Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Technology-Assisted Christianity

Recently, I was asked to comment on LifeChurch.tv and our satellite campuses. It seems like there are still a number of people that want to stay away from using technology or are a little nervous about some of the implications.

One of the observations I can make is that many Christians and their churches and educational institutions seem to be a "little late to the party" when it comes to technology. Maybe it goes all the way back to the challenge and struggle the Catholic church had with science back in the middle ages.

I've been teaching at the under and post-graduate level for years and have observed that most of the professors and institutions hesitate to fully embrace “technology-assisted” education (what commonly has been called "distance" and "on-line"). They have many reasons for their hesitancy but typically I find that they are just slow at embracing change…painfully slow.

While there may be some good arguments for their resistance, the bottom line for me is that many people learn very well via independent study. In addition, the quality of video and audio presentations available via technology-assisted programs is actually quite good. I can take notes while I watch, stop the DVD, back it up, play it again. All too often, I’ve known instructors and professors who talk to the chalk board and bore their students to death, but have tenure to ensure their continued employment. Someone please tell me why in 2009, so many professors are still adverse to using technology even in the traditional classroom. Recently, while teaching at a Christian college, I was one of the few that were using a website for my students featuring on-line quizzes and other study aids despite the fact that all of the text books included and recommended these tools for the students.

Finally, when it comes to satellite sermons, I want to think not too highly of myself and call to mind that we have many Biblical and contemporary examples of how God has used His word to completely transform a person’s life. Just the Word…no instructor, pastor or preacher.

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