Welcome to this new site devoted to electronic Christian education!
If you have not yet done so, please take a few minutes to read the Start Here page, which provides details about the purpose, structure and content of this site.
From a technology perspective we live in truly exciting, even bewildering times. Whether advancements across the Internet, in computing and the production of newer, more powerful devices, or software and apps that do just about anything, we are in a constant state of change and flux, with organisations and individuals given access on an almost daily basis to new and exciting tools to assist them in their work and day-to-day life. This unparalleled access to electronic tools that boost productivity is beyond anything our grandparents could possibly imagine, and it is perhaps best summed up in that frequentstatement, "There's an app for that".
IT (information technology) is everywhere, in all walks of life: communications, transportation, the workplace, business and trade, religion, even in our social lives.
One area in particular that has been transformed by technology is education. Want to learn a new language, for free, in a way that is fun and addictive? Then try the Duolingo app (available across various platforms), which draws on "gamification" (making a game out of the experience) that is so effective it can get even the most unenthusiastic of language learners hooked.
Want to draw on a virtual whiteboard, record what you say as you do so, then share this lesson with people online? Then take a look at Show Me, again, available across various platforms. There are several other apps that offer a similar service.
Preparing university assignments and papers and fed-up with the time-heavy preparation of a bibliography at the end of the process? What's worse is when you submit a paper to several journals but have to change the citation method for each submission. Yet there are countless apps (many free) that will allow you to enter your source details in a citation library, which you can select from and change the citation method of your bibliography at the ckick of a button. Some even allow your device to take a picture of the barcode and then populate all the information for you.
These are just several basic examples of how IT is transforming education (and we've barely scratched the surface). Clearly, then, electronic learning (whether referred to it as online learning, e-learning or EdTech (Educational Technology) provides powerful and substantial learning tools which greatly assist the delivery of education.
The world has been quick to seize upon, exploit and develop educational technology. Christians less so. By its very nature, for example, the world of Theology is relatively conservative, while some of the most outstanding theologians at the top of their game tend to have been in the business for decades, delivering their subjects in the traditional classroom manner.
Of course, there are exceptions, and increasingly professors and tutors of all ages and walks of life are using IT in their jobs. But Theology is far behind other subjects and levels in terms of delivery of the subject.
The new technological economy has massive potential for the delivery of Christian education, at all levels, whether within a church context, for Bible study groups, Christian schools from inception tthrough to post-secondary, missions organisations, Bible colleges, training institutes and theological colleges and seminaries. Moreover, there are various benefits electronic learning offers, including (if administered well) incredible value for money, flexibility, the opportunity to draw on a base of learners outside a local catchment area, the development of extra-curricular IT and research skills, opportunites to provide education within inaccessible areas, and more.
As this website unfolds, my passion is to share with current and potential Christian educators some of my own experiences as my colleagues and I developed King's Evangelical Divinity School into an internationally-accredited online theological institution, as well as some of the issues, challenges, lessons and countless apps and tools I've come across along the way. I sincerely hope you will join me as I share what I hav learned (and am still learning).