Our Crossing Kids staff have been grappling with a few questions over the past few years. How do we best reach kids who use technology everywhere they go? How do we teach lessons that engage our learners rather than tune them out? These are questions a lot of educators are asking as well.
According to an article “Teaching Digital Natives” written by Jennifer Hooks in Children’s Ministry Magazine, a “digital native” is a term coined by Marc Prensky in 2001. He says a “digital native” is a child to whom a digital world is indigenous and completely natural. They were born into an existence where technology evolves at an ever-increasing rate. They interface with one another and with their world through digital means.
He also defines “digital immigrants” as those who weren’t necessarily born into a digital existence but who must adapt and assimilate to function in such a world. A digital immigrant is someone who isn’t digital by nature; for instance, one who steadfastly prints hard copies of emails or calls to ensure an email has been received.
You may have seen the new TV’s we installed in our classrooms recently and you may be asking the question, “Why? What’s the purpose?” We have been searching for ways to incorporate more digital media into our Crossing Kids lessons in order to engage the “digital natives” that God brings us every week. We researched several ideas on how we could make that happen in our current space and allow for the widest possible usage. Installing these new televisions with dvd players and internet capabilities turned out to be the most cost and space effective way.
Below are a few of the ways we plan to use the new technology in our classrooms.
Workshop lessons in elementary can incorporate:
visuals of art, objects or images
music videos that kids create
games we create that all kids can view at one time (i.e. Sheep/Shepherd Jeopardy)
The 5th grade curriculum “Grapple” has several interactive digital teaching elements
Live streaming for Kids Club
Kids Club and Family Events
Showing movies for childcare events in smaller settings
Adult classes (Women’s Bible Study and Night Crossing classes)
Our commitment to excellence in our curriculum and learning will not be narrowed but expanded. Our heart is to use these new digital devices in a way to win children to Christ and help them grow in their faith. Like Paul, our desire is to do all this for the sake of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9: 19-23
19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.