What I’d Suggest

This afternoon, my colleague John and I talked with the Dean about what it would mean for Seabury to become indigenous to the Net. We went over a variety of points — Seabury teaching the church; Seabury changing from a static, bounded community to transient, open community; Seabury changing from curriculum-and-units-driven learning toward something more like home schooling; and Seabury changing from degree recognition based on a credit count to recognition based on performance evaluation (my summaries, not John’s more elegant formulations). As we left, I urged the Dean to spend more time with the Net, to explore what’s going on there.

Among the points of reference that came up in our conversation, or that pertain to the kinds of topic we introduced:

• The presentation version of my “What Theological Educators Need to Learn From Napster,” a refined version of which was later published in Teaching Theology and Religion.

• The presentation video clip for Charlie and Rebecca Nesson’s Harvard Law course “CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion”

• Michael Wesch’s “Web 2.0: The Machine is Us/ing Us

• The Cluetrain Manifesto (and with tip of my snow hood to David Weinberger, “Introducing The Book”)

Just for starters. Throw in “Blogumentary,” spend some time playing with Flickr, play Second Life for a while. I wish I could refer him to the Game Neverending, but alas, it has gone the way of all bits. (This is my house from GNE. . . .)

[Added later: Lawrence Lessig’s “Five-Point Proposal” for safeguarding the Internet, and his “Open Spectrum” presentation. He clearly stands out as a brilliant interpreter of law, but we shouldn’t let that distract us from his brilliance as a communicator of ideas.)

(Also later: Darn! I’d intended to point to the Democracy Player open source video device. Imagine a Seabury DTV channel — wouldn’t that transform our public identity (and with it, our own practice as teachers and learners) just by itself?!)

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