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Peter T Donahue

Pedagogy Of The Disembodied

by Peter T. Donahue

Dear Educator,

Thank you for registering for Pedagogy of the Disembodied, a two-day webinar designed to provide you with both philosophical discussion and concrete takeaways for classroom practice.

The Connectome Mapping Disaster began in 2032, and it is now estimated that one in seven students in secondary classrooms (grades 9-12) is disembodied. This number is only expected to rise. With the aid of tablets, touch-input whiteboards, and other technology, many teachers have begun adapting their pedagogical approaches to the needs of cloud-based students. However, studies have shown a persistent achievement gap between flesh-and-blood and disembodied students.

This weekend, you will have access to the following sessions, presented by leading educators, school administrators, and psychologists:

Saturday, AM session

Differentiating Instruction for Mixed Bodied / Disembodied Classrooms

Presenter: Dr. David Lu

Many staple techniques in the classroom, such as hands-on activities, group projects, and even the process of note taking, are valuable because of what we know about how physically embodied students learn. Social context, muscle memory, even the spatial layout of a room all affect learning—if you have a body, that is. In this session, Dr. Lu will take participants through a series of classroom activities modified for the bodiless. Even if you are already employing many of these techniques, the session will be a valuable refresher.

Saturday, PM session

Are “Disembodied” Students “Disabled”?

Presenter: Jeanine Stackhouse

In an open discussion format, Ms. Stackhouse will present her controversial claim that disembodied students fare best in classrooms where teachers believe them to be disabled. “It’s not so much a question of the students’ abilities as a question of the teacher’s mindset,” says Stackhouse. In her trademark no-nonsense way, she will address questions about the psychological traits and beliefs of teachers who succeed with disembodied students. You may leave this session convinced that “Belief is a Muscle,” to borrow the title of Ms. Stackhouse’s blog.

Sunday, AM session

The Instructional Challenges of Non-bodied Ontological Schemas

Presenter: Dr. Gita Chowdhury

Many disembodied students have been in the cloud since early childhood, and thus have no physical experiences upon which to base their understanding of the world around them. Cloud-based students, Dr. Chowdhury argues, can’t be asked to “pick themselves up and dust themselves off” after a failure, or to “stretch themselves out of their comfort zones.” It is just as senseless to praise them for “knocking it out of the park.” Following a deconstruction of structural metaphors commonly used in the classroom, Dr. Chowdhury will guide you through a deep evaluation of the ways your language might perpetuate achievement gaps.

Sunday, PM session

Equity in Assessing Cloud-Based Intelligences

Presenter: Lorenzo Williams

The traditional constraints on test-taking — a secure room, a time limit, no access to online tools — has long been eroded by changing social and technological norms. Now, cloud-based students have rendered these restraints completely meaningless. In this session, participants must bring a quiz or test for workshop, and will leave with a valid asynchronous, aspatial, cheating-resistant assessment.

We are looking forward to working with you this weekend. Know that passionate educators like you are leading the way to a better future. As a disembodied person myself, I would not be where I am today without the patient, kind assistance of teachers like you.

Kind Regards,

Pamela Olenska v2.81

Director, Cloud Nine Educator Workshops



Peter T. Donahue lives with his wife and children in New Jersey, where he teaches Creative Writing. He’s a southpaw, obsessive font-spotter, grapheme-color synesthete, and chronically dehydrated. His speculative fiction has appeared in Metaphorosis, Ripples in Space, and No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book.