Evangelizing and Catechizing Digital Natives


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A presentation I gave to the Catechetical Leadership Association for the Diocese of Des Moines (CLADD) on 20 August, 2013.

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Evangelizing and Catechizing Digital Natives

  1. 1. Evangelizing & Catechizing Digital Natives Jonathan F. Sullivan Catechetical Leadership Association for the Diocese of Des Moines August 20, 2013
  2. 2. Bio  Originally from Kansas City suburbs  Studied at Quincy University and Aquinas Institute of Theology  Director of Catechetical Services, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois  Chair, NCCL Technology Committee  Blogger at JonathanFSullivan.com  Husband and father of 6
  3. 3. Overview  Who are the “Digital Natives?”  3 myths about DNs  What is “digital culture?”  DN learning style  Strategies for engaging DNs  General Tips & Internet Safety  Communication  Catechesis  Prayer
  4. 4. Confraternity Teacher‟s Guide (Very Rev. Joseph B. Collins, 1960) The catechist will find that catechetical material in filmstrips, both black and white and in color, is steadily increasing in volume. He will find satisfactory filmstrips which correlate with courses of study and with the catechism… The number of catechetical subjects available on sound motion-picture film is comparatively limited. The teaching value of the silent movie is greatly reduced by the fact that today pupils are accustomed to sound movies. (emphasis mine)
  5. 5. Digital Natives “The proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies requires a profound knowledge of this world if the technologies are to serve our mission adequately.” - Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 43rd World Communications Day (2009)
  6. 6. Who are the digital natives? photo by demi-brooke/Flickr
  7. 7. Myth: Digital Natives are wasting time online. photo by Jeroen Thoolen/stock.xchng
  8. 8. Myth: Digital Natives are a homogeneous body. photo by Konrad Mostert/stock.xchng
  9. 9. Myth: Digital Natives don‟t care about privacy.
  10. 10. Digital culture is…
  11. 11. …world-wide…
  12. 12. …open…
  13. 13. …collaborative…
  14. 14. …sharable photo by MissFran/stock.xchng
  15. 15. photo by Robert Linder/stock.xchng
  16. 16. Digital Natives use technology for…
  17. 17. …communication and interaction… image by Jason Nicholls/flickercc
  18. 18. …non-linear media consumption image by Craig Rodway/flickercc
  19. 19. Q&A photo by Melodi T/stock.xchng
  20. 20. Strategies for Evangelization and Catechesis “The „variety of methods is a sign of life and richness‟ as well as a demonstration of respect for those to whom catechesis is addressed. Such variety is required by „the age and the intellectual development of Christians, their degree of ecclesial and spiritual maturity and many other personal circumstances‟.” - General Directory for Catechesis, no. 148
  21. 21. A few general suggestions:  Try the tools  Become a connection  Be open  Encourage appropriate sharing Photo by somethingstartedcrazy/Flickr
  22. 22. Youth and the internet  What age is appropriate?  COPPA  Internet safety  Posting pictures Photo by escapedtowisconsin/Flickr
  23. 23. Q&A photo by Melodi T/stock.xchng
  24. 24. Communication
  25. 25. Tumblr
  26. 26. Facebook
  27. 27. Start a blog
  28. 28. Email and text
  29. 29. Weekly video  Holy Name of Jesus (Wayzata, MN)
  30. 30. Catechesis
  31. 31. Curating Resources Evaluating online resources “Is it official?” “Do they have a track record?” “Is it faithful to the fullness of the Church‟s teaching?” “Does it pass the „smell test‟?” Keep it Limited Keep it Fresh
  32. 32. Social Media Projects
  33. 33. Show a video  That Catholic Show
  34. 34. Make a video
  35. 35. Prayer
  36. 36. Praying with New Media
  37. 37. Bottom line: Encourage creativity!
  38. 38. For notes and additional resources visit JonathanFSullivan.com @sullijo facebook.com/JonathanFSullivan