A Cyberpilgrim's List of Web 2.0 Tools for Ministry

Archive for June, 2012

ScreenChomp for iPad

ScreenChomp from TechSmith Corporation is an easy-to-use screencast app for the iPad that allows a parish leader, teacher or catechist to create a lesson plan, a set of directions, a learning module or more, as a simple video which can then be shared on a Facebook page or emailed as a link.  The interface is actually a recordable whiteboard, with an option for background. Once video is created, students or parents can then view it on ScreenChomp.com.  The instructional video on the TechSmith site even suggests this can be used by students themselves to share homework help, so that opens possibilities for collaboration.

Great features include the ability to draw while you are recording your verbal instructions, using a variety of colors and widths of marker, to erase, to set a picture background which can be drawn on. You can scroll the background, and even to push the picture off the screen so that the blank whiteboard surface appears – then scroll it back.  Simple one-touch controls and user-friendly drawing tools make this a great option.  The ability to connect with DropBox means you can add backgrounds from another source, or even attach a PDF.

Here is the Quick Demo video from YouTube:

From the time I started on my first project to when it was completed and ready to share in under an hour, I found this app really easy and fun to use. I was easily able to add a background picture I already had on my laptop through the DropBox connection and then record voice instructions for a lesson plan.  After I emailed my link, I was even able to download the video to my laptop and later to post it on YouTube.  (You can see it here)

ScreenChomp is pretty simple and has lots of potential.  Think what this might do as a way to send parents a prayer resource or activity, or a method for the catechist to keep in contact by sharing what is being done in the faith formation sessions. You could even put in a background, play some recorded music underneath as you narrate a prayer meditation that catechists could use in class, or that you could share via your social network.  (That might just be my next project.)

If you find this post useful,  please  click “Like”  – and share this with others in ministry.  Be sure to add your comments on how you have used or think you might use ScreenChomp in your ministry.

Doodle: Easy Scheduling

Tool: Doodle

If you are looking for a FREE online tool to “poll” your meeting attendees to see which day and time is best for them, then DOODLE is a tool you will want to explore.  Dave Johnson provides a wonderful overview about the Doodle tool – Free online tool makes scheduling a breeze post.

Need a quick overview of HOW TO USE THIS TOOL?  This video gives a great overview –

If you are interested in learning more about the Mobile Doodle, check out the Apple store.

How could you use this tool in your ministry?

  • Use with your committee members to determine the best day/time to meet.
  • Schedule meeting times with parents either in small groups, individually, or all parents (say for a Sacramental prep general meeting)
  • Schedule the best time/day for your catechists to meet.

If this post is helpful to you, remember to click on the “like” button.  If you have any other suggestions for how you are using the tool, please share in the comment section of this page.

Thank you for visiting Catechesis 2.0!

Geocaching

Tool: Geocaching

Geocaching is a world-wide treasure-hunting game played by five million people. If you are looking for a way to extend your catechetical curriculum outside of the classroom, this may be the tool for you. Players create a free online account and then participate in hiding, seeking and discovering one another’s caches using GPS enabled devices. Many smart phones now have GPS capability, or you can buy a hand-held GPS device for your students to share. A cache can be as simple as a notebook and pencil in a plastic bag or as complex as a fishing tackle box filled with “swag,” or collectable trading items. There are even “virtual caches” that are not physical objects, but a set of coordinates that lead to a place of interest.

There are a number of apps available for geocachers, all designed to make this family-friendly hobby more portable on whatever mobile device you prefer: iPhone or Android.

Education Idea: Geocaching utilizes collaboration and problem solving skills and can be applied to almost any curriculum area. Use it in conjuntion with a geography lesson. First, teach about latitude and longitude. Then take your students into the field with a GPS device to find a hidden cache. Use it as an extension of your social studies curriculum. Choose areas of the world in which significant events are happening. Engage students in setting up a virtual cache for these locations. Students will have to compose descriptions of that part of the world as part of the data entered when the cache is created.

Ministry Idea: Wondering how you can adapt geocaching for youth ministry or your catechetical classroom? Look at this example of a geocaching adventure lesson plan, visiting pilgrimage sites in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Our faith is connected to real people and real places all over the world. Use geocaching to help your students discover these connections can enliven their faith in a way that speaks a language they understand – the language of technology! Geocaching is definitely an “outside the box” Web 2.0 tool, but one that has the potential to engage students and families in hands-on discovery and catechesis.