International educators meet despite U.S. travel ban, thanks to KPU

Mon, Jul 24, 2017

KPU trumps travel ban.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is bringing together eminent scholars from around the world to explore the role and application of digital technology in teaching. Originally scheduled to only take place this summer in Virginia, the Digital Pedagogy Lab added a parallel professional development event in B.C. to accommodate academics who cannot or do not wish to travel to the U.S.

“Once news broke of the recent U.S. legislation that restricts the ability of scholars from several countries to attend the Digital Pedagogy Lab institute, it quickly became evident that our event could not proceed as planned,” said Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, one of the event organizers and a psychology instructor at KPU. “This event was built on radical openness so it is vital that we offer space for as diverse a community as possible.”

Thanks to the immediate and strong support of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, in collaboration with Thompson Rivers University (Open Learning), and the University of the Fraser Valley, KPU Richmond will now play host to a second institute – the Digital Pedagogy Lab Vancouver from July 28 to 30, 2017.

“As an institution that values academic freedom, KPU is proud to provide a space for scholars from around the world to hold important discussions about education, technology, progress and social justice,” said Dr. Diane Purvey, dean of the Faculty of Arts.

At the lab, academics from around the world will gather to ask critical questions about digitally-mediated learning, such as what happens when learning goes online, and what are the effects of educational technology on the agency and self-reliance of teachers and students? Important conversations will range from the intersections of social justice and education to how to find ways to take action in an age when borders and boundaries threaten intellectual, creative, and critical collaborations.

“In a time when digital identity, surveillance and ‘fake news’ should be the concern of any teacher or student working, publishing, or living on the web, we need to be equipped with the critical apparatus to read our world so that we can make the choices that will protect us and that will allow us to thrive online,” said Sean Michael Morris, director of the Digital Pedagogy Lab.

Though registration for the entire three-day institute is full, the two keynote addresses are free and open to the public.

Keynote addresses

  • July 28, 2017, 3:30-5 p.m.
    Educating for change: activism, organizing, and resisting through storytelling
    Rusul Alrubail, Partner, Ci. Strategy+ Design
  • July 30, 2017, 9-10:30 a.m.
    Teaching is not an input. Student learning is not an output. Education is about relationships.
    Jesse Stommel, executive director, Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, University of Mary Washington. Please note that breakfast is for registered participants only.

For more information, visit

About the DPL
The Digital Pedagogy Lab Institute is unique among education professional development events in that its focus, and the bedrock of its philosophy, is critical pedagogy. Utilizing a cohort model that allows participants to quickly establish communities of collaboration, each track at the Institute approaches one aspect of teaching and learning with an eye toward learner agency, social justice, and inquiry. The Institute is less a place where participants learn “what,” and more where they learn “how, why, and whether.”

Story by Tatiana Tomljanovic

For more KPU news: