Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Archive for November, 2013

An iPhone Advent!

advent-2

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!

Sharing the Light!

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!

 

Understanding the Life of Jesus

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!  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.

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