I came across a great blog post the other day from elearnspace.com. I wanted to share it with you whole before commenting.
“Dave Snowden’s recent post on emergent meaning or prescription reflects what many of us have been saying about education: “new approaches that have become possible since technology matured from process control and information flow to the networked, fragmented and semi-structured worlds of social computing. Here as communication flow increases, patterns of meaning start to emerge.” When information is bounded in courses, books, newspapers and other frameworks that are established by experts, the primary mode of interaction is intended to be absorption. The predominant view is that information can be known, packaged, and communicated. Through social media, information is increasingly fragmented. Frameworks created to communicate no longer have the pull they once did. Hence, even the concept of a course can be questioned. What if meaning emerges as a by-product of interaction…rather than something that exists externally (in the head of an expert) and is then communicated to prospective learners? What if coherence of subject matter is produced individually, rather than externally? This – or something close to it – is the fundamental change higher education needs to understand.”
I’ve shared before that children’s ministry leaders are in the business of Christian education. We are educators. As such, we have a responsibility to address educational issues. Technology is such an issue. As elearnspace delineates, technology has evolved and so have the educational structures that use technology. This is a good thing. However, as technology grows and information becomes more and more social, education will need to respond even more radically.
Children’s ministry is in the same boat. We have many tired structures delivering Christian education in a ministry context. Week by week purchased curriculum is probably at the top of the list. Certainly the predominant method of a teacher leading kids from the front of the classroom, spoon feeding information is as tired as it is ineffective. The awesome thing about technology is that it is disseminating innovation far faster than a curriculum company ever could. People are sharing ideas about how to minister in different contexts without speaking at a conference or putting 50 ways to blow up balloons in a workbook. I think that curriculum is the key component that will change in the field of children’s and family ministry in days to come. I cannot wait to see what happens.