Looking for technology training? Check out e-Formation — year-round!
Looking for technology training? Check out e-Formation — year-round!

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Regular readers of this blog know that Key Resources has been one of the places where CMT staff and contributors have kept you up-to-date on our work training lay and ordained church leaders to use digital media in ministry. This content includes

However, we’ve reached a point where e-Formation is ready to become much more than just a yearly conference. With regional bootcamps completed or scheduled in Phoenix, Alexandria, New Orleans, and Chicago; two hybrid faith formation coaching cohorts getting increased attention from around the church; and several exciting new opportunities on the horizon, we decided it was time to commit to making eformationvts.org the hub of our learning network and resource ecosystem in digital media for ministry.

So if you’re looking for “more like this” in any of the content categories above, please subscribe to e-Formation to receive our latest posts as well as the e-Formation newsletter.

To kick things off, here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s piece by my friend and colleague Lisa Brown, who writes about an educational technology conference she and I recently attended. It basically rocked our worlds.

~Kyle

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What does tech fluency have to do with Christian formation?

I just spent two days at Context 2015: Tech Fluency for Teaching & Learning. The conference was sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab, housed in the university’s Robots Institute.

What could an Episcopal priest (e-Formation’s Kyle Oliver) and a Sunday school teacher (that’s me) possibly gain from this gathering of techies, scientists, and secular educators? What could we want with robotics? Circuitry? Digital imaging? Digital badges?

What would Mr. Rogers say?

Perhaps a hint that we weren’t completely out of our element was represented in the simple choice of venue for the event.

In addition to the breakout sessions at the university—which is known for both letters and science—we gathered for each morning’s keynote address in the Carnegie Museum of Art. Best of all, we concluded our conference in WQED studios, where the perennial children’s classic television show Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood was filmed.

In addition to being a beloved presence in the lives of millions of children, Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister whose message of unconditional love is embodied by Christian formation ministers everywhere. His theology was expressed in his profound respect for children’s curiosity, their worldview, and their need to explore. This gentle outlook served budding philosophers and scientists equally well.

Which brings us back to the technology. We couldn’t help but think about how what we saw at the conference would be useful in Christian formation. Here are a couple of ideas.

Read more …

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Kyle Matthew Oliver (@kmoliver) is digital missioner and learning lab coordinator in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary and coordinates and curates the e-Formation Learning Community. He is a teacher and priest by vocation and an engineer by training and disposition. 

Lisa Brown (@LCBrown67 ) is the Director of Children’s Ministry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also a coordinator for the Children’s Ministry Team of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, an active member of Forma, and a multi-troop Girl Scout leader, Lisa is passionate about creatively engaging, enlightening, and enriching the spiritual lives of young people.

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