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Technology, Pedagogy, Biblical Studies


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This is a presentation that I gave at the New England and Eastern Canada Region SBL meeting, May 3, 2013.

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Technology, Pedagogy, Biblical Studies

  1. 1. Technology and PedagogyPitfalls and PromisesNESBL3 May 2013
  2. 2. introductions• my own context and background• elements emerging of a new culture of learning• promises and contradictions in biblical studies• examples and ideas
  3. 3. Luther Seminary, Roman Catholic laywoman, media and education
  4. 4. what is the “new culture of learning”?how does it intersect with higher education?Thomas and SeelyBrown
  5. 5. limitless informationbounded environmentsmetaphors of an informationnetwork, and the culture of a petridish (31)
  6. 6. learning-basedargue that a teaching-basedapproach is sharing stableinformation “about” the world,whereas a learning-basedapproach is learning throughengagement “with” the world (37)
  7. 7. personal & collectiveas contrasted to the public andthe private (56)
  8. 8. blogging is one example, butthere are others as well (66)construction ofinterpretivecommunities
  9. 9. in communities people learn in order to belong,in collectives people participate in order to learn(56)
  10. 10. stable knowledge is explicitknowledge, constantly changingknowledge is tacit (77)tacit knowing
  11. 11. concerted cultivationwhat does it mean to “cultivateconcertedly” for specific kinds ofgrowth, attention andengagement? (71)
  12. 12. inquiry: not learning what we know, but asking‘what are the things we don’t know, and whatquestions can we ask about them?’(83)
  13. 13. “indwelling is the set of practiceswe use and develop to find andmake connections among thetacit dimensions of things” (85)inquiry -> indwelling
  14. 14. hanging out, messing around, geeking out
  15. 15. build inquiry frompassion“the new culture of learning isabout the kind of tension thatdevelops when students with aninterest or passion that they wantto explore are faced with a set ofconstraints that allow them to actonly within given boundaries” (81)
  16. 16. what could all of this suggest to biblical studiesfaculty?
  17. 17. is this really all that new?
  18. 18. buechner: one way to think about vocation is asthe place where your deepest passions and theworld’s deepest needs intersect
  19. 19. world’s needs? biblical studies witnesses tocommunities through time, and offers entry pointsto a variety of forms of meaning-making
  20. 20. questions of brokenness? of the hiddenness ofGod? of faith in a world of pain? of multi-faithencounters? of legal systems and justice?
  21. 21. • esoteric knowledge• rahner: the recognition of our finitude points to awareness of the infinite (thatis, in recognizing our limits we point to the limitless)• we have practice with textual attention and critical engagement• we have practice with bounded environments that are open (scripture, sacredtext, church, mosque, synagogue, temple)• we have practice with making explicit, knowing that comes from tacit sources(“white fire and black fire,” spirituality, practices of faith, etc.)strengths of biblical studies
  22. 22. “indwelling is the set of practiceswe use and develop to find andmake connections among thetacit dimensions of things”(85)inquiry -> indwelling
  23. 23. challenges of biblical studies• certain of our esoteric knowledge has become nearly inaccessible• our “bounded environments” are crumbling all around us (shifts in highereducation, denominational shifts, sacred/secular, etc.)• tacit knowing is often disavowed in certain academic contexts• much of graduate education errs on the side of being “teaching-based” ratherthan “learning-based”• can we draw on, and offer, “concerted cultivation” of more holistic forms ofknowing?
  24. 24. what could/should we do?
  25. 25. homo sapiens, homo faber, homo ludensknowing, making, playing(90)
  26. 26. what could this look like with digital tools?• problem-based approaches to learning tools (into the new testament)• heightening engagement (“tweading”)• online, structured debates (Pauline letters)• using gaming practices (Detweiler at Pepperdine, and GameOn)• using multiple genres (comics, manga, parody, provocative art, glossy magazine)• engaging public resources (ABS, HuffingtonPost)• online commentary (Amos, EnterTheBible)• adapting secondary school methodologies
  27. 27. what are some of the challenges?• managing student attention• issues of fairness and access• intellectual property questions (open access, fair use, cc licenses)• context collapse• epistemic closure• learning to teach online
  28. 28. and what is coming...?
  29. 29. some thoughts about MOOCs...• what matters are the learning outcomes and learning methods (StephenDownes, HybridPedagogy,• dynamics of authority, authenticity and agency are still emerging (Hess)• keep in mind characteristics of networked religion (Campbell)• institutional dynamics are challenging, we need to emphasize learning-centered approaches• perhaps badges?
  30. 30. are these analogous? which are of these are actively drawn upon inbiblical studies? which do we utilize in our own learning?
  31. 31. the new culture of learning is a culture of collectiveinquiry that harnesses the resources of the networkand transforms them into nutrients within the petridish environment, turning it into a space of playand experimentation. (118)
  32. 32. that moment of fusion between unlimited resourcesand a bounded environment creates a space thatdoes not simply allow for imagination, it requires it.(118)
  33. 33. only when we care about experimentation, play,and questions more than efficiency, outcomes andanswers do we have a space that is truly open tothe imagination. and where imaginations play,learning happens. (118)
  34. 34. can biblical studies educators “hang out, messaround, and geek out”?
  35. 35. these ideas are an interaction with douglas thomas and john seely brown’s book “a newculture of learning, published in 2011 (specific connections to their book are inparentheses on various slides)images: kristinab, mexicanwave,worldofwarcraft, pivotpointbrazil, hendraleley, cubagallery,chronicle of higher edall other images are by mary hess