Over the past few months I’ve been part of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) Annual Conference & Expo Planning Committee. What an exciting conference this will be as we are – Celebrating Our Past, Shaping the Future. 75 Years of Fidelity to the Word!
I did not plan to be part of this committee. I just happened to meet Anthony Marchica, Committee Chair, at the last conference that was held in New Orleans. When he heard how I was involved with shaping and forming an evolving ministry that is focusing on faith-based educational technology, Anthony extended the invitation to join the committee. I agreed!
If you are not excited about this conference, you should be! It is awesome considering that NCCL has been contributing to the gift of catechesis in this country over the past 75 years. Begin to reflect on what has happened in the field of catechesis over this time period. I invite you to share the stories that you have experienced in catechesis from 1936 until today.
What is of most importance is that we are all in the midst of a changing culture – often referred to as a Digital Culture. Some of us are comfortable with what is happening around us, others are not! Regardless, the culture around us is becoming more digital with each day.
Yes, we are in the midst of change! In the next 10 years – how we catechize will change? How? When I pull out my crystal ball I see the following – Many of us will be teaching courses online – with children and adults, Parents because of their busy lives will ask to have meetings via virtual tools like GoToMeeting, Students in their schools will be using eBooks in all of their subjects. Religion will be racing to catch up! More importantly, it is the changing mindset – that digital tools, digital projects, and more – will be important to our students and to catechetical ministers. The school world is very comfortable with educational technology. The catechetical world will need to study the Best Practices achieved over 35 years of growth and development in this educational technology field . What this means is that we will need to figure out how to blend the face-to-face (F2F) with the digital world that is emerging into our ministry.
As the NCCL Conference Committee stated in the 2011 Conference Brochure “Being ‘Tech savvy’ in today’s world requires a new skill set.” When you come to this year’s conference, you will have an opportunity to learn new skills through the pre-conference session “Our Covenant Story: A How To and How Not To Form Digital Natives to be Digital Disciples.” In addition, there are several conference Learning Sessions to enhance your “Tech savvy”:
- Viral Marketing of Your Parish Programs
- Digital Age Catechist Formation
- Collaboration With New Media Tools
- Social Media Communication – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube
- Read, Aim, Shoot
- The Symbolic Way Revisited
Check out the brochure on the NCCL website for additional information.
NCCL members, you may want to come one day early to attend Dr. Mary Hess’s Sunday morning presentation on learning media literacy skills through the creation of media. For those who are interested in attending the NACMP Conference, which is held before the NCCL conference, more info at nacmp.org.
I hope to see you in Atlanta for the 75th Anniversary of a wonderful catechetical organization. It is time for us to celebrate all that we bring to this ministry!
In this time of celebration, I invite you to share a story or two – about how the evolution of technology has enhanced what you do in parish catechetics? Think about it! We’ve used various tools and technologies over the years- drawing in the sand, stained glass windows, crucifixes, statues, posters, photos, filmstrips, 16 mm film, videos, DVDs, and now YouTube videos, and more! At this time of remembering, I invite you to share how you may have integrated the various mediums into your catechetical ministry. Are you using a blog? Are you creating digital stories? What have you been doing? And what are you beginning to dream about doing with digital tools?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
NCCL 2011 Video Credits
Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF
Elizabeth Thoman CHM – Healing Petals Photography
David J. Carr – 2010 Digital Trends – Ideas and Technologies
Winds of Change – Jap Jap (Animoto)
Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny