A Cyberpilgrim's List of Web 2.0 Tools for Ministry

Archive for the ‘Evangelization’ Category

TEDEd: Catechetical Possibilities

Recently TED video created TED-Ed videos.  I’d encourage you to watch the introductory video to learn more about this service.

Then go to the Ted-Ed Tour

TEDed Tour

In the Subject Category section you will find “Philosophy & Religion”.  Right now there is only ONE video here – Jackie Jenkins: Greeting the World in Peace.  Take a moment to (1) Watch the Video, then (2) Respond to the Quick Quiz, and explore the Think and Dig Deeper Sections.

When you click on “Get Involved“, you’ll notice that you can nominate yourself or nominate another.  TED-Ed will review the request and get back to you.  I’d love to see some of our wonderful and talented religious educators create short lessons like these either for our children, RCIA Candidates, or even around the theme of New Evangelization.

Think for a moment – What could you create for your audience that would excite and interest them to learn more about their faith?  What presence could we bring as Catholics to this wonderful Internet world?  TED-Ed is here to assist you!

Jackie Jenkins: Meeting the World in Peace

Getting involved is fairly easy.  Just click on Get Involved.  Here you can nominate yourself or another.  Or you can suggest a lesson that you feel would be helpful in the catechetical area.

If you’re thinking of something and wondering if others may be interested, you may start the conversation here.  We’d love to hear about what you are considering or would like to see presented on TEDEd.

Twitter Chats

Most of us have heard of Twitter, the social networking site where users post updates (called tweets) in 140 characters or less.  Professionals love to use Twitter for networking, celebrities for self-promotion, and ministers for evangelizing!  With the use of a shortened url, a tweet becomes a launching pad to send people to an image, a website or a blog post… there really is no limit.  A Twitter chat can build up your ministry by encouraging community among members, helping you identify areas to focus on teaching, or even promoting special events.

But what IS a twitter chat?  This is simply a way to have a conversation online, on a specific topic, gathering many varied folks together over a similar time period (generally a specific hour or over the course of one day).  These chats can be regularly reoccuring ones, or once and done (for a special event).  Tweets are linked, as usual, by the #hashtag, but because people are online at the same time, it encourages more interaction.  The sponsor or leader of the chat generally starts things off with a specific question or set of questions to which people respond.  As the tweets start flowing, the conversation begins with users asking or commenting on each other’s tweets.  A good place to learn is to follow the Tuesday night chat for the Church Social Media – learn more here.

Warning:  twitter chats do not flow as regular face to face conversation does!  If you’re logged into Twitter and following the #hashtag your newsfeed, a number of tweets will pop up – some replying to each other, others asking or commenting to the group.  It takes a little practice to follow along… but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a lot of fun.

Besides being fun, what good could a twitter chat be for your ministry?  Imagine inviting parents online once a week to ask a faith-sharing question:  “who is Jesus to your children? #catholicparent.”  It’s another avenue to begin talking with each other… and as a bonus, it could help you see what they really understand, or not.

Or perhaps following up an RCIA session with a conversation about the topic of the week:  “how do you experience Jesus as another human? as God?  #stceciliaRCIA.”  This gives your participants a chance to reflect on the Church teaching within their daily prayer… and may surface additional insights or questions.

Or church leaders could survey general parishioners after a specific event, such as an Advent Taize prayer service:  “which Taize song means a lot to you?  #sun5pm.”

The goal, of course, is using a twitter chat as another method of networking, all to build up the face to face ministry that happens at Mass and Church.  If you haven’t tried it yet, where do you see it being successful?  If you have, what’s your favorite way to follow chats?

Jing – Screen Capture Tool from TechSmith

Jing is a free, versatile and simple screen capture tool that “lives” on your desktop – ready to capture anything on your screen, from images to video clips.  That makes it a great tool for sharing snapshots of web pages, marking up those images, creating scrapbooks, and more.   Jing, which you can find here,  allows you to do many things – including creating up to a 5-minute video which can be saved to the free Screencast account that you set up when you first use Jing – or to your computer’s hard drive.  You can view a brief “overview video” on the Jing page, which talks about some of the features.

When you download and first open Jing, it will create a yellow-circle “sun” desktop widget that your can move wherever you want to on your desktop. It remains visible above your browser for instant accessibility.  You can access the ability to create a screen or video capture at any time by simply mousing over the yellow circle and choosing one of the smaller circle on the lower left to activate the cross-hairs that define your capture.  Here is one of the better tutorials on how to use some of Jing’s  basic features .

Note that he mentions you can  also edit images and videos further by using another TechSmith product,  SnagIt (not free.)

How can Jing help in a catechetical setting?  Parish leaders, teachers and catechists can use it to create short videos to show parents how to register online for a program,  or to show  how to navigate a particular website.  It can be used to create a scrapbook of  resources that can be posted on a web page or document that can be emailed.  Teachers and students can use it to share their work – because it makes screen-shots simple and editable.   Take a look at TechSmith’s testimonial page for educators for even more ideas.

I personally use Jing regularly to capture and instantly crop images, especially those that don’t readily respond to a right-click “save image as” command.   I sometimes mark them up or edit them as well through the tool.  It’s simple and it’s always at the top of my computer screen.  If you have comments or ideas for how to use this great free tool, please comment below.