Learning Evaluation—Assignment Time!!!

This posting is 100% assignment. Honestly I feel a little odd about even posting it here…but what the heck. We’ll give it a whirl. 5 Questions, part of the learning portfolio required of every M.Div student that goes through Luther Seminary. Go ahead…pursue a Theological degree at Luther…you’ll do it too…and if you don’t (oh random person proving me wrong in the future) don’t tell me that you didn’t. I’ll be jealous.

  1. I thought all three reading assignments were relevant in that they all discussed the presence of social media/online interaction within the world as we know it today. I found Drescher’s book to be the most applicable for us as future pastors in the internet context. Shirky’s book applied to the drastic impact that social media has as it creates the opportunity for crowds to gather (figuratively) around an issue. Hess’ book seemed a little off. As I mentioned in that particular blog post, it seemed as if the audience was faculty about 10 years ago. This would be the one book I’d consider replacing within the curriculum.
  2. I appreciated the design of the course. The short-term class room aspect was appealing, though admittedly difficult in terms of the social/family life occurring on a Friday evening/Saturday. But I felt that the time we met provided ample opportunity for discussion and engagement with the topics at hand. In many ways it felt like a seminar, but honestly, I think that’s okay considering the focus. Honestly it’s a seminar that I think all clergy (and future clergy) should engage in. I appreciated the group dynamic that we utilized as this type of discussion and engagement with different viewpoints works towards my own learning style. I do wonder if breaking the time up into (perhaps) 3 or 4 segments would be applicable, however, I do not think that breaking the classroom time up in a traditional weekly class time format would be advisable.
  3. Surviving the class is not difficult. Simply realize that you will be giving up a significant amount of a weekend. Prior involvement with social media is a plus, but certainly isn’t a requirement. In fact having the perspective of people with all ranges of personal experience was helpful in terms of class discussion. In terms of flourishing, I think you only need an open mind and a respectful attitude.
  4. One of the most important lessons I’ve taken away from this class would be a healthy awareness of the permanent nature of online postings. Once something is online, there is no deleting it. It’s still there even if we don’t think so. Now, I’ve been around social media long enough to know this. I’ve seen some firestorms and even been mildly involved with some of them. But that being said, I’ve also gained appreciation for the broad opportunity that media presents for parish education. I don’t think it is something to be feared, but rather something to be engaged within our parishes. Allow information to flow freely and we just might learn something from each other.
  5.  I have greatly appreciated this class. I think it is a wonderful way to fulfill the Education 2 requirement while engaging with a very pertinent and important reality that we live with. This isn’t going away anytime soon. The world is connected for better or worse. We are called to be Christ’s servants in the world as it is today. We need to remember to engage with that world.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Kathee Forrest on July 2, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    A couple of thoughts as I read your comments about the class. It was a little like a seminar (but with lots of pre and post work!) I, too, would encourage all pastors and lay leaders (especially those not so technologically savvy) to take this class. In our synod there is a young techie friend of mine that is teaching a technology “bootcamp” for congregational leaders – but alot of it is on the technical end and geared for the congregation. This class puts the reality of technology in our lives into quite the different perspective of Christian Ed – and maybe since it was in such a short time frame, bootcamp might be the right terminology. This class, in the short “seminar” format, has enabled us the opportunity for online “self-initiating inquiry” as we log those additional hours of blogging and responding, which I have found so worthwhile in this learning process.


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