Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Christmas-12

Christmas-1

With Christmas around the corner, you may be wondering how could you do digital storytelling with your students?  I would encourage you to think about using Mixbook!

Why – There is a wonderful Christmas template that has 25 pages:

  • Cover Page
  • Pages 2-3
  • Pages 4-5
  • Pages 6-7
  • Pages 8-9, etc
  • up to page 25, the back cover

More importantly, it is a tool that allows you to invite others to join you in creating a page.  Once you have an account and have chosen a template, all you need to do is click on  the “Invite” button and send the invite to them.

Your saying this is impossible to do because you do NOT have access to computers while you are teaching your class!  Well, many of our students have these tools either in their pockets or bookbags (e.g., iPhones, iPads) or they have computers in their homes. Or, you may be able to use the School Computer lab. Before you say this is impossible, I would encourage you to think of alternate ways this activity could be accomplished.

Last year, I watched as a group in my parish told the Christmas story outdoors at the church.  I regret now that I only took a few photos as I’d love to show you more of how you could develop a booklet that would tell this story.

I’m hoping that they repeat this event this year, I’d encourage the junior high catechists to involve their students in telling this story using Mixbook.  How?

Step 1: Invite students to attend the event and to bring their digital camera’s with them.  Once photo’s have been taken, ask your students to upload them to the class Flickr website.  Suggested resources for you Use Flickr in the Classroom or Using Flickr.com in the Classroom.  This will give all students a place to upload their photos.  You may assign this task to several students as these photos then are available for all to use.

Step 2: Study the Christmas template.  This way you could make a few notes about each of the pages that would guide the students to what you would like them to accomplish.  For example:

  • Cover Page: Insert a photo hear that shows a scene in the story.  Add Christmas 2012 and you may have other suggestions.
  • Page 1: Change “A Christmas To Remember” to a phrase or sentence that identifies what event this is…and where it is happening.  For example –
  • Pages 2 & 3: Choose 3 photos that will go on this page….two are large and one is mini-size.  These photos will continue to represent different scenes from the Christmas story.
  • Etc.

To learn more about Mixbook, visit the tutorial .

Step 3: Once you have some idea of what can be accomplished on each of these pages, then look at the list of your students and see who you want to assign to work together  in small groups.  You may need to see which students live close to each other and/or who are friends and would like to work together.  It is also important to have some idea of students who may not have a computer, as you can involve students who have or do not have a home computer to be able to work together.

Step 4: Once you have your groups and you have outlined what needs to happen on each page, then you can invite your students to create their page (or pages) with their assigned tasks.

Here is a sample invite:

Dear Name(s) of Student(s),

This year we will share the story of Christmas with our parish by creating an online photo book of the dramatic representation of the Christmas Story  by members of our parish.  We will be using Mixbook (Link to the Class website activity) for this project.

You are being asked to work on Page(s) X – X.  (Now add your page note here)

When we have completed our Christmas story, we will share our work on the parish website. For an idea of what this may look like, check out our sample .

We’ll talk more about this project when you come to our next class.

Yes, there is some planning for you so that this project can be carried out.  But the outcome will be a contribution that you can offer to the parish website that will be a way to guide your young students in becoming Digital Disciples as they share a story – potentially with the whole world.

If you like this activity, take a moment to click on the “Like” button.  Later, after your students have completed their Digital Story, come back to share the link and tell the story of what happened with your class.

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

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