Graduate Theological Union

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Digital Reformation: How Technology Shapes the Dynamic Classroom

The world is literally at our fingertips. Pull out your smart phone <tap tap tap> and you can Google huge libraries of information, see the world thanks to YouTube, and even converse via discussions boards, Facebook, Skype, and text. This ability to access information has revolutionized our culture, particularly how we view education.

Jody Passanisi, a.k.a. Jacqueline Pearce, (M.A. '05) with her colleague Shara Peters astutely observes in a post at Scientific American, “[E]ducated people were those who knew a great deal of information about one or many subjects...In this 'Age of Information,' access to facts and data is no longer available only to the educated elite...So, as a society, what is an 'educated person'?”

Articulating an answer to that query is difficult, but most educators agree that the Digital Revolution has changed the way that students learn and how we live everyday. So it's no surprise that more conversations and alterations are taking place to incorporate technology as a key component in the classroom.

Put electronic devices in your classroom to good use!

laptop, tablet and smart phoneStudents show up for class these days with an array of electronics--smart phones, tablets, e-readers and computers. In his blog post, Taking Advantage of “Disruptive Technology” in the Classroom, Justin W. Marquis, Ph.D. offers some great suggestions about how to get students to use those devices productively in class, keeping their attention in the classroom. There are also a variety of activities, such as the choices feature, quizzes etc., in Moodle that you can use in the classroom.

 

 

The benefits of awareness

Are you concerned about distraction in the classroom or when students are doing assignments? You are not alone. The Chronicle of Higher Education posted an article about Professor David M. Levy's use of meditation and other awareness techniques at the University of Washington to help his students concentrate and get more out of their learning experience. Some GTU instructors use an opening prayer or activity to help students spiritually center as they begin learning, which can benefit the mind as well as the soul.

Social Media and the Seminary

social media

“Social media is changing our culture in profound and dynamic ways.”

— ELIZABETH DRESCHER, Ph.D. ’08
assistant professor of Christian Spiritualities
and director of the Center for Anglican Learning & Leadership
at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP)

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