On Kevin Gannon’s Inclusive Design track at Digital Pedagogy Lab 2019, Kevin tasked us with writing an inclusive teaching manifesto. He is clearly a fan of the manifesto. One of our suggested readings was the Manifesto for Teaching Online from the University of Edinburgh, and anyone familiar with Kevin’s writing will have read Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto.

Based on those texts, I was happy to jot down some statements of my own. I gave some thought to the work I already do, and the work I want to do, and put it as simply as I could.

Spending a week at Digital Pedagogy Lab is draining in the best possible sense of the word. It can be a heavy week. In light of that, each statement is accompanied by a gif from The Simpsons. It’s my blog, so I can do that if I want to.

On a more serious note, writing a teaching manifesto alone seems like the first step of a more lengthy project. I’m working as part of a team on a national project to enhance digital teaching and learning. The project team meets regularly, and I think this could be a useful collective exercise for us to try, and we could work with a view to creating a manifesto on each of our campuses.

We’re using the European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) for the project, and it would be useful to use the six areas covered to create our collective manifesto.

  • Area 1: Professional Engagement
  • Area 2: Digital Resources
  • Area 3: Teaching and Learning
  • Area 4: Assessment
  • Area 5: Empowering Learners
  • Area 6: Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence

For now, this is my own personal manifesto.

The Text

Choose technology that matches your pedagogy.

Choosing between two bottles labelled 'catsup' and 'ketchup'

Are kindness and empathy visible ‘through the screen’?

Male teacher reading to a small girl from a children's book with tears in his eyes

Research your technology. Am I using open, ethical tools whenever possible?

Homer Simpson puts on reading glasses and examines notes saying 'interesting'

Create an environment that is easily navigable and accessible.

Computer files and folders appear Inside Homer Simpson's mind and an error occurs

Can students easily seek support or help?

Homer Simpson throws computer into rubbish bin and grunts

Learning spaces should be inclusive for all students.

Children run out of the doors of Springfield Elementary School

Evaluation and feedback should inform my practice.

Backed by school staff, Lisa Simpson asks, 'What would you change?'

The learning space should help foster a sense of community.

Mrs. Krabappel introduces a new student to her 2nd grade class and asks her 'Tell us about yourself'

The courses I create should contain elements of fun and joy.

Homer Simpson skips delightedly through green hills

Keep it simple, and don’t believe the digital natives hype.

Lisa Simpson sits at a Mac computer at her bedroom desk

When I design a course, I should keep student agency in mind.

Children run together down a school corridor toward Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers screaming, 'Down with homework'

Online teaching is still teaching.

Mrs. Krabappel is at a podium receiving a teacher of the year award

Be flexible.

Bart Simpson sits in the principal's office and says that he didn't have tome to complete his work

Don’t ban devices and ‘out’ students who have accommodations.

Children in class are all using mobile devices at once

Bart Simpson, in front of his class, says 'So, in conclusion',

Be human.

A Manifesto for Inclusive Online Teaching

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