Hacking Pedagogy

Christoper Long and I were invited to be part of this year’s Learning Design Summer Camp at Penn State. The presentation topic that was proposed to us was strong in and of itself, but when we got together to really flesh it out we thought we would try something that modeled the ideas we really wanted to cultivate in the PSU learning design community. Both of us were very fond of the work done in the Hacking the Academy project at George Mason and wanted to explore how our own community could be part of a much larger initiative. When we really worked to explore our thinking, the Hacking Pedagogy concept was born. Although there is risk in depending on the community to collaborate with us in this endeavor, we felt the only way to truly model what a cooperative learning event could look like was to take that risk.

To move from a teaching practice centered on the pure dissemination of content from teacher to student to one rooted in truly cooperative practice should be the new ideal for us as a teaching and learning community. Our goal is to provide a kind of field guide that is cooperatively developed and edited over time so that we as a community of educators can draw upon the wisdom of this group. Over the next two weeks, culminating with a cooperative session at the Learning Design Summer Camp, we will ask you (the Internet) to share with us evidence that education can be transformed, that it can be designed to empower a shared sense of ownership among participants, that it can be improved when learning spaces are made into genuine learning communities.

We know this evidence exists across both the Penn State and social web. We know this because we read, listen, watch, and engage with it each and every day as we do our work. What we feel it lacks is a center of gravity that serves to coalesce it into a working resource that can be continually mined, edited, added to, and utilized to guide new forms of teaching, learning, and design practice. The recognition that we as a community have more to offer than each of us can contribute individually will guide our cooperative session at Summer Camp.

The content of this series will be created collaboratively in an attempt to perform the dynamic, open and responsive pedagogical practices for which it advocates. Such an approach recognizes the intimate, reciprocal relationship between theory and practice, process and product, student and teacher. The very processes by which the texts, podcasts, videos, and images brought together here are gathered, culled, edited, revised, discussed and disseminated afford us an educational opportunity. Our product itself will be a compelling expression of the power of cooperative pedagogy.

How to Collaborate

It is really easy to be a part of this … we are simply asking you to lend us your content by tagging it with the tag psuhack across the social web or with the #psuhack on twitter. We will spend time looking through the submissions and see if we can identify a handful of overarching themes around which we can organize our content. At Summer Camp we will present the themes and introduce you to the loosely curated artifacts so that we can hopefully come to a shared vision of how to organize our publication. It is our hope that during Summer Camp you not only think critically about how this can impact your work, but consider adding new submissions live during the session.

Again, our goal is to both model the emergence of a cooperative learning environment and to create a living “field guide” that can serve as an ongoing form of inspiration as we go forward with our work. Even now, you can start to see the Hacking Pedagogy contributions flowing in by visiting the PSU Voices page. We talked a bit about it on