Sunday, April 01, 2012

A Reformation of Christian Education, Pt. 1: Intro

One thing I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on is that social networking technology is not only changing the nature of Christian education in the congregation, but the nature of Christian education in the seminary as well. If social networking technology is reforming education from being a more “teacher-centered” to “learner-centered” enterprise, shouldn’t some of our academic papers reflect that fact? In a learner-centered environment where knowledge is formed through conversation in community rather than found in the bowels of a library and where authority is constantly negotiated, perhaps seminarians could contribute to the conversation by beginning to write blog posts rather than papers that stay locked in the towers of academia? From a practical standpoint, as we begin to read and write seminary assignments more on tablets or smartphones and less on paper, enriching our assignments through sound, video and links seems to make sense and can best be achieved through the blogposts medium.

What I propose then is writing my Technology and Adult Education paper not in the form of five pages but instead in the form of five blogposts, including this one. While this process would have ideally taken place over the span of a few weeks, its unfortunately only going to take place over the span of a single Sunday, in order to get my assignment in on time. Ideally, as I live-blog each consecutive post, I’ll pay attention to the responses and comments it garners (please comment friends and thanks for reading), and then include those comments in the next post of my assignment if possible. So here’s what I’m thinking for each of my four remaining posts:

1) A summary of the “Broadcasting Church” era we are now leaving, including its best and worst practices.

2) A summary of the Networked Church era now emerging, with a focus on how it differs from the Broadcasting Church.

3) As my current ministry setting is with Lutheran Advocacy Ministries of PA, I am looking for ways to educate our ministry partners about proposed cuts to the state of Pennsylvania’s General Assistance Fund, which would double Philadelphia’s homeless population.  I’ll begin doing so by critiquing the well-known Kony 2012 model in light of what I’ve learned about the Networked Church.

4) I’ll conclude with ways I could modify the Kony 2012 model to raise awareness about cuts to the PA General Assistance Fund predominately by contributing and attending the ongoing conversation about the issue, as best practices of the Networked Church indicate.

While writing each post, I’ll rely on Rev. Keith Anderson’s March 2nd, 2012 lecture on the Art of Digital Formation at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Tweet If You <3 Jesus by Elizabeth Drescher and the responses I garner from my post readers. Thanks so much!

God's peace,

Dustin is a Masters of Divinity candidate in his second year of study at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. While seeking ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, his focus is on the intersection between worship, service and justice building in de-centralized faith communities unencumbered by a traditional church building. In his free time, Dustin really likes playing frisbee, hiking and pretending to know how to sing.

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