Many of us over the Lenten season are deeply involved in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – the traditional manner of immersing ourselves in a season that calls for transformation and conversation.
Many of us are also “Digital Immigrants” in a world that is rapidly moving into electronic communication and global sharing. Perhaps this is the season where we need to begin to imagine what it takes to transform our personal mindsets that keep us in the “Digital Immigrant” Zone into mindsets that allow us to become “Digital Natives” in ways we have never imagined.
Perhaps this is the season to challenge ourselves to transform the mindsets that we bring to the Digital Table. How do we do that? By prayerfully considering how we could use the digital tools that surround us to bring the faith alive with our Digital Natives.
So instead of turning to the “tried and true” materials we have used for generations – the textbook, the diocesan newsletters we receive, and other materials – that are electronic, but really they are just traditional materials that are now in a NEW format – an electronic format!
Instead, especially if we are really comfortable with the content of our faith, I invite you to play with tools that focus on photo sharing or online videos and to use your imagination. That is, as you become familiar with the tool and/or the service, begin to ask yourself some questions:
- What possibility do I see here for using in my classroom (or group) for faith development?
- If I search using the term “Lent” what will I find?
- Once I find something interesting and maybe even exciting? How can I weave it into my class?
- How could I share this video? this photo? with those in my class or group?
- What can I do with Twitter?
- What can I do with Facebook?
- What can I do with any of the tools that I become familiar with to share the faith?
So, what can you do? Well, Let’s begin to look at Online Photosharing. If you’re not sure what this is, take a moment to watch the Online Photosharing in Plain English video:
Yes, there are several options for photo sharing. Which one you will use, is your decision. Adam Pash on his blog, shares what he feels are the 5 Best Photo sharing websites. Check out what he says about each.
One of my favorites is Flickr! I was playing with this website today – just asking myself —
- What happens when?
In this case I just did a search using the word “Jerusalem”! Wow all these photo’s that come directly from the Holy City of Jerusalem, created by folks like you and me.
My next question – What can I do with these beautiful photo’s?
As I looked at my screen, in the upper right hand corner I saw the words “Slideshow” and I wondered “What happens when I click on slideshow?” To my wonderful surprise, without copying, downloading, or whatever – there was this wonderful slideshow of beautiful images about Jerusalem.
Then I continued to use my imagination and wondered – How could I use this slideshow with students or with others? Here’s what I imagined:
- I could tweet the link – http://www.flickr.com/search/show/?q=Jerusalem to my students or in the bit.ly format – http://bit.ly/gsF0ET With a phrase like “Come Visit Jerusalem in Lent – http://bit.ly/gsF0ET or “Where is Jesus in Jerusalem? – http://bit.ly/gsF0ET ” Then when we met in our classroom, I could ask how their visit to Jerusalem went? What did they see? What questions did they have? What questions would you use?
- I could teach the students about Creative Commons Copyright and then invite them to create a 30-second video about Jerusalem using photo’s that they have found on Flickr. Animoto is a wonderful website for this type of activity.
- Sponsor a Church Scavenger Hunt. Give your students a list of items they are to locate in your parish church or your diocesan cathedral. Invite them to photograph these items. Then they could create a PowerPoint using these items and offer explanations of what they have photographed. The PowerPoints can be shared in class or added to your class website or who knows where your imagination will lead you.
- And ….
Our imaginations are limitless! I would encourage you, if you are not already using a photo sharing website, to choose one of these tools. Then to begin to imagine how you can creatively use this tool for faith-sharing.
My imagination runs wild, when I begin to use it. What about yours? Of course, what’s most important in becoming a Digital Native, is that you WANT to share your wonderful idea with others. We can all learn from one another!
What is your imagination creating? Hope you take a moment to share your thoughts and ideas here at a CyberPilgrim blog! I’d love to hear from you!
Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny