Love, Love, Love.

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Yunus Chasma came to Edge Hill University to talk to Year 3 students about Sufism as both a journey and a destination.  He said that Sufism is ‘independent of any other religion’ and is a way of living and being. Students were introduced to the idea of Allah as the Beloved, and learnt about a lot of different Sufi Masters. We discussed ‘Who am I’ and what defines us and how we feel about Love (different kinds of love and the feelings associated with Love), we also discussed Love and the self. Sufism surpasses the laws of Shariat (the law) and instead goes through to Tariqat (the path), Haqiqat (the journey) and Marifat (the destination).

Students thought it was really insightful and awakening; Yunus made comparisons with Christianity (Jesus) which made difficult concepts more relatable and understandable, it provided a good perspective of a Sufi’s relationship with Allah. It was good to hear first hand what Makkah was like as an experience, Yunus was very open and honest. We really enjoyed the different analogies used (even if non religious) to help us understand, for example the Elephant story. We found that the visit was in the right place and was pitched really well.

Technology Enhanced RE

Paul Hopkins spent a day with Year 3 RE Undergraduates to outline how new technologies can improve teaching and learning and how assessment can be made easier with IT.

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Paul  pioneered the use of ICT in the RE classroom and has widely lectured both nationally and internationally on the use of ICT, e-learning and pedagogic development. He has produced CD-ROMs, TV programmes, academic papers, books and many websites. He has, and continues to give papers at conferences and run many courses up and down the country on RE, education and IT matters and has is, or has been, a consultant to the DfE (DfES/DCSF), QCDA (QCA), TDA (TTA) and BECTa on educational matters.  He joined the staff at the University of Hull in 2009 to lead the PGCE in RE but now works on a number of educational programmes including leading the Masters in  Learning and Teaching with New Technologies course and continuing to research into technology enhanced learning.

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Paul helped the students to understand the theory behind using technology as a pedagogic tool, considered issues such as access and e-safety, before moving on to more practical experiences of IT in the classroom.  These included using ipads, QR codes and a variety of websites.  The most enjoyable part of the day was saved for the end of the session when students showed the short videos on the 5Ks that they had made.  Students were able to go away from the sessin with concrete ideas about when and how they could use technology in the RE classroom.