Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Student’

Digital Discipleship

Digital Disciples-2

I often wonder – after all the workshops, articles, mentoring that I’ve done over the years – how have I (and others) inspired catechists to be Digital Disciples? As I reflected on this question, I thought – INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS has the means to draw folks together to share their stories and to interact with the audience who joins them to share their stories. We do not need to get on a plane, train, or automobile to travel anywhere. We can network and connect with one another, regardless of where we live, with digital tools.

In addition, since the founding of Digital Catechesis in 2011, we have grown to over 900+ members. Some members are very active and some are on the sidelines. It would be my hope that the family of Digital Disciples are growing within this group. And what it means to be a Digital Disciple will have a unique meaning for each person.

For some, they will be the parish webmaster, developing the parish website. For others, they will be catechists and teachers with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults who are stepping into the digital world utilizing the digital methodology that now surrounds us in our everyday lives.

As we adapt to this ever evolving digital world, we will be innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards! Even the medical field uses this language. In a recent article that I read about medical clinicians, I love the line “Groups of clinicians change slowly, even when a change is obviously the best course of action. The Technology Adoption Curve, models the time required to achieve group buy-in for a technology, whether it’s a stethoscope or an EMR.” We can say the same about catechists and others involved in ministry.

I am an innovator! I am infatuated with technology. I try things before training is available. I am habitually drawn to new technologies (and invite others to join me) to build on them and apply to faith formation in new ways. I trust that I am nurturing the early adapters so that they will step into this digital world and despite feeling any fear they may have, they will be creative and productive.
And my curiosity has inspired me to invite these early adapters to share their story. How? Through “Show ‘N Tell,” a webinar style of sharing our stories with one another in the hopes of creating a network of stories that demonstrate how new tools can be used to share our faith stories with one another.

I was delighted to have Joe Mazzeo email me with his request to share what he is doing with his pre-Confirmation students.

Joe Mazzeo

Joe Mazzeo

He is our first volunteer for a “Show ‘N Tell” webinar.

I first met Joe when I was facilitating the Digital Catechesis course offered through the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community of Faith Formation.  When I asked him – When did you first realize that technology is a tool that could be used to enhance your teaching of the faith with your pre-Confirmation students?  He said, “When I noticed students becoming bored with the book/lecture/notes method.  My students were watching videos and listening to music while I was trying to teach.  I just wasn’t connecting.  I tried a video clip from Busted Halo and the discussion just bloomed.  Then I added some online questions and people did homework.”

Joe did a wonderful job in sharing his story.  You can view the slides from his presentation below.  As soon as the video is uploaded to Vimeo, I’ll add it to this page so that you can come and listen to what Joe has shared.

If anyone is interested in sharing their story, click on the button above.  I’ll get back to you as quickly as I am able.

In the meantime, if you feel that you are or are slowly becoming a Digital Disciple, click the “Like” button.

© 2013 Cerveny.

Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts

Here’s a CONTEST you may be interested in!  Loyola Press is inviting catechists and their students to be part of a contest that encourages children to explore the inspiring and sometimes-surprising ways they experience God’s presence in their everyday lives.  Catechists and students can team together to create a short video that answers the question: Where do you find God?  Parishes are eligible to win the following prizes:

First prize: Parish-wide adoption of the new edition of Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts (grades 1-6)

Second Prize: $1,000 Loyola Press product gift certificate

Third Prize: $500 Loyola Press product gift certificate

What do you need to do?  Create a video that is at least thirty seconds in length and no longer than two minutes.  Parish staff members must upload entries at www.FindingGod.com/contest  by April 20, 2012.  Winners will be determined by online voting, so entries should be submitted as soon as possible to allow plenty of time to vote.

For those who are religious educators in a parish program without available equipment, tell your students about the project and theme – Where do I find God?  And invite them to create videos with their families at home.  All the information the child needs about the contest, a parent can assist them with by going to the contest website.

Watch this video to learn more about the contest.

If the children create their videos at home, they can bring their video to your classroom on a thumb drive to share with the class.  All you need is one computer to show the videos to the class.  Invite your students to choose the one that will represent their class.

Click the “like” button if you plan on engaging your class in this project.

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 

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