Digital Orality – connecting with oral learners in the smart phone age

Truth travels slower than the speed of lie, (because we don’t make it engaging enough)

In a post-truth, fake-news, visually-stimulating, global-now, world people are used to presentations that grab them, connect with them, and entertain them.

That’s not always good but neither is it always bad.

Jesus told stories. The stories he told engaged with where people were at. The healings and miracles he performed were sensational and drew the crowds, his teaching brought old truths and radical new ideas in a fresh way. He was and is the embodiment of purpose and meaning, but also of joy and fun.

Some Christians don’t have a well thought out theology of fun. But perhaps it is something we are learning to recapture. Celebration can be serious, and laughter isn’t appropriate everywhere but when St Paul told everyone to be “joyful” he didn’t add “but don’t smile”.

This video from Paul Konstanski of Cru isn’t about the theology of fun and you’ll smile rather than laugh, but it is about using elements of Design , Story, Empathy, Symphony, Meaning, and Fun (originally proposed by Daniel Pink) to connect with the World’s 5 billion oral learners*.digitalorality

This video is well worth watching from beginning to end but if you don’t think you have 18 minutes you can just start at one of the (many) good bits (the beginning is good too: eg life before TV remotes , the power brokers before the internet , Daniel Pink’s 6 Conceptual senses

* Many people alive today don’t remember life before TV remotes, let alone life before smart phone. When I was a child people couldn’t fast forward, rewind or instantly change channels in search of something more interesting.

The presentation is both about how to engage oral preference cultures that may be largely pre-literate and those who are becoming post literate (ie multiple digital literacies rather than just text).

This may not be the first, or last time you here about this presentation. I watched this online in a virtual meeting with of 25 people across multiple time zones. Before the meeting ended I’d been copied into an email recommending we watch it again with another group.


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