Friday, October 25, 2013

The e-learning version of a Jesus call story (Luke 5:1-11)

Some recent writing I’m still quite pleased with …

I want to begin by contemporising Luke 5:1-11. While somewhat playful, I intend to make a more serious point as my argument unfolds.

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret the people were crowding around him … checking their facebook status and live tweeting updates as they were … listening to the Word of God.

[Jesus] got into one of the boats … Then he sat down and taught the people … by handing the disciples a Kindle, on which had been loaded core theology texts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and latest translations of the First Testament ….

Then Jesus said to Simon, Come follow me and … so he gave the disciples their moodle login and automated password. Upon login, they clicked on My courses and discovered they had been enrolled in a core topic – Discipleship. It came complete with course outlines for the next three years and powerpoints of the Sermon on the Mount. Assessment involved the completion of weekly forums, involving contemporary doing theology case studies. One involved a written response to a question asked by a rich young ruler, another an exercise in going ahead of Jesus looking for a donkey.

Plus, a bonus, a set of MP3’s. Titled Parables, they allowed students to be updated on Jesus latest adventures in storytelling.

Jesus had toyed with the idea of offering a MOOCS – Massive Open Online Course. Instead of a focus on the disciples, he had toyed with marketing his Discipleship course to the crowds, aiming for open access and large-scale interactive participation.

Sadly his treasurer had resisted, pointing out that it was better to give to poor than to fund the video lecture style pedagogy and a graphic novel, which, it was argued, would increase student retention of texts from the Apocraphya.

This was an introduction to my paper – Embodiment and Transformation in the context of e-learning – at the recent Teaching and Learning: Theology: The Way Ahead conference in Sydney. While at first glance my e-learning version of a Lukan “call story” might suggest the importance of face to face modes of discipleship, my intention was subversive. By placing the Incarnation as central, it applied me to argue that transforming theology can involve e-learning and online technologies. In other words, an attempt to be theological about transforming theology.

Posted by steve at 08:45 PM

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