Argentina: E-learning and curriculum

Just got back from Buenos Aires where I visited an on-line, e-learning project for an advanced catechetical certificate. In Spanish, the ISCA, Instituto Superior de Catequesis Argentino offers three on-line courses. You can register for a course only if you are in a group of 3 or 4 or more. Individual attention and help is given to every student, based on work submitted in compliance with assigned learning activities. Activities include both individual and group work.
As the of official training unit of the Catholic bishops conference, ISCA functioned for two decades with a large building that had become worn. When the new director looked at renewing the training program and faced the costs of
refurbishing the building, he found that costs would be unfundable. Moreover, students from outside of Buenos Aires could not afford the transportation and housing costs, let alone the time to get off work. Faced with this, the new director decided to go on-line and has had great success. He now faces a more difficult challenge: how to update the curriculum to include reflection about popular media culture as a source of religious experience and expression. The technology helped him make a change that reaches the pastoral agents who want to learn, but the church culture is proving to be more difficult in terms of making the change in curriculum.

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