Friday, December 17, 2010

Final Reflective Post

As I spent time thinking what to say in this final post for my digital civilization class (Yes, I do plan on making periodic posts about other topics), I realized that I have changed quite a bit this semester.  I now have the tools and am familiar with enough resources (or access to other resources) to make my journey of life long learning an enjoyable one.  In order to avoid re-stating a lot that I have already said, please refer back to my last reflective post which focus on self-directed learning and how that has really benefited me this semester. 

At the beginning of the semester, it was very obvious that I wasn't very comfortable with this class and really struggled meeting the course objectives of consume, create, connect.  I typically wrote of topics that were of interest but struggled making historical connections (see example on a post I made about the NBA). 

However, after a change in attitude and self-directed learning, I feel like I became much more involved as can be seen in my post about the atomic age.  I felt much more comfortable with this class when I started using the tools of consume, create, and connect more effectively. 

What I enjoyed most about this class was working and blogging about our final project.  Missionary work is something that I have always enjoyed participating in and I found it awesome that I could focus on a topic that I loved in an "academic" class.  I enjoyed helping put on a fireside (connecting with my ward and many friends) on how to be digital missionaries.  I also enjoyed making historical connections and posting links to my facebook about missionary work.  It was fun connecting with the referral center missionaries and I look forward to continuing to become a more effective and efficient digital missionary. 

Thanks for a great semester.  I look forward to continuing the journey of becoming more digitally literate through creating, consuming, and connecting. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Digital Revolution

On Thursday, December 9 (tomorrow), my digital civilization class is hosting an event called Digital Revolution: Upgrading Education for Digital Civilization.  I am really excited to attend this event and to have played an active role in the group Sharing the Gospel in a Digital World.

 In preparation for the event, we met as a group on Saturday morning from 9-12 AM to discuss how and which direction we wanted to go in presenting digital missionary work.  It was a lot more complicated than I had anticipated because we only have 5 minutes to present on the topic.  Therefore, we basically created a short trailer with hopes to spark an interest in the audience to learn more about becoming digital missionaries.

Want to learn more about becoming a digital missionary???  Come and learn first hand tomorrow night in room 3108 JKB from 7-9PM or join our virtual audience at the same time at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blog Post Nomination

In my digital civilization class, I have been asked to nominate a post(s) that I felt followed the learning objectives.  In my opinion, the following post by Andrew does just that:  

Adventures in the Galapagos.  Great example of incorporating historical content and self directed learning in the same post.  Andrew does a great job of getting the reader involved by sharing his personal experiences on the Galapagos islands.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really like how he ties his personal experience to relevant historical information we were studying at the time. 

Online missionary work...catch the fire

One of the coolest parts of being a part of Sharing the Gospel in a Digital World group for the final project is actually participating in online missionary work.  I have really enjoyed using tools such as facebook, missionary mingles, hosting a fireside (Andrew gives a great recap in a recent blog post).  It has also been fun to re-kindle some old friendships and begin talking with them about the gospel as well. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sharing the Gospel 2.0

Throughout the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the means of which missionary work is performed has changed.  I will apologize up front for my thoughts being unorganized.  This is a draft for the historical content section of our final project. 

Early Church
Dan Jones preaching in Wales
When the church first started, missionaries were often sent on missions alone and often taught to large groups of people.  

Two missionaries in the early 20th century.
In the early 20th century, missionaries taught the gospel in companionship's.  Many of those serving missions left wives and families at home while they were out preaching the gospel.  


Memorized Discussions 
 For many years, missionaries shared the gospel by giving memorized discussions to people investigating the church.  This was known as the 'Uniform System for Teaching the Gospel'. 

Preach My Gospel
In 2004, missionaries throughout the world began using Preach My Gospel as their guide for missionary service focusing on teaching by the spirit instead of giving a memorized lesson.  This tool gives missionaries the flexibility to prepare and teach lessons to meet the specific needs of those investigating the church. 

Learn more at
Missionary Work 2.0
As a member of The Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have been counseled to share my beliefs with others.   What impedes you from sharing the gospel with others?  Is it fear of hurting your reputation? is it the fact that it requires effort and hard work and you don't get paid for it?  Tim Wu, Professor of Law stated that we are living in more of an exposure culture, where 'getting noticed is everything'.  What are are motives of sharing the gospel?

The Wisdom of Crowds:  Think of how much good could be done and lives could be touched if all 13 million members of the church became actively involved in missionary work online.  Everyone working together for with the same goal in mind: to invite others to come unto Christ.  The church would have such an edge over the evil in the world.  Evil is everywhere but it is a  bunch of mini groups attacking from different directions.

Folksonomies: individuals acting individually yet producing a collective result.  This is what happens when we share the gosple online.  We are working individually to help the church (collectively as a whole) grow and gain more exposure.  We do this by posting links to church sites from our blogs, facebook, twitter, etc. 

Online missionary work creates a giant 'Network effect'.  Think of how many people you connect with on facebook, myspace, through e-mail, twitter, or online each day.  Fellow-shipping has become that much easier.  Investigators and recent converts have instant access to hundreds and thousands of members who are reading and willing to help.  It is always easier to make changes in our lives when we have an instant support group when times get hard. 

Fortunately official church sites and doctrine online are not an 'open but a closed API'.  Imagine what would happen if anyone could have access to editing and changing the doctrine shared on church websites.  It would be a mess?  It would lead to another apostasy or falling away from the truth. 

There are many ways in which we can become involved in missionary work online.  I'll post more about this next time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Evolution of Missionary Work

In preparation for our presentation at Digital Revolution: Upgrading Education for Digital Civilization, I've decided to make a quick post about some thoughts and ideas we had on how to tie in the historical content to missionary work. 

The main focus of our project thus far has been helping the referral center missionaries share the gospel online. We have done this by participating in mingles online, chatting with friends on facebook, creating and translating gospel related prezi presentations, and hosting a fireside to help get more people involved. 

I feel that a cool way to tie in the historical content would be for each of us to research about how our ancestors were introduced to the gospel and eventually accepted the gospel.  Then show the evolution of missionary work.  I think it would be neat to show how it has changed from early saints leaving there families to share the word, young men sharing the gospel through memorized discussions, young men no longer using memorized discussions (emphasis on teaching by the spirit following Preach My Gospel), and now incorporating online tools and media to spread the gospel world wide.  \

More finalized thoughts to come....check out our group website for more. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Automobile: an essential part of life

Do you have a car?  Could you survive without it?  I recently thought about this question when I let my cousin borrow my car last weekend.  It was an interesting experience.  I never realized how much I depended on my car for things (especially on the weekend). 

A few examples where I missed my car this weekend are:  I played pick up basketball at the gym on Saturday and even though it is only a little over a mile from my apartment, I had my friend give me a ride.  I also waited until today to pick up my dry-cleaning because I didn't want to walk to the dry cleaners.  These are small things which I could definitely do if I didn't have a car, but having an automobile just seems to make life easier. 

In the early 20th century, Henry Ford's assembly line for the automobile revolutionized transportation.  Horses shortly became outdated and people became more and more accustomed to driving instead of walking.  However, I feel that unlike in the early 20th century, out society would not function without the use of the automobile as a mode of transportation. 

More information about the history of the automobile can be found here