Doing an online program as a community! How does that work?
A significant aspect of our congregational ongoing formation is that we do it together. When we do, bridges are built and brotherhood is strengthened. So how does one create an online learning community?
Today almost every member has access to a device capable of connecting him to others across the congregation. We have Instagram and Facebook pages to tell us what is happening in Issoudun, the Philippines, and Brazil. Whole provinces and even the General House have WhatsApp groups for communal communication and to create broadcast lists to keep everyone informed. Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Teams meetings happen daily, We create communities online all the time, but in very different ways to when we are face to face. In person we notice subtle emotional cues and body language. Online we have to be more explicit in our communication, more aware of the limitations, more discerning of the ways in which the energy of a group can be elevated or depleted. The technology is here to stay. It adds a new and potentially exciting dimension to how we engage with each other. So we need to make it serve our needs, and we need to find ways to use it that are sustainable and life-giving. That requires us not only to adapt the technology, but also to adapt ourselves in the way we use the technology.
An essential element of all courses on this platform is participation in an online learning community. These communities are international in nature, take place weekly and, provide a unique opportunity for participants to learn from each other as they progress through these courses. The Orientation section of each course explains the process used in these communal sessions, their timing, and the technological requirements you will need. We will be using the Zoom conferencing platform. Online communal sessions can be accessed at 0.5 Creating an Online Community from within your chosen course curriculum. Access is only available to registered course participants who have logged into the platform.