Digital Education and the Christian Mind

Without a doubt, technology is changing the shape of education around the globe.  But are these changes good or bad for future of learning?  In this video episode of the 10 Minute Teacher, I want to look at both the positive and negative aspects of digital education and then outline some of the important non-negotialbles for Christian educators.

Some of the quotes used in this video are below:

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ー Aristotle

The ideal of the Liberal Arts Education “grew out of the Greco-Roman ideal of developing the life of the mind in a soul-nurturing relational environment.” ーGary David Stratton 
@ Two Handed Warrior

In terms of both instructional and emotional experience, “the learner-instructor interaction is the most critical one to the success of the learning experience.” ーReggie Smith, 
President of the United States Distance Learning Association

“There is a huge qualitative difference between learning about something, which requires only information, and learning from something, which requires that the learner enter into a rich and complex relationship with the subject at hand.” ーLowell Monke, 
“The Human Touch” @ EducationNEXT

“The twentieth century was the bankruptcy of the social utopia; the twenty-first will be that of the technological one.” ー Nicholas Taleb

“Scholars who are skeptical of MOOCs warn that the essence of a college education lies in the subtle interplay between students and teachers that cannot be simulated by machines, no matter how sophisticated the programming.” ーNicholas Carr, 
2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist

“Socrates specifically rejected the Sophists’ more distant and “academic” student-teacher relationships, branding them educational mercenaries with little or no concern for the souls of their students. The Socratic method of instruction necessitated intimate relationships in tight-knit learning community.” ーGary David Stratton 
@ Two Handed Warrior

Dr. Joe Miller (aka JR) is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. In addition, he is a church planter and coach for other young leaders. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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  • Carl Simmons

    As someone on the publishing end (and on the minority side when it comes to this issue), I would say: Video can be quite useful for facilitating discussion; it should not be a substitute FOR discussion. Unfortunately, most video resources function as the latter (as well as a substitute for church life, as people can get a 45-minute 1-way message without ever leaving home).

    • J.R. Miller

      Hi @38c83fc996fbca0e003a681693429d1c:disqus , thanks for taking the time to post. I agree with your assessment on how the church has exchanged the intimacy of Gospel-community for the impersonal alternatives.

  • J.R. Miller

    I received this video response on YouTube from John R Gentry, and wanted to share these two excellent questions here as well.

    If you have a video response, please feel free to post the YouTube URL in a post and it will automatically insert your video into the comments section.

  • R Titley

    I think some of this relational work can be assisted with immersive worlds technology. Second life is a poor example, yet is a form of immersive tech that became quite popular and ‘if’ it were used in a positive manner could be quite powerful as a digital meeting place. I know that this tech is being improved upon and developed and has become more available through programs like Quest Atlantis. As a private school (if enough funding is available) space in a virtual environment is available, Cyber Net Worlds is one such option. Regardless, these technologies allow for much more conversational and interactive experiences between teacher and student. So I think that while I do not side on either a Utopian or Dystopian side technology is developing in a manner to meet the social and personal needs of our current online education conundrum.

    • J.R. Miller

      Hi @c21092ac5b0997f1377ee9a540e3985c:disqus, I am not familiar with those online environments you are talking about, but it would be interesting to see what they offer beyond current educational systems like Moodle, Blackboard and Populi.

  • R Titley

    J.R. Miller, I thought I might give you a look into immersive tech a bit so here is a link or two. The first is an explanation by a student from TED pretty great. Quest Atlantis (QA can meet almost all of the outcomes for BC Canada’s gr 4-6 health and career course and much much more) and Cybernet worlds (you literally create your own environment to show to others) and while not my favorite although the graphics are excellent Second life

    • J.R. Miller

      Thanks for the videos. I have not kept up with this kind of stuff, but my best friend from High School was working on this e-Campus model back in the late 1990’s. I did not realize how cutting edge he was though.

      Again, thanks for the videos and the education on what is out there.

  • R Titley

    Oh and I know there are virtual classrooms available as well (like the one shown in second life) where students can sit and chat with a teacher, but perhaps on a beach in Hawaii looking at a discovery channel video on the creation of volcanoes. Or maybe that classroom gets moved to Israel over looking the sites that Jesus and the disciples walked through. It is all possible in a virtual, immersive world. walk around a traditional Haida village, listen to the music, hunt for game. Or perhaps you are completing a unit on the food chain and interdependence? Check out Wolf quest where you become a wolf. Think it is just a game check out the resources that you can use to scaffold the experiential learning Yes I think these resources can take student learning in a whole new path and still provide that personal Socratic mentoring; co questing, being available and responding directly in an immersive methodology to student queries. pretty awesome.

    • J.R. Miller

      Wow. I am not even sure how to categorize that option. It may be the future of immersive ed. I have lots to think about.

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