The Engaged Gaze is thrilled to be partnering with Professor LeBoeuf's Introduction to Religions of Asia course that she teaches at Whittier College. We are excited to be featuring the voices of her students and increasing dialogue on our site around this important reflections and conversations. If you would like to feature your course on our blog, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!
The raising trends of social media and the amount of time every young adult spends on the internet, has opened the doors for integrating these mediums into the college classroom. Education is having to learn on its heels how to start to encourage and use the growing and changing technological trends to their advantages. Generations that have never known life without cell phones and internet are now making their ways into the halls of colleges and universities. This also means that in just a few years, these same generations will be hitting the job markets - adding to and further advancing our technologies, methods, and tools. Which provides an interesting stance. Does academia try to hold back the rising tide of technology or does it try and find ways to use it to their advantages
There have been some interesting things that I have encountered in the last year of teaching at a four-year Liberal Arts college. I seem to be of two minds – one that reminds and values the class structures and techniques that I encountered when I was getting my Bachelor’s Degree and the practiced mind of a professor of current young adults that seem to have their devices and social media accounts embedded into the skin. I remember that one of my first semesters of graduate school, one of my professors required us to write for an academic blog. It was my first introduction to the budding world of the blogosphere.
The future of academics and the future of teaching the coming generations means finding ways and means to encourage learning, fostering positive research habits, and brazing new trails for the future generations. While I am still uneasy about full integration of technology in my classroom, especially since I teach in the Humanities and a lot of the material must be learned, memorized, and experienced outside of a computer screen. I do appreciate the access to videos and other tools that enhance exploring many different religious traditions.
The next few months, students from the Religions of Asia course at Whittier College will be posting reflections and post concerning elements that they are studying throughout the semester. The Religions of Asia course covers nine different religions that cover the lengths from India to Japan. The students got to pick the religion and specific topic. Alongside of the blog post they also had to report what they studied and learned in a class presentation to their fellow classmates. I invite you all to come along for the ride as my students explore the nine religions that have shaped the Asian countries and the world for the last 2,000 years.