The Sacrifice of God: How God Himself Was Torn Apart

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The Sacrifice of God: How God Himself Was Torn Apart

Covenant was the highest of all agreements in the Bible and remains so today. The act of making a covenant consisted not only of ceremony, but of blessings, curses, and blood. One of the most instrumental passages for explanatory power of God’s covenant is found in Jeremiah 34:17-20:

“Therefore, thus says the Lord: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, declares the Lord. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make them like the calf that they cut in two and passed between its parts— the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf. And I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives. Their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.

In this passage, the curse of the covenant is highlighted. When the halves of the calf were divided, the people making the covenant would walk between the parts as a promise that if they broke the covenant, then they themselves should be torn in half as a curse for breaking it. They effectively walked a straight and narrow path in order to uphold the promise. This is seen in an elevated way in Genesis 15 when God Himself makes His eternal covenant with Abraham as a promise that ALL people would be blessed through him.

In verses 9-10, Abraham obeys God’s instructions to bring a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. He then cuts each of these in half, but instead of passing between these himself, something else amazing and unheard of happens in vss 17-21.

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”

God Himself passes between the parts! He makes a promise that if He does not fulfill this covenant, then God, the God of all creation, would be torn in two.

And that is exactly what happened.

In Matthew 26:26-27, see what Jesus says about this same covenant promise made in Genesis 15:

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

When Jesus tore the bread in half and said, “This is my body.” He was saying, I am about to be torn in two for you. But, He wasn’t being torn in half for us because of anything He had done. We know this from 2 Cor 5: 21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God Himself was about to take the curse for us all. In Mark 15:33-34, we see God Himself being torn in two:

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

In that three hour period for the first and only time in human history and for eternity, God Himself was torn apart. The Father turned away from His Son because of the sin of all mankind, for our sin! God Himself tore Himself apart like the calf in Jeremiah and the animals in Genesis 15. He tore Himself and between Heaven and Earth, a straight and narrow path of the New Covenant Jesus instituted in His blood (Matt26:27) was made for you and me and His Spirit walked the path between (Gal 4:6) as the Spirit of God in the form of the fire pot did in Gen 15. And now Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me!” Matt 16:24.

We tear ourselves from this world and die to ourselves to follow this path and in doing so, we are joined to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit forever!

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Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: Upper Echelon Jesus

Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: Upper Echelon Jesus

Jesus the Son

JesustheSon

I understand how being a son might seem to be outside the bounds of work. But, it’s important to realize that not only was the position of son in the first century an occupation, it was an elevated position in society. Inheritance and the transfer of power and wealth in first century Jewish society was very similar to what we see throughout the Old Testament. The firstborn son basically inherited the greatest share of the father’s wealth and then carried on the family name. In Jesus’ time, He as a Son was doing this very same thing. He had all the inheritance, he was the firstborn, and He was expected to rule in His Father’s house and learn how to be just like Him. Not only was this a huge responsibility, it was very hard work and carried with it dominion over hundreds (or in Jesus’ case all of humanity for all time). This brings us to the upper levels of work in society. In a wealthy and powerful family of that day, the place Jesus occupied would have carried with it great wealth and influence. Not only did Jesus understand this extremely important position, He excelled at it! We’ll look at Jesus’ as the Son later, but keep in mind that as The Son, His work was and still is pivotal to our understanding Him and His Kingdom as well as our place in His Kingdom as heirs and sons.

Jesus the Prophet

JesustheProphet

While the position of Prophet in the Old Testament was definitely one of power and exaltation, it was also one fraught with danger and rejection. However, in the manner of highly favored prophets like Samuel and Nathan, Jesus was able to bring information from the Father to the world and make a difference that was immediate and eternal. In the God-centered governments of David and Solomon, prophets were seen as not only respected, but absolutely vital to doing God’s will. As God’s special Prophet, Jesus was placed in the highest position of being a prophet that any prophet ever had been placed.  We don’t have a modern day equivalent to that of the Old or New Testament prophet, but we do have those who are in today who advise those in positions of power. In His infinite wisdom, Jesus perfected the work of the Prophet to such a degree that no other prophet before or after Him could even touch His insight and power.

Jesus the Priest

JesusthePriest

Priests also were included in the higher levels of society in the first century as well as the Old Testament. They were very powerful, usually to their own spiritual detriment. But, those who humbly carried out God’s will were counted as those who were closest to God, not only in proximity, but in heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus’ position as our High Priest is absolutely singular in all of history. His place of importance as intercessor cannot be overstated. But, how does this position of priesthood apply to us and to our own work? When we look at Jesus the Priest, we see someone who doesn’t hide that power or keep it from those who follow Him. There’s a place of work and importance in the priesthood for us all and we need to know what that is.

Jesus the King

JesustheKing

The highest level of work anyone could think of if asked would have to be King. Even during this epoch of history when the office considered as the “most powerful in the world” is occupied by one man, it’s really not a position of power anything like what a king wields. Kings don’t answer to anyone. They rule completely and without need for advice or instruction. At least, that’s how a true Kingship should be. This is the kind of King we have in Jesus. He is perfectly loving, just, kind, and powerful. There is no comparison anywhere else or at any other time in human experience. But, do you know what is the most amazing part of Jesus’ Kingship? He shares it with everyone in His Kingdom! We are princes and princesses in an eternal Kingdom.

Work Application

WorkApplication

All of us do different jobs and have to make various decisions about how we are going to work for God. Working for God isn’t just about the work we do for Him in His Kingdom, but the way we accomplish our daily jobs. Working with love, kindness, and deferential treatment toward our coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates must be a part of how we conduct our Christian walk. We think of Colossians 3:17 many times when we consider how we work. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” But, what does Paul say immediately preceding this verse? “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (vss. 12-14).  Working in Jesus name is more than just saying it; it’s a change of heart and mind where we live it! This is where Paul ties up the loose ends with verses 22-24: “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Wow! Isn’t that freeing? Isn’t it great to know that we are serving the Lord of Heaven and Earth, Jesus Himself? I can think of no better motivation to do a good job.

Questions for Thought

  • If a supervisor, coworker, or subordinate approached you in anger about something you did or did not do at work, how would you react? What if it was not your fault?
  • How do you accomplish your work as “working for Jesus”?
  • What kinds of conflicts might we come across when working for the Lord in our secular occupations?

Jesus Works: A new book in the works from Sipper Books!

jesusbuilding

There’s a new book being written at Sipper Books! It’s titled Jesus Works and is and important look at work as it is defined by Jesus and how we can use our work for His service and glory today.

Christians often feel guilty about their work. They wonder if they’re working hard enough or too hard. Some feel that they should leave their career to go into ministry or missions when this might not be the best course of action. Jesus Works deals with these feelings and Jesus’ own view and sanctification of work for His servants.

Work, in American society especially, can be dehumanizing and discouraging. With the current economic, social, and religious upheavals people across all sectors of work experience, Jesus Works offers those who are disenfranchised and overwhelmed within their professions advice and strategies to deal with their negative feelings and experiences.

After completing Jesus Works, readers will:

  • Understand Jesus’ view of work in His own life and creation
  • Be able to deal with guilt and misunderstandings about Christian work
  • See their role in the Kingdom of Heaven and how their work matters

Jesus Works:

  • Examines Jesus’ work in all levels of society: blue collar, white collar, and high level
  • Explores how Jesus shares His power with us in His Kingdom at every level
  • Identifies the core human needs within and from work and suggests strategies to fulfill those needs

This is a really exciting time! Hopefully, this work will help people to find goodness and service in their work and service for Jesus.

AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – CONCLUSION

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AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – CONCLUSION

Chapter 8 Concludes the Paper

This literature review was written in the hopes that some of the information might help inform the transformation and forward look of AU as it seeks to become an institution whose future will be even more influential than its past. The areas of community, diversity, education, innovation, the whole person, and writing and research are just a few where research from the last three years can shed light on current and future practices and strategies. Through the combined application of some of these approaches, AU stands to move research and education forward by leaps and bounds. The research herein gives a deep and wide view towards the future of education within the university as well as some ideas for how to change the landscape of how research and synthesis are developed and created within AU. The research provided on community is applicable to AU through the use of synthesis and collaboration at every level throughout each school. When an open, sharing community of trust and unconditional positive regard is established, more can be done and shared because more people are more willing to strive together toward goals that matter. The community is buoyed by diversity since more and different worldviews can contribute to more and better understanding. Building a bridge between students and faculty through community and diversity serves only to enrich and grow the knowledge base and collaboration within AU. Also, viewing education through the eyes of forward thinkers will draw AU toward the future of education while leveraging innovations at every level. A combined effort of bringing together minds and hearts in community and using that community for innovation and education projection serves to move AU toward educating the whole person. The education of the whole person is all about understanding what a human being is and using every area of intelligence as well as the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual domains of humanity to further affect growth through mutual understanding in communication and collaboration. Finally, the foundation of everything come back to the writing and research practices held by AU’s faculty and how they use the same philosophy for the growth of their students. Through regular research and writing, faculty can continue the same conversations that have taken place in academia for centuries and add their own information to this conversation. By establishing and nourishing writing communities within AU, more and better information can be synthesized and used for teaching, publication, and foundational knowledge for future generations, not to speak of what richness can be delivered to students who can be brought into their own writing communities as well as those of the mentors who support them. Indeed the future of education at AU is very bright!

References:

Asino, T.I. (2015). The future of our field. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 59 (1), 20-30.

Baker, F.W. (2014). Conversations with innovators in learning and technology. TechTrends, 58 (5), 12-15.

Bemiss, E., Hass, C., Laman, T.T., Smith, D., & Stockdale, L. (2014). Language Arts, 92 (1), 62-63.

Daher, T. (2014). Emerging instructional technologies: Exploring the extent of faculty use of web 2.0 tools at a midwestern community college. TechTrends, 58 (6), 42-50.

Derntl, M., Neumann, S., & Oberhuemer, P. (2014). Lost in Interaction in IMS Learning Design Runtime Environments. Educational Technology & Society, 17 (3), 332–342.

Dreyfuss, S. (2014). Making a Tangible Difference in Campus Culture in One Year. American Association of University Professors, 100 (5). 23-26.

Ensign, J. & Woods, A.M. (2014). Strategies for INCREASING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT in Higher Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 85 (6), 17-22.

Espinoza, M.L. & Vossoughi, S. (2014). Perceiving Learning Anew: Social Interaction, Dignity, and Educational Rights. Harvard Educational Review, 84 (3), 285-313.

Evans, P. (2015). Open online spaces of professional learning: Context, personalisation

and facilitation. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 59 (1), 31-36.

Halverson, E.R. & Sheridan, K.M. (2014). The Maker Movement in Education. Harvard Educational Review, 84 (4), 495-565.

Hodges, C.B. & Prater, A.H. (2014). Technologies on the Horizon: Teachers Respond to the

Horizon Report. TechTrends, 58 (3), 71-77.

Holden, S.L. & Norrell, P.M. (2013). 126THE DEEP FRIED SOUTH: A LITERARY ANALYSIS OF NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF STUDENTS AND ADULTS IN ALABAMA. Education, 135 (1), 126-131.

Isaacs, N., Kaminski, K., Aragon, A. & Anderson, S.K. (2014). Social Networking:

Boundaries and Limitations Part 2: Policy. TechTrends, 58 (3), 10-15.

Jo, I.-H., Kang, S., & Yoon, M. (2014). Effects of Communication Competence and Social Network Centralities on Learner Performance. Educational Technology & Society, 17 (3), 108–120.

Jones, G., Warren, S.J., Ennis-Cole, D., Knezek, G., & Norris, C. (2014). Transforming the doctorate from residential to online: A Distributed PhD Learning Technologies. TechTrends, 58 (4), 19-26.

Ku, O., Chen, S.-Y., Wu, D.-H., Lao, A.-C.-C., & Chan, T.-W. (2014). The Effects of Game-Based Learning on Mathematical Confidence and Performance: High Ability vs. Low Ability. Educational Technology & Society, 17 (3), 65–78.

Language Arts Staff (2014). Developing individual Talent and Abilities: An interview with

Sir Ken Robinson. Language Arts, 92 (2), 157-162.

Macleod, H., Haywood, J., Woodgate, A., & Alkhatnai, M. (2015). Emerging patterns in MOOCs: Learners, course designs and directions. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 59 (1), 56-63.

Mills, H., O’Keefe, T., Hass, C., & Johnson, S. (2014). Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

through Collaborative Inquiry. Language Arts, (92)1, 36-51.

Moore, R.L. (2014). Importance of Developing Community in Distance Education Courses. TechTrends, 58 (2), 20-24.

Muller, E.L. (2014). Developing the Faculty as a Writing Community. Academe, 100 (6), 34-38.

Roberson, S. (2013). Improving teaching and learning: Three models to reshape educational practice. Education, 134 (3), 340-358.

Sandoval-Lucero, E. (2014). Student-Centered Education for a Diverse 21st Century Student Population. Diverse, 1 (1), 22.

Sheail, P. (2015). The motif of meeting in digital education. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 59 (1), 37-43.

Sinclair, C. (2015). Students’ perspectives on academic writing in the digital age. TechTrends, 59 (1), 44-49.

Sun, J. C.-Y., Martinez, B., & Seli, H. (2014). Just-in-Time or Plenty-of-Time Teaching? Different Electronic Feedback Devices and Their Effect on Student Engagement. Educational Technology & Society, 17 (2), 234–244.

AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – WRITING AND RESEARCH

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AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – WRITING AND RESEARCH

Chapter 7 discusses Writing and Research

            The act of writing and research in academia is one as old as education itself. Throughout history, the practice of searching out knowledge in order to complete or inform one’s field has been instrumental to the present and future functioning of said discipline. At AU the strategy of internal growth and innovation through research and production of empirical writing resources will only add fuel to an already good reputation as a school of excellence. The following articles give some good advice and a look into the practice of research and writing within higher learning. The first article, “Students’ perspectives on academic writing in the digital age” gives a view into how digital research and communication can be used to sustain and grow research within academia. Indeed, this very literature review was written using digital research. The second article, “Developing faculty as a writing community” looks at some of the same strategies for research and writing from the point of view of teachers. The united concepts of collaboration and synthesis within both groups have direct application to research within education as well as other fields.

Academic writing for all intents and purposes has changed drastically over the last few decades, mostly due to the ubiquity of online journals, books, and other digital resources that are easily accessed, researchable, and open for use by basically anyone who wants or needs information to use in research, qualitative or quantitative. Research used to be a laborious process of going to a library, schlepping stacks of books to a table or copier, poring over microfiche, and flipping through endless journals to glean some information on the appropriate topic. However, now with most content online and open for use by almost anyone, information on any topic is searchable inside and outside of almost anything. “The result is an exploration of how time and space together affect and alter modes of academic communication, how communication itself emerges from dialogues that combine our own and others’ thinking, and how attempts to close down and conventionalize academic practices will (and can usefully) be overcome through experimentation with genre” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 44). Through the means of digital research and collaboration, just about any topic can be scrutinized and analyzed to its deepest core. In her research, Sinclair borrows a concept from Bahktin’s essays on the novel published in The Dialogic Imagination (Bakhtin, 1981). “They are: The chronotope – a mutually constitutive configuration of time and space: for example, a meeting or a journey. Interanimation – the process by which languages and dialogues mutually illuminate each other: for example, picking up a new understanding from an interlocutor’s metaphor. The monologic – in contrast to the dialogic where language and ideas are negotiated, the monologic is authoritative and fixed, not open to change: for example, the genre of classical epic poetry” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 45). Through research and practice, these three conceptual methods can be used to explain and guide research in the digital age. Part of this concept is the use of the chronotope as a means of understanding ways in which to use time and space differently in education and research. “Bakhtin’s idea of the chronotope as a time-space ordering device in literary contexts has been adopted by writers on education to suggest that our current conventionalized routines of time and space are outmoded and that there is a need for new ways of thinking about time and space in technology-mediated learning” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 46). The practice of interanimation can also be used to great effect in research. “Interanimation means that one person’s words are taken on by others, who make them their own through their own practice. It is happening all the time” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 47). The idea behind this is that there is an ongoing conversation, academically, culturally, and socially, that was, is, and will continue to be. As researchers, the key is to be involved in the conversation and never discount information just because it appears to be outdated, but use the information either in different and new ways or as a way to transform modern conversation and research. Finally, Sinclair looks at the monologic as it relates to modern research. The monologic is characterized as authoritative and not open to change or discussion. However, in the sometimes post-modern world of academia and research, the monologic is seen as too restrictive as a means for meaningful and progressing research. Esearchers have the need to take a novel idea and make it take flight. This, after all, is what doctoral candidates are encouraged to do when writing dissertations. However, the tacit need to include supporting research in any study is understood, but sometimes more restrictive to the research process, especially in nascent areas. This leads to a need for reaching outside the monologic toward the novel and less supported. “Recognizing and challenging the monologic may be half the battle” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 48). While this method of research is counter to the best-practice of supporting research, some of the lesser-supported research of today is where the biggest breakthroughs ate being made. It’s through the hard work and courage of researchers operating on the fringes of the monologic that these leaps are made.

            Writing communities have long been a constructive way to encourage and produce research in academia, but are often not used within the university. Unfortunately, there is often so much individualism and competition within academia that researchers tend to go it alone or simply are not encouraged or supported by their peers. However, through community and interaction, this can change. Human beings, after all, are social animals. “They want to live as writers in community rather than isolation” (Muller, 2014, p. 34). Through the interactions and encouragement within writing groups, researchers can produce more and better ideas and research. “Lots of people exercise more in groups, read more books with groups, lose more weight in groups. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that many faculty members might write more in groups, too?” (Muller, 2014, p. 35). In his study including faculty members at UNC Chapel Hill, Muller decided to set up a writing community and invite any and all participants. “The response was enthusiastic. Sixty-two faculty members joined the program from thirteen departments within the College of Arts and Sciences and nine of the university’s eleven professional schools” (Muller, 2014, p. 35-36). After the membership was settled, the researchers were sorted into groups after being surveyed to ascertain how they wanted to be sorted (i.e., by discipline or interdisciplinary). The general consensus was to be sorted at least along broad disciplinary lines. “The various groups developed different ways of working. All set regular in-person meetings (weekly or biweekly) of varying durations, and a few experimented with Skype sessions or other virtual meeting solutions. Some of the groups created writing log systems as a way of fostering accountability. Some of the groups experimented with tools for managing distractions. Some groups developed systems for sharing and critiquing drafts; others focused exclusively on the writing process and did not read one another’s work. Some of the groups interspersed sessions simply for writing rather than talking about their writing” (Muller, 2014, p. 37). After the inaugural program was finished, the results were examined and found almost universally positive. “There is little doubt that even in its inaugural season it was a success both at supporting scholarly productivity and building faculty relationships across campus” (Muller, 2014, p. 39). This type of writing and research community strategy could be extremely useful and productive within AU. Imagine giving the opportunity for your smartest people to really put their minds and power together and produce empirical research that can change the face of not only how AU does things and thinks, but the way education across the spectrum can be realized.

References:

Muller, E.L. (2014). Developing the Faculty as a Writing Community. Academe, 100 (6), 34-38.

Sinclair, C. (2015). Students’ perspectives on academic writing in the digital age. TechTrends, 59 (1), 44-49.

AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – INNOVATION

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AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – INNOVATION

Chapter 5 discusses Innovation.

Along with the future of education, innovation plays a significant role in the forward leaning domain of learning for the next generation. This section of the literature review includes a few innovative strategies based on current trends in education and will explain how AU might leverage these capabilities through and past transformation. First, information on emerging instructional technologies will be presented. This area of study cannot be overemphasized. Through technology, education has already been transformed in many ways and the next generation offers at least as much promise as what we have already witnessed. Next, we will look at innovators in instructional technology to see how these people are bringing education into a new renaissance. Technologies that are on the horizon will be discussed as well. While these are nascent technologies, they have some bearing on the present and may have direct application and significance in the future. Finally, the future of the field of education in general will be discussed.

Web 2.0 technology is an item of wide discussion in education today. With the flexibility and pervasive use of technology in the classroom today, it is important to understand the emerging technologies and trends coming o the forefront. “Learners today are digital learners and the instructional methods used need to match their needs. The vast amount of available online resources and tools is part of the everyday reality and has introduced a diverse set of instructional methods with applications in student learning” (Daher & Lazarevic, 2014, p. 42). With the introduction of the vast amount of instructional technologies and methods available, the opportunity for confusion and being overwhelmed has increased in concert with the opportunity to succeed. “Web 2.0 technology is a relatively new, fast changing, and developing area of advancement. As such, educational uses have only been introduced to instructors in the last few years” (Daher & Lazarevic, 2014, p. 43). In their study, Daher and Lazarevic found that in order for new Web 2.0 tools to be used successfully in the classroom, teachers needed to feel comfortable and successful using them. “Instructors with a graduate degree were more likely to use these tools for instruction. However with the appropriate training, participants reported being more likely to incorporate these tools. Since educators are interested in how to use technology, not how to master it, it will be more beneficial to use a product-based approach in training rather than focus on a product itself” (Daher & Lazarevic, 2014, p. 49). Therefore, the use of emerging technologies needs to be supported well in order to use them effectively and with the most impact.

To follow on the discussion of emerging technical capabilities in education, the next article includes an interview of an innovator in the field of instructional technology and what we will see in coming years. The conversation is recorded by Fred Baker. Baker begins his discussion with Jason Ravitz, Ph.D., an education outreach evaluation manager at Google. In discussing his research in the field of education, Ravitz states: “Across many years and projects, I have always sought to understand effective designs, conditions for innovation, and the equity of implementation and outcomes” (Baker, 2014, p. 13). This approach to understanding and implementing educational technology is about looking forward and setting the stage for optimal integration and success. Ravits then explains some of his focus on evaluation in education and how this is vital to the proper implementation of educational technology: “I also value opportunities to evaluate new products and services, designing ways to get feedback to people who need it, creating measures and “data dashboards”. This emphasis on creating feedback mechanisms for teaching and learning programs was the focus of my second post-doc at SRI International and helps explain my longevity at the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) where we worked with hundreds of schools” (Baker, 2014, p. 13). The concept of evaluation of new technologies is extremely important in discovering what and how these tools and products can be used to highest effect. Ravitz also discusses trends influencing the field right now: “Increasingly, we see efforts to improve computer science education so that more diverse students and women can get involved in creating the technologies of the future. In my new job at Google, I will be looking at how to evaluate computer science education initiatives like these” (Baker, 2014, p. 14). Additionally, Ravitz states, “Another trend for me has been use of information systems like Customer Relations Management (CRM) software in educational organizations. As new capabilities emerge, using these systems to support professional development and research on teaching and learning seems like a natural next step” (Baker, 2014, p. 14). Through the use of CRM, research can be managed more effectively, allowing for the growth and synthesis of information necessary for moving education forward. Finally, Ravitz answers a question concerning other areas impacting the field as it relates to critical thinking and collaboration: “I am intrigued by ideas from the Critical Thinking Consortium and Roland Case who emphasizes that application of shared criteria is at the heart of critical thinking. Combined with tools like Project Foundry or ShowEvidence, we could give rubrics a much needed overhaul, so they do a better job of promoting critical thinking when they are used” (Baker, 2014, p. 14). Dr. Ravitz’s advice bears minding and may have practical application for programs at AU, especially in the realms of research, evaluation, and critical thinking.

In their study concerning teachers’ attitudes toward new educational technologies introduced in the Horizon Report, Hodges and Prater discuss technologies these teachers would like to see integrated into their classrooms. “It is clear that teachers’ beliefs of the value or perceived usefulness of various technologies are important elements to consider when adopting technologies for teaching and learning” (Hodges & Prater, 2014, p. 71). Based on the responses of these teachers, it makes sense to keep in mind that these are educational professionals with years of practical experience whose advice should be taken very seriously. The Horizon Report “includes predictions for technologies that will be adopted in schools in three categories: one year or less, two to three years, and four to five years. Interested readers can access the report in its entirety online at: http://www.nmc.org/publications/horizon- report-2011-k-12-edition” (Hodges & Prater, 2014, p. 72). The choices most selected for technologies one year or less out from that time were cloud computing and mobiles while the most selected from two to three year out were GBL and open content. “Mobile devices were noted as capable of making learning fun for the students, and allowing easy access to remediation software” (Hodges & Prater, 2014, p. 75). Conversely, GBL was not viewed as favorably, mostly due to the amount of development needed to implement them and a general attitude of ambivalence toward GBL, specifically from leadership in education. However, the prevailing attitude toward technology in the classroom was positive, especially as it relates to interaction, collaboration, and open education that would allow more influx of ideas and information.

Tutaleni Asino discusses the future of the field of education in an article that looks at “three areas that should be discussed further as we contemplate the future and growth in the field of educational technology: (1) Interdisciplinary applications of educational technology; (2) Culture’s impact on learning and learners and (3) Considering culture-specific designs for learning” (Asino, 2015, p. 20). These three considerations are discussed by Dr. Patricia Young who states: “The United States Census population projections from the 2010 Census report a growing racially and ethnically diverse population by 2060 and that this population will peak in 2024” (Asino, 2015, p. 20). This projection highlights the need for a new way of looking at how education is delivered, socialized, and constructed. Culture’s impact on learners and learning is included in this discussion and is given wide importance. “Advocacy for the integration of culture seems to have made advances in school aged STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related literature and in higher education literature on e-learning” (Asino, 2015, p. 21). Ultimately, the issue that continues to surface in education throughout every strata of society is the need to be ready for diversity. “Determining how people learn, think, behave and understand has applicability across disciplines and could change what, why and how designers create technologies” (Asino, 2015, p. 22). Kyle Peck follows some of these same thought patters in a slightly different way when he states: “Motivation to change seems to be powered by three primary factors: 1) a vision of what could be; 2) dissatisfaction with what is, and 3) evident, achievable next steps that can be taken to begin the transformation” (Asino, 2015, p. 24). The prevailing attitude is that the future of education must be forecasted using vision, what is not working now, and goal setting that makes sense for the future. Peck lays out a few ideas that could help education get there including: the growth and validation of online learning, flipped classrooms, MOOCs, open educational resources, competency-based learning, digital badges, prior learning assessment, and adaptive learning systems. Through these concepts and technologies, the future of education is an exciting place to be heading!

References

Asino, T.I. (2015). The future of our field. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 59 (1), 20-30.

Baker, F.W. (2014). Conversations with innovators in learning and technology. TechTrends, 58 (5), 12-15.

Daher, T. (2014). Emerging instructional technologies: Exploring the extent of faculty use of web 2.0 tools at a midwestern community college. TechTrends, 58 (6), 42-50.

Hodges, C.B. & Prater, A.H. (2014). Technologies on the Horizon: Teachers Respond to the Horizon Report. TechTrends, 58 (3), 71-77.

AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – FUTURE OF EDUCATION

transformation

AIR UNIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE – FUTURE OF EDUCATION

Chapter 4 of the paper deals with the future of education at Air University.

Whenever someone speaks of the future of anything, it’s best to take that speculation with some skepticism. The most recent research, while it does indicate some future trends, may only be as useful as it seems to be at this very moment in education. While trends do appear to be heading toward schema and strategies such as gamification and interactive social networking, one must never overlook the fact that new strategies and technologies enter human history as abruptly as Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The following research gets at current technologies and educational philosophies with a look toward the future of education. While these trends may be helpful in vectoring toward a future outlook for education, AU must have the flexibility and cutting-edge savvy to make hard turns as necessary. Game-based learning (GBL), or gamification, is a method by which game development and playing are used to support learning within the realms of several different subjects using a wide array of strategies and platforms. Since this is a new method for teaching and learning, there are several areas in which exploration still needs to be made. Some negative attributes of GBL are still under scrutiny. “GBL may not also be beneficial to all learners. For example, the multimedia elements of game-based-learning may also increase students’ cognitive load because they have to play and learn at the same time; it might go against learners with low ability” (Ku, Chen, Wu, Lao, & Chan, 2014, p. 67). While initial concerns are warranted, GBL does show some promise. “The results indicate that both high-ability and low-ability students with the GBL approach gained significant improvement on their confidence toward mathematics” (Ku, Chen, Wu, Lao, & Chan, 2014, p. 75). GBL has its place in the future of the classroom, but education cannot rest alone or even mostly on such a nascent theory. More must be done to undergird the rapidly changing educational environment across the spectrum of education.

In his article analyzing three models to reshape educational practice, Sam Roberson discusses how to improve teaching and learning based on a look into the future of education. “The work of schools is teaching and learning. However, the current educational culture is dominated by three characteristics: (1) the mechanistic view of organization and its practice based on the assembly line model where students progress along a value added conveyor; (2) the predominance of the Essentialist philosophy of education, in which the teacher-centered classroom transfers bits of “essential” knowledge to students; and (3) the high stakes testing mentality, which believes in the rigid and frequent testing of students to ensure learning and enforce accountability” (Roberson, 2013, p. 340). As an alternative, Roberson presents three models that highlight other options for creating deep, complex, generative learning. “Three models for reshaping the current educational practice are presented and discussed briefly. These include (1) a comparison of testing driven environments with other view-points for possible educational environments: The Goals of Learning Model; (2) a comparison of a testing-driven curriculum with what could be offered to students: The Limitation of TAKS Model; and (3) a model that summarizes the shift needed to refocus student achievement towards higher, more complex learning: The Trajectories of Learning Model” (Roberson, 2013, p. 349). Behind all of these strategies rests the purpose of using education to move toward application and creation rather than merely seeking to fill the boxes. By setting a path and looking for ways to reach the end of that educational path, teachers and students can move more readily toward achieving the goals set out. “Were the culture of schools configured in any other way, in a culture of possibility (Roberson, 2011a) for example, in which students were encouraged and challenged to pursue the type of learning presented by the three models above—an education not limited by simple, shallow, novice level learning characterized by passively memorizing massive bits of inert knowledge, but an education that is wide open, one characterized by deep, complex, expert level learning in a wide range of subjects or disciplines presented in an interdisciplinary, real world based way” (Roberson, 2013, p. 357).

Massive open online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming more widespread in education by way of innovation and exploration in technology and the future of education. MOOCs were initially developed to help those who were disadvantaged to have more open access to education for career and personal development. “The first MOOCs to catch the media and public attention in the autumn of 2011, so called xMOOCs, were in very technical subjects (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Databases)” (Macleod, Haywood, Woodgate, & Alkhatnai, 2015, p. 58). Through the open delivery of technical education, many individuals were able to increase the KSAs in this area in particular. Of course, the initial success of these offerings opened up the educational opportunities to many more. “One feature of our MOOC learners that changed dramatically from the first to second offerings was our learners’ prior experience of study on MOOCs, where we noted a rise from 22% to 58% in learners who had previously taken a MOOC” (Macleod, Haywood, Woodgate, & Alkhatnai, 2015, p. 59). Thus, the growth of the programs mirrored the success of the material and opportunities within the MOOCs. “How do these data help us decide on a MOOC strategy to help us plan for the future? In many respects the MOOC learners are quite like those who come to our campus for our open studies (continuing education) short courses. Our 17,000 registered open studies learners tend to be older and well educated, mostly study for interest, pay very low fees and do not seek formal university credits” (Macleod, Haywood, Woodgate, & Alkhatnai, 2015, p. 62). The MOOCs concept, then, is not only a success as far as education delivery to those who would not have opportunity otherwise, but a boon for the university that uses them. Through using MOOCs, the reputation of the school is bolstered and advertised as a veritable phalanx in the arena of education. Through the use of MOOCs, AU can position itself on the leading edge of education, not just of the Airman, but the world.

Ku, O., Chen, S.-Y., Wu, D.-H., Lao, A.-C.-C., & Chan, T.-W. (2014). The Effects of Game-Based Learning on Mathematical Confidence and Performance: High Ability vs. Low Ability. Educational Technology & Society, 17 (3), 65–78.

Macleod, H., Haywood, J., Woodgate, A., & Alkhatnai, M. (2015). Emerging patterns in MOOCs: Learners, course designs and directions. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 59 (1), 56-63.

Roberson, S. (2013). Improving teaching and learning: Three models to reshape educational practice. Education, 134 (3), 340-358.