Monday, July 11, 2011
living the (digital) text: use of social media in theological formation
Day one of the Living the text intensive kicked off today. A really engaged group and it looks like being a rich week.
One of the things I want to encourage during the intensive is a variety of learning experiences, a whole range of different and new ways by which folk can engage with each other. For instance, one of the assessment tasks is based on each person creating their own blogsite onto which they are expected to place a 1,000 word reflection on the intensive experience.
It’s a pretty simple process. I give out a one page “how to get started blogging.” Each student sets up their blog and sends me their URL. (I arrange an optional tutorial on the second day for any folk who get lost.) I create a central “class blog” (a living the text blog) and each student’s blogsite is listed on the sidebar. (If you click on it, you’ll see previous “cohorts”, the classes of 2008, 2007, 2006.
Having a central blog then allows a second piece of assessment. This involves students being expected to comment on each others blogs. So for example 10 comments of 100 words each becomes a 1,000 word addition to the original 1,000 word self-reflection.
Educationally, this has a number of advantages. Students get to revise not only through their own 1000 word reflection, but they also hear the reflections of others in the class. It reminds them of the diversity of experience. It also allows them to take the class interaction into another, online, context. The intensive experience, which can become quite rich relationally, can continue. And they get to explore the world of social media, which IMHO is an essential part of being in ministry today.
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