Credit: Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ
Lent is that wonderful season where we do penance! And what we do as penance will be different for each person.
Those who are immersed in “technology” on a daily basis may decide to retreat from their devices for a period of time as a penance. That’s reasonable!
However, I would encourage all who have digital devices, to determine how they could use their tool to enhance their understanding of Lent and to be a Digital Disciple.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
- VIDEOS – Once a week or once a day, view a video around a Lent theme. If you join Digital Catechesis (digitalcatechesis.ning.com) – It’s FREE! – You can search the video library to locate videos that others have found inspirational for the Lent Liturgical Season.
An example of a video in this library is A Lenten Meditation. Take a moment to view it and savor the message.
- If you discover additional videos that are not included in this video library as you search the You Tube videos, come and ADD them to the Digital Catechesis video library.
- After you have viewed a video, determine who and how you would like to share it with. If you have a Facebook page, share the link with a short message from you with your FB friends.
- If you have a Twitter account, prepare a 140 character message, including the video link in a bit.ly format that will share this video with your Twitter followers.
- USCCB Website – At this website you will locate a “Printable Calendar for Lent.” A daily message is here with references to other sites for additional reflection materials. You can easily find the daily Lent readings here. Looking for resources about Lent, just go to the “search” field and type in “Lent.” You will discover some wonderful LENT resources here.
I’m sure there are other ways we can be Digital Disciples with one another during this Lenten Season. I’d love to hear how you will use technology to be part of enhancing the Lent experience of your family and friends. I invite you to share your experiences by commenting on this blog post.
© Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF
As I was reading Isaac Pineda’s blog post “3 New Year’s resolutions educators should consider,” I thought – What New Year resolutions do we need to inspire our catechists in this wonderful 2014?
I invite you to share this post with your catechists, as we are in a year where the Digital Culture will continue to surround our ministry. We need to become Digital and Connected Disciples!
Become a connected catechist.
I love what Isaac says – “Becoming a connected educator (catechist) is one of the widest decisions that will have an impact on you, the kids you teach and everyone around you. But, what does it mean? It’s simply harnessing the power of technology to leverage your instructions. It’s incorporating technology in your teaching practice to boost student engagement and motivation. It’s a commitment to become a lifelong learner.”
How can we do this? Someone in the parish needs to lead others to become “connected catechists”. It may be your DRE, or there may be a tech savvy catechist who collaborates with the parish DRE and mentors others in the parish to improve their technology skills. One of the best training programs is Digital Discipleship Boot Camp. Read 21 Inspiring Messages and hear from those who have completed this training.
This program is now completely ONLINE and can be completed from the comfort of your home or office. The Winter Session begins on February 4, 2014 and the Summer Session begins on June 10. Check out the schedule and register here. Of course, if you would like a trainer to come to your location, we can work with you in a blended format where Modules One and Two are presented at a location of your choice and the other modules are presented online.
Once you are a connected catechist, then you become the pioneer, adapting what you have learned to enhance what you do in your classroom. Come and visit the following websites:
- Catechesis 2.0 – Several bloggers share tools that can be easily used for Digital Storytellling and more.
- ACyberPilgrim - a conversation about Digital Discipleship
- Digital Catechesis - A worldwide community for advancing the effective use of technology in all areas of faith formation. There is a wonderful video library here that members of this online group have shared and used in their ministries.
I invite you to come back to any of the three blogs to share your story of becoming a connected catechist. We need to inspire one another on this new journey! In this New Year, do resolve to learn all that you are able so that you can truly inspire your students to become Digital Disciples in this ever evolving Digital World!
Happy New Year!
Recently I’ve taken time to retreat to refresh and renew – body, mind, and soul. Little or no computer technology during this time! Thus my Christmas reflection is late this year.
After I awakened this Christmas morning, I sat down at my computer to share my Christmas wishes with you. What initially caught my eye as I began this task is the “Christmas Celebrated Near and Far” Associated Press story.
As I viewed the photo gallery, I was reminded that Christmas is celebrated around the world. Today we remember that our Christ came to us as a baby in very humble beginnings born in a stable surrounded by shepherds. Pope Francis in his Christmas Eve homily simply reminded all of us that our central cause as a church is to be attentive to the poor. How? That’s what we need to figure out on a daily basis.
As we remember and celebrate the gift of Christ in our lives, may the Nativity Scenes that are placed in our homes, churches, and wherever we may find them, remind us that we are gift to one another.
Here is the translation of the Popes Christmas mass night homily – Jesus is the Light who brightens the darkness. May his words inspire you as we celebrate this wonderful feast of Christmas.
© Cerveny, 2013
I was just reading 9 Outstanding iPhone Photography Projects to Try With Your Students. Dian Schaffhause has figured out how to use these wonderful mobile tools in the classroom. As you read the article, notice that she:
- promotes learning in the classroom through photography and video projects,
- has set up a small bring-your-own-device program, in which the students write up agreements that their parents have to sign in order to participate,
- covers basic photography skills, and
- provides a variety of experiences to learn.
I would encourage you to figure out how you can repurpose what Dian has shared to your religion classroom during this wonderful Advent season.
She has provided the basic steps. Now how do we apply to your class during Advent?
Here’s a suggestion:
- Make sure that you are comfortable in using your phone to take photographs. If not, ask your children, grandchildren, or one of your students how to do this.
- Go to your church during Advent and look around to see what is unique to the Advent season. Take as many photographs as you would like.
- Invite them also to take photos at home that represent Advent. Perhaps as a family they make an Advent wreath that they use during the season, or they have an Advent calendar, or ?????
- Once you have photos, then –
o If using a computer, go to Animoto and open a FREE account, or
o If using an iPhone or an iPad, go to the iTunes store to download the FREE Animoto app.
- If you do not know how to use this program, go to the Catechesis 2.0 overview at Animoto.
- Prepare a short script using the photos that you just took.
- Create your video
- Then share your videos with one another. There are various ways you can do this: add your links to an email message and send to your students, they can look at the videos when they get home or any other creative way you can share these videos with one another via Twitter, Facebook, the parish webpage, or ?????
I would invite you to return to this blog to share a few of the Advent videos that were created by your students.
Blessings this Advent season!
During the weekend of November 22nd, the film – The Christmas Candle will be showing in theaters around the country! I saw a preview showing of the film Thursday evening, I loved it! I’d encourage you to purchase your ticket and go see it!
Why? For many reasons:
- It is a holiday film for the entire family!
- The story – Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve.
- Filmed on location in England, depicting the 1890 time period where it is at the dawn of the electric age. There is tension between the legend and the coming electric age.
- The photography is excellent, I felt like I was in the midst of this time period.
- When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness.
In this winter and Advent season, where each day gets darker and darker, it is a time to be hope filled in the Light of Christ!
The story is also a visual experience of the lighting of the weekly Advent wreath with a reflection and prayer. If we reflect on our day to day lives, there are moments when we have lost hope! Yet our daily journey is to be a miracle to one another, offering the hope we each need to one another. Through prayer, Christ our Light brings hope to our daily lives.
For the Christian Community, the story unfolds a journey through the four weeks of Advent up to a Nativity scene. What a way to begin a journey through the Advent season – visually experiencing the lighting of the weekly Advent wreath with each weekly prayer and then witnessing the birth of Christ in the context of this story.
Filmmaker Max Lucado comments, “My prayer is that audiences of all ages will leave The Christmas Candle with their hope restored and faith renewed by the message that God has – and always will – work miracles. Especially, at Christmastime.”
I’d take it a step further to say – we become the “miracle workers” because we have experienced the Light of Christ!
For further information about the film, visit ChristmasCandleMovie.com!
I’m always looking for wonderful examples of what others are doing to integrate technology into the teaching of Religion. I’d like to share “Understanding the Life of Jesus: an INCARNATION CATHOLIC School Big6 Research Project” created by Rhonda Carrier.
Here is the project –
I encourage you to explore the project. For those in Catholic Schools, you’ll see how Rhonda has applied the Common Core standards to this project. More importantly, you begin to see how our students can be engaged with digital tools to expand and research faith topics.
Rhonda, thank you! Excellent project that was shared at IC 2013! For those who would like to meet Rhonda, I encourage you to attend the 5th Annual INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference in Orlando, Florida. Here you will have the opportunity to learn from Rhonda how she is integrating technology into the religion classroom.
For those who are catechists at the parish level, these are the kinds of projects you would like to learn about, as you can easily apply what you learn here with your children.
Rhonda, if you have anything else you would like to share with us regarding this project, we’d love to hear from your or from your students! If you have a question or two, please ask them here, Rhonda or Sr. Caroline will respond.
When I first heard about Pinterest, I was not sure how it could be used in Catechetics. Then I met Cyndi Rusk Marlow, Coordinator of Formation, at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Bardstown, Kentucky. I’m so glad that Cyndi volunteered to do a “Show ‘N Tell” webinar for INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS. Here is her Pinterest website.
For those who were able to attend the webinar, thank you for joining us. If you were unable to join us, here you will find her PowerPoint presentation –
If you are interested in listening to the Webinar Presentation, click on “Show N Tell” link webinar recording –
Show N Tell Using Pinterest for Minstry from Interactive Connections on Vimeo.
If you would like to learn more about Pinterest, come and visit:
As I learn more about Pinterest, I see that it is a way to curate websites that you would like to share with others. I use DELICIOUS , a social bookmarking website, to collect the links I want to refer back to or share with others. However, if you compare the two options, you will note that Pinterest is very visual and Delicious is plain and simple.
So, Pinterest is another way to bookmark your links to share with others. Which one would I recommend? Both! Why? If you know your audience is inspired by visual content, then use Pinterest! If you know your audience is primarily looking for information that is in ONE place and it makes little or no difference if it has a visual appeal, then use a tool like DELICIOUS.
In general, what is important, is that you choose a tool that your audience likes, prefers, and will use.
If you are using Pinterest, I would like to hear from you how you are using Pinterest. Come and share your stories here.
© 2013 Cerveny