access for ends that are not for the class. While we want to make the class entertaining to the extent students are focused, the point obviously is not merely to entertain. I think this is a trial and error processs we must each undertake and tailor to our specific classes.

  4. Thanks Ri and your co-authors for your thoughts in digital pedagogy
    Actually, I agree with the opinion that instructors need some training before they are assigned to teach a course. Instructors training is critical for quality teaching. For example, professional development training helps instructors to be up to date with technology especially, because technology is giving instructors a new way of teaching and shaping modern forms of online, hybrid, and even in person teaching. I totally agree with you that nothing can replace the instructor’s role in teaching and if there is any significant difference in learning outcomes because teaching methods are not attributed to the technology.


  5. I like that you brought up the point of using laptops for learning and not social media. The framing in which we as instructors provide for our students about expectations surrounding technology in the classroom can really set the tone as to how students choose to engage with it. Student agency is important and we’re all learning how to best allow for that to take place in an online space these days.

  6. I believe that digital tools shouldn’t be banned in the classroom. Instead, teachers should inspire students to use today’s technology tools for learning. For example, students use Instagram to post photos but don’t think to use the platform for art or history projects. They record themselves with a voice memo app but do not realize those apps could also be used for journalism projects or a historical narrative piece. Consequently, I think we need to look for way to maximize the numerous opportunities of digital pedagogy

  7. Thank you all for your interesting perspectives. I agree that “They do not want to restrict the conversations, mindsets, and definitions of what digital is. They want us to break out the restrictive thinking and mindsets revolving around LMS and digital teaching. “. I think it is hard to have two distinct categories of digital or non-digital. Instead, there is a level of how digital a learning process is. Even the most computer-based course that we imagine, have still some elements that can become more digital. Also, just being digital or non-digital does not increase or decrease the quality of the learning process. Digital technologies are merely tools and how effective they actually are, depends on the people who wield them and how they do it.

  8. After reading multiple blogs on this topic, I am thinking that although digital pedagogy is a great move and point of continuous evolution for education not all instructors will be interested in becoming a digital pedagogue. Digital pedagogy is not meant for everyone. I am more inclined to grow into becoming a digital pedagogue because it directly connects with my field. I am a technical communicator and junior rhetorician who is always thinking of ways to improve communication through technology, develop efficient processes, and interrogate the structure of systems (like digital environments).

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