Digital Learning: Mission Statement

This is one of four posts encompassing my digital learning mission statement and guiding principles. They are work in progress and I would love your feedback.

Mission Statement

I come alongside others mentoring and providing educational resources by empowering others to become thoughtful, wise, and safe digital citizens who can adeptly and healthily integrate and use digital technology for their personal, vocational, and spiritual lives.

Mentoring

Serving as a mentor I aim to walk alongside people as a safe person to guide them throughout their learning process. This relationship is a two-way street of passing knowledge and experience. Furthermore, I desire to be a mentor who is authentic to my identity and teaches with integrity (Palmer, 2007, p. 13).

Educational Resources

I will use relevant and contextual educational resources while prioritizing those that are open access. For example, Common Sense Media’s site provides relevant information with contextual tips based on grade levels. Rather than using anecdotal information I want to implement educational tools and practices that are backed by research, experience, and accepted broadly. Furthermore, based on the desire for a mentorship relationship I will select resources as appropriate based on the interests and desire of my mentee.

Others

There are two main groups that I am interested in supporting: higher education and churches.

Higher Education with Students and Faculty

In my position at SPU I work with students and faculty. I support students by managing the Tech Desk that provides technology tools, assistance and space. I support faculty by partnering with the educational technology department. For example, I currently help facilitate three Communities of Practice focused on untethered teaching using iPads.

Churches with Ministry Leaders and Parishioners

Churches need assistance helping their parishioners live in digital spaces. Churches themselves need to think about how digital technology can revolutionize (I really mean this in the full sense of the word) the worship experience which is more than a weekly gathering.

Thoughtful and Wise

This is the area where I help others to understand the ramifications of their action and inaction while living in the digital world. For example, what does it mean to treat others with respect? For Christians this means thinking about what it means to be an image bearer in digital spaces–especially hostile spaces. A sage and thoughtful digital citizen is one who understands the physical world and the digital world and lives in healthy ways with balance and rhythm. I want to help people use technology without fear, but also with clarity.

Safe

A main goal is to help others analyze their online (digital presence) and offline (face-to-face) life while understanding vulnerabilities and work towards sealing up holes. Safety begins by knowing where you are and what might penetrate your fortress–online and offline. My goal will be to help others work through a risk assessment and create a remediation plan. This area focuses on understanding topics such as privacy policies, terms of service, passwords, encryption, data backup, computer access, and disaster recovery.

Digital Citizens

Digital citizens are people living and creating in digital spaces not as lemmings or cogs, but as active citizens.

Adeptly

Adept citizens have skills to live well in the digital world with flexibility to learn and adapt as the world changes. Furthermore, these are just not skills to do a task, but skills to research and find thorough answers. I want to enable people to not fear technology. I want to provide illumination for others to see a variety of ways digital technology tools can help them.

Healthily

Healthy use of technology requires learning how to integrate sabbath and reflection well while promoting balance between physical well-being (healthy body/soul), digital well-being (healthy digital citizenship), and spiritual well-being (healthy spiritual life). Andy Crouch (2013, pp. 116-118) provides helpful insight on the importance of sabbath keeping.

Integrate and Use

An active participant who bridges the physical and digital worlds to create their identity. The citizen learns how to navigate the digital realm with care and applies it to their life in holistic and appropriate ways.

Digital Technology

I am interested in supporting others with their use of digital technologies and not other types of technologies. That is, I desire to help people use and live in online spaces well. Technology encompasses many different forms, but I am interested in how we live together in online communities, use mobile devices to do our work, share life together, and connect with God. For example, we might brainstorm ways a particular technological device can be integrated into a classroom to enrich conversations or provide opportunities for more people to engage in the learning material.

Personal

How they interact with family, friends, and neighbors. Learning how to use technology to enhance their everyday life.

Vocational

How they communicate with supervisors, customers, and more. Learning to implement technology into their work, career, and vocational goals.

Spiritual Lives

How they connect to God and others with digital technology. I want to help others integrate tools to make their life more joyful and feel more connected to God. Additionally, helping guide people create healthy rhythms of sabbath that don’t necessarily require banning digital technologies.

References

Common Sense Media. https://www.commonsensemedia.org.

Crouch, A. (2013). Playing God: Redeeming the gift of power. Downers Grove, IL: IVP.

Palmer, P. J (2007). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey­Bass.

  9 comments for “Digital Learning: Mission Statement

  1. Annie Tremonte
    December 10, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Great job Ryan. I think your focus on the three spheres of personal, vocational, and spiritual is clear and relevant. I see some common threads within your various headings above and I wonder if any of these could be merged into broader themes to be further investigated in your guiding principles later. I think your focus on how technology affects everyday life and personal well-being is something not often addressed from an educational standpoint, and I look forward to seeing how you investigate this.

    • Ryan Ingersoll
      December 12, 2014 at 12:18 am

      Great insight, Annie! Thanks! Yes, your comment about broader themes is helpful to think about as I continue to refine and clarify. Thank you!

  2. December 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    This is very impressive, Ryan. I am particularly drawn to your formatting, I like that you write out the mission statement but then break down each element of that statement into detailed passages. I am excited to see that you have been able to seamlessly incorporate your theology background into your current and future areas of concentration. Very well done!

    • Ryan Ingersoll
      December 12, 2014 at 12:13 am

      Thanks, Becky!

  3. Marsha Scott
    December 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Nice job, Ryan. Your mission statement provides a clear insight on your spiritual beliefs and your vision of technology. I noticed you gave specific examples and goals under the headings, which made each statement more meaningful. I look forward to following your site as it progresses.

    • Ryan Ingersoll
      December 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Marsha!

  4. Mark Jackson
    December 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity to look at this. I’m very much interested in these types of digital portfolios, so enjoying seeing the format, how it works, etc. You asked for some thoughts. Here are some from me:

    — In the mission statement, you say “help others.” I’ve never really liked “help” as a verb to describe a personal attribute, so perhaps a stronger verb could be used here? Empower, inspire, support, encourage …

    — “others” (in the same phrase) feels a bit generic; perhaps “leaders” or some other focused word?

    — I’m wondering if the order of these three words should be “wise, thoughtful, and safe”; whatever the case, I’d lead with the word you see as most valuable.

    — Love the reference to Parker Palmer!

    — Under “Educational Resources” maybe the phrase should be “implement educational tools AND PRACTICES that are backed …”

    — Under “Adeptly” perhaps using “flexible,” “contextual,” and/or “relevant” in the description?

    — Under “Digital technologies” you give space to saying “not other technologies,” but might provide more description of what you actually mean (other than “online” as mentioned). Perhaps some examples could be given?

    Good stuff, Ryan! Hope these thoughts are helpful!

    • Mark Jackson
      December 16, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      You might be interested in a conversation with our dean at some point. I’m sure he’d be delighted to talk with you. To get an idea of his integration of theology and technology, see page 5+ of http://www.tlc.edu/docs/vitae_delashmutt.pdf

    • Ryan Ingersoll
      December 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks, Mark! Your comments are very helpful!!! Thanks for taking the time to read through it!

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