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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.
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?
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 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.
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.