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Innovation in Action - 21st Century learning Overview

Innovation in Action - 21st Century learning Overview | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Rui Guimarães Lima, Lynnette Van Dyke
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5 Tech Tools to Encourage Critical Thinking

5 Tech Tools to Encourage Critical Thinking | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
Jessica Sanders from the online fundraising platform Learn2Earn introduces 5 amazing tools teachers can use to foster critical thinking in their classroom.

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Mike Raso, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Jared's comment, October 20, 2015 12:51 AM
Awesome ICT tools to promote critical thinking! These can be very useful in a classroom and would also be engaging. This would bring the fun in critical thinking. I particularly like the MindMeister. It's a great tool for mind mapping and allows them to be able to see the bigger picture.
Madeleine Carr's comment, October 26, 2015 12:20 AM
This article has given me some great ideas for using ICT in my classroom. I really liked process on, which i believe will be useful and relevant in a stage 6 classroom. I feel as if the students will love the interaction in the classroom. I also believe they will assist in developing geographical skills.
Matt Bond's comment, November 27, 2015 6:07 PM
This Scoop It has opened new ways of including ICT into my classroom. The methods shown are inclusive of areas of Blooms taxonomy as well as being highly effective for students as we prepare them for life outside of school life where they have to work with a team and not individually and be able to problem solve different aspects, which is evident in these activities.
Rescooped by diane gusa from SteveB's Social Learning Scoop
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Here comes Disruption... Open Educational Resources, Part 1: What are they?

Here comes Disruption... Open Educational Resources, Part 1: What are they? | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it

This is Part One of a five part series exploring the global impact of OpenCourseWare (OCW) and Open Educational Resources (OER).  Part Two will explore the growth of the movement.  Part Three will address some of the benefits of OER, particularly in the developing world.  Part Four will address the challenges.  And Part Five offers final commentary.

 


Via Marta Torán, Edumorfosis, steve batchelder
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Marta Torán's curator insight, June 1, 2015 3:16 PM

Sobre OpenCourseWare y Open Educational Resources. Primero de una serie de 5 post. Qué son los OERs.

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Documenting FOR Learning

Documenting FOR Learning | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
I am a documenter, I have always been... maybe it is in my blood... ...from keeping diaries from an early age on, being the family letter writer, to taking pictures to document our lives, vacations...

Via steve batchelder
diane gusa's insight:

a supporting piece for the study of self-determined learning–> Heutagogy

a strategy, approach and technique to facilitate learning–> Pedagogy

 

a process of intentional documenting serves a metacognitive purpose

Read more at: http://langwitches.org/blog/2014/07/01/documenting-for-learning/

use: Sketchnotes Notes (traditional/annotated) Tweets Backchannel Blogs Slide deck Screenshooting and – casting Mindmaps

Go to http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/CBS_Pedagogical.pdf

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The corridor of uncertainty: How sticky are your courses?

The corridor of uncertainty: How sticky are your courses? | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
How sticky are your courses? What sort of glue is required to keep learners involved? How do we awaken interest and create the critical momentum and engagement that is needed to guarantee completion? It all depends on what type of course we're talking about and the glue needed on an open online course is fundamentally different from the glue traditionally applied.

Via Alastair Creelman, steve batchelder
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A Dictionary For 21st Century Teachers: Learning Models

A Dictionary For 21st Century Teachers: Learning Models | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
A Dictionary For 21st Century Teachers: An ongoing index of emerging learning models, theories, and technology for progressive teaching.
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Sexuality and Singledom—Navigating with Clarity and Integrity

Sexuality and Singledom—Navigating with Clarity and Integrity | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
The text below was adapted from a presentation at the "Of One Body" Singles
Conference in New York City on May 16, 2015



When I told a friend recently that I would be presenting in NYC on Singles
and Sexuality, she smiled and asked “Is there any overlap between those two
topics?  What on earth are you going to talk about?” Of course, what is
comical about her question is that it exposes the deep-seated desire among
us, especially among those of us who are married, to pretend that the
sexuality of Single Mormons does not exist, or shouldn’t exist, if one is
good.

We are a faith that values marriage and family and sexual chastity very
highly.  Unequivocally, the way that we talk to youth, singles, and
marrieds about sexuality exposes how much we want all sexual thought and
behavior to be contained to the presumably safe context of marriage.  And
given our religious ideals and desires, it makes having this conversation
about singles and sexuality, in any meaningful or substantive way and quite
challenging. 

Let me begin by saying that I would like to help single members of our
faith community forge a strong relationship to themselves (inclusive of
their God-given sexuality), solid relationships with others, as well as a
strong relationship to the highest principles in our faith.  In other
words, as Christians, I hope for all of us (marrieds and singles alike) to
approach our sexuality in line with our moral commitments and ideals, in a
way that fosters a strong sense of self and capacity for intimacy with
others.   To love self, to love other and to love God.  This is the point
of all of the commandments, remember.

To some it may seem that our sexuality undermines our attempts to be good,
particularly if you are single, but I believe that in asserting choices in
the sexual realm in line with our integrity, with what we really believe is
right specific to our particular situation, is the avenue for being at
peace and whole. And I will talk to you today about what I think this
requires of us as a church community and as individuals within it (whether
single or friends of singles).

In thinking about this topic, and talking with single friends and clients,
let me first lay out some of the problems or hurdles that I believe singles
and church leaders face around the topic of singledom and sex:

Church-leadership and members are facing a relatively new challenge, or at
least a more punctuated challenge relative to our history.  While single
adults have always been a part of our faith community, the demographic of
the church is changing with individuals remaining single longer.

In 1960, the median age of marriage for American men was 22.8, and American
women 20. 3.  In 2010, the median age of marriage for American men and
women is a full 6 years older: 28.7 for men, and 26.5 for women.

Additionally, a larger percentage of Americans are not getting married at
all (or divorcing).  

Mormon scholars estimate that, in the United States, up to a third of adult
membership in the church is single.  Like other Americans, Mormons are
marrying later or remaining single altogether, and the population of 30 –
40 year old singles is on the rise.  In a 2012 article on the increase in
Singles Wards in the church, the Huffington Post called it “a crisis of
singles”.

Additionally, a couple of generations ago, the larger society valued
marriage and sexual restraint resembling LDS values.   This, of course, is
no longer the case.  And whether or not we like it, and for better or for
worse, we are immersed in and shaped by a much more sexually focused
society, which places high value on sexual fulfillment as a part of living
life well.  This creates an entirely different context in which to
understand and address the experience of single LDS adults.  The labeling
of 30+ singles in the 1970s as “special interest” would be even more
offensive to our sensibilities now than it may have been then.

It also makes it much more difficult for faithful individuals to sort out
how to be whole and happy in a context of sexual chastity and singleness.
 It may also be difficult to tolerate that fellow church-goers may not
respect them as full adults in a way that the larger culture does.  

Single clients and friends have talked to me about at least three
challenging realities that they experience in the church:

First, condescension and misunderstanding from church-leaders and other
married folks, given their lower status unmarried state.

Second, the experience and reality of stunted adult development (or social
and sexual immaturity) both within themselves and when interacting with
other LDS singles.

Third, the denial of and anxiety about single adult sexuality, and by
extension the lack of relevant guidance around the navigation of their
sexual selves.

Given these realities, it is perhaps not surprising that we are
encountering difficulty in retaining our single adults in the church.
 Single adults that are needed and wanted, single adults that add to our
strength as a collective.

So let me say more about these three challenging realities that Single
Adults experience:  And I’m drawing on my experience as a therapist working
with LDS singles as well as written responses I collected from about 20
mid-singles when asked about their experiences and concerns around the
subject of singledom and sexuality.

So the first challenging reality is the condescension and misunderstanding
from leaders / parents / and other married adults towards singles:

When marriage is an essential achievement of earth-life, single adults
represent an aberration from our theological ideal.  If one doesn’t get
married (whether by choice or lack of opportunity), and marriage is the
desired state, it is very easy to treat singles as though they are in a
prolonged adolescence, in a holding pattern, waiting patiently to arrive at
true adulthood, for their lives to truly begin.

As such, it is no surprise that spiritual guidance and instruction is
primarily designed to reinforce the standard of marriage, rather than
offering an alternative model of sainthood that is different from the
married version, but valuable and purposeful in the church community
nonetheless.  As a marriage therapist, I very much believe and teach that
marriage is a divine institution because coupling our lives with another
pressures us and shapes us into more grounded and loving individuals if we
will let it.  That said, treating single adults as though they are not
whole people if not married, even if unwittingly, is a troubling
conceptualization not only for the inherent condescension in it, but also
for how it creates a problematic frame for understanding personhood,
sainthood, and even the essential ingredient of a happy marriage.     

One of the by-products of our default framing is that singles are often
treated with pity (particularly the women) or suspicion (particularly the
men, given the way that we gender sexuality) rather than regarded as a
tremendous resource to the larger group.  We unnecessarily diminish singles
and under-serve their needs;  We also receive too few of their gifts and
resources in ministering to the body of Christ.  Singles need a purpose in
our faith community beyond enduring to the altar.

Consistently, singles wrote to me about parents condescending to them, or
taking married siblings more seriously.  As a client said to me, “When I go
home for family reunions, I get the couch, while my married siblings who
are younger than me get the private bedrooms with their spouses.  Sometimes
I even share bedrooms with my young nieces and nephews, and my parents
don’t understand why it upsets me”.

Singles also report experiencing condescension not just in the pitied
nature of their lot, but also that married church leaders and members are
often insensitive to or detached from the very real challenges associated
with managing adult sexuality and sexual abstinence in adulthood:

As a single adult male wrote to me: “Bishops tend to marry young so they
don’t get what it’s like to be an older single.  One of my prior bishops
said, “It’s just as hard for me to keep the law of chastity as it is for
you”—except that my bishop gets to go home and sleep with his wife.”

Another single adult female wrote that her bishop counseled, “Well just get
married!”, as if it were simply a matter of laziness or lack of will that
she was not.

Second, singles talk about the experience of stunted development (or social
and sexual immaturity) both within themselves and in their other LDS
singles.   The focus on marriage, coupled with the anxiety that sexuality
will undermine one’s basic goodness, single adults report feeling immature
relative to their married or partnered friends.  

As one mid-single wrote:

“Under the justified guise of ‘righteous desire’, one can easily remain in
an adolescent state.  Since taking on adult responsibilities is hard, it’s
easier for many of us to ride out our lives using the excuse of being
single as a way to avoid the adult choices of career, education, social
intimacy, financial responsibility, home ownership, etc.  I can’t tell you
how many mid-single women I see who are still living with mom and dad,
working an underemployed job, not taking care of themselves physically and
waiting for that day when Mr. Prince comes along to sweep them away and
they can start their adult lives.”  

Another single adult wrote,

“We still get together and play board games and eat ice cream for social
activities.  It seems immature, like we’re in a state of arrested
development.”  She went onto say, “Maybe part of our immaturity is that we
aren’t having sex”.

A single adult male wrote:

“We are sexually stunted due to the chastity rhetoric we hear growing up in
the church.  Chastity itself is not clearly defined and ... the only
guidance for us older singles on chastity is the Strength of Youth
(pamphlet).  We are not youth.  And because we are sexually and socially
stunted, it makes it even harder for us older singles to date and find
mates.”

Third, singles talk about the collective denial of or fear around
single-adult sexuality, and by extension the lack of relevant guidance
around the navigation of their sexual choices.

Because the idea of un-channeled adult sexuality makes us nervous, we
easily collude in the idea that sexual desires equivalent to a married
adult are not really there, shouldn’t be there, or don’t need to be
addressed in any meaningful way beyond DON’T.  If we don’t address the
subject (other than the importance of suppression), maybe it will  go away!
 

As one single LDS woman wrote to me,

“The problem as I see it is that we as Mormons are unwilling to acknowledge
that we (singles) are not only spiritual, but sexual as well.”   

Another Single explains:

“I personally don’t believe that the human body is wired to continue into
our 30s and 40s in a state of complete sexual repression.  However, the
active mid-single often believes, due to how the church teaches chastity,
that we are supposed to be asexual until we marry.”  

Of course LDS singles are sexual beings—as we all are.  Like our Parents in
Heaven, we are embodied and sexual from birth.  And single adults are no
different.  Singles are just attempting to forge adult development,
inclusive of adult sexual desires and needs, in a context of non-marriage
and a belief in chastity.  It’s not easy, and single adults, at a bare
minimum, deserve our acknowledgment and respect for their courageous
choices.

If we won’t openly acknowledge singles’ challenging choices in the sexual
realm, we co-construct unnecessary shame and anxiety around the existence
and experience of sexual desire.  And shame and anxiety interfere with
self-acceptance, spirituality by extension, and the integration of one’s
sexual being—essential developmental tasks in becoming capable of
relational and sexual intimacy.  One doesn’t have to act on his or her
sexual desires non-maritally, but one must not shame the presence of them,
nor see their presence as a function of sin.  They are, after all, an
expression of God-given longing in all of us that isn’t made better by
pretending it’s not there.  In fact, the lack of acknowledgment and
integration of one’s sexual desires can cause immature behavior, expressed
either as sexual compulsivity or total self-abnegation (either of which
interferes with the ability to forge meaningful adult relationships).

For example, a divorced friend of mine complained to me about the
experience of dating LDS mid-single men and having to regularly fend off
sexual voraciousness that was possessive and exposing of sexual immaturity.
 Ironically, her experiences with non-LDS men are far more comfortable for
her, because her non-LDS dates are usually more at ease with sexuality and
therefore wiser or less anxious, in their sexual decision making.

On the other extreme, I had a 30-year-old client who had obeyed the For The
Strength of Youth pamphlet with 99.9% perfection.  He took to heart the
passage that says “Do not do anything that arouses sexual feelings”.  For
him this meant not only refraining from masturbation, it meant not touching
his genitals at all while cleaning or urinating.  It also meant avoiding
going to movies as well as interactions with the opposite sex.  Because he
recognized his inability to control the emergence of sexual feelings and
arousal, he avoided grown up behaviors and relationships at all costs, and
in his case, the cost was his psychosocial maturation.

While this client clearly had some OCD or anxiety based decision-making
patterns, he was in fact doing what the manual said with near perfection.
 The only problem was he was developmentally stunted, completely afraid of
his own sexuality, afraid of women, afraid of intimacy, and unable to
engage in any meaningful relationship with others.

Is this what we are shooting for?  Is this how we hope to relate to our
God-given sexuality?  I’m sure most of us would unequivocally say, “No, of
course not.  He has way over-interpreted this guideline”.  But when I
suggested the same to him—that he allow a more nuanced interpretation, he
rightly countered that the pamphlet does not say to manage sexual behaviors
and feelings “within reason and using your own best judgment”.  It says not
to do anything that arouses sexual interest, period.  He also pointed out
to me that obedience is supposed to be a protection for us.  But his
obedience had not protected him, nor had it offered him maturity or even
spirituality in my opinion, only fear.

Many LDS singles express that the guidelines given by church leaders are an
extension of this cultural denial of adult sexuality and therefore are
inadequate and misplaced:  Treating single adults as an aberration to the
marry-early model, we unthinkingly apply standards written for adolescents
to full adults, some even previously married, yet trying to work out a
relationship with their sexual desires within an unforgiving expectation of
sexual suppression as a function of goodness.

Quoting the FSOY Manual, a single adult writes,

“‘Do not do anything that arouses sexual feelings.’  Hello!?!?!?!?!?!...
These words pretty much preclude dating entirely (at least dating anyone
I’m interested in). I realize we aren’t ‘youth,’ but I often hear
commentary in the church that indicates a general universality of the
concepts contained in said pamphlet... especially in the singles
communities.  So really are you kidding me? Part of dating is exactly that:
arousing and exploring sexual feelings (within appropriate bounds).”

Single Adult:

“I feel like as a single person I am constantly working on squelching my
desire and managing church expectations.  It’s exhausting.   I feel I have
no guidance on healthy ways to approach desire when you don’t have
legitimate avenues available for fulfillment.”

Single Adult:

“We spend so much time focused on what we’re trying to avoid, and so little
time focused on what we’re trying to create.  Essentially, sexuality is
discussed among the single adult members in pretty much the same way it is
discussed among the teenagers.  In this area, our culture hasn’t yet left
adolescence.”

One of the huge institutional vulnerabilities of giving inadequate
acknowledgment of and guidance around sexuality to our single adults is
that many begin to distrust their leadership, and either leave the fold
entirely, or quietly break the rules and explore sexuality on their own
terms, often never disclosing their choices to a church-leader:   

Single Adult:

“I had a sexually assertive boyfriend in my late 30s who helped me break
open the door of my sexuality and desire.  While I didn’t end up having
outright sex with him, the experience helped me start down a road of sexual
awareness that has helped me come to a much better understanding and
acceptance of my inherent sexuality.  But the road was shadowed with a lot
of shame and confusion, which in retrospect was unnecessary.  I chose not
to speak to my church leadership about it and never will, which I also
believe has helped me come to a more healthy place with all of this.  Had I
gone running to the bishop, I think the result would have been more layers
of shame, rather than actually helping me come to a healthy space of
working out my sexual choices as a late 30s / early 40 s single Mormon
woman. “

Single Adult:

“I know of an East coast bishop who completely shamed my 36-year-old friend
about her involvement with her fiancé, a guy she had dated for three years,
when she went in for her marriage interview.  He reduced her to tears.
 Fortunately, her fiancé stood up to him and put the bishop in his place
when he tried to shame both of them.  This happens WAY too often.  The only
way a mid-single population can change this culture and practice is to be
bluntly honest with leadership, and ask them to treat us as adults and be
understanding about what it means to be celibate into your 30s and 40s.”

So I would like to try and speak to two questions that we face:  How do we
as a faith community need to evolve in order to better serve our single
members with respect to sexuality? And how might single members navigate
these same questions and choices with integrity and clarity?

To the first question: How do we as a faith community better serve our
single members with respect to sexuality?

First, I believe we need to more clearly articulate a vision of sexuality
that is integrated with our highest ideals---that being a vision of
sexuality that fosters our ability to love God, love and accept ourselves
and love and care for others.  We need to go beyond the DON’Ts and the
collusive avoidance of the topic, and forge a framework for creating
goodness through our sexual intentions and choices.

We need this articulation for the church as a whole.  As a marriage
therapist, who works primarily with LDS couples around sexual issues, I
regularly see the fall-out from our collective sexual anxiety—anxiety about
sensuality, sexual thought and behavior and the questions about whether or
not sexuality and goodness can co-exist within people.   

My dissertation research (on LDS women’s relationship to their sexuality)
showed that most LDS women had internalized the notion that sexuality and
goodness are incompatible, for women at least.  Most had not integrated any
sense of sexual legitimacy prior to marriage, and then had great difficulty
engaging and enjoying sexuality within marriage.  Simply removing the
restrictions wasn’t enough for most women to foster a sense of sexual
legitimacy, and as such most struggled to create good sexual relationships.

Now, I understand why there is cultural anxiety. Sexuality is a tough
subject.  And it is a powerful way to be in connection with another human
being, so being wary and wise in our relationship to sexuality is extremely
important.  But fearing it and/or avoiding the subject altogether
undermines all of us.  Well-defined lines may be valuable when dealing with
teenagers who often function best within a frame of dos and don’ts (well,
mostly don’ts).  

But at a minimum we need a framework for adults, whether married or single,
that helps us think about how to integrate our God-given sexuality with our
desire to forge and offer goodness:

For example is passion and sensuality a problem?

When is it too much?  When is it not enough?  Is passion and sensuality
only okay when you’re married?  What’s the problem with it when you’re not?
 What’s the problem with it if it’s with yourself?  

We need a better articulation of what makes sexuality good and what makes
sexuality evil or harmful.  And we need an articulation beyond marriage
making sexuality good, because it doesn’t, it’s not a sufficient condition.

In my opinion, the intention and context of sexual behavior is very
important in defining it.  “Natural man” is not in reference to our
sexuality or sensuality, as we often infer.  I believe “natural man” is in
reference to our selfishness, our immaturity—our impulse to serve our
immediate interests at others’ or our own expense.  This is what comes to
us most naturally.  And spiritual development comes through overcoming our
self-serving impulses, and reaching for higher desires and objectives that
serve humanity, including ourselves.

In my perspective, sexuality is neither inherently good or bad.  Instead,
sexuality is a powerful form of engagement with others because it taps into
the most vulnerable part of human beings.   What makes it good or bad is
the context and our intentions.  

For example there is no greater way to damage the soul and psyche of
another person than through sexual exploitation or assault.  I also believe
sexuality between committed loving partners has the ability be a sacrament,
a highly sacred, transcendent, form of communion with another.   We can use
our sexuality for either—depending on the intentions of our hearts and the
context of our choices.   Are we engaged in what theologian Martin Buber
referred to as an I-It relationship, seeing the other as a self-object, a
person there to validate and serve your desires? Or an I-Thou relationship,
a relationship of profound respect for another human being, a person fully
separate from you and fully equal to you.

This is one of the reasons, I believe, we are commanded to engage the
deepest forms of sexual expression in a context of commitment.  Because in
so doing, we lower the psychological and biological risks to a spouse and
to ourselves, as well as any child that might be a product of that union.

Consistently, our teaching of sexual conservatism communicated through the
law of chastity, is wise:

A study surveying 2000 people, polling across religions and SES,  found
that those who delayed sexual activity reported greater relationship
stability and satisfaction, including greater sexual satisfaction.

Further, a society that divorces sex from commitment as our post sexual
revolution society does can be problematic, especially for women because
women bear the greater risks biologically for pregnancy and disease.  A
communal expectation of sexuality with commitment works in women’s favor.

Women consistently choose fewer sexual partners and to have sex later than
men do in society as a whole, more sexually conservative choices.  The law
of chastity, as my dissertation argues communicates to men a communal
expectation of committed sexuality, that works in women’s favor because it
supports the context that many women desire sexually.  

But legal commitment isn’t enough to make sexuality good,

Lots of unloving engagement happens in marriage

One can take the entitled position that you owe me sex because you’re my
spouse, you now belong to me.  Or the entitled position that I don’t have
to have sex because sex makes me uncomfortable and so even though my
marriage commitment includes a sexual relationship with you, it is not as
important as my comfort.  Both are very common positions in marriage, and
both are ways of taking advantage of another in the sexual realm.   

So, in helping to foster adults capable of loving committed sexuality, I
think the goals of our sexual guidelines should center around fostering
one’s ability to be in meaningful relationships—including the relationship
to oneself, one’s sexuality and desires, and the ability to be in
relationships with others, including relationships that are inherently
sexual (e.g. dating relationships), even if differing in degree.  

For example, attraction and desire are elements of our sexuality that need
space to be experienced and integrated.  This includes the space to develop
and understand sexual desire within oneself as well as in relationship to a
desired other.  It does not have to include full sexual expression, and may
not include any sexual expression, but there needs to be room to grapple
with desire and engagement with others in line with the degree of love and
the degree of commitment in that relationship.

I believe Adam Miller, the author of “Letters to a Young Mormon” captures
the essence of a healthy relationship to sexual desire:  The following is
excerpted from his book (emphasis added):

“…Remember that your hunger for intimacy like all hungers, is a grace not a
punishment.  … This hunger is different because it is not just a hunger for
food or air but for another person… The hunger for intimacy is like an
ocean.  It will come like a flood and you will feel lost at sea.  When you
were a child, you walked on dry ground.  In order to become an adult,
you’ll have to learn how to swim.  You are no more responsible for being at
sea than you are for needing to breathe.  And, though some may say
different, you are not guilty because the ocean is wet.  You did not choose
this hunger.  … However the particulars may vary, the task remains
basically the same: learn how to care for this hunger.  Caring for this
hunger will take practice and patience.  Be kind to yourself as you stumble
through.

“In Church, we say, learn to be chaste.  That is right but we have to be
clear.  Chastity, as a way of practicing care, doesn’t purge or deny this
hunger.  You are chaste when you are full of life, and you are full of life
when you are true to the hungers that root it.

“To care for this hunger, you must do just as you did with the others.  You
cannot get rid of your hunger either by pandering to it or by purging it.
 Both strategies deny hunger ...  Church-talk about sexual purity is meant
to keep you close to life and warn you against trying to end your hunger by
carelessly indulging it.   But while talk of purity may help constrain your
hunger, it can also conspire with the impulse to purge it.   And trying to
get rid of your hunger by purging it, even for the sake of purity, will
just as surely leave you spiritually dead as indulging it.  The measure of
chastity is life and life, by divine design, is messy.  If used without
care, aiming for purity is as likely to maim you as save you.  Don’t become
a slave to your hunger and don’t try to make a slave of your hunger.
 Slavery is sin, and sin is death.”

In line with Adam Miller’s notion of learning to care for this hunger, the
hunger for sexual connection, I believe our instruction and guidelines for
single adults and all adults ought to facilitate the goals of

1. Self-acceptance and self-knowledge around sexuality and desire., and

2. The capacity to commit to and care for another human being, in part
by being able to share one’s sexuality.

As one “learns how to swim” in the ocean of desire, questions that might
guide our judgment include:

1. Does the way I relate to my sexuality bring me into deeper connection
with myself and others or does it disconnect me?

2. Does the way I relate to my sexuality bring me into deeper connection
with God and with my integrity?

3. Does my sexuality bless my life and the life of my beloved, even if
that blessing is through restraint?

In either example above (examples of sexual excessiveness or
self-abnegation), both choices fostered relational and spiritual
alienation.

Similar to our relationship with food (or any passion), is the question of
whether or not the passion blesses our life or takes it over.  Does your
relationship to your sexuality (or food, or money) bring you pleasure in
ways that deepen connection with yourself and others or does it alienate
you from both?  Does it make you stronger and more grounded or fractured
and more vulnerable?

A Single Adult writes:

”I believe that sexuality is really important to human development and I
feel somewhat stunted/juvenile as a 31-year-old virgin. I also believe
strongly in the benefits/virtues of the law of chastity in the spiritual
sense and in the emotional/relational sense. I feel stuck.”

So , how do we think about what is right for our specific situation,
whether in a relationship or single?  

I believe that obedience to true principles matters, and so does following
the spirit in applying true principles to our specific situations.  I
believe wholeheartedly that the capacity to make choices in line with our
integrity, in line with our truest beliefs, in line with the spirit, is
essential in achieving spiritual adulthood.  Part of achieving Godhood,
theologically, must come from our individual achievement of wisdom, our
development of greater discernment and increased ability to choose
according to our conscience.   As Joseph Smith said, we should teach
correct principles and let saints self-govern.

What it means to apply the spirit in your situation, in navigating these
choices, will look different from others, depending on who you are and the
context of your choices.

A Single adult writes:

“I remember when I got a little older and realized that dating was
different than it had been in my early 20s at BYU. I found that my
clear-cut equations … that had helped me when I was younger didn't always
work as well in my relationships. Sometimes they held a relationship back.
I had to get better at … asking myself, "Can the Spirit be with me in my
relationship when we do ____?" That required more flexibility and also more
vigilance on my part. It also felt more like an adult relationship.

Another Single Adult writes:

“In terms of my own decisions about sexuality, … I pay a lot of attention
now to how I actually feel in any given interaction/relationship, rather
than how I'm told I'm supposed to feel (and what I've learned is that I
don't feel much—if any—guilt for expressing my sexuality in various ways in
the context of a loving, committed relationship.  I figure if God thinks
I'm doing something wrong, He is capable of letting me know.  Like when I'm
mean to people, or when I litter.).  Instead of asking myself "Did I cross
the line and break the law of chastity?", I ask myself, "Did this
interaction increase or decrease the level of intimacy in our
relationship?  Was this interaction born of mutual respect and love, or of
something else?  Do I feel like my agency is honored and respected with
this person, and do I honor his?  When I'm feeling vulnerable, is this a
safe person to be with?  Does the level of our physical intimacy match our
emotional intimacy?" That kind of thing.  In many ways, this kind of
approach demands a lot more from me in terms of integrity, courage &
compassion than simply worrying about whether or not I've crossed the "For
the Strength of Youth" line.

Another person writes:

“Bishops are many things but they are not experts on sex and sexuality,
though we treat them as though they are. Because of the cultural taboos
around sexuality, they may be the only person that individuals ever really
talk about their sex life/sexual issues with outside of a spouse or lover.
What should  leadership do to get a better handle on this, and how can
adults cultivate their own autonomy about these issues?”

Part of being wise in our decision-making is to let go of sexual shame and
self-rejection and instead to embrace our God-given sexuality as a gift, as
a part of us, as a desire that we are stewards over, even if the unmet
longing is at times painful.

Self-acceptance means being honest with yourself and God about who you are.
 It means honoring and serving God and others through your sexuality in
whatever context you exist, rather than trying to repress it or deny its
presence.  For some singles this may mean sacrificing the potential
sacrament of sexual union.  Many people have found ways to sublimate and
translate their sexuality into other forms of service and devotion to
goodness in the world.

Sexual restraint, the channeling of desire, can foster creativity and
determination.  When every urge is satisfied, we don’t have as much space
to work and struggle for what we desire.  This is one of the challenges of
modern society.

Recent research demonstrated when subjects were exposed to unacceptable
sexual thoughts or unacceptable anger, participants became more creative
shortly following the exposure than those not exposed to the forbidden
content.  There was a more punctuated effect with protestants as compared
to catholics or jews because researchers theorized that both Catholics and
Jews lost creative energy through excessive guilt.  Protestants felt that
they should not indulge the feelings but did not lose energy to the same
degree, in dispelling psychic energy through guilt and anxiety.  

I would like to think we Mormons are more like the protestants, but we also
get caught in unproductive guilt and shame for our sexuality, rather than
thoughtfully channeling our God given passions in productive and pro-social
ways.  

Again, there is power in self-acceptance around sexual thoughts and
desires, whether facilitating our capacity for intimacy with another or
 channeling those passions into other forms of self-expression.

In order to be at peace, though, we must take responsibility for our
choices even if they are hard.

We cannot depend on simply following what others tell us, taking refuge in
martyr-like obedience, if we are to live our lives well.  We must lay claim
to our beliefs and have the courage to stand by them, even in the face of
invalidation from others.

The following is an example of a single adult accepting herself and
asserting challenging choices:

“It was a powerful moment for me when I felt l could own my own sexuality.
 I can still remember (at about age 35) when I realized I was a sexual
being whether I was having sex or not.  For a long time I saw sexuality as
actions—and that was DIFFERENT from the life I was living (meaning, I was a
non-sexual person and married people were sexual people.)

She goes on to say,

“I have embraced my choices as I’ve grown.  I’ve taken on this attitude:
 ‘It’s my body, so I say with whom and when I engage physically.  And even
when that choice is NEVER (while single), that is still a choice I am
making for myself.  My choice has been abstinence.  This felt like a burden
for a long time, but since I’ve embraced it as a choice, it’s given me a
lot of power and I proclaim it more boldly now.  I no longer shrink from
the word “virgin”, but state it as a grown adult with a chosen path.  This
took a LONG time (and I’m still not fully there), because our society makes
you feel STUPID and CHILDISH if you are a virgin.  The reality is, there
are lots of stupid and childish people who are having sex.  Anyway, my
choice, of course, comes with a major downside!  It’s hard to embrace and
own sexuality when sex is not a “normal’ part of life.  Sharing a bed is
not normal for me.  Sharing a life is not normal for me.  It sort of sucks
and there is a terrible dark spot on the soul and a yearning that is never
satisfied.  (I realize that some married people have this same lonely
feeling..)   I’m forcing my body into a “non-normal” state and it takes a
toll.  But, because I choose this, I also appreciate the reasons why I do:
 I have a community of Mormon saints who love and embrace me, a strong
conscience that I am living my own way, and a feeling of safety because I
am not manipulated or abused.  Being single has many advantages, obviously,
so I embrace those.  And I do other things for sexuality, like explore my
body, develop close emotional relationships, love children, and make out
with men when I get the chance.  It’s not the same, but it’s what I’ve
pieced together and it works. I think people should be aware of what it
takes to be healthy and abstinent and view single members with more
respect. ”

Purposeful pain makes all the difference.  When you believe in what you are
choosing, you can endure much more—because you believe in the higher good
that the choice is creating.  Author Clive Barker writes: “Any fool can be
happy. It takes a man [or a woman] with real heart to make beauty out of
the stuff that makes us weep.”

In my opinion, this is the essence of the gospel: To be grounded in our
integrity.  This is how we create strength within ourselves—wherein we
align our behavior with our truest beliefs.  Not others’ beliefs.  Not what
others tell us we should do or think, but to live according to one’s
highest conscience, to live according to the spirit.  This will vary among
us, I’m certain, but this is the work of adulthood, and in many respects
single adults are pressured up against this reality in a way that marrieds
may not be.  Because married folks lives better fit LDS cultural ideals, it
is easier to fall into a complacent, compliance model of spirituality,
without challenging their own culturally-validated choices against their
integrity.   As I talk about a lot, spiritual and relational development is
to lessen our dependency on validation or agreement from others and to
increase our dependency on validation from God—who stands for the best in
ourselves.  God represents the ideals that will bring us into deepest
connection with ourselves, with others and with divinity.  I pray for you
and for all of us that we will find this strength and in it maturity and
the capacity for intimacy in whatever context our life offers.
diane gusa's insight:

Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife   |  I am a licensed psychotherapist and I hold a Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from Boston College where I wrote my dissertation on LDS women and sexuality.

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'Speaking to Students' with Audio Feedback in Online Courses

'Speaking to Students' with Audio Feedback in Online Courses | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
In this post I’ll share how to give meaningful and constructive feedback to students on assignments, presentations, and other works by using voice recorded files. Research suggests that students wa...
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How to Promote Critical Thinking with Online Discussion Forums

How to Promote Critical Thinking with Online Discussion Forums | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
Critical thinking is an expected learning outcome of higher education along with mastery of a studied discipline. Yet several studies including one outlined in Academically Adrift, suggests that a ...

Via Catherine Cronin
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Jeroen Bottema's curator insight, October 22, 2013 3:58 AM

"I make a case for asynchronous discussions and their value in developing higher order thinking. I recently facilitated a webinar How to Promote Critical Thinking Skills in the Online Class targeted to educators teaching undergraduate or high school students virtually. I include slides from the presentation at the end of the post. Below I highlight the required learning conditions for effective online discussions, and include excerpts from peer-reviewed papers that describe how asynchronous online discussions can promote deep, rich learning"

BOBGotte's curator insight, October 28, 2013 4:44 AM

I've been experimenting with an online discussion forum for my first year students. This article would have been helpfull then and will be next semester.

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How to Develop a Sense of Presence in Online and F2F Courses with Social Media

How to Develop a Sense of Presence in Online and F2F Courses with Social Media | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
Social presence is a significant predictor of course retention and final grade in the college online environment. Two effective interventions are recommended: establishing integrated social and lea...

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Infographic: How Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers Consume Content Differently

Infographic: How Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers Consume Content Differently | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
If you're looking to optimize your content strategy for your demographics, this infographic is a gold mine of helpful information.
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Unexpected Tools That are Influencing the Future of Education | Empathy | Social | eSkills

Unexpected Tools That are Influencing the Future of Education | Empathy | Social | eSkills | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Much of the disaffection with the school system stems from a pervasive feeling that the intense focus on formal academics has inadvertently neglected the rest of a child’s personality and humanity. While employers, psychologists and other researchers have repeatedly noted that social and emotional skills like empathy are some of the most important ones for success, many schools still lag in developing effective programs to nurture those soft skills.

Societal norms posit girls as being more emotionally intelligent than boys, but the subtle ways that teachers and parents reinforce that gender stereotype can harm boys, who need to learn empathy as an important life skill for connecting with others, problem-solving and developing moral courage.

 

Many of these interpersonal skills develop naturally when children have the opportunity to play together in unstructured environments, but free play is on the decline both in schools and at home. Researchers are now even questioning if lack of free play in students’ lives could be partly responsible for rising rates of depression among youth.

 

Learn more:

 

 - http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Empathy

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Daniel+Goleman

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=EQ

 

 


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Gust MEES's curator insight, June 1, 2015 11:36 PM
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Much of the disaffection with the school system stems from a pervasive feeling that the intense focus on formal academics has inadvertently neglected the rest of a child’s personality and humanity. While employers, psychologists and other researchers have repeatedly noted that social and emotional skills like empathy are some of the most important ones for success, many schools still lag in developing effective programs to nurture those soft skills.

Societal norms posit girls as being more emotionally intelligent than boys, but the subtle ways that teachers and parents reinforce that gender stereotype can harm boys, who need to learn empathy as an important life skill for connecting with others, problem-solving and developing moral courage.


Many of these interpersonal skills develop naturally when children have the opportunity to play together in unstructured environments, but free play is on the decline both in schools and at home. Researchers are now even questioning if lack of free play in students’ lives could be partly responsible for rising rates of depression among youth.


Learn more:


 - http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Empathy


http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Daniel+Goleman


http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=EQ


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Learning: It's All About the Connections

Learning: It's All About the Connections | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it

I've written about connections before in It’s All About Connection. Today, though, I was thinking about all of the connections important for learning. 


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Becky Roehrs's curator insight, June 1, 2015 5:42 PM

Jackie Gerstein shares the connections she believes "can/should be part of both formal and informal education".

Carmen Ramos's curator insight, June 2, 2015 2:54 PM

Vernetztes Lernen.

Jukka Sormunen's curator insight, June 7, 2015 12:25 PM

Keep this in mind when you start learning in Klassikka!

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Ten new educational web tools for teachers and educators ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Ten new educational web tools for teachers and educators ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
iPracticeMathPermission ClickListenCurrentWhispercastPresentiousDropTaskWowedBackchannel ChatImagination Playground 3DImakiku

©

 

 


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Could this overlooked component be the key to MOOC engagement? - eCampus News

Could this overlooked component be the key to MOOC engagement? - eCampus News | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
Researchers say formative assessment plays a critical role in student retention.

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Norton Gusky's curator insight, June 4, 2015 1:29 PM

Here are some key factors for MOOCs - formative assessment, peer interaction, understanding of expectations (rubrics). The article has a link to a larger report that goes into greater detail. 

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Meet Diigo Outliner - the best way to structurally organize your information and thoughts - YouTube

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eduCanon: interactive video. unleashed.

eduCanon: interactive video. unleashed. | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
Flipped and Blended Interactive Video Learning Platform
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Five Essential Skills Instructors Need to Facilitate Online Group Work & Collaboration

Five Essential Skills Instructors Need to Facilitate Online Group Work & Collaboration | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
This is the second post in a three-part series featuring strategies and skill development for instructors wanting to create, facilitate and encourage collaboration among students working in groups....
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Ten Reasons Students Don’t Participate in Online Discussions & How to Remedy Each

Ten Reasons Students Don’t Participate in Online Discussions & How to Remedy Each | Pedagogy and technology of online learning | Scoop.it
"Why don't students participate in my online discussion forums?" It is most discouraging for instructors when students don't participate in discussions or group work in online learning environments...

Via Catherine Cronin
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