Page 1

APRIL 2010

No 1



Caroline Cerveny, SSJ, D. Min. Founder of INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS

I need to share a story about how INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS came to be. In June 2008 I began a sabbatical period during which I attended two exciting faith-based conferences in the areas of travel and conference planning. In both conferences, presenters highlighted the unique needs of faith-based travel and faith-based conference planners. Beginning in 2006, Rejuvenate Marketplace (http://www.rejuvenatemeetings.com/about) began hosting an exciting conference, tradeshow and gathering where conference planners, suppliers and experts in many fields have the opportunity to share ideas and best practices, as well as develop valuable relationships. In October, 2008, the World Religious Travel Association (WRTA) (http://www.wrtareligioustravel.com/WRTA/) hosted their first faith-based travel conference and expo. WRTA's primary purpose is to guide, enrich, and expand religious travel and hospitality around the globe. I was amazed at the available options for faithbased travel!

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1-What Is INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS? 3-First Annual Conference Highlights 5-FETC 7-Why Did You Attend? 8-Taking Baby Steps 10 -The Global Church Project

As I pondered these two mind-boggling experiences, I realized that as an educational technologist I really had nowhere to go to be professionally enriched and networked with others with a primary focus of faith-based educational technology. I am also aware that the two strongest educational technology conferences in the country - the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) and the International Society for Technology and Education (ISTE) are now over 30-years old. Both conferences began with a few pioneers recognizing the need to gather under one roof in order to focus on what the education environment would need over the coming years in order to grow into a 21st Century learning experience. Both of these organizations serve and network with a variety of educational organizations either through a sponsorship, affiliate, or partner relationship to produce a focused educational technology conference. However, the faith-based audience is only served indirectly! Almost immediately, after these two conferences, I began the conversation with friends about the need to gather faith leaders, teachers, catechists and all who would be interested in a faith-based educational technology ministry. Those I spoke with thoroughly agreed and encouraged me to go the next step - incorporate and gather folks to see what would happen! For our first ever event, I was hoping for twenty or twenty-five faith leaders to join me for INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS 2010. What a wonderful surprise when fifty-one attendees came to Orlando for the first conference, including 10 high school students who shared with us how they were involved in a first endeavor of engaging high school students in Australia and the US in a faith-based collaborative learning initiative using several of the new social technologies to connect with one another and to create projects that would find their home on Google Earth!

There is more about the Global Church Project in Adrian Brown's article, Steps to Global Church Partnership. The what, how, and why of this project emerged from SKYPE conversations with Adrian and Anthony Munro in the Sydney, Australian Catholic Education office and our INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS office here in Florida. Later faculty and staff from four high schools were invited to participate in this online endeavor. I wish you could have heard the students as they shared what they learned about themselves, the priests they interviewed, and insights they gained into their faith. Technology was simply the tool that allowed their faith relationships to deepen! The ministries represented at the conference were: high school theology teachers and department chairs, evangelization and DRE representatives for the Military Services and their families, school superintendents, diocesan educational technology specialists, parish DREs, a diocesan media resource center director, diocesan directors of parish faith formation and religious education, parish pastoral associate, school religious education coordinators and principal, director of young adult and campus ministry, director of information services, university faculty, diocesan program coordinator, parish catechists, school director of technology, diocesan secondary education officer, diocesan regional director, parish stewardship coordinator, and diocesan coordinators of catechetical formation. These pioneers came to Orlando from Sydney, Australia and Dublin, Ireland. The US cities represented were: Albany, NY, Albuquerque, NM, Cincinnati, OH, Dayton, OH, Fort Houston, TX, Marietta, GA New Berlin, WI, Orange, CA, Orlando, FL, Patehogue, NY, Piscataway, NJ, Rochester, NY, Rockford, IL, Safety Harbor, FL, San Clemente, CA, Saratoga Springs, NY, St. Cloud, MN, St. Petersburg, FL, South Lyon, MI, Sydney, OH and Washington, DC. We were blessed with a gathering of national and international participants! In addition, the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton agreed to partner with INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS and offered CEU's to those who need professional development units. From this first gathering, I realize that the time has come for faith-based ministers recognize that technology is an integral part of our world. I have invited those who attended this first INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference to share their stories with you. As you read what they have to say, I believe you will also find the answer to the question - What is INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS? I would love to hear your response to this question - What is INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS? The conference setting offers an exciting opportunity to gather with the curious, the comfortable, or the eager faith leaders in order to share ideas and best practices of using educational technology tools, software, and more in our faith ministries. Read the following stories and plan now to attend an exciting INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS 2011 Conference, January 31 - February 3 at the Doubletree Resort Orlando, Florida.

Attendees: Jenny Foldes, Kathy Brasseur, and Michael Geelan


Meeting area at Orlando Doubletree Resort



Day One Visit to Annunciation Academy The INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference began with a strong start Wednesday morning when forty of us traveled to Annunciation Catholic Academy in Altamonte Springs, Florida to see what is possible in classrooms today. Actually, things started a bit earlier than our arrival at the school as we were busy sharing ideas and URLs for favorite tools and utilities en route. Upon our arrival at the 507 student, K-8 Grade academy, we assembled in the Media Center (what would have traditionally been called a “library”) for an introduction and briefing by founding principal, Dr. Margaret Curran, and the academy's technology specialist, Lisa Jones. According to its mission statement, “Annunciation Catholic Academy is a parish school committed to fulfilling the Church's mandate to teach the Gospel and the tenets of our Catholic faith. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the academy strives to teach as Jesus taught and affirm the values of living as Jesus lived. [It] is committed to preparing its students to live out their faith in a global, technological society.” Since opening in 1996, Annunciation has graduated over 600 students and throughout this relatively brief history the academy has been recognized numerous times for its outstanding work in the field of Catholic education. From the outset, Dr. Curran had a vision of what could be achieved through the use of technology and this influenced not only decisions regarding technologies to be built-in to the school itself, but hiring decisions since only teachers who would be comfortable in this highly technological school setting would be hired.

of our choice to see, first hand, how technology is used to support the educational (and in many cases the catechetical) process. Twenty-three different classes were featured this morning using a wide variety of technical resources including their Classroom Performance System, digital (video) cameras, document cameras, SMART Board-based activities, specialized software, video clips, and web-based activities and resources. For example, in a first grade classroom, the children viewed a video clip about prayer and then participated in interactive SMART Board activities reinforcing the words and sequence of the Lord’s Prayer and keywords from the unit about the “Followers of Jesus”. Four groups of fourth graders were busy using video technology to film commercials that they devised on one of the Ten Commandments while in a sixth grade class the teacher used the SMART Board to project video clips of the Ark of the Covenant. These three examples ran the gamut from highly technical and expensive (the interactive SMART Board activities) to the use of digital cameras for videotaping or a computer projector for viewing images available from the Internet. Our morning at Annunciation gave our attendees a taste of what is possible. Granted the Academy is certainly well equipped and well endowed, but while it might not be feasible to equip all nonschool based classroom spaces in a parish catechetical program with SMART Boards and built in computers and projectors, the possibility exists that some of this technology (even if limited to a LCD projector connected to a notebook with internet access) could be used to help communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to the children of today, who are becoming more accustomed to this means of presentation.

While the conference participants would have numerous opportunities to see how to do a variety of technology-based activities within an educational setting over the course of our days together, especially while attending FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) later in the week, our visit to Annunciation Catholic Academy gave us a chance to experience what classroom teachers are using to integrate technology into religion and other subjects in the here and now.

Stephen Mawn

After our introduction to the school, attendees were invited to visit three different thirty-minute sessions

Associate Director Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life Albany Diocese INTERACTVE CONNECTIONS 3



Wednesday Presentations I arrived in Florida a "newbie" to the world of technology conferences and a "senior citizen" in the world of religious education…looking forward to the "Florida experience" of warm weather in the middle of a cold northern winter only to encounter the coldest January Florida has seen in a very long time. The day spent at Annunciation Catholic Academy was a real eye-opener. The physical plant was impressive with airy classrooms and a courtyard that allowed students some fresh air while changing classes. Teachers were welcoming and accommodating. My own sons, now grown and parents themselves, grew up in a time when we had to travel to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania just because they had some computer games kids could play; and here we are in an age where the only time I talk to my grandkids is texting on the cell phone. I have been involved in the peripheral edges of education for a while, I knew that things had changed drastically; but I was not prepared for what I witnessed at Annunciation! I think that what I was most impressed with is the lack of a computer class per se where kids signed up and took a class to learn how to use a computer. Technology in this school was embedded across curriculums at all grade levels. Administration, teachers and children alike were comfortable and engaged in the technology. Kindergarten children could move their little fingers quickly around the SMART Board to identify parts of the Mass. Adorable children in second grade could identify continents, oceans and mountain ranges without hesitation; competent fifth graders were using historical Christian art displayed on their computers in their projects. I left the school in amazement and wanted to move my grandchildren from northern Maine down there immediately. BUT when asked if these same technologies were available to the students in the religious education classes at the parish level, there was a pause. We experienced the Global Church Project that incorporated high school students from Australia, the UK and the US who produced an impressive presentation using all manner of technology effectively and efficiently to create an award-winning example of what can be done. The next experience of technology awareness came at the FETC ( Florida Educational Technology Conference). While I work on the computer almost the entire workday, have a Facebook account, text my grandkids often and e-mail constantly, I was introduced to the workings of WIKI sites, blogging accounts, NING, SKYPE possibilities and a host of other wonderful tools…but again, when faith formation was mentioned, the pauses were still telling. 4 INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS

The question for those in religious education is…How do we go about using all this wonderful stuff in our faith formation classes and with our adult learners? I learned terms (you know that phenomenon that when you hear a new term, it constantly surfaces) well, that’s the case with terms "digital natives and digital immigrants". They are everywhere! We, the generation of digital immigrants, are the ones who are tasked to bridge the gap between those digital natives who are coming to us with little solid knowledge of our rich faith stories, traditions and practices but are fluent in technology. They are coming to us (the immigrants) seeking our-their Catholic heritage. It is now our challenge and responsibility to swallow our pride, start with baby steps, and delve into the wonderful wide world of technology in order that the immigrants can provide the natives in a language we all can understand. I was humbled, awed and excited by the entire experience.

Pat Martin Program Coordinator Diocese of Metuchen pmartin@diometuchen.org

See Your Ad Here in the Next Issue Contact : CCERVENY@VERIZON.NET

Meeting with the FETC In January 2010, I had the pleasure of attending the first conference on digital catechesis. What an interesting and energizing experience! Two of the conference days involved participating in the annual FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference). I work at the diocesan level in the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis. I was interested in exploring how educational technology could be adapted for parish and diocesan implementation. Over the two days I focused my time on the workshops that I thought were most applicable and on meeting vendors who were interested in possible adaptations for church communities. A number of the workshops that I chose to attend outlined free resources on the web. While much of the content was geared towards particular subjects such as math or social studies, there were also many free resources that could be adapted to parish use. For example, there are many resources designed for digital storytelling. I can imagine using this type of medium to inspire teens or children to share witness stories or retell bible stories and parables. Parish leaders could use digital storytelling to follow the formation of children preparing for first Eucharist, then burn the video to a DVD that could be given to each family. Marriage preparation teams could create a digital story that offers engaged couples the opportunity to hear from different couples from the parish share how their faith is lived out in their marriages. Since the Global Church Project was a part of the first day of the Interactive Connections gathering, I also went to a workshop on using Google Earth effectively. I could imagine using Google Earth as an interactive directory with all of the parishes in a diocese “mapped out� and pictures of catechetical leaders and contact information available at each pushpin of the project. If parishes and diocesan departments are being encouraged to create digital narratives and use online resources, then I thought I should learn more about digital copyright issues. The workshop I attended on that topic was eye opening and gave me a whole new perspective on how to approach intellectual property, educational use of digital content, and creating policies that help employees and parishioners avoid unintentional misuse of materials with a copyright. The workshop helped gave me some language so I could speak further with people in my diocese who have experience with these issues. The last workshop I attended was on cyber-bullying. I decided to attend this workshop because it is such a prevalent issue for our youth and, as a church, we should be prepared to address it.


In light of all our work in creating a safe environment for young people it only makes sense that we include a christian response to cyberbullying. I also thought that ministers who were interested in working with teens using social networking sites should be aware of these types of issues in forming appropriate policies for participating in an online discussion group. The workshop gave me some excellent statistics and resources that could easily be adapted for parish use. In addition to the workshops I also spent a great deal of time meeting the vendors at FETC. There were over 500 exhibit hall displays available. To be honest, not all of the vendors were prepared to consider how their product might be used in a parish or diocesan setting. However, many became very excited as I explained my particular interests and were more than willing to follow up with me on how they could adapt to meet the needs of the church. Vendors for products like the Mimeo, a small, detachable unit which allows any whiteboard space to be turned into an interactive SMART Board understood how important it would be for a parish to have this kind of portable technology. A religious education class could be moved from room to room, and this technology could easy move with them. Vendors who create curriculum were also interested in adaptation. For example, I spoke with a vendor from “Rethink Autism” who was very excited about creating programs for parishes to help communities deal with some of the practical aspects of incorporating people with different needs into the parish community. Considering how tactile our worship is, and the prevalence of autism, this type of training could be very helpful to families in the parishes. Finally, I must add that attending a conference like FETC alone would not have been as effective as being with the INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS group. Having the opportunity at night to pray and compare notes with the other participants helped me to process a great deal of information and plan how to best spend my time at the conference. It also gave me great hope in the future of using technology in spreading the Gospel. I look forward to attending next year. Shannon Loughlin Director of Young Adult and Campus Ministry Diocese of Rochester


Next Year’s Conference

INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS 2011 January 31 (eve) - February 3, 2011 Save these dates. Monday - January 31 - Registration and social networking time Tuesday - February 1 - Focus on Pastoral and Faith-Based Educational Technology, watch for details Wednesday and/or Thursday - Visit the Florida Educational Technology conference held at the Orlando Convention Center. Stimulate your brain and imagination with a choice of nearly 200 sessions and events and more than 500 exhibiting technology vendors. Other pre- and postconference events including FETC handson workshops, and other options soon to be announced. Participants are invited to join in prayer and networking with others to process the FETC events and to share an evening meal. Where: Orlando Doubletree Resort, 10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821. To reserve your room at the special INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS rate of $89.00 per night (plus tax)

Why Did You Attend? My name is Rick and I am a digital immigrant. It’s not that I don’t know my way around a computer, or the Internet, or a Smartphone. I don’t feel at all like a stranger in today’s increasingly digital world, yet it’s obvious that those born into the digital age approach communication, information, and social interaction with an integration that I have yet to master. INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS was an opportunity for someone like me to get a good bit closer to understanding the possibilities of today’s communication and information capabilities for effective parish ministry. Five weeks later, I’m using Facebook to jump-start a young adults’ group (it’s actually working!), and exploring the use of some teaching videos to help people understand the Mass and other aspects of parish life. Not a bad outcome for a nice week in Florida.

Rick Hardy Pastoral Associate Our Lady of Fatima San Clemente, CA 92672 rrickhardy@aol.com

I was very excited to attend the first annual INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS conference this past January in Orlando, Florida. I believed this conference would fill a “very” large hole in the Catechetical world. Working with the soldiers and families in the US Army, religious education programs must utilize all available technology to meet the growing needs of soldiers that are separated from their families. I believe that we as Religious Educators must engage the youth where they are. At the present time, our children and youth are “digital natives” and so we must find ways to use the technology in assisting them as they develop spiritually. I believe we must find ways to incorporate the technology in our religious education programs to make it innovative and appealing. I found that INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS met my expectations and more. I left with many new ideas and challenges in implementing the wealth of knowledge I took from the conference. Interacting with other religious educators struggling with the same hopes was very helpful. Brian R Merry Director, Religious Education Installation Chaplain Office Fort Sam Houston TX brian.r.merry@us.army.mil

I work for the Diocese of Rochester in the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis. The diocese spans twelve counties, stretching from Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania border, and includes large rural areas as well as urban and suburban areas. The department realized a few years ago that to fully support the parish leadership in their work we needed to embrace technology and consider new ways of reaching out. The work we have done so far has been very exciting, and we know that there are more possibilities available. I attended this conference to get ideas from educators that could be translated into diocesan and parish use and to network with others interested in digital catechesis. Shannon Loughlin Director of Young Adult and Campus Ministry Diocese of Rochester Loughlin@dor.org

Just because theology studies the unchanging truths of the Catholic faith, it doesn’t follow that the ways of teaching theology must remain unchanged. In fact, if we wish to reach our students who live in a digital world, we must adapt our teaching to engage them. As the technology director of a Catholic high school, I wanted our theology teachers to explore the possibilities of making effective use of technology in their classrooms. I accompanied our whole department to the conference to provide encouragement and to facilitate discussions of feasibility for our school. Mary Frances Tapscott Technology Director St. Pius X High School Albuquerque, NM mftapscott@spx.k12.nm.us



Taking Baby Steps at Transfiguration Catholic Church in Marietta, GA Two of our staff members attended the INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference in January. We had the opportunity to attend workshops at the FETC (Florida Education Technology Conference) as well as, attend Annunciation Catholic School in Florida. At Annunciation, a Catholic elementary school we saw teachers using technology with their students. We saw religion classes using Google Earth to visit and report on Cathedrals and Basilica’s… yes, they virtually visited the churches, toured them and wrote reports. Another class used Google Earth to visit the Holy Land; and yet another class played interactive games from the religion publisher’s websites on a smart board. At the FETC we attended as many different workshop sessions as possible… Technology for Teachers on a Tight Budget, Wiki While You Work, Cool Tools for Learning and Teaching, Extreme Web 2.0 Makeover: Education Edition, Voice Threads, Blogs and Sharepoint, Security issues related to internet use, etc. The highlight of the conference was sharing what we saw and learned with other digital immigrants in faith formation. I think it is a fair assessment to say most of us felt like little ducks in a big ocean; but, we all wanted to learn to swim or get life preserving gear. It was all so exciting… the most important learning… our learners live in the world of technology; especially Web 2.0 technology. We have to meet the learners where they are to follow Jesus’ own pedagogy. So, we came back to the parish, met with our pastor… and fortunately, we have an IT Staff member. So here’s our action plan: 1. First step is getting our building wired for Internet connections in all classrooms. 2. Form a Digital Catechesis Committee – we advertised, announced, emailed --searched for IT people, people who love technology, teachers in public schools who use technology everyday and catechists. At our first meeting, we wanted to brainstorm and dream… then we’ll have to get practical. 3. At a recent Catechist Meeting (we fed them dinner to increase receptivity), we shared highlights from the conference and stressed the need to embrace adapting digital technology to faith formation. We also showed them a few quick, user-friendly programs they can use in the classroom: a. Google Earth – virtually visit and tour anywhere in the world. The applications for this program are infinite in faith formation. b. Wordle.net – takes phrases and creates a Word image… excellent application for summarizing a lesson. c. Blabberize.com – fun tool for a voice generated, animated video… free, and easy to use. We used it to deliver the Word of the Week and definition. It can easily be used with students to summarize the objective of what was learned in class. d. We showed them a few components that were interactive on the publisher’s websites that can be utilized in classroom learning. e. We showed them how to download a YouTube video to their computers. The children love short videos and it’s an excellent tool to use in teaching. It’s another way to make a point and appeals to many multiple intelligence learning styles… musical, artistic and linguistic. f. We created a Faith Formation blog and showed the catechists how easy it is to do. We encouraged them to create a class blog for parents to visit to keep them engaged in what their children are learning. We actually had two catechists who went home and made a blog for their classes.


g. We created a Wiki for our Parish Religious Education Program. We showed them the Wiki, explained how to use it so they could see all the resources we talked about which are supported on the Wiki. Sr. Caroline Cerveney is a pioneer and leader in applying Web 2.0 technology in faith formation and we showed our catechists the link to her NING on our Wiki and encouraged them to visit her ning for tons of resources, especially her appropriate video library. http://digitalcatechesis.ning.com/ And finally we showed a PowerPoint presentation to introduce the reflection for the evening. 4. Our goal for the upcoming school year: h. Catechists will use technology at least once a month in their classrooms. i. Offer training sessions throughout the summer and school year to support their adapting technology to faith formation. j. Learn more about Moodle and use that to interact with catechists and families for the 2010-11 school years. k. Make our parish forms Web 2.0 so families can complete the forms and return them electronically. Currently, they can access the form on the web, but have to download, print, scan and email, fax or physically return it to the office. Yes, all this technology is a little scary and overwhelming, but we have to at least take baby steps and learn to walk in this global world. We cannot, stand by and do nothing‌ that is not an option!

Joyce Guris, M.Ed., is the Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry at Transfiguration Catholic Church, Marietta, GA.

Rita Norman PREP Administrator/Adult Education Coordinator Transfiguration Catholic Church, Marietta, GA

Joyce Guris with children at Annunciation Academy

Rita Norman with conference attendees


Steps to Global Church Partnership World Youth Day in 2008 in Sydney was a revelation for young people in far-off Australia. The Church for which they have so much love and loyalty was revealed to be a global community of enormous vitality and variety composed of many people, many cultures and involved in many missions. But what was most striking was growing awareness of the unity in this diversity: young people from so many nations, across so many parts of the world worshipping the same Jesus, holding to the same Faith and celebrating the same values. The sense of unity was reinforced by the billetting, the activities in which they were jointly involved and the friendships and connectedness that were created. Although many of these young people will travel to Madrid, they wanted to capture that sense belonging to a Global Church in a permanent way. An opportunity came with the inaugural INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference in Orlando, Florida to reconnect with the sense of the Church as a global community. One of the projected activities was to be a collaborative project between students from the Archdiocese of Sydney and students from the Dioceses of St Petersburg and Orlando who would work together as a demonstration of the reach of new technolo10 INTERACTVE CONNECTIONS

gies engaging widely dispersed communities. At the same time, as students as citizens of the 21st century they were keen to respond to the Pope’s call to show how the new technologies could be used in the cause of evangelization and “to cast into the deep” (Duc et Altum) The Year of the Priest provided a timely focus for these activities for it allowed the students to show the roles of priests in the communities to which the students belonged in a range of ministries as a synopsis of the roles that priests play in the global community. Students would collaborate on creating and sharing digital stories of priests with whom they had a close association. The process Contact was made between interested personnel from Dioceses in Australia and America through SYKPE to scope the project. Following the agreements made, Sr Caroline Cerveny suggested that a NING social networking community be setup, first for Directors of interested schools and then for students from those schools to discuss ideas, procedures and progress. Michael Geelan, theology teacher at Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando initiated the NING activity.

One class was selected from each of the participating schools. Our Lady of Mercy College, Burreneer and All Saints Boys College in New South Wales, Australia and St Petersburg Catholic High and Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Florida, America. Each class divided itself into four groups to identify a priest whose digital story to tell, make contact, plan an interview, familiarize themselves with digital storytelling, film then finally edit. The semi-completed films were then uploaded to Ning for comment and evaluation. Three principles guided the students’ work: 

Persuing the widest possible variety in the selection of priest and in techniques for digital telling and filming;  Using technology at hand - mobile phones, camcorders, laptops and desktops for editing;  Employing best practice in digital storytelling. Once judged ready for public viewing came the question of publishing and sharing. Google Earth was chosen as the appropriate vehicle. Google Earth is an astounding technology that allows the user to make virtual tours to almost any place on the planet. But in the case of this project it also served as a metaphor for the global nature of the work of the priests by mapping their stories against the globe itself. The digital stories could be effectively pinned at the places where their ministries actually occur and embedded in the environments where they are enacted - the hustle and bustle of seedy King’s Cross in Sydney, the suburban parishes in Florida, the busy playing fields and buildings of Bishop Moore, St Pete’s and Bosco in Engadine, NSW. Using street view, the simple lines of Mgr Gordon’s Parish Church can be seen as well as the soaring towers of St Mary’s Cathedral.Google Earth also allows the stories to be organized into a tour or pilgrimage, another appropriate metaphor for the Pilgrim Church. INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference The virtual sharing was complemented by some physical sharing. Students from all the schools gathered in January 2010, to demonstrate to the attending participants of the inaugural INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference what they had done. If the audience reactions are anything to go by, eyes were opened both to the capacities of our young people and the level of engagement that the new technologies can bring. To see the presentation go to: http://stage.cecnsw.catholic.edu.au/2010/globalchurch.kmz You will need to have Google Earth loaded on your machine and reasonably good broadband. Allow a little time to fully load. You start the tour by expanding the globalchurch6.kmz link which should appear in the sidebar. You can then choose either to visit the stories separately or as part of tour/pilgrimage. (Found right at the bottom of the listing.)

Adrian Brown is Education Officer for the Catholic Education Commission New South Wales (Australia). He holds an Masters (Hons) Degree in Educational Technology


Membership in INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS With the dawn of a new decade, ministers and teachers will increasingly integrate learning technology into their faith-based ministry at all levels from Pre-K through adult formation. The advantage of being a member of the NEW INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS group, comes in your member benefits and opportunities: 





IC Updates (Beginning, September 2010 - monthly e-newsletter)


Special Interest Groups (Digital Storytelling, Online Formation, Web 2.0 Opportunities, Digital Catechesis, Global Social Networking Projects and Opportunities, and others as identified)


Member Prices on IC books and webinars (Scheduled for January 2012)


IC Annual Conference and Exposition Discount


Voting Privileges


TBD - Awards and Recognition Opportunities


IC Social Networking Opportunities (Including IC NINGs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the IC Blog)


Volunteer Leadership (from local to international opportunities)


Professional Development (white papers, trainings, and access to high quality webinars) - Scheduled for January, 2012. % Discount TBD.


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