Monday, July 5, 2010

Whither the digital Brethren at Annual Conference?

by Brian Gumm

I just noticed this on the page for Brethren Life & Thought:
Monday July 5, 9:00 - 10:00pm
Brethren Life & Thought/Bethany Theological Seminary Insight Session
Topic: When Brethren Tweet: Technology, Theology, and Community
Come and hear faculty, staff, and students discuss ways technology inpact the Brethren community and learn ways technology can enhance our witness.
See conference book for more details.
That's TODAY! Are any FWFS bloggers/followers going to that session? I was kind of bummed out that I wasn't able to go to AC this year but then I saw this and really got bummed out! There was an article on Brethren bloggers in Messenger a few months ago that I found to be a bit lacking, so would have loved this kind of session.

Also, I heard a few things were getting live-streamed/recorded at AC this year. Seems like this one would be a prime candidate.


Jeff McLain said...

Oh man this would have been great to sit in on!ff

Nico said...

I didn't make it to the session in its entirety, but I did hover at the door for a few moments. It looked like it had some good attendance.

AmySGR said...

Kay, Chris and Dan did a very good job. It was at a fairly 101 or introductory level. Wouldn't it have been fun if the whole thing had been actually done on twitter..with us all in the room?

Chris did a very interesting riff on networking/community.....Kay brought in her thoughts on faith expression through different media, and Dan talked about Bethany's distance program and how we teach and form meaningful community even online.

Twitter was central to the discussion, as more of a teaser to get you in the room. Next year, how do we step it up a couple of levels for those already working this format?

starpilgrim said...

I went to the session and was disappointed that it didn't talk more about the theological and faith implications of technology. While technology is exciting and very helpful in so many ways, it also, like anything with great power, has many not-so-good implications and effects. I wish we had been able to talk about all of those positive and negative aspects from a faith perspective.
There was great turnout and it was well presented and interesting. But not what I expected or hoped from the topic.

Brian Gumm said...

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback! starpilgrim, I'm especially grateful for your critique. From reading the promotional materials for the session, this is exactly what I feared would be the case. Yeah, this stuff can do some pretty neat things and be of good service, but it needs to be taught with a healthy dose of social-theological criticism on the techno-materialist front, something I'm afraid not too many people are hip to.

Perhaps future sessions could be arranged to take more of a critical angle, while still educating on the fruitful uses of such media. What do you think, Amy? Stuff at Bethany or other little forums here and there? What would be really good is to do this kind of teaching at NYC or the various RYC's... (falling into Brethrospeak)