Theologian David Turnbloom is a big fan of the link sharing online community Reddit. Dr. Turnbloom invited his theology students to join him online in a micro community (called a subreddit) on Catholic theology as they read through parts of the chapter of Genesis in class. He wanted his students to relate the readings to the culture they experienced everyday including family, music, cartoons and other cultural references. Students found many corollaries from the lyrics from the musical Hamilton to the popular cartoon Rick and Morty. The best part for Dr. Turnbloom is that the conversation can continue beyond the length of the course as students in the coming semesters are added to the online community.
Why bring theology students into the sometime rough and tumble world of online forums? “I’ve chosen this because the technology is great,” Dr. Turnbloom says. “It’s a great place to have conversations and it’s incredibly easy to control the content and moderate the discussion.”
UP TechTalk is a bi-monthly podcast with cohosts Ben Kahn and Maria Erb of Academic Technology Services that explores the use of technology in the classroom one conversation at a time. Check out our special series The Future of Learning the first Friday of every month during the fall semester.