CMTeleSummit – Digital Children’s Ministry – Amy Dolan

cmtelesummit I was hoping to publish this earlier, but I missed the first 15-20 minutes of Amy’s presentation due to technical difficulties.  That turns out to be a good thing because I was work out from typing all the good ideas for the portion I did hear, and having to wait for the replay allowed me to rest my fingers. 🙂  Anyhow, here is my next installment of notes from the CMTelesummit.

Introduction to Digital Perspective – Current Reality

  • Talk today about a new perspective and approach for creating a digital children’s ministry
  • Current reality

    • Influenced by book – Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives
    • Digital Native defined as anyone born after 1980
      • Characteristics of a Digital Native
        • Read blogs instead of newspapers
        • When meeting friends or going out, meet each other online before in person
        • Don’t know what a library card looks like – research done online
        • Music comes online rather than from stores
        • Make plans with friends by IM or text
    • Digital Immigrants defined as those less familiar with technology environment, but had to learn how to use them later in life
      • Most of parents and volunteers in ministry
      • Have not been immersed like Digital Natives
  • Fears in the church
    • Fearful of privacy
    • Concerned about violence online / in games
    • Fear they will be crushed under this information
      • Too much information will overwhelm them
    • Those who are leaders must keep those fears in mind
  • But we must not cut ourselves off because of language and cultural barriers
    • Values still the same
    • Old fashioned solutions will still help us today
      • Common Sense
      • Biblical guidance
      • Education
    • “Fears can’t outweigh current reality of the world we are living in.”
  • Must figure out how we can utilize technology.
  • Two paths – at a crossroads
    • We can destroy what is great about technology
    • Or, make great choices
  • How can we embrace our kids’ culture?

A New Digital Perspective for Connecting With Kids, Parents and Volunteers

  • Must consider a brand new starting place
  • Working on Phil Vischer’s What’s in the Bible series
    • Decided from beginning to approach curriculum from a new approach – a new starting place
    • Created bulls-eye
      • Churches that owned IPods, IPads, IPhone put right in the center
      • Targeted activities right to center of bulls eye
    • Created activities first from a digital perspective
    • Then, moved back and assumed churches had computers
    • Then moved our even further for churches who needed a paper version
    • Starting place was different to assume latest and greatest technology
  • Whenever you can consider a new digital perspective, you should
  • Must consider busy lives of volunteers and parents
    • Use technology to make things as effective and efficient as possible
  • Want to consider a connected perspective
    • Digital perspective allows us opportunity to connect
  • Consider perspective that is global
  • Consider digital learning perspective that is collaborative
    • What is right for you
    • Create a thinking curriculum – collaborate with kids
    • Consider new perspective where children shape us

Curriculum from a Digital Perspective

  • Writing curriculum using technology for kids
    • Make sure content is good and biblical
    • Moving forward in scope and sequence
    • Holistic scope and sequence
    • How can you accomplish it from a digital perspective
    • How could it happen if you had
      • Ipad
      • Ipod
      • Flip camera
    • Challenge yourself to view it from perspective of digital bulls eye
    • Encourage blogs, twitter, cmconnect to post practical ideas for writing your own curriculum on how you’re coming up with new ideas
  • If buy curriculum
    • How tweak to make digital friendly
      • Skype conversation with a missionary
    • Allows you not to rewrite it but tweak it
      • Even on activity to experiment and see how kids connect in a new way
    • A lot of technology is free
    • Let others know
  • Consider a digital music approach
    • Haven’t integrated digital music perspective in church
    • Something we love about buying and selling physical CDs
    • For volunteers to hear and practice music before service
    • Send parents link to music on Itunes
    • E-mail or share digital music files
  • Encourage kids to create and contribute to curriculum
    • Mostly for older kids
    • Suppose you needed a video created or located, ask some of your kids to do that
      • Goes for music, etc. as well
      • Kids are adept at this kind of thing
      • Make sure parents know what you are doing
    • As introducing them to new words or concepts
      • Have them add new word to Wikipedia
    • Purchase Flip cameras for ministry to make videos or record small groups
      • Report on what they’ve done
      • Remember their learning
      • Teach other kids
    • Encourage kids to write their own blogs
      • Even if it’s offline
      • Teaches them how
      • Rotate kids in to write blog
  • Contribute to their own learning
  • Shaping our learning as adults
    • Purchase an IPad
      • Going to be a great solution for those of us in Children’s Ministry
      • Great option to save money using Ipad by eliminating supplies
      • Ideas (as is without new apps)
        • Ebook section – Several different versions of Bible and use it small group
        • Music for lesson and allow small group leaders to use music
        • Watch videos in small group
        • Map feature – track biblical events
        • PNS Pro App – create their own songs on piano
      • Develop our own apps for children’s ministry and share
      • If not comfortable with IPad, could try using IPod you already have

Training for Volunteers and Parents from a Digital Perspective

Effective Communication with Volunteers and Parents from a Digital Perspective

  • Consider eliminating some physical meetings
    • Skype, IChat, Tokbox to virtually attend meetings
  • Ways to share files digitally with parents and volunteers
  • Communicate well with parents
    • App development
      • Check in while driving to school
    • Ask parents how they would like to be communicated with
  • Consider totally eliminating paper take home sheet
    • Assume nobody wants it and move from there
    • Doesn’t mean it is eliminated. Just consider other options
    • If absolutely necessary, give them something small (card or postcard) with a link to where they can go for the take home sheet

Free digital download of episode 1 & 2 (and all music) this week only for $24.99 (I think) on CMTelesummit.

Checkout Amy’s blog for more information and links:

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