Faciliatators: Dr Rosalind Lim, Dr Sunny Tan, Dr Alex Tang
Communications in Education
14 Wednesday Sep 2022
14 Wednesday Sep 2022
Faciliatators: Dr Rosalind Lim, Dr Sunny Tan, Dr Alex Tang
21 Saturday Mar 2020
Posted Communication, Community, community service, Compassionin
MCO Day 4 20 March 2020 Do Nor Covid Your Neighbor
Luke 10:25–29 (NIV)
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is probably one of the most famous stories in the Bible. Jesus narrated this story to answer the question “who is my neighbor?” Christians, along with the rest of the world, have their lives disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments are enacting draconian measures such as lockdown to try to contain the spread of this virus. Many Christians, like the rest of the population, are confined to their home with restricted movement. All this means an abrupt change in lifestyle. However, this did not negate Jesus’ teaching about loving and helping their neighbors.
Unfortunately, Christians were mainly focused on arguing among themselves on whether they should still meet in persons in their regular Sunday service, or to suspend these services. The decision was made for them when the government imposed the Movement Control Order which banned small or large gatherings. Now the argument is about whether to record the sermon and make it available online or to stream their worship service live. Pastoral care has suffered because many pastors are not social media savvy and did not know how to continue to serve their congregations online. Many pastors themselves are in some sort of emotional and spiritual crisis as they live very sheltered lives. They are still processing the disruption in these trying times. As a result, many congregations are suffering from a pastoral care vacuum and there is little left over for caring for their neighbors. It is time that churches become less inward-looking. Christians should be encouraged to look out for their neighbors.
First, many Christians do not know who their neighbors are, so this is a good time to get to know them. This is especially important if their neighbors are elderly and infirm. In this MCO period, they are unlikely to be mobile enough to go out to buy food and grocery. Many do not stock much in their larders. Christians can demonstrate their love by buying food and grocery for their neighbors. They can offer to send them to their hospital appointments. After all, since most Christians are staying at home, they have time to do so.
Second, getting to know their neighbor may be a worthwhile activity to while away the long hours during a lockdown. It is not standing at the fence to chit chat but to connect by phone either through voice calls, texting and even using zoom and skype. Communication is the first step in building a relationship.
Third, it is their responsibility not to infect their neighbors with the virus. If they suspect that they have been exposed to the virus either by not practicing social distancing or have had attended a large gathering where it is found later to have infected participants, it is their duty to seek medical care to check if they are infected. They should avoid spreading the virus by going into their neighbors’ houses. If their neighbors are elderly, they should not allow their children to play with them. Studies in Italy have shown that even though children suffer from a mild form of COVID-19, mostly fever and sniffles, they are potent spreaders of the disease to the elderly and those with chronic immune weakening diseases. Children may have played a major role in the spread of the pandemic in China and Italy.
Finally, Christians should pray for their neighbors as they pray for their families and church members. Pray for God’s mercy as the number of infected cases in Malaysia has soared to 1,030 and there are already 3 deaths due to the disease. Pray that God will halt the pandemic and save us all.
11 Monday Aug 2014
Posted Communication, Medicine, Paediatrics, Technologyin
22 Monday Aug 2011
Posted Communication, Malaysiain
Overseas readers of this blog and my corresponding website often scratch their heads in puzzlement at my English or rather the way I use it.
Peggy Tan highlights the way Malaysians speakee English
Asking someone to make way
Britons: Excuse me, I’d like to get by. Would you please make way for me?
Malaysians: S-kews / squeeze me, please.
Asking someone to find out what had happened
Britons: Will someone please tell me what has just happened?
Malaysians: What happenleh? Why like that one?
When asking for permission
Britons: Excuse me, but do you think it would be possible for me to enter through this door?
Malaysians: (pointing at the door) Can enter ah?
When assessing a difficult situation
Britons: Hmmm. We appear to be in a bit of a predicament at the moment.
Malaysians: Ayoh! Die-lah! Mati loh?
When declining an offer
Britons: If you don’t mind, I’d prefer not to do that.
Malaysians: I don’t want lah.
In disagreeing on a topic of discussion
Britons: If you don’t mind, Timothy, I do have to interrupt, and I must say I have to disagree with you about this issue.
Malaysians: What stupid idea! You mad and crazy ah?
When asking somebody if he/she knows you
Britons: Excuse me, but you seem to be staring at me. Have we met before?
Malaysians: Why you look at me like that? See what?
When someone is angry
Britons: Would you mind not shouting at me?
Malaysians: Cilakak! You no manners or what man!
read the rest of the article here
20 Wednesday Apr 2011
07 Thursday Oct 2010
Posted Communication, Narrative Theologyin
Something about story telling and community from the conference Catalyst from Learnings@Leadership Network
Jon began by posing the question, “Why don’t we use our best creativity to celebrate the Creator?” In his talk, he outlined seven things that a good story needs in order to create community. Here’s a brief rundown:
SPACE – every story needs space to let others tell their story within it. Give your audience a chance to step into your story and fill in the gaps.
BRIDGES – every story has a hook and a core message. A good story keeps those close together (bad stories have a disconnect between the two).
SURPRISE – we are an overcommunicated society, so you need to break through the clutter by being surprising, otherwise your brain will file something away as, “oh, I know what this is…”
HONESTY – in a world where we are obsessed with talent, people are looking for honesty. It’s really easy to find talent on the Internet. Honesty is scary, and it’s our job as Christians to go first.
PATIENCE – a following doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of asking, “How can I get more readers/followers?” ask “How can I give more of me to more of them? How can I lead generously?”
COMPASSION – Jon uses humor in his writing, but he said there’s a fine line between mockery and satire. Satire has a purpose. Seed conversation for ideas – but don’t chum the water for sharks.
MEANING – if you don’t have something that matters, people won’t stick aroudn to build community. Something can be viral, but that’s not the same – to change the world, you have to be bigger than yourself.
08 Sunday Aug 2010
Posted Book Review, Communication, Culture, Economics, Influencer, Internetin
Erik Qualman (2009), Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Erik Qualman is Global Vice President of Online Marketing for EF Education with extensive experience in e-marketing, e-business, search engines, and maximising the impact of the social media. Social media includes social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, twittering, blogs and the internet. Qualman wakens the world to a new reality. As he writes, “the world as it was, no longer is”(p.14). This cryptic remark is the key construct of his book as he tries to show how social media has changed the way people connects, communicates, interacts, and changes their perception of reality.
Qualman confirms what most of us are aware-that social media is changing the very fabric of our society. His chapter on how Obama became president is illuminative. The data mining of people’s use of search engine may predict future social trends is interesting. The little known fact that Pepsi, by using Yahoo’s search engine data, was able to predict Britney Spears’ popularity a few months in advance and are able to sign her up for their commercial is telling. Unfortunately this did not able to save her from the dangers of becoming a celebrity.
Social media especially micro-blogging such as twitter and texting, argues Qualman, actually makes people better because whatever they have sent into the internet will remains as a permanent record. While the records are permanent, it is debatable whether most people actually care about that-except maybe politicians and CEOs. People will continue to spin a more than perfect image of themselves online.
It is hard to prove that the economic influence of the social media is as powerful as Qualman suggests. People who are active in social media, called soialmedioraties, still remains a small segment of the demography which may not be identical to the demography that has the purchasing power. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile studying the trend especially since Facebook membership has reached half a million people. Still only a small fraction of this many people are active. Most will have an account with which they access for an occasional update.
In a people-driven economy, social media has potential for an increasing role. However as most of the people of less developed countries do not have internet access to this social media, one does wonders how this will translate to the rest of the world.
03 Tuesday Aug 2010
Posted Communication, Community, Culture, Internet, Technologyin
With a vision for a free online encyclopedia, Wales assembled legions of volunteer contributors, gave them tools for collaborating, and created the self-organizing, self-correcting, ever-expanding, multilingual encyclopedia of the future.
Jimmy Wales went from betting on interest rates and foreign-currency fluctuations (as an option trader) to betting on the willingness of people to share their knowledge. That’s how Wikipedia, imagined in 2001, became one of the most-referenced, most-used repositories of knowledge on the planet, with more than one million articles in English (compared with the Britannica‘s 80,000) and hundreds of thousands in dozens of other languages, all freely available.
The “wiki” in the name refers to software that allows anyone with Internet access to add, delete or edit entries. This has led to controversies about the reliability of the information, prompting the Wikimedia Foundation to set tighter rules for editors, while still keeping Wikipedia open-source. One thing is certain: Wikipedia will never be finished. In the meantime Wales has started working on Wikiasari, a wiki-style search engine.
“Wikipedia represents a belief in the supremacy of reason and the goodness of others. … From the respectful clash of opposing viewpoints and the combined wisdom of the many, something resembling the truth will emerge. Most of the time.”
27 Tuesday Jul 2010
Posted Communication, Education, Preachingin
My dear friend Rev Dr Tan Soo Inn recently asked this question in his weekly GRACEWORKSMAIL 29/10. Please read the whole ecommentary here. He mentions that he does not use powerpoint in his presentations but uses handouts. In support of his not using powerpoint, he mentions two heavy weights like Christopher Witt and John P. Kotter who allegedly do not use powerpoint and have their reasons for not doing so.
According to Witt, powerpoint is good in conveying information not in persuading, hog the audience’s attention and takes time preparing. All these three reasons are true. But is that a strong enough defense against powerpoint usage? Preaching and teaching are forms of communication. In any form of communication, there must be some information exchange. Communication must engage the audience and the speaker’s face (no matter how handsome) should not be limited to as the only area of focus, and while it is true that power point take time to prepare, it seems to me strange to be given as a reason against using it. In preparing a sermon or a talk, if we begrudge the amount of time preparing powerpoint compared to research and data collection, then we have missed the whole point of the process of successful communication.
Saying that, I agree with Soo Inn that it is the messenger, not the powerpoint. I will also hasten to add that it is also the message and the audience. Personally I do not differentiate Christian preaching and teaching into two categories. To me, all Christian preaching and teaching are evangelistic and for edification. There can be no separation between the two. It is the work of the communicator to distill the huge amount of raw data from his/her research to the core of the message to be delivered. Personally I have to rework all my sermons or teachings 3-4 times to par down the amount of information to the core or essential sermon or teaching statement I want to convey. Who I am, my communication skills and my powerpoint are the means to convey this core or essential statement.
As communicators, we need to study our audience. Gone are the days when they are able to sit through hours of sermons or lectures. It may still work with the older folks but the younger folks have a different way of communication, hence the new social media. In a post modern audience used to two seconds sound bites, visual and musical ques and multimedia presentations, instant response and feedback (via texting, twitter, MMS, mobile video), the challenge is for communicators to connect with them in an effective manner.
Thank you for this stimulating ecommentary. An addendum: as we learn homiletics to communicate, communicators especially Christian pastors must learn how to design appropriate and effective powerpoint slides!
12 Monday Jul 2010
Posted Communication, Community, Culture, Educationin
Technology is changing education. William Drummond explores using Facebook as a learning management tool and a panel explores the 21st century student. [12/2008]