Jesse Stommel is a documentary filmmaker, professor, and founder of the Digital Pedagogy Lab and Hybrid Pedagogy. Stommel’s background in English lends itself to his teaching and research interests of higher education pedagogy, critical digital pedagogy, ungrading and assessment, composition, new media, public humanities, scholarly publishing, games and game-making, horror, science fiction, and queer theory. You can find his website here.
Stommel’s work is about open education, open pedagogy, critical pedagogy , and radical pedagogy. He insists that issues of social justice and democracy are not distinct from the act of teaching and learning. His contributions shine a light on compassion and inclusion in education. He is not a fan of “best practice” or “scaffolding”. You can find some of his keynotes and lectures here. Stommel states that critical digital pedagogy is not neutral and that students’ voices must be heard and that students are agents of their own learning. We need to treat the least privileged with the most respect and a teacher’s job is to advocate for students. You can see some of the pushback his ideas receive here. Unicorns. Stommel believes that although technology has made learning more efficient we must prioritize dignity over efficiency as well as control and compliance from being prioritized over freedom and agency.
Stommel’s work is particularly important to the field of EdTech as it centers justice and care. Stommel contends that there is a call to action as we participate in a digital culture that is “owned and operated” by others. That skills are needed to “read” our modern world. He states that it is not ok to normalize the things that are not working in teaching. We should not pontificate about the future and that the future is here.
“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”