Feb 23rd, 2008 by Cathy Nelson
While I had hoped the class I virtually participated in for a backchannel discussion on the chapter on meaning would focus on meaningful learning, I guess that was a lofty hope. Only teachers can truly make that connection, I suppose. This was the last chapter of Karl Fisch’s school project where the students in English classes read Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind and then invited guests from Karl’s network were able to join in the back channel via a blog and commenting.
The students focused on deep conversations about life and the meaning of life. I was not disappointed though. The students opened the door to a witnessing about religious beliefs, and the conversation was allowed to happen, both in the inner circle and the backchannel where Vicki Davis and I were. I was a wee bit nervous about clearly stating my beliefs, but you know, when the Lord opens the door, you have no choice. Both Vicki and I shared our beliefs and how everything in life happens for reason, even if it is not clear to us at the time that things happen. I left the conversation thinking, WOW we are able to be witnesses to God’s love to a class–a public school class. Mind you there were still some students who questioned whether there is a higher authority in life, and if life has meaning at all. It was a truly interesting conversation. I hope you get a chance to read the discussion. (The picture above shows how I participated-I am in a studio at school. Vicki Davis I believe is at her desk in her classroom. Although we are only 471 mils apart, and she was south of me in Camilla, Georgia, the temperature was significantly cooler and more unstable where she was than me. She reported a terrible thunderstorm going on during the class, and cooler weather. I, meanwhile had rain and temps in the upper 60s. Notice she has on a turtleneck. I was wearing a short sleeved school shirt. I had FireFox open with several tabs including the MeBeam site with the class video, my video, and Vicki’s video, as well as Skype so I could privately talk to Vicki, and the a whole new window of the comments feed for the class, so I could follow along and see the video at the same time. I wish I could have enlarged the video of the class, but I didn’t see that as an option on MeBeam.)
Karl has been providing some reflection on the project as it goes, and you can find it on his blog. I’m really anxious to hear the final thoughts now that the book discussion has concluded.