Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Are catechists becoming 21st Century faith leaders?  Let’s explore how this could happen!  PLUS, if you have a sign to share….you may win!   Keep reading to find out how…

Here are 25 signs that you are a 21st Century Catechist:

  1. You have taught your students how to find excellent Catholic resources that are now available on the Internet.
  2. You require your students to use a variety of Internet sources when they are creating PowerPoint research projects.
  3. You use a blog to communicate with your students and parents.
  4. You use a blog to engage your students in the study of their faith.  For example – Finding God-Week One.
  5. You use a discussion tool like Collaborize Classroom to engage your students in online faith sharing with one another.
  6. Your use of SKYPE in the classroom allows your students to meet and speak with Catholic leaders who reside in different parts of the country.
  7. Your students work on collaborative projects with students in other countries – like the Global Church Project (See pgs. 10-11) with students in Australia.
  8. Your students participate in class by tweeting their questions and comments using the #hashtag option.
  9. You have taught your students how to create a 30-second video prayer reflection using Animoto.
  10. You promote digital etiquette with your students helping them navigate and stay safe in their media world.
  11. You notice that many students come to class with their cell and smartphones and work with your pastor and administrators in paving the way to use these tools in your catechetical lessons.
  12. You have explained to your parents how a cell phone will be used in your classroom and have a permission form for parents to approve of this use in the classroom.
  13. You have engaged your students in creating an agreement that covers safety, etiquette, responsibility, and opportunity (e.g., If this project goes well, students may suggest future cell phone assignments.)
  14. Your students have interviewed members of your parish who have been involved in major parish historical events (e.g., the founding of the parish, welcoming the bishop during his parish visit, and other important parish events).  They have posted these interviews to a blog.
  15. You provide an Oral Quiz for your grades 6 to 8 or 9 to 12 students using YouMail and their cell phone.
  16. Your students have researched local faith landmarks (churches, shrines, cathedrals, historical home, statue or sculpture, etc.) and created a photoblog Web page that describes the significant features of the landmark.
  17. Your students create a study guide by working together in a group wiki.
  18. Your classroom budget is tight, but it doesn’t matter because there are so many free Web 2.0 resources available for your use.  (Blog example link here)
  19. You are aware that many teachers are utilizing educational technology options in their everyday classrooms, you read their blogs and join online communities to learn about their best practices, and then adapt these concepts to your religion classroom.
  20. You take your students on a field trip to the Holy Land in Lent and never leave your classroom.
  21. You visit the Vatican with your students and don’t spend a dime.
  22. You teach your students to respect one another and not to be bullies or cyberbullies.
  23. You have your morning coffee while checking your RSS feed.
  24. You tweet this page, blog about it, “like” it, or email it to another catechist.
  25. On the 9/11 Anniversary, you have found articles like “Out of Many, One: A Community Art Project” by Muriel Stockdale and other authors.

BONUS 26. You’re a member of the Digital Catechesis Community…or have encouraged a catechist to join!

SPECIAL PRIZE: If this post receives 100 comments (within 2 weeks of post date) with additional signs of being a 21st century catechists, I will pick one person at random to receive a FREE conference registration to INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS CONFERENCE & EXPO (January 23-26, 2012) in Orlando, FL and a runner up to receive a “Digital Footprint” t-shirt.  So comment now – your additional sign of being a 21st century catechist and PASS IT ON!

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

Comments on: "25 Signs You’re a 21st Century Catechist" (16)

  1. We’re helping folks become digital catchists by posting ALL of our video resources online for one low subscription price. Coming in January 2012.

  2. Wow! What a great list. I am new to your blog, but will definitely keep returning for fresh ideas on how to use technology to enhance our catechesis. I will also pass your blog along to our parish catechists.

  3. We are slow, but I am encouraging catechist to find ways to have students do on the spot research in their classrooms this year. Otherwise, all cellphones OFF. We are also working on Nos. 10 and 22.

  4. I will definitely be working on it! New catechist for Confirmation Prep. Thanks for more great stuff!

  5. I use a multimedia approach to kick off weekly PSR sessions in a 15 minute group gathering of K-5th graders. We use music videos, You Tube clips, etc. to help make our time together relevant and exciting.

  6. Part of my spiritual discipline is to Tweet a daily reflection on the readings. Make sure these are tools for your personal holiness as well!

  7. There is so much to learn – I do use you tube, and the drop box feature for student sharing, however, I want to venture out more.


  8. #26 On 9/11 anniversary you posted the Tagxedo word cloud with the outline of the twin towers and posted a link to Vatican Radio where a message from the Pope addressed to The Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, President United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ( Check it out!

  9. Valerie Shpak said:

    Well we are trying many of the points mentioned above. We are taking a lot of time to train the catechists to do many of the things and they are a little hesitant but trying.

    We have joined Epals and we are hopeful that we can work with a church in India.
    We have journeyed to the Holy Land and the Vatican.

    Last year the 8th grade students created class video projects to share with other 8th grade classes.

    This year we want them to create the Saints reports as either a video or a power point that can be shared in thier classes instead of writing a Saints report.

    The possibilities are awesome……

  10. Kathy Oberreuter said:

    Love this! I plan to implement these suggestions in my ministry this year! Thank you!

  11. Margaret Fortier said:

    We set up a private YouTube channel as a secure place to post videos. We present re-enactments of Scripture stories and video a song that we want participants to practice.

  12. Ellice Bedel said:

    I gained a few new ideas for ways to involve my teens using technology! Thanks!

  13. Sister Kathleen said:

    Love these ideas. I am using google docs in class for collaboration and we’ve worked with for student presentations. I’m always looking for new ideas that will enhance the learning curve.

  14. In our first week, there are 13 wonderful comments from a variety of blog readers. Thank you! To reach 100, we need 87 additional comments! So, we are moving along. Please invite your friends to add their comments and suggestions.

    If this post receives 100 comments (within 2 weeks of post date) with additional signs of being a 21st century catechists, I will pick one person at random to receive a FREE conference registration to INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS CONFERENCE & EXPO (January 23-26, 2012) in Orlando, FL.

    Regardless, a “Digital Footprint” T-Shirt will be raffled off. Who may win? Anyone who has contributed a comment in response to this blog.

  15. Nancy Ferrari said:

    The criteria means that “I am in process,” I guess. Some I know and are doing; others seem to be in a foreign language. But this does provide ideas and I will consult my digital natives to learn how to accomplish other suggestions. Thanks.

  16. Some additional signs
    You update parents about status of group trips via twitter.
    You use cellphones to poll your class using web based software
    You have thought about putting QR codes on all the statues and artwork around the parish so that you can have a scavenger hunt.
    You are the mayor of your parish or school on Foursquare
    This is a great list, and we need to keep our minds open to new ideas and possibilities.

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