Daily – e-learning augmented classrooms, “flipped” learning, technology often mainly for note-taking, videos, labs. Weekly – flipped learning, TEE, blended learning, content is mainly online, discuss in class, some online discussion as well, exams in class Monthly – TEE, blended learning, content and discussion mostly online, testing online, meet for main exams, final discussions, application, outreach etc. Rarely – online learning plus face-to-face residential intensives like many seminaries. Never – fully online, very careful attention to pedagogy.
Flipped = content online, discussions in class Blended = online learning plus face-to-face meetings TEE = Theological Education By Extension, study manual, revise and do exams in a group.
Straightforward Content: meant to be read, and quickly checked e.g. knowing a child safety policy or a travel reimbursement policy. PDF + quiz or similar. Simple How-To Skills: taught by video, pictures plus text, how-to-wikis etc. Complex Technical Skills: to be mastered in order to complete a ministry objective and tested by competence (apprenticeship style) if-this-situation-then-that e.g. running a sound booth Basic Theology and Bible Knowledge: TEE or online classroom, standardized and tested via exams or online. Advanced Theology: Stimulate research and reflection, discussion, research projects, praxis, action/reflection
Controversial Issues: apologetics, cults, culture- wars material - discussion, argument, case studies, research, tested by stating your case. Moots (practice trials for lawyers) Spiritual Skills: prayer, healing, exorcism, learn by video + mentoring, impartation and example, practice in small groups then in ministry, evaluate by visible results achieved. Homiletics/Performance Skills: best taught in class but could be taught by video and students send in audio/video of their 7 minute sermons etc.
Contextual and Community Issues: learn biblical basis, go out into the community, use qualitative research methodologies, report back Statements of Faith: and other standard core values material to be deeply internalized, and reflected upon and tested by case studies and discussion in online forums. Leadership and Management Skills: which can only be taught by 1:1 mentoring (perhaps some of it by Skype) and tested in case studies and in real life
Solitary scholars vs. Group learners Oral Learners vs. Highly Literate Learners Reflective, analytical learners vs. Conventional, authority driven students Learn by argument vs. Dislike argument Outdoor, kinesthetic, apprenticeship style vs. Indoor, content driven, lecture style Spiritual Intelligence Emotional Intelligence Mystical / Analytical / Concrete-Relational
Advanced readers – books, ebooks, textbooks plus media and apps Eager readers – simplified textbooks, ebooks plus media and apps Reluctant readers – media and apps with short explanatory text, orality strategies, storying Non-readers - orality strategies, storying, media and apps only
Electricity, reliability of Internet access, speed of Internet, cost of data plans Are there physical issues such as dust, heat and device security? Can the technology be maintained and repaired in that environment? Can the software be supported, updated easily, debugged, and maintained.? Does it have the required features? Is it culturally acceptable? Will it cause conflict or jealousy? What are the costs of producing the educational materials for that device or learning strategy?
Feature phones – SMS text, PhonePublish, voice technologies, answering machines MP3 players, audio books, Megavoice etc – audio curriculum Radio – audio curriculum plus feedback mechanisms e.g. text, email. TV, video, DVDs, YouTube, etc: video-based curriculum possibly with feedback. Smartphones – numerous elearning apps, brief video, audio, ebooks, Skype Internet cafes – elearning platforms, ebooks, audio, Skype, video can be problematic Tablets –responsive elearning platforms, simplified layout, audio, video, ebooks Laptops / fixed line Internet/ desktops – full range of elearning options
Internet Cafes and Learning Centers Serves an entire community, can be financially sustainable Complex, requires management Outreach to a community where security is not a major issue e.g. Philippines Feature phones Ubiquitous, personal and persuasive, good for voice, SMS, brief audio and video Very difficult programming problems. Limited fonts. Information and brief “how-to” skill training say in a 3 minute video. Smartphones Rapidly growing in installed base, can support educational apps, larger screens mean longer engagement times Expensive, often require data plans, easy to interrupt learning (texts, calls etc) Offline digital libraries such as Estante, resources in audio, video, ebooks, e-learning via apps such as the Moodle app, formatted for lessons less than 20 minutes in length.
Tablets Becoming more affordable, wide range of functionality, can do lessons up to 1 hour (or more Lack of proper keyboards. Theft is a major drawback. Status implications in some cultures / jealousy. See Alan Carrington’s Padagogy Wheel. E-Readers and ebook reader apps Present text and graphics well, prices are dropping fast, great formatting, Allow downloading of materials. Sync across devices, good for disabled students. No or minimal input or feedback. Basically a single use device. Scripture engagement, affordable textbooks, portable textbooks. Situations of low power usage. Older or visually impaired students. PCs and Laptops Total functionality, good for postgrad work and for more sophisticated learning. Cost. Power requirements. Need for Internet connections. Full range of elearning options.
MP3 players and similar e.g Megavoice Can train small groups, does not require literacy, good in tribal areas, can be solar- powered. Does not require electricity, cell signal or Internet. No input/feedback /assessment, very limited learning options, cell phones have most of these capabilities. Orality based strategies, Scripture engagement, storying, MP3 digital libraries. Low power, zero signal, zero Internet situations. Repositories, hard-drive distribution Delivers huge amounts of content which can potentially go viral with the right gatekeeper. Needs to be linked to another learning platform to be optimally useful. Content delivery, digital libraries, resources.
Wireless People are already familiar with the process of logging on to a wireless network. Portable. Limit to range and to number of simultaneous connections. Limited input/ feedback. Pastor’s conferences, meetings, classrooms, curated resource distribution. Bluetooth Can go viral passing files person-to- person securely. Slow. Small file size. Very limited range, Bluetooth is often turned off. No input/feedback. Viral distribution of small files in places where BlueTooth is widely used. FM Radio Very popular, almost universally supported even on phones now. High cost of production and management. Limited feedback. Audio based evangelism and training to a specific population base.
Audio books Increasing popularity among executives and others who enjoy training “on-the-go”. Good for keeping up with a certain field of knowledge. Can be downloaded, shared and go viral. Does not require looking at a screen. Private with earbuds. Require learners who have good concentration and comprehension. One-way only. In-service training and updating for people who travel a lot and for people who spend a lot of time in traffic e.g. in Bangkok. Scripture engagement. Motivational talks. Getting through post- grad reading assignments. Short-wave radio Immense range. Digital short-wave is much clearer. May make a comeback if SW chips included in Chinese phones. Less and less short- wave receivers and enormous power bills. Needs to be combined with other instructional technologies. Rural areas. Oral learners. Listening groups.
Internet radio, streaming audio services, MP3 downloads Rapidly growing and may outrank terrestrial radio by 2016. Can be structured into a curriculum and combined with other learning technologies. MP3 universally supported and lower bandwidth requirements than video. Moderate technical complexity which requires a technical staff member or volunteer. Need to be careful about legal and licensing issues and server security. Can have bursts of very high traffic. Training or evangelistic audio to a globally dispersed constituency. Especially if focused on a particular topic or demographic. Television, DVDs, Streaming Video, IPTV Technology already in place, is a well-liked training method. Works with non-readers. Personal impartation. High cost of production. One- way only unless combined with small groups, print materials etc. Very hard to contextualize. Village outreach, bible schools, bible studies, churches, mass audiences.
Social Media Nearly ubiquitous, a great way to reach a certain “tribe” with a specific set of interests Still heavily print based, must have basic literacy, lack of privacy and security. Communicating with a defined demographic or interest group. Used as the “top of the funnel” for elearning. NFC and similar device-to-device communication Secure device-to- device communication for files, much faster than BlueTooth Smartphones only, not yet widely adopted by most end users. Covert updating of digital libraries and resources. SD Cards incl. Micro-SD cards for phones. Familiar to most folk, can hold a large amount of data. Getting less expensive. Cannot be used on Apple devices. Formatting problems for data. Slow duplication. Digital libraries, short films, audio, Scripture engagement, ebooks etc.
Mobile Apps Can have a full e- learning experience. Tend to be downloaded and never used. Power users with smartphones. Courses and resources. USB “thumb drives” Hold a large amount of data, work offline, portable apps such as Poodle, well liked and familiar technology, rapidly dropping in price can be secured with Truecrypt or Ironkey. Easily lost or stolen. Slow to duplicate. Some training needed to use portable apps. Limited feedback. Best when used in combination with other learning technologies. Courses and resources, especially when an Internet connection is not available. E-learning/ LMS Rich experience, structured, can deliver an entire degree course. Rapidly improving. Still sorting itself out, choosing the right LMS can be daunting, some technical complexity, course design is hard work. Delivering complex structured learning material such as formal courses, can include audio, video, discussion etexts, etc.
Digital libraries, wikis and directories Enable rapid retrieval of specific information and can be updated by participants. Require maintenance, can be hacked. Ordered information in a certain field of study SMS text Ubiquitous, low-cost, well accepted, persuasive. May be integrated with email via SMS to email gateways. Allows response. Brief informational uses only. Cost for some people. Prayer points, Scripture engagement, class questions and reminder notices.
Search esp. contextual search and Google Custom search engines Simple to use, no legal problems or copyright issues, can be targeted to specific websites and subject areas. Fast. Saves on building massive repositories. One-way, best when integrated with other learning technologies. Requires an Internet connection. Discovery learning. Information retrieval from dispersed websites and databases, research. Egroups, Email, and Bulletin Boards Asynchronous learning, simple, texts can be attachments. Limited bandwidth needs, low technical complexity, participatory. Require literacy and diplomacy (no flaming), only useful in situations where people feel safe sharing ideas. Discussion-based learning, networking students and experts.
How many different learning contexts are we operating in? Which is the best two or three STRATEGIES for each context? What are the two or three best TECHNOLOGIES for each context? How can we get organizational buy-in for BOTH the strategy and the technology?
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