Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Animoto’

Stations of the Cross

As Holy Week approaches, we will take time to remember the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus through the Stations. Why are the stations part of our prayer? It allows us to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death.

Following is a suggestion to engage your students in preparing to pray the stations in church:

  • Look over the following Stations of the Cross, and determine which one is best used with your students. You can assign ONE station per small group of students or if you have a small group of students, you can assign a couple of stations per group. This is their background information for the station.

Creighton University Ministry Stations
USCCB Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross Especially for Children
Stations of the Cross: A Devotional Guide for Lent and Holy Week

  • After assigning a station to a small group of students, ask them to draw or choose an image that represents the station. Invite them to prepare a short meditation and prayer (one or two sentences) for the station they have been assigned. There are various ways they can create their image from drawing their station on paper and then scanning to an electronic format, or using electronic drawing tools to create their drawing, or simply going over to church to photograph the station that they have been assigned.

(Or you may work with your Youth Ministry group, to have students photograph the Stations of the Cross that are in your parish church and to organize them in a Dropbox folder so that your students will have access to the Station of the Cross images from your church.)

Example of a PPT Station Template

Example of a PPT Station Template

  • Using PowerPoint (You may want to use the suggested template or you may wish to design a template) invite your students to create a PPT slide that represents the Station that they have been asked to prepare and add the image, reflection, and prayer.
Example of a Station of the Cross PPT Slide

Example of a Station of the Cross PPT Slide

  • Save the slide in two formats – 1) the usual PPT format and 2) the JPG format using the “Save As” function and for a File name use the format of Slide # (the number of the Station) so you will have files named Slide 1, Slide 2, Slide 3, etc. For FILE TYPE, choose – JPEG File International Format.
  • Now that you have the slides in a graphic JPEG format that can be used by video tools like Animoto and 30 Hands, you are ready to create a video meditation that can be shared on your parish website. Or once uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, you can share the link with your families on the parish Facebook page or Tweet the link out to the world.

If you are not familiar with the suggested tools, you will find an introduction to these tools at the Catechesis 2.0 blog. Come and visit:

Animoto 
30 Hands

The FREE Animoto will only allow you to create a 30-second video. So, to do a longer video, you will need to purchase either a monthly subscription for $5.00 or an annual subscription for $30. I love this tool and have found that the annual investment is a wise decision. 30 Hands Mobile is a FREE app for those using a smartphone, iPad or tablet computer. Check out the 30 Hands website for additional information.

What is so helpful about this activity is that you are engaging your students in a traditional prayer experience of the church – The Stations of the Cross – by using the technology that they are very comfortable with.

You may also wish to review the following blog pages:
Stations of the Cross and Virtual Journeys, and
Stations of the Cross Multimedia for Lent

Blessings as we prepare to enter into this time of remembering the gift of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus!

© Caroline Cerveny , SSJ-TOSF

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!

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.

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 

A Scripture Digital Storytelling Prayer Experience

So you would like to do a Scripture Digital Storytelling Prayer Experience with your junior high or high school students?  Or you would like to involve the young adults or the adults in your RCIA group in a prayerful digital experience?

Here is a simple process for you:

  1. Pick a reading from the USCCB daily readings.
  2. Forward the link to your students or adults.  Invite them to print out the reading or they may prefer to read it on screen.
  3. Invite them to find a quiet space where they can prayerfully read the Scripture of the chosen day.
  4. Ask them to underline or highlight the phrases that are meaningful to them.
  5. It may be helpful read the Scripture a second time, and to affirm the words, phrases, or sentences that have been underlined or highlighted.
  6. Then invite them to develop a simple script with the phrases and then to choose photos that fit the text.  (Note: They may wish to take their own digital photo’s or they may want to search for Creative Commons Photo’s that are located at Copyright-Friendly and Copyleft (Mostly!) Images and Sound for Use in Media Projects and Web Pages, Blogs, Wikis, etc.
  7. See example “Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion” script.
  8. Choose a tool to create a video.  I like Animoto for two reasons.  One, it is possible to create a FREE account and then create FREE 30-second videos; and two, the PLUS fee version is very inexpensive at $5.00 per month or $30 per year (as of April 2011).  There are other options, including using Windows Live Moviemaker which is included with most PC’s and if you have access to a MAC, you can create your video using iMovie .
  9. Other tools are described at Video Toolbox: 150+ Online Video Tools and Resources.

If you’re thinking, this is impossible to do in my parish setting, I invite you think creatively with this type of project.

Thinking creatively – “Outside the Box as they Say”

Here are several options for you to consider as you invite your participants to engage in praying with digital tools:

  • A high percentage of your participants will have computer at home, invite them to get involved with completing the project at home.
  • Perhaps those who do not have access to a home computer, can partner with someone in their class to work as a team to pray the Scripture together and then to create the video together
  • Or perhaps your parish school has a computer lab.  Here is the moment to create a partnership with the school and the computer lab coordinator/teacher.  Often, if you have a clear idea of what you would like to do, the computer coordinator/teacher will assist you with the project
  • Some of your participants will have an iPhone.  There is an Animoto App.  Go to the iTunes App store to download the free app! This will allow the student or adult to use their iPhone to take needed photos and then to use them in creating their video from their iPhone.
Animoto App

Animoto iPhone App

  • Another iPhone App was just created for Vimeo. Now you can upload, watch, manage and even edit your videos right from your iPhone. This is just the beginning, so stay tuned for regular updates with feature improvements. For now, go download it from the app store!
Vimeo App

Vimeo App

What can you do with the videos?

There are many ways to share these videos with your students, adults, and the larger parish.  The following are a few suggestions:

When you work with the Animoto website to create your video, you will notice that there are several options.

  • Notice the various choices – share, embed, Download, and Export

Animoto Share

  • When you click on “Share” notice that you are able to share the video via
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Email
    • Add to your eBlogger or WordPress blog accounts

Animoto Share

  • You will also notice that you can share your link with other Web 2.0 services.  All you need to do is to decide what services best fit your class and parish.

Animoto Share

Here is a video example for you, Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion —

You can add comments to this video which will also show up on your Facebook account.

As you begin to imagine

Yes, there are a variety of ways of sharing the fruit of your prayer with those in your class, RCIA group, or parish.  And as we share, we continue to evangelize others with the gifts of our digital prayers.

I am currently reading Eugene Gan’s, Infinite Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media. He captures in so many ways why we need to be creators of web content.  Here is what he says:

We “make” media that leads people to the truth when we use our blogs or Facebook pages not just to gossip or report on the more mundane aspects of our life, but to talk about what really matters to us and why.  Our blog can be a vehicle for articulating our struggles with the culture, our questions about the Faith, or our journey to God.  In online forums we can evangelize, and on social networking sites we can post interesting articles about faith or culture that can spark discussions among friends from various viewpoints.  Even posting pictures of our children on a social networking site can communicate some of the truth about Catholic family life.  In all those ways, our use of the social media reflects and promotes an understanding of truth.  

Next week’s post

As we celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 24th I will be celebrating Easter with friends.  I will post the next article on Wednesday, April 27.  Come join in the conversation that I will begin with NCEA workshop participants around the topic of being a  Digital Age Catechetical Leader.

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

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