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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 are people living and creating in digital spaces not as lemmings or cogs, but as active citizens.
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.
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.
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.
How they interact with family, friends, and neighbors. Learning how to use technology to enhance their everyday life.
How they communicate with supervisors, customers, and more. Learning to implement technology into their work, career, and vocational goals.
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.
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.
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