Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

How to Make & Share a Scripture Story Video on Facebook

zaccheaus

 

Every parish has a Facebook page!  So what about creating a short Sunday Gospel video that highlights the scripture story of the day?  In addition, include one, two, or three reflection questions for the week!

Once created, you can add to your parish Facebook page.  Perhaps this is a project for your junior or senior high students or even your RCIA participants. It becomes a 21st Century way of studying the weekly scripture and sharing with others. It can easily be viewed on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Here’s how you can make a Gospel story video that will engage the creators in telling the Gospel story in a meaningful way.  Follow these steps:

  1. Read the Gospel

As you read the Sunday Gospel, have a highlighter in hand.  Highlight the “phrases” that stand out for you in this reading.

For example – Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Lectionary: 153 – Phrases:

  • Jesus came to Jericho
  • A man there named Zacchaeus
  • Chief tax collector
  • Wealthy Man
  • Seeking to see who Jesus was
  • Could not see him because of the crowd
  • He was short
  • Climbed a sycamore tree
  • Jesus looked up
  • Zacchaeus, come down quickly
  • I must stay at your house
  • Jesus received him with joy
  • Everyone began to grumble
  • Staying at the house of a sinner
  • Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor
  • If I exhorted – I shall repay it four times over
  • Today salvation has come to this house
  1. Go to Google Images

Using the search phrase “Creative Commons Zacchaeus” or “Creative Commons (image type)” look for images that will match the phrases you identified.  Remember you want to locate images that are free and may be used without violating copyright laws.  Here are a few examples for images that may be used in this video.

Jericho 

JesusinJericho

Z-Climb-Tree

Zacchaeus in tree

Zacchaeus in Crowd

All Grumble

Z said I will…

Z in house

House

Jesus

Now you have several images that could be used in your video

  1. Draft a Script

Once you have images, and have identified phrases, draft a script that you will use with Animoto (an online video tool that uses images, text, and images) for creating your video.  Remember as you draft your script to keep the phrases short as Animoto allows you to use no more than –

  • 40 characters for a Title
  • 50 characters for a SubTitle
  • 50 characters for a Caption

For example:

Text Graphic
TITLE: Thirty-First Sunday – Ordinary Time – October 30, 2016

 

     None
TITLE: Jesus Came To Jericho – Luke 19: 1-10

 

     None
Jesus came to Jericho

 

     Jesus Face
Zacchaeus the chief tax collector and wealthy  lived there

 

     Jericho Sign
He was seeking to see who Jesus was

 

     Jesus in crowd
Could not see him because of the crowd

 

     Z in crowd
He climbed a Sycamore tree

 

     Z in tree
Jesus looked up and said “I must stay at your house”

 

     Z in tree
Everyone began to grumble – He’s a sinner!

 

     Grumble
Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor

 

     Z in house
If I extorted – I shall repay it four times over

 

     Z in house
Today salvation has come to this house

 

     House
How have you experienced the seeking or saving power of Jesus in your life (maybe even in the past week)?

 

     Question
What are some ways Jesus has changed you?

 

     Question
How can you be a witness to Jesus’ transforming power in your life?

 

     Question
TITLE: Credits – FreebibleImages.com and Creative Commons Images

 

     None
TITLE: Blessings  – Enjoy a wonderful week

 

     None
None (Note: You could add the name of your parish here and any other short message you would like).      Fall Colored Leaf

 

Once you have a script you are now ready to work with Animoto, an online tool that uses your photos and text to create a professional video slideshow simply and easily.  Animoto is easy to learn and easy to use.  If you are unfamiliar with Animoto, go to YouTube and search for “Animoto Tutorial” to learn the ins and outs of this tool.

  1. Sign in to Animoto

Sign into your account.  If you do not have an account you can register for one.  You can create a 30-second video on a trial version. There are various options so that you can create Animoto videos that are longer than 30-seconds.  You can apply as an “educator” for a FREE ANIMOTO PLUS ACCOUNT. Or you can apply for ANIMOTO FOR A CAUSE. If you purchase an annual Animoto plan, you are able to create videos that are Full Length (i.e., longer than 30-seconds).

  1. Choose a video style

Set the mood for your video by choosing a video style.  There are a number of video styles to choose from.  Pick something that enhances your Scripture story.

  1. Add your photos/images

Once you have chosen a style, it’s time to add your photos.  You can upload files from your computer to be used in the template.  Once your images/photos are added, if needed, you can click and drag the blocks to change their order.

  1. Add titles/text to tell the story

Once the photos/images are added, click on them to add captions or click Add text to add a title card.  Remember to create a title screen.animoto-sharing

Test as you continue to “tweak” your video.  When you are ready, click on Publish.  You will receive an email from Animoto to tell you that your video is ready.  Once you have a link you can share in a variety of ways.

 

 

 

 

Click on image for Video

Click on image for Video

Advent Technology: Preparing for the Lord Jesus!

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the opportunity to visit some of our magnificent Duomo’s (Cathedrals/Basilica’s)  in Venice, Florence, and Siena Italy.  I’m back home, and reflecting on this incredible experience after praying in, walking through, and viewing the frescoes,  statues, and more that one discovers in  these incredible medieval structures.

First what comes to mind is how the artists of this medieval period used the technology of this time to express their belief and understanding of Catholic Christianity – primarily reflecting the saints and our Gospel stories.  As I reflect on what I saw, it is very obvious that the Church was a major part of the city – and the story of Christ is told in a variety of images – intended to inspire and nurture the spiritual life of those who were visitors to this church.

Over the next four weeks, we will be preparing for the “great celebration of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus, (‘Christ-Mass’), Christians (Catholics and others) are invited to prepare to ‘get ready’, to make a place for the Lord in our lives and in our homes and to anticipate His coming. Deacon Keith Fournier

As we celebrate this liturgical season of Advent, I invite you to explore how today’s technology can be used to enhance our faith, culture and worship in today’s everyday world.  We are everyday artists with tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media tools where we can share our getting ready for the Nativity of the Lord with our friends and families.

How will you do this? Stop for a moment and identify your personal digital “city” – your Facebook friends, those who may be following you on Twitter, your LinkedIn contacts, or YouTube friends – the online connections you have.  In this season of Advent, how might you involve them in “getting ready” to make a place for the Lord in our everyday lives?

  • Invite your Facebook friends (and families) to create an Advent Wordle.

  • Tweet an Advent  related video link, image, or a reflection at least once-a-week during this Advent season to those who follow you.  For example:

If you are looking for suggested Advent videos, a FREE membership is available at Digital Catechesis where a Video library of over 450+ online videos are available to you.  Enter “Advent” in the search field to locate the videos for this liturgical season.

  • Form a group on LinkedIn that will be the place for those who are interested in being part of an Advent retreat experience with you.  You will find helpful resources for adult Advent prayer at Ignatian Spirituality.com – a Loyola Press service that features Advent Resources.

It is easy to create a LinkedIn group, just click on “Groups-Create a Group” and complete the form.  You now have an online space to engage others in an Advent Retreat experience with you.

I encourage you to use your digital savvy to engage members of your family, friends, or members of your parish in this wonderful season of Advent.  We now have tools to reach a small group or a large group that are easy and fun to use.  It is simply your imagination and being comfortable with these tools that will help you to discover and use them for God’s glory!

If you like this post, please take a moment to click on the “Like” button.  More importantly, would love to hear from you how you are engaging others in this Advent season with online tools.  Come and share your story by clicking on “leave a comment.”

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

 

Using YouTube Videos for Prayer

For those who are members of the Digital Catechesis Network when you search the video collection with the “prayer” tag you will find wonderful resources that can enhance your prayer experiences.

A few of these videos are:

Many of these resources are on YouTube.  I would encourage you to search YouTube for the gems that would be a wonderful addition to your prayer experiences.  Together let’s explore and find the videos that we can use to enhance our prayer experiences.

If you would like to join Digital Catechesis, please click on the link and click on the join button.  You will be able to locate videos that others have found to be of value to them or you can add your wonderful find to the group.

There are many wonderful videos on the YouTube network, that are FREE.  Even if you do not have the equipment that you need to display them in your classroom, you may email the link to your students and families via an email or embed in a blog post or who knows what other options you have!  You can use these videos to enhance what you are doing in Faith Formation with your students, youth, and families.

If you like this post, take a moment to click on the LIKE button below.

Copyright ©2012Caroline Cerveny

Teaching Religion in the 21st Century

We are in the midst of re-imagining the methods we use today in the classroom.  When I review a lesson suggestion like I discovered this morning titled “Jesus and Prayer  ” by Mike Amodei, I quickly ask myself, How could I teach this same lesson in ways that our typical Digital Natives could really become engaged with?

Allow me to share how I would restructure this lesson so that it is a “blended” experience of the following:  At home reflection, integration of technology, small group sharing, and maximizing the F2F time in the classroom, and encouraging our students to become Digital Disciples.

Part 1

The week before this lesson, I would email members of the class with a message similar to the following:

Dear (Student Name):

In our next class (add the date) we will focus on the occasions when Jesus prayed.  Using the online New International Bible version, please look up the following Gospel references that provide background on each occasion.

When and How Jesus Prayed

1. Jesus prayed when preparing for something important. (Luke 6:12-13)

2. Jesus offered prayers of praise. (Luke 10:21)

3. Jesus prayed in thanksgiving. (John 11:41-43)

4. Jesus petitioned his Father for many things. (Luke 22:31-32)

5. Jesus prayed from Scripture. (Mark 15:34)

6. Jesus prayed at the time of his Death. (Luke 22:34; 41-42; 46)

After you have read the verses, working in groups (link to a PDF file where the groups are assigned), create a video that summarizes when and how Jesus Prayed.

I am encouraging you to collaborate with one another using Google + Hangouts. Or, you may want to meet over lunch with one another. This way you can plan your script and implement your digital project.

I am suggesting the following tools for creating your video or multimedia project:

  • Animoto – Creates a 30-second video with images, text, and music.
  • VoiceThread – a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).
  • Vuvox– Use the COLLAGE feature for WYSIWYG online multimedia layout and sharing.

As a team, decide on the tool that will best express the story you want to tell about when and how Jesus Prayed. If you are not familiar with the tools, check out the tutorials that are often included on the website.  You may also want to go to YouTube and search for (Tool Name + Tutorial) for a brief video tutorial about the tool.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Blessings,

(Your Name)

(Instructor Note: This type of project can be used to encourage your students to use technology for faith-based conversations. A skill we want our students to have in this 21st Century. If students are reluctant to use email, then have the material ready to distribute to them on a handout.)

Part 2

Three days before the class, text or twitter the following to all of your students:

Jesus Teaches about Prayer – summarize and rate – http://www.quia.com/sv/593711.html the readings about prayer.

Note to catechists:  Using an online survey tool (e.g., (Quia – survey; Survey Monkey) you can convert the questions into an online survey form.  (Here is an example (http://www.quia.com/sv/593711.html ).

Part 3

For the class, you may want to consider the following:

  1. Welcome the class and make a few comments about the theme “Jesus and Prayer”
  2. Invite students to share their video reflection with the class about “When and How Jesus Prayed”.  (Note – there will be 3,4, 5, or more videos depending on how you structured the size of your small groups.)
  3. Have the summary of the survey responses ready to share with your students (You could show via a LCD projector or you may want to print out a summary of the responses to share with the students)
  4. Depending on the responses, you can discuss as a class why students feel that the prayer is – 1—very difficult; 2—difficult; 3—somewhat difficult; 4—no problem at all.
  5.  You may wish to have other questions ready, depending on the responses from the students.

Part 4:

Note after the class is completed, you may wish to do the following:

  • Add the project links to the class Facebook Group Page
  • Include the project links in the Class blog.
  • Invite your students to share their group projects with their FB friends, and add a faith-based message.

This is an example of how this lesson could be re-worked using the tools that our students have easy access to.

Of course, it may happen that a student does not have Internet access at home.  Here is where you encourage them to work on these projects via the school or local library.  They may even have a good class friend where they can work at their home with the home assignment part of the class.

More importantly, I’m assuming that you are teaching in a 21st Century Style classroom, where you are able to bring your laptop or tablet and have easy access to the following: Internet, LCD Projector, Screen, and Speakers.  If not, you do not have access to these tools, it is time to start advocating for them.  After all, we are now living in the 21st Century!  In addition, you have Acceptable Use Policies in place and mentor your students in being good Digital Citizens.

Would love to hear how you might adapt this lesson so that it is a blended approach fitting of the 21st Century.  If you feel that this is a good example of 21st Century teaching,  please do click on the “Like” button.

Using Facebook During Advent

Many of us have Facebook accounts.  But the question is – How are we using them?  Most of us are using them in a wonderful casual way to stay connected to our family and friends.  That’s great!  That is one of the key reasons we have a Facebook account.

However, once you have a FB account, you can easily set-up a Group!  Yes, there are three types of Facebook Groups:

  • Public (Open): everyone can see the Group, find it in a search and make posts
  • Closed: everyone can see the Group, but only members can see (and make) posts
  • Secret: only members can see the Group, see and make posts

Any of the group styles will work!  It is your choice!  Let’s say you will use the “secret” group option.  To learn more about this type of group, read the Social Media Examiner Post about How to Use Secret Facebook Groups to Enhance Your Business  you’ll notice that a business group may utilize this type of function. As you read this post, allow your imagination to consider how a FB group could be used in your ministry setting with families this Advent season.

To begin the conversation, I’m going to suggest how I would engage families in a weekly reflection on the Sunday Advent Scripture readings using a FB Closed group.  I would:

  • Create a FB group and remember to describe your group and choose and image/photo that will represent the group. (Note – Let’s assume that our parish program registration forms asks for Cell Phone number, email address, FB information, and Twitter handle. )
Description of Faith Parents group.

Group Description

  • Two weeks before the First Week of Advent, using the family email addresses, I would send a “brief” email inviting the families of the children that are in my class to participate with all of us during the Advent Season by taking a few moments out of their busy schedules to read and reflect on the Sunday Scripture readings.  Tell them that there will be a link to the Sunday Readings for them each week.  When they are ready, they can share their comment or question on our special group FB wall. Or, send a flyer home to the parents via your students and include an announcement in your parish bulletin about the group.
  • One day after the email is sent, send a “tweet” and “text message” to invite your parents to read the  email message from you.
  • One Week Before Advent begins: Invite each family to the FB group.
  • Post the Sunday Scripture Readings for the 1st Sunday in Advent, using the link from the USCCB Readings website.
Advent FB Reading

Facebook Closed Group

To get the conversation going, you may have encouraged several of your parents to post their reflection early in the week.  Make sure you check the posts at least once daily and comment back.  Remember, this is a place for a simple online conversation and sharing about what these Scriptures mean to you.

  • At the end of the Advent Season, thank  your parents for their participation in the Advent Scripture sharing.  You may want to use a Zoomerang survey to get feedback about their experience with this online faith sharing activity.
  • I hope that this article has sparked a possibility or two in your imagination.  More importantly, I trust that you will share your story about how you are going to use (or thinking of using) a FB group in your ministry with families, or youth groups (13 and older), or RCIA ministry.  Looking forward to hearing from you!  Join in the conversation!

Remember to click on the “like” button if you like this post.  Or, forward this link to other catechists who would be interested in hosting an Advent online Scripture Reflection group with parents, young adults, and anyone who is interested in sharing online.

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

Using VoiceThread for Advent Prayer

What is VoiceThread?

In the VoiceThread Workshop handout, it is described —

A VoiceThread is an online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents and videos) and allows people to make comments in 5 different ways – using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam) – and share them with anyone they wish. A VoiceThread allows group conversations to be collected and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world.

One of the best examples I’ve seen is Weather: Art and Poetry by students in Mrs. Mattson’s 3rd Grade class.

Now imagine how you could use this tool for Advent Prayer.

I would encourage you to do the following:

  1. Explain the season of Advent to your students.
  2. Break the class into 4 groups.  Group 1 students will work on prayers for the first week of Advent, Group 2 the second week in Advent, etc.
  3. Guide them in creating an Advent Prayer for their assigned week.
  4. If you do not have computers in the classroom you can —
  • Invite students to write and create their Advent prayer on an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper. Later, you can scan  this image to use in the class Voice Thread.
  • Or, assign the students to work on their prayer at home on their computers, tablets or any other digital tools that can be used to create a JPEG file.  You could use a variety of tools: MS Paint, MS PowerPoint – saving in a JPEG format, or Google Docs – Presentations, or any other tool that allows the student to create a text and graphic file that can be easily saved in a JPEG format.

If you have access to computers during your session, you can create the Advent Prayer during your class.

  1. Where students have an electronic file, guide them how you want to receive this file – via a thumb disk, email you, add to a Dropbox sharing file or any other way that you can easily receive the file from a student.
  2. Once you have the electronic files, you can add these images in the order of Week 1 through Week 4 on the VoiceThread tool.  (Remember you will need to sign-up for an account).  Here is also an opportunity to invite a high school student to work with you on the project.  You can briefly introduce them to VoiceThread and this blog article to become acquainted with the project.
  3. Once you have the Advent VoiceThread set-up, you can add it to your website, class blog, write a short article for your parish bulletin and invite members of your parish and families of your students to come to the Advent VoiceThread to add their comments and/or Advent prayer.

When you have your class Advent VoiceThread online, do come back here to share with us what your class did.  We all would love to hear about this project with your students.

Visit the VoiceThread website to learn more about this wonderful tool.

If you like this post, take a moment to click on the LIKE button below.

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

Word Clouds and Prayer

At the 2011 Catechetical Ministry Day for the Diocese of St. Augustine, I was invited to do a workshop titled “Praying with Technology.”  I must admit that as I began to develop the workshop, I was not sure what I would include in the presentation.

The insight I gained is that tools have always been used in prayer.  Tools like parchment to record our Sacred Scriptures with the psalms and words of Jesus as he prayed and more.  The printing press allowed us to create a variety of prayer resources.  We often use a pen or a pencil to record the prayers that we want to share with others.

In today’s digital culture, we now have different tools to use.  To name a few: laptop or desktop computers, iPads and tablets, iPods and MP3 Players, a Blog, a Wiki and more Web 2.0 tools than you may be aware of.

In this post I want to focus on Word Clouds.  There are several web   services that allow you to create a word cloud.  My three favorites are:

Let’s just take the words of the Our Father and create a word cloud with them.

Our Father Wordle Cloud

Our Father Wordle Cloud

ABCYD Word Cloud

ABCYD Our Father Word Cloud

Tagxedo Our Father Word Cloud

Tagxedo Our Father Word Cloud

You ask – So how could I use a “Word Cloud” with my students?  Following are a couple of suggestions.   I encourage you to reflect on how you might use a “Word Cloud” with your class, RCIA members, youth groups, and any group you are involved with catechetical ministry.

Suggestions:

  1. Create a word cloud with one of the word cloud tools.  These services usually allow you to embed the code into your blog, or forward a link to others via e-mail, or you just may want to save the graphic image of this word cloud to use in a PPT presentation.  You’ll notice in the graphics I’ve included that there are key words that stand out.   Perhaps the students could guess what prayer this word cloud represents.  Add the Our Father word cloud in a PowerPoint guided prayer at the point where you would say the Our Father.  When they see the prayer cloud, they would – in this case – say the Our Father together.
  2. Invite your students to go home and create a Word Cloud using the week’s assigned prayer that they are learning this week.  Then direct them to come to the Class Wiki.  They can “embed” the code of this graphic on their page and in 50 to 100 words, they can respond to the following:  When you pray (Name of Prayer), if you had the opportunity to rewrite this prayer in your own words, what would you say to God? Or, any other assigned task.
  3. Create a Wordle for 10 Different Prayers.  Then add these graphics to a PowerPoint.  As a brief quiz to see who is able to identify the prayer they represent, using a response system like Quizdom (or just plain cell phones and Poll EveryWhere invite the students to identify the prayers that the word clouds represent.

As you become comfortable with “word clouds”, and use this type of activity with your class, remember to come back to this blog post to share your story.  Your story is important!

Remember to click the LIKE button!

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

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