Sunday, August 3, 2008

Back from Decorah

Fun filled day and night driving through Minnesota and Iowa and getting to explore Decorah, Iowa, and Luther College. I gave a presentation on “Diversity in the Cloud” and received some great feedback from a crowd of about 80 faculty and staff from the 28 colleges and universities affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Here are the slides that accompanied the talk for those interested.

I won't go too much into the talk other than to say that it presented utopian and dystopian views of how the web changes inter-group relations. I was struck by how many faculty are grappling with the larger question of whether the web is friend of foe or both. One interesting assignment that came up during the Q and A was from a Religion professor at an ELCA college who requires his students to unplug from the web for 48 hours. He reports that students are frustrated by the assignment initially but are ultimately grateful for the chance to reconnect with their inner selves. It's an interesting assignment worth doing myself, let alone assigning it to students.

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