In March I went to a training called Discipleship Multiplication Training (DMT) in Lisbon. I wrote a little bit about it after the training was done. During that time I really felt God pushing on my heart telling me that I was going to do something with this curriculum. I thought it was going to be specifically with the curriculum that was used during our training, but God had other plans.
Within a few weeks we were discussing the possibility of eDOT playing a major role in the creation of a new DMT curriculum targeted towards reaching immigrants. The other two guys in the office never saw that coming…but I did!
The DMT trainings were already being planned and a grant for the curriculum/training was already obtained, all that was left to do was the curriculum itself. The grant requires that a certain number of trainings are completed within just under a year and a half. Our first training is planned for October and in order to get a curriculum written in time for it to be used at that training, we have a lot of work to do.
In the next month we will be reading a lot of material in preparation for beginning the curriculum. Neither of us, that are working on the project, are subject matter experts so next month I will be taking a trip to Chicago (and Toledo of course!) to sit down and have a very packed four days of meetings with a content expert. During those four days we will discuss anything and everything that we can, tied to the curriculum, and what he invisions for the trainings. The nice thing, that this trip will allow for, is time to ask questions and get answers immediately. E-mail is great, but when you are working on a curriculum, a lot of questions come up and will need answering sooner rather than later.
This curriculum will definitely stretch my skills and abilities to the max, but I am very excited to be able to develop something from the ground up. During the project we will be posting short articles about the instructional design process and I invite you to check out eDOT’s website to watch as we progress along in this project.
For the third post of the outcomes of our strategic guessing, I wanted to highlight one of the two curricula that I will be helping to design.
I have been working on an ESL (English as a second language) curriculum, based on the 3rd movie in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As of right now there is no technology involved in this project, so I have been secunded to EuroTeam to help.
The idea for the curriculum is to be used at a camp for teenagers who want to learn English. We are designing it to be used at a specific camp in Germany, but ideally it could be used in any number of locations and situations. Basically once this curriculum is finished it will be available to any partners who would like an ESL curriculum.
This is the first project that I have been able to work on that uses the unique skills with which God has blessed me. Instructional design is an often misunderstood process that is often overlooked as well. It’s not that you need special training in order to do instructional design, but you do need an understanding for how people learn and in what ways you can craft a lesson to reach as many people as possible.
It has been a great experience so far and I am learning a lot while doing this project. I am looking forward to finishing this project and getting to see it in action later this year. Hopefully it will be used throughout the world so that while learning English these teenagers can learn about God in a non-threatening way.
On Monday I started a series of blogs highlighting some of the projects that I will be a part of stemming from our strategic guessing last week. Monday was all about getting grants for projects and today is about networking.
Now some people may wonder how networking is a project on which someone can work, so let me explain. Here are some of our goals (I say some, because we are starting this from the ground up and haven’t established everything yet.):
- Create a network of universities in the US (and maybe other countries as well) that will partner with us for the following:
- Speaking opportunities
- Attend conferences to establish partner relationships with other ministries for the following:
- New projects
- Help in current and future projects
Why is this a project we are working on?
That is a very good question, to which I can hopefully give an understandable answer. Let me look at the university network first. As a part of our strategic guessing we came up with a list of over 40 projects on which we are currently working or see ourselves starting within the next year. There are 4 full-time and two part-time staff on eDOT so that is a huge list. Some of the projects are relatively short, but others will take a large chunk of time.
That is where the interns could work out well for us. As with most of our partnerships we want it to be a reciprocal relationship and interns are just that. We would offer them first-hand technology or instructional design experience and they would help us finish projects.
Beyond that we would also love to increase our full-time team, but people with the skills we need don’t always know this opportunity even exists (including myself just a few years ago). If we can speak to the education and computer science students and show them how they can increase God’s Kingdom with their skills, I think we can accomplish just that.
Attending conferences is similar in that the more we attend, participate and get the word out about what eDOT does, the more projects and partnerships we will have. This also allows us to concentrate on what we do well and refer others to one of our partners who excel in an area we do not.
How is that going to work?
This is a trickier question to answer because, quite frankly, we do not know. We have attended conferences before so that isn’t hard to do (I will have to be extra-extroverted though for sure), but we need to find some and hopefully speak at some, therefore supplementing our future attendance.
Again, the university network is the trickier part. Right now we are putting together a list of the universities to which each of us has a connection and then we will proceed with connecting with the university and discussing requirements, possibilities, etc.
Like I said we are building this from the ground up, so if you have any connections to conferences or universities and want to share, please let me know. we would be very happy to connect with anyone who might be able to help us maximize our ability to change the world for Christ!
Last week eDOT all got together in Kandern and started a time we were calling strategic guessing. I wrote a blog about why we called it that, so if you want to check that out go ahead and come back here when you are done.
Our goals were to discuss the past year and look forward to the next trying to see where God is leading us and what possible projects He has been placing on our hearts. All of us came out of the week with our own action plan. Mine included a few projects and I would like to take a couple blogs to share what those projects will be. The first project I will be working on is getting grants for eDOT and the other projects we are working on.
Being a technology mission we have many reasons why keeping up to date with the current technology is important. Do we need to own every new piece of technology? No, not really, but sometimes we do need to upgrade our equipment. Do we need to attend every conference or take courses to continue learning about current technologies and techniques? Also no, but again, we do need to be keeping up to date so we aren’t using something way out of date like someone using an abacus to do math in college right now. Money is needed and grants are a great way for us to get some assistance with specific projects.
My job in this project will be to research some grants that fit our current or potential projects and then pass it off to the people skilled at writing the grants.
Here is where I could use some help. Anyone have any resources or connections that could help us find some grants?
Next week begins a time for us in eDOT where we examine what projects we are currently running and what projects will be upcoming in the next year. This year we are calling it “Strategic Guessing.” It is a little different for me to not call it strategic planning, but the name is growing on me.
The name “strategic planning” makes it sound like we have control over something, which in reality we don’t. “Strategic guessing” shows that while we can “plan” as much as we want, there is no guarantee that any of this will be our focus in 11 months, let alone a week or two. I think the idea behind the name change was so we could be more open to potential new partners and projects within the next year and more importantly to how God is directing eDOT in ways we can not even imagine. We are still going to plan as much as we can, but we will be keeping that open mind.
No matter what we call it though I am looking forward to this time. I’m excited to have the other three eDOTers come in from the US, for the week of time that my supervisors have been planning and for the weekend after where we can all relax and get to know each other on our short retreat.
I’m a planner, so it should come as no big surprise that I am looking forward to the “guessing” time, but it is more than seeing what we might be doing in the next year. We will also be talking about what God has been doing, is doing and where we think He is leading us.
I will try to do a couple updates next week during the “guessing” time, but I am looking forward to sharing after we have finished our time together.