Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Twitter’

Digital Discipleship: Twitter, Instagram, and … (Part III)

twitter-instagram

We live in the midst of an evolving Digital Culture with its own language and skills.  It’s almost like going to a foreign land where we may often feel like a “stranger.”  So, when others begin to say that they are using Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Canva we look back at them with a blank look.  Often we do not know what these tools are nor do we know how to use them.

Today, learning how to use any of these tools has become very simple.  Your 18-year-old (or younger) grandchild, nephew, niece or neighbor use these tools on a regular basis.  And if they don’t, go to Google and/or YouTube and search for – “Name of Tool” Tutorial – for example: Twitter Tutorial, or Instagram Tutorial, etc. Normally, in a matter of 10 minutes you will be able to find and view one video that will introduce the tool to you.

Then if you wonder how other Catholics are using these tools, Go to GOOGLE and search for phrases like “Catholic Twitter,” “Catholic Pinterest,” or “Catholic Instagram”.  Just go and explore to see what other Catholics are creating with their accounts.

Then stop for a moment and ask yourself, what do you want to do with your <Name of Account> so that you are becoming an everyday Digital Disciple? Once you have your goal figured out!  Go and “Tweet” or “share life with pictures” to share the gift of you and of your faith with others.  (Remember the 70/30 Rule!)  You are not out to bombard others with religious messages.  Your goal is to share who you are with others in a wholesome way that also exhibits that you are able to share your faith with others using digital tools.  And that means that you are developing your skills to be a Digital Disciple.

Here are some examples of some of the Catholics (individuals or groups) that I follow.

Twitter

Pope Francis – https://twitter.com/Pontifex or @Pontifex

Father Dave Dwyer, CSP – https://twitter.com/FatherDaveDwyer or @FatherDaveDwyer

Becky Eldridge – https://twitter.com/beldredge98 or @beldredge98

Cara Stolarczyk – https://twitter.com/CaraStolarczyk or @CaraStolarczyk

Instagram

James Martin, SJ – https://www.instagram.com/jamesmartinsj/

Jeff Young (Catholic Foodie) – https://www.instagram.com/catholicfoodie/

Catholic Teen Posts – https://www.instagram.com/catholic_teen_posts/?modal=true

LifeTeen – https://www.instagram.com/lifeteen/

Vatican – https://www.instagram.com/vaticansite/?hl=en

Each of these accounts represent a unique style of being a Digital Disciple.  At the personal level, these folks are happy and alive Catholics who share who they are with their friends and family – each with their own style.

Now I invite you to choose one of these accounts (if you haven’t already) and in your simple and unique ways connect with others.  If you are not sure how to find your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn audiences, this blog post Finding Your Audience on Social Media  will guide you.

Before you know it, you will be sharing the delightful YOU with others.  More importantly, because you believe and have a friendship with Jesus, this will be noticed by those who friend, follow, or connect with you using any of these digital tools. The following graphic is from my Facebook account.  As I read the comments “Thank you Caroline, I’m needing your words of wisdom.” “This is just what I needed this morning.” And “Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  You always make a difference.”

I feel blessed to be able to share my hopes, dreams, and beliefs with my digital friends.  It does make a difference!

difficultroards

Advent Digital Discipleship

So, it’s Advent! And you are wondering how to involve your family, your students, your parish members, or your friends in the Advent season!  Below are three videos about Advent.  Here are a few suggestions for how you may want to use them during the first two weeks of Advent:

Text the link with a brief message – For example: Want to learn more about Advent, check this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S02KOlw7dlA

Facebook Page – Add the link.  Once the video is populated in your FB message, delete the URL and add a short message – For example – for Advent in Two Minutes: What is the relationship between Advent and Christmas? Check out Busted Halo’s two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas. What is Advent for you?

Twitter Message –  Why do we celebrate Advent? View this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S02KOlw7dlA

Advent in Two Minutes

What Is Advent? Gangnam Style

You Don’t Know Jack … about Advent

Would love to hear about how you are planning on being an Advent Digital Disciple!  You are invited to share your story.  Click “Leave a Comment” below.

How to Make & Share a Scripture Story Video on Facebook

zaccheaus

 

Every parish has a Facebook page!  So what about creating a short Sunday Gospel video that highlights the scripture story of the day?  In addition, include one, two, or three reflection questions for the week!

Once created, you can add to your parish Facebook page.  Perhaps this is a project for your junior or senior high students or even your RCIA participants. It becomes a 21st Century way of studying the weekly scripture and sharing with others. It can easily be viewed on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Here’s how you can make a Gospel story video that will engage the creators in telling the Gospel story in a meaningful way.  Follow these steps:

  1. Read the Gospel

As you read the Sunday Gospel, have a highlighter in hand.  Highlight the “phrases” that stand out for you in this reading.

For example – Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Lectionary: 153 – Phrases:

  • Jesus came to Jericho
  • A man there named Zacchaeus
  • Chief tax collector
  • Wealthy Man
  • Seeking to see who Jesus was
  • Could not see him because of the crowd
  • He was short
  • Climbed a sycamore tree
  • Jesus looked up
  • Zacchaeus, come down quickly
  • I must stay at your house
  • Jesus received him with joy
  • Everyone began to grumble
  • Staying at the house of a sinner
  • Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor
  • If I exhorted – I shall repay it four times over
  • Today salvation has come to this house
  1. Go to Google Images

Using the search phrase “Creative Commons Zacchaeus” or “Creative Commons (image type)” look for images that will match the phrases you identified.  Remember you want to locate images that are free and may be used without violating copyright laws.  Here are a few examples for images that may be used in this video.

Jericho 

JesusinJericho

Z-Climb-Tree

Zacchaeus in tree

Zacchaeus in Crowd

All Grumble

Z said I will…

Z in house

House

Jesus

Now you have several images that could be used in your video

  1. Draft a Script

Once you have images, and have identified phrases, draft a script that you will use with Animoto (an online video tool that uses images, text, and images) for creating your video.  Remember as you draft your script to keep the phrases short as Animoto allows you to use no more than –

  • 40 characters for a Title
  • 50 characters for a SubTitle
  • 50 characters for a Caption

For example:

Text Graphic
TITLE: Thirty-First Sunday – Ordinary Time – October 30, 2016

 

     None
TITLE: Jesus Came To Jericho – Luke 19: 1-10

 

     None
Jesus came to Jericho

 

     Jesus Face
Zacchaeus the chief tax collector and wealthy  lived there

 

     Jericho Sign
He was seeking to see who Jesus was

 

     Jesus in crowd
Could not see him because of the crowd

 

     Z in crowd
He climbed a Sycamore tree

 

     Z in tree
Jesus looked up and said “I must stay at your house”

 

     Z in tree
Everyone began to grumble – He’s a sinner!

 

     Grumble
Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor

 

     Z in house
If I extorted – I shall repay it four times over

 

     Z in house
Today salvation has come to this house

 

     House
How have you experienced the seeking or saving power of Jesus in your life (maybe even in the past week)?

 

     Question
What are some ways Jesus has changed you?

 

     Question
How can you be a witness to Jesus’ transforming power in your life?

 

     Question
TITLE: Credits – FreebibleImages.com and Creative Commons Images

 

     None
TITLE: Blessings  – Enjoy a wonderful week

 

     None
None (Note: You could add the name of your parish here and any other short message you would like).      Fall Colored Leaf

 

Once you have a script you are now ready to work with Animoto, an online tool that uses your photos and text to create a professional video slideshow simply and easily.  Animoto is easy to learn and easy to use.  If you are unfamiliar with Animoto, go to YouTube and search for “Animoto Tutorial” to learn the ins and outs of this tool.

  1. Sign in to Animoto

Sign into your account.  If you do not have an account you can register for one.  You can create a 30-second video on a trial version. There are various options so that you can create Animoto videos that are longer than 30-seconds.  You can apply as an “educator” for a FREE ANIMOTO PLUS ACCOUNT. Or you can apply for ANIMOTO FOR A CAUSE. If you purchase an annual Animoto plan, you are able to create videos that are Full Length (i.e., longer than 30-seconds).

  1. Choose a video style

Set the mood for your video by choosing a video style.  There are a number of video styles to choose from.  Pick something that enhances your Scripture story.

  1. Add your photos/images

Once you have chosen a style, it’s time to add your photos.  You can upload files from your computer to be used in the template.  Once your images/photos are added, if needed, you can click and drag the blocks to change their order.

  1. Add titles/text to tell the story

Once the photos/images are added, click on them to add captions or click Add text to add a title card.  Remember to create a title screen.animoto-sharing

Test as you continue to “tweak” your video.  When you are ready, click on Publish.  You will receive an email from Animoto to tell you that your video is ready.  Once you have a link you can share in a variety of ways.

 

 

 

 

Click on image for Video

Click on image for Video

Digital Ideas for Lent!

Lent is this wonderful opportunity to reflect on various spiritual themes – the Year of Mercy and more! We often give things up.  Yet, I would like to challenge each of my readers to explore how they could “Evangelize” during Lent using any of the digital tools that are on their desktop, laptop, or any of the mobile tools that you have access to.

Why do I challenge you?  I listened to Fr. Frank DeSiano’s Webinar Lent in the Year of Mercy  recently.  And as I listened this slide was important to me –

What digital activities could be suggested?

What digital activities could be suggested?

Why?  Because my mind saw a chart just waiting to be transformed into ideas where we could be Digital Disciples and Evangelizers.  I invite you to “brainstorm” with me about possible options.  For example, I would retitle the slide to: Corporal Works of Mercy – Options for Digital Discipleship.  Then the three headings revised to: (1) Work, (2) Personal Digital Activity, and (3) Church Digital Activity.

As I begin to brainstorm, here are a couple of thoughts flowing through my mind:

(Work)To Feed the hungry  – (Personal Digital Activity) Give up a meal and contribute to the Catholic Relief Services

(Work) To clothe the naked  – (Church Digital Activity) – Create a graphic using Canva that promotes the local shelter with a call to action to bring in new or gently used clothes to give to the shelter.

Pinellas Hope-2

Use Graphic on Facebook or Tweet to your fans

I invite YOU, my wonderful readers, to continue to brainstorm for all us!  If you look at the chart, what do you see as possible options to be a Digital Disciple or Evangelizer?  I ask you to continue the conversation by clicking on the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link towards the bottom of this page.

I look forward to hearing the wonderful suggestions that you will offer this Digital Community!

Your Children are Learning All the Time!

Children-8

Our children today are exposed to formal and informal learning experiences in their daily lives.  On the faith side, they are nurtured by their families and the faith communities they are part of.  When they are in your classroom, you are engaging them in learning something about their faith tradition – prayers, saints, and more!

The real question is how they can continue their learning outside of class while being engaged in what you want them to be engaged in. How do you control what they learn outside of school?

Well, the simple answer is you can’t.

That said, the beauty of learning is that not everything about it has to be school-related in order for it to happen.

However, you can encourage your families and/or students to engage with you in the following:

  1. Watch a video related to a faith topic that relates to what you are teaching in your classroom. Many of these videos are in the Digital Catechesis Video Library.  You can incorporate interactive questions using Educanon or Edpuzzle. Using digital tools allows you to expand faith learning to the families of the children you are involved with.
  2. Create a study group. How? Get on your Google+ account and create a Google Community.  Engage your families in learning something about their faith via a video, a question, or     .  Here are 10 Basic Steps to create a community. For Google Plus, your students must be at least 13 years old. Engage them in an online conversation while away from class.
  3. Use social media to gather information. Interview someone or create a poll, and post in Twitter. Kids can do their social media apps in the comfort of their home and not know they’re still in class!
  4. Use Remind for announcements and more.
  5. Explore the Parallel Bible App. Refer your families to the Gospel Sunday Reading (See http://usccb.org/ for the reference) and invite your families to choose a phrase or sentence that is important to them from the Sunday Gospel and to choose an image that represents that Scripture passage.  Invite them to post the image using the Parallel Bible App.

After you have involved your class in learning outside the classroom, you are invited to come back to this post to share your story.  We would love to hear from you! Of course, additional suggestions are more than welcomed.

 

 

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!

Advent Activities

With Advent around the corner, families and catechists may be looking for an activity or two to engage the children in learning more about Advent!  Here are a few websites that I discovered that you may wish to use:

Advent Activities: OSV offers a checklist to get ready for Advent, Advent and Christmas recipes, crafts and more.

Advent Resources –  Here you will find activities, calendars, inspiration, Jesse Tree, prayers and an online Advent retreat from Loyola Press.

Advent –  A variety of Catholic Digest articles.

Advent: Jesus Is Coming –  The Saint Anthony Messenger Faith formation team offers short and helpful Advent articles here.

Advent Liturgical Season –  At the Wm H. Sadlier website, you get a wonderful Advent liturgical season overview.

Advent Prayer – 4CatholicEducators – com provide you with a collection of Advent links with articles, activities, and Advent Calendars.

How can you use this material? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. If you are communicating with your families through FaceBook, then each week you can choose a link and add it to your wall with a short Advent message.
  2. You may simply want to send an email to your families with a short Advent message and the link you are referring them to.
  3. If your families are “Twitter” followers, you can tweet a short “Twitter”message like – Here’s your checklist – http://bit.ly/vvcZd7 to get ready for Advent.  (Note: This will bring you to – Advent Activities – Preparing for Jesus an Advent Checklist ).

Hope you find these links of interest to you.  Would love to hear how you may be using these links in your catechetical program.

Of course, if this article was helpful, please click the “LIKE” button below.

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

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.

Communicating With New Media Tools

Recently I was reading ” Leadership communication tools” by Nancy Caramanico.  I liked how she highlighted various tools for school educators.  Allow me to mirror her article and focus on Parish Catechetical Leader (PCL’s) Communication Tools.

I totally agree with Nancy when she says, “Communicating in today’s world requires both a new mindset and a new toolset. Like a maestro conducting a symphony, savvy leaders pay attention to the sound, the effect, and the instruments needed to strike just the right notes. ”

I would go further to advocate that as you move into this digital communications world, you will need to learn new skills, a new language and digital culture to be an effective church communicator.

As I look back at my beginnings, which go back to 1983, I realize that I have slowly learned new terminology, new skills, and have gradually immersed myself in a digital culture.  I encourage any pastoral  and catechetical leader today to take the needed steps so that you speak the language, engage in the culture, and learn the skills that you need to communicate effectively with your audiences.

So what do you need to be able to engage in today to communicate with others?

10 Tools for Pastoral Communication (Paraphrasing  Nancy’s 10 Tools):

  • Microblogging – Create an account on Twitter. Follow other catechetical and pastoral leaders.  Check out Brad West’s article Go Tweet It On The Mountain Top .Tweet out information about your parish.  Explore use of twitter for conferences or meetings for sharing ideas.
  • Blogging – Write frequent news updates for your parish blog. Follow other Catholics – see the Catholic Blog Directory. Who are the catechetical bloggers? Encourage and read comments. Use Google Blogger, Edublogs or create your own.
  • Podcasting – Create audio messages for playback on web and devices. Use tools such as Audioboo, Audacity
  • Electronic Surveys – Use Zoomerang or Survey Monkey for advanced functionality. Make quality surveys with Google Forms which is free
  • Email – Yes email. It is still a common tools used by many. Regular timely updates seek responses and give responses in a timely fashion. HTML newsletters can be pre-formatted with a consistent design to add appealing design.
  • Learning Management System – This may be the tool that will be a staple to our doing online learning with our students and adults in the near future.  Take time to learn more about Learning Management Systems.
  • Parish or Faith Formation Website – Consistently post updates that are both engaging and informational.  Ask yourself – what content are we sharing with our members online?
  • Facebook – Use Facebook to update parish community on latest faith formation news, photos and videos
  • Video – Use Youtube or other video sharing sites. Broadcast videos about parish events
  • Google alerts – Set up Google Alerts to stay on top of mentions of your parish and other topics of interests to the parish or faith formation community.

If you like this article, click on the “Like” button.  We would love to hear about your experience of using these leadership tools?  Come and Share!

We will be in Orlando next week!

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!

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