Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Archive for November, 2011

Sharing our Wisdom

To all our wonderful catechists and Diocesan Staff who are tech savvy!  During this wonderful Advent season, I invite you to share your tech wisdom with one another.

Technology Wisdom

I’m sure you remember how intimidating it can be to integrate new tech tools into your catechetical ministry.

I’m inviting anyone who is doing something with technology in their ministry to share their wisdom with our faith-based audience (we’re over 500 catechetical tech mentors right now).

I’d like to create a booklet for catechists and DRE’s who need help incorporating technology into their catechetical ministry.  It’s your thoughts and ideas that are important today!  You are the trail blazers – exploring and trying out these new tools with your students.

As many of you are aware, the power of technology can transform learning sessions and change participants lives.  Your stories are the ones I would like to tell – real tips from real catechists.

If you would like your comments to be included in an online FREE booklet, please send your information to me via the Blog Contact form .  Or, simply add your comment to this blog post.  I’ll bring your thoughts and suggestions together in ONE PDF booklet to share with all of our readers.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Remember to click the “Like” button.  This is a simple way to say “Thank you for your sharing!”

Engage Parents Through a Blog Site

One of my favorite training websites is hosted by SimpleK12Team!  Just recently they highlighted how a blog could be used to engage parents.

Does this sound familiar?  “Are you tired of the ‘bottomless backpack’ and the mysterious, vanishing handouts? You hand students papers to give to their parents, and they’re never seen again.”

Their suggestion – set up a class blog!

Find out how to engage parents through a blog here:

http://www.youtube.com/simplek12team#p/u/20/TPzy5Rcga04

Of course, there are many ways you can use a blog in your religion classroom.  For example, parents love to see their child’s work that they do in your class.  With a blog, you have a great medium to display and show off students work for all their parents to see.  If you’re projects are created using traditional methods (e.g., paper and crayons), here’s where you can involve the youth group to help scan and prepare the class work so that it can be in a digital format.

Most children in the home environment, use a computer or a tablet (iPad, etc).  There are apps like Animoto (free), Drawing Pad, Screen Chomp and others that students can use to create a project.  When they have completed their task, they can email the link (or embed code) to you.  You can then add this information to the class special project page.  This assignment can be described on your blog and parents can direct their child to work on this project.

Would love to hear from you how YOU are using a blog to communicate with your parents!  I invite you to share your story here!

I have two examples to share with you.  One represents a music teacher – http://mrsmcivorsmusicblog.blogspot.com.  The other represents another elementary educator in a regular classroom –  http://carsonsbrighteyedbears.blogspot.com.  As you review these examples, note how each teacher provides brief and helpful information to their parents.

Remember to click the “Like” button, if you learned something today!

Trouble viewing on YouTube? Try viewing on Vimeo 

Strengthening Our Families

Lake Barkley in Western Kentucky

Lake Barkley

I’m at the Mid-South Catholic Leadership Conference this week and living in the beauty of a fall hideaway – Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Western Kentucky.  Florida may be warm, but Kentucky is beautiful in late fall! Thank you for the opportunity to share not only in the beauty of this land and your friendships, but to also share in the reflections of these days – Strengthening Our Families.

Of course I’m here to give a couple of workshops related to technology.  The first is titled “Collaborating Parishes & Schools: Doing Technology Together.” The second will focus on Digital Discipleship.  So, how does technology strengthen our families?

As I/We explore this question in these two workshops, what needs to be remembered is that technology is simply a tool that may be used for communication, learning, and overall management of our parish and school memberships through our collective databases.  The challenge is that we are NOT just a number in the database!  We are humans seeking love and relationships with a parish community and our God.

But how do we do this with technology?  My response is – with a great deal of thought and careful reflection.  Technology is simply a tool!  It is NOT the messenger.  Technology can be the delivery system!  It is not the message!

However, the world and tools that surround us clearly expose us to a new culture and language.  If I were to travel in a Spanish speaking land, I would learn quickly that to survive, my ability to speak English would not get me far.  For basic survival, I would need to learn the Spanish words for – eating, housing, travel, to say good morning or please and thank you!   However, if I wanted to live in Spain for the rest of my life I would end-up doing one of the following (1) either learning the language and culture so that I would become a near native and be able to conduct everyday business as a near native, or (2) find an English speaking conclave where I would live in Spain, yet conduct my daily business through others who were bi-lingual or (3) I would live in a beautiful hideaway (maybe something like beautiful Lake Barkley) where I could survive and not immerse myself in the everyday world of Spanish speaking Spain.

There are always choices! And to learn anything new takes time and patience!  More importantly, you have a reason to learn about the rapidly evolving technology that is becoming an integral part of our everyday world. If you want to learn about technology, you will!  And once you have learned about technology, you will know when and how to apply it to your ministry!  Especially how to use it in the –  “Strengthening of Our Families.”

How will we use technology in catechetical ministry?  That is still a key question!  Unless we really learn what these tools are about and how they can assist us in enhancing the message, it is like knowing the bare basics of a new foreign culture and language.  Barely surviving!

I invite you to share your story of how you are learning more about technology!  For those who are already comfortable with technology and are finding success in using technology in their ministry, what is your story? How are you using it?  Has technology helped or hindered your catechetical ministry?

If you like this post, please remember to click the “Like” button.  And yes, do join in the conversation!

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