The third annual Interactive Connections Conference takes place Monday (evening), January 23 thru Thursday, January 26, 2012 at the Doubletree Orlando at Seaworld. The theme “Incarnating the Gospel in the Digital World” will bring together leading Catholic educators from around the world to explore the evolving role of technology in their ministries. Responding to Pope Benedict’s call to use new technologies in the cause of evangelization, the participants will get firsthand experience of best practices and how to incorporate them into their ministry. Attendees at the conference will network with others in integrating technology into parishes and/or schools and every facet of catechetical ministry in the 21st century.
Keynote speaker Fr. Lawrence Rice, C.S.P, previous Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Ohio State University and an Associate at Paulist Media Works and Paulist Communications, will focus on Preparing for the Post-computer Church. Currently he is a member of the Paulist Congregation team, as first Consultor. Learning sessions will include topics such as: Lead by the Technology at the Service of Catechesis, Mobile Technologies in Your Ministry and Church, Parish Websites: Tools of Evangelization, and other cutting edge outstanding programming. Attendance will afford you the opportunity to interact with passionate practitioners who are ground-breakers in e-technology integration into all areas of catechetical ministry.
A new feature is Speed Dating Learning Sessions! Here is an opportunity to meet practioners who are applying what they are learning to their parish ministries. You will learn about – Serving Busy Catechists through Web tools for Catechist Certification, Evangelizing Through Geocaching, Parent to Parent Podcasting, and more.
A featured highlight and unique offering of the 3-day Interactive Connections Conference will be spending one or two days – at no additional cost with the FETC (Florida Education Technology Conference) in Orlando, one of the largest, most successful K to12 conferences in the United States devoted to educational technology. This gives our conference even more access to cutting edge technologies and social media across the curriculum while being exposed to the latest hardware, software, best practices in student technology use and the opportunity to visit some 300 technology vendors.
If you are coming, I look forward to welcoming you. If you are not, join us on Twitter at hashtag: #IC2012. All attendees are invited to share their stories, insights, and learning’s in this space!
Do I need to attend the INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS conference? Yes! Why? It is ONE of the few places where you can gather with other religious educators and focus on the integration of technology into your catechetical ministry. When we attend other conferences we are immersed in our ministry world with a “dab” of technology in the program.
Come to IC 2012 and you will begin to understand what I mean. You are immersed in the culture and language of educational and social media technology. It’s like learning French, Spanish, Russian or any other language. I can learn to speak a few words of French or any language for that matter. However, to really speak a foreign language it is best to be immersed in the culture of the country where the language is spoken on a daily basis.
That’s right – to become a native – it is important to “immerse” yourself in the language and culture of the country. It is the same today with “technology!” If you are an immigrant, and most of us who are older than 30, are Digital Immigrants! It takes time, patience, and immersing ourselves in this ever evolving Digital World.
Yes, on Monday evening and Tuesday, we are focused on issues of Pastoral Technology. Check out the program. INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS co-locates with the Florida Educational Technology Conference. Why, for four simple reasons:
- Our faith students come from public schools where technology is an integral part of the daily curriculum. We need to know and understand the educational technology culture that our faith students are exposed to on a daily basis. If we do not integrate this culture into our learning experiences, we will appear outdated and antiquated to our Digital Natives in our teaching practices.
- To benefit by what we are exposed to in the Exhibit Hall. Many of the exhibitors provide mini-workshops to highlight new products and services for educators. I often spend a whole day in the Exhibit Hall. New services, new ideas, and new connections are very important to stay on the cutting edge.
- I’m listing the workshops that I believe would be of interest to you as a catechetical minister from the FETC program. It is very easy to listen to the educational presenter and then to bring the best ideas back to your parish or diocese. For example, if I am a DRE and I’m trying to figure out how to form iCatechists, I may want to attend – CS1136 – Shaping the iTeacher, 10:00 am – 11:00 am Wednesday, January 25, 2012, with Len Scrogan with John Adsit. Or if I’m curious about how iPads can be used in the classroom, I will attend –CS4441 – Getting Started with iPads, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2012 with Cathy Hutchins.
- By networking with other catechetical ministers, we are creating and developing a group of faith-based educational technology and social media specialists who will be leaven in their parish and diocesan areas. By networking we share ideas with one another in order to quickly learn what we must learn to be Digital Disciples!
So if you are ready to IMMERSE yourself into the language and culture of educational and social media technologies. Come and join us in Orlando. Here is what others have said about their experience of the conference:
- Able to see how others in ministry are using technology successfully. Learned about new resources available and new ways to using existing tools Interacting with others, sharing challenges was helpful Reminder to me that the new digital continent is in its infancy and we are the ones who need to lead others in our parish on how to use these tools for evangelization and catechesis. Helped to overcome my fear of this unknown world… I need to just do it!
- It made me even more excited about sharing/utilizing technology in my ministry. It also taught me so much that I can teach/share in the Syracuse diocese. I also feel that I am now involved in a growing network of support and learning which gives me confidence to “keep on growing” in the world of technology.
- My head was spinning from all the wonderful ideas, insights and technology that was shared. As a diocesan and church employee, I came away from the conference with so many wonderful ways to not only enhance what I am currently doing, but also new ways to reach out and evangelize to those who find themselves outside the church community. I find myself looking for new ways to ‘go where they are,’ through technology. Thinking outside the box – thank you for letting me see that there never was a box in the first place.
To Register click here. Use the PROMOTIONAL CODE – FAC25 – for a $25.00 Registration Discount.
Looking forward to meeting you in Orlando!