Character-izing my classes? A request for comment

Larry Croft and Deanna Jones can’t find the lost ark, no matter how many tombs they raid.I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of reskinning some of my assignments and classroom resources to feature fictional characters who would guide students through various activities. I “piloted” one such assignment  in my first-year Old Testament course, and it seemed to go over well. But I’m curious as to what Higgaion readers might think.

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Believe it or not, it’s just me

sam-wilson-as-captain-americaOver the last ten years or so, I have accumulated domain names and blogs like something that accumulates things. I’ve been working on paring things back so that all my blogging, whether it’s about professional and intellectual matters (the Tanak, teaching and learning), recreational activities (games, movies, and comics), or personal stuff (family news), will now be in one place—right here at Higgaion. It turns out (no drama in this reveal) that I am fairly poor at time management, and that’s probably the number one reason that Higgaion blogfades from time to time. Trying to manage multiple blogs and podcasts and so forth was a big contributing factor. But another truth is that I miss interacting with the Bible bloggers, and with online folks who share my other interests. So here we go again.

A new home for Higgaion

For various reasons, I have moved Higgaion to a new URL. The old drchris.me/higgaion URL will redirect here for a while, until its hosting contract runs out. After that, it won’t work any more. Please update your bookmarks, RSS readers, and so forth to point to theheards.us/chris instead. If you’re updating RSS feeds, scroll to the bottom of the sidebar for convenient links.

Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll even write something worthwhile again.

Snippets from the history of gameful learning

A collection of old gamesIs this a keyboard I see before me, its letters toward my hand? Why, it certainly is, and now I find myself writing the first Higgaion post in quite a long time. I’m working with some other Pepperdine folk on a workshop intended to encourage and support what we call “gameful learning.” We use this term to describe everything from using games and simulations in class to structuring entire courses like alternate reality games.

While typing an e-mail to one of my colleagues, I noticed that my Mac’s built-in dictionary doesn’t recognize the word gameful, so I decided to investigate the word using Google’s Ngram Viewer. I found a few interesting snippets.

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Martin Luther on astrology

“… Augustine condemned all astrology. Although it contains much superstition, yet it should not be entirely despised, for it is wholly given up to the observation and consideration of divine themes, a zeal and diligence most worthy of human beings. Therefore we find that many most highly talented and excellent persons have exercised themselves in astrology and obtained pleasure from it.” — Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, vol. 1 (ed. John Nicholas Lenker, 1904), 74

Not that Luther was ever reluctant to disagree with Augustine, but I can’t help wondering which “highly talented and excellent persons” Luther had in mind, and why they were so important to him that he characterized astrology as good clean fun rather than pagan drivel.