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557 Dove Terrace West Oldsmar, FL 34677 727-744-4684 NCCL White Paper-USCCB ADAPTATION of

“Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development for Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age

Faith-Based Projects: 21st Century Communication and Collaboration

By Dr. Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF, President, INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Adrian Brown, MA, Education Officer for the Catholic Education Commission, New South Wales (Australia)

April 21, 2010

Introduction 21st Century Faith Learning

Contents Introduction


A View of Our History


Web 1.0 Communications


Web 2.0 Communications


Steps to Global Partnership


Global Church Project Benefits




A View of Our History Exploring the documents to support our mission of 21st Century Communications and Learning Web 1.0 Communications Discuss the Web 1.0 World styles Web 2.0 Communications Rethinking our teaching Paradigm with Communications Technologies Benefit 1 Better Communication and Interaction Benefit 2 Collaboration Benefit 3 Research shows that children who use technology for learning are more engaged and motivated to achieve Implementation Steps To Global Church Partnership Global Church Project Benefits Benefits of 21st Century Communication and Collaboration in Religion Classes Summary

Introduction 21st Century Learning has become a major focus of The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE ÂŽ). The ISTE Mission Statement - promotes excellence in learning and teaching through innovative and effective uses of technology. One can only look back in amazement at the growth and development of educational technology that started a little over 30 years ago. On June 1, 1979 a few educators gathered to begin the foundation for the organization that would become the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). What is astounding is that all subject areas, except for Religion, benefit from this premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) and ISTE's annual conference and exposition (formerly NECC), represents more than 100,000 professionals worldwide. In these early years, as educators were realizing the importance of training educators to integrate technology. I can recall, while I worked in the Archdiocesan Office of Religious Education in Chicago how Catholic school educators were taught to write Technology Plans in order to both purchase equipment and train teachers to use the computer that was just beginning to enter into the classroom. A 1985 story that I sadly recall from a Catholic School Religion teacher - Her principal said to this teacher, "Don't bother going to computer training, technology is not important for her Religion classroom." Needless to say, not teaching our ministry personnel - religion teachers at the school and parish levels from K-12, youth ministers, pastors, deacons, directors of religious education, adult faith formation personnel and any other minister - professional or volunteer is no longer an option. It is time to engage all ministers in 21st Century learning skills. We will do it inch by inch so that we can engage the 21st Century Digital Native in learning their faith with a blended approach of tradition and 21st Century tools. We have reached a point in time, where the appropriate use of technology in religion and ministry is needed more than ever. The models of what and how to do it resides in the educational technology field. This white paper will focus on the adolescent and their ministers at the school and parish level. These adolescents are often referred to as Digital Natives. What does that mean today? What are the technology characteristics of these Digital Natives or Millennials as they are referred to? The answers to these questions will get clearer as you read through this white paper. The focus of this white paper offers creative and doable options in order to involve our adolescents in the use of digital media in order to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others in a faith environment.

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As we examine these options, an attempt will be made to identify certain aspects of the curriculum framework that lend themselves to the use of digital media. Overall, this white paper presents an opportunity for teachers and ministers of adolescents to learn how to: a) interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media. b) communicate faith effectively to national and international audiences using a variety of media and formats. c) develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures. d) contribute to project teams to produce original works to evangelize the world around us.


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A View of Our History There are many Vatican documents that can be referenced in order to establish that technology and communications is important part in faith formation and evangelization. As we look at these Vatican documents I will simply note the title, author, and date. I would encourage you to read and reflect further on this content.    

Inter Mirifica, [December 4, 1963], Paul VI, DECREE ON THE MEDIA OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS - Communio et Progressio, [1971], ON THE MEANS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION, Second Vatican Council - CANON LAW, [1983] , refer to the canons on the instruments of social communication (Cann. 822 - 832) - XXXXX Vigilanti Cura, [1936], Encyclical on Cinema, Pius XI -

Over the past 12 years, the annual World Day of Communications Letter, has focused on the following themes:            

"The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word" [Sunday, 16 May 2010], Benedict XVI - "New Technologies, New Relationships. Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship." [Sunday, 24 May 2009 ], Benedict XVI "The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service. Searching for the Truth in order to Share it with Others." [Sunday, 4 May 2008], Benedict XVI - "Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education" [Sunday, 20 May 2007], John Paul II - "The Media: A Network for Communication, Communion and Cooperation" [Sunday, 28 May 2006], Benedict XVI - "The Communications Media: At the Service of Understanding Among Peoples" [Sunday, 8 May 2005], John Paul II - "The Media and the Family: A Risk and a Richness " [Sunday, 23 May 2004], John Paul II - "The Communications Media at the Service of Authentic Peace in the Light of 'Pacem in Terris'" [Sunday, 1 June 2003}, John Paul II - "Internet: A New Forum for Proclaiming the Gospel" [Sunday, 12 May 2002], John Paul II - "Preach From the Housetops": The Gospel in the Age of Global Communication [Sunday, 27 May 2001], John Paul II - “Proclaiming Christ in the Media at the Dawn of the New Millennium” [ Sunday, 4 June 2000], John Paul II - “Mass media: a friendly companion for those in search of the Father” [Sunday, 16 May 1999], John Paul II -

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Looking back, it is gratifying to me that the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, promulgated statements related to the Internet:  "Ethics in Internet" [February 22, 2002], John P Foley, PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS -  "The Church and Internet" [February 22, 2002], John P Foley, PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS -  "Ethics in Communication" [June 4, 2000], John P Foley, PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS - This brief survey makes it clear that communications in all its forms, is important to the life of the Church. What is missing for me as an educational technologist, is the importance of the integration of technology at all levels into the teaching and learning of our faith. The major document that comes closest to the mark for me is: The March 19, 1986 document promulgated by the Congregation for Catholic Education, the GUIDE TO THE TRAINING OF FUTURE PRIESTS CONCERNING THE INSTRUMENTS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION - This document reminds us that... Formation in the means of social communication is relatively new. (pg. 1) The point has now been reached where, by a constant acceleration in technological development, worldwide and instantaneous communication has become possible between the members of the human race, and the instruments which permit this exchange evolve more refined and sophisticated forms at an astonishing rate. (Introduction) the correct use of the instruments of social communication (and in general, of every technique of expression and communication) in their pastoral activities, when the circumstances permit it; (pg. 10) given practical, "hands on" exercises, possibly with the help of experts from outside, in the proper use of communications equipment; speaking to microphone, movie camera, or telecamera, with special attention to performance in liturgical ceremonies, interviewing and being interviewed, writing news and feature articles and scripts for radio and television, and composing advertising copy." (pg. 10) What stands out as important for us to remember in our journey of faith-based educational technology - social communications technology is one component. Educational Technology consists of at least three components: administrative or information technology (IT planning, implementing, administering, and maintaining data systems, including servers, data storage, firewall, and security systems.); communications technology (today digital communication tools engage us in new ways to teach and communicate with our audiences - websites and more), and learning technology, which emerged in the late 60's. According to O'Shea, Isroff and Scanloni , Educational

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technologists would not therefore consider the computer as just another piece of equipment. If educational technology is concerned with thinking carefully about teaching and learning, then a computer has a contribution to make irrespective of its use as a means of implementation, for the design of computer based learning environments gives us a new perspective on the nature of teaching and learning and indeed on general educational objectives. What I've learned as an educational technology specialist, is that a computer is simply a tool that provides any teacher with new options for teaching the faith. In reflecting on how these tools can be used in faith formation, I would like to call attention to two statements from the last two World Day Communications Letters: The development of the new technologies and the larger digital world represents a great resource for humanity as a whole and for every individual, and it can act as a stimulus to encounter and dialogue. But this development likewise represents a great opportunity for believers. No door can or should be closed to those who, in the name of the risen Christ, are committed to drawing near to others. To priests (And I would include young people) in particular the new media offer ever new and far-reaching pastoral (learning) possibilities, encouraging them to embody the universality of the Church's mission, to build a vast and real fellowship, and to testify in today's world to the new life which comes from hearing the Gospel of Jesus, the eternal Son who came among us for our salvation. Benedict PP. XVI, World Day Communications Letter, 2010 The new digital technologies are, indeed, bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships. These changes are particularly evident among those young people who have grown up with the new technologies and are at home in a digital world that often seems quite foreign to those of us who, as adults, have had to learn to understand and appreciate the opportunities it has to offer for communications. In this year’s message, I am conscious of those who constitute the so-called digital generation and I would like to share with them, in particular, some ideas concerning the extraordinary potential of the new technologies, if they are used to promote human understanding and solidarity. These technologies are truly a gift to humanity and we must endeavor to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable. Benedict PP. XVI, World Day Communications Letter, 2009

As I reflect on these documents, I am amazed at how long we have been called and prodded to consider the importance of social media in our faith lives. As an educational technologist, it is the creative blend of the traditional with the emerging digital mediums in a learning environment this is important today. We once used papyrus scrolls to pass on God's word to the next generation. Today, we use electronic books to communicate the Gospel to the ever evolving Digital Generation. 7 What I offer in this white paper, reflects a pilot project that began after a long-term relationship with Adrian Brown, Education Officer for the Catholic Education Commission, New South Wales (Australia) that began during his sabbatical visit to the

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States in the Fall, 2003. Adrian was a co-presenter with me at the 2009 Annual National Conference of Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) Conference in Detroit, Michigan. As we shared over meals last Spring, I posed the question - "Adrian, what about high school students collaborating on a religion project using the social media tools that we now have available to us?" His response was, "I'll go back and check with our high school department to see if they are interested." I'll share more about this project later in this paper.


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Web 1.0 Communications Many of us are just beginning to realize that we are on shifting sands when it comes to Internet technology. Most of us are comfortable with the 1.0 world. On May 29, 2006, Joe Drumgoole, an entrepreneur who creates software startups, posted at his Copacetic blog ( ) the following:               

Web 1.0 was about reading, Web 2.0 is about writing Web 1.0 was about companies, Web 2.0 is about communities Web 1.0 was about client-server, Web 2.0 is about peer to peer Web 1.0 was about HTML, Web 2.0 is about XML Web 1.0 was about home pages, Web 2.0 is about blogs Web 1.0 was about portals, Web 2.0 is about RSS Web 1.0 was about taxonomy, Web 2.0 is about tags Web 1.0 was about wires, Web 2.0 is about wireless Web 1.0 was about owning, Web 2.0 is about sharing Web 1.0 was about IPOs, Web 2.0 is about trade sales Web 1.0 was about Netscape, Web 2.0 is about Google Web 1.0 was about web forms, Web 2.0 is about web applications Web 1.0 was about screen scraping, Web 2.0 is about APIs Web 1.0 was about dialup, Web 2.0 is about broadband Web 1.0 was about hardware costs, Web 2.0 is about bandwidth costs

What a fascinating comparison between these two worlds back in 2006 when most of us had not heard about Web 2.0 tools! Joe, in his unique way describes the major differences between these two worlds. Simply put, Web 1.0 is the read/write web. I create a website (i.e., write) and then you come and read what I have to say. Another way of looking at the 1.0 World is to identify the types of tools we know and are comfortable with:          

Presentation software, like PowerPoint LCD projectors Discs Cassettes Slides Multimedia Cinema (Movies) Video The emergence of digital photography and more.

These tools represent a 1.0 World. To understand what 1.0 is about go to Wikipedia ( Here are a few comments from this article:

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1.0 trends included worries over privacy concerns resulting in a one-way flow of information, through websites which contained "read-only" material. Widespread computer illiteracy and slow internet connections added to the restrictions of the internet, which characterized Web 1.0. Now, during Web 2.0, the use of the Web can be characterized as the decentralization of website content, which is now generated from the "bottom-up", with many users being contributors and producers of information, as well as the traditional consumers. It is now 2010, and in four years our electronic tools now allow us to be participants in a Global Church. In the 2.0 World we have styles of media at our fingertips that we never imagined as possible. Catechetical ministers who want to be part of modern life and to be effective today in catechetical ministry at all levels, should know how the media work upon the fabric of society, and also the technique of their use. This paper will begin to articulate how these tools, can be used in a catechetical setting with high school students that go beyond the traditional classroom or traditional tools. To learn more about this Participatory Culture I would recommend reading Henry Jenkins paper, Confronting the Challenges of Participator Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century ( 108773&ct=3017973&notoc=1)


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Web 2.0 Communications So what is Web 2.0? I turn to Wikepedia (, which states: The term "Web 2.0" (2004–present) is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, usercentered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, socialnetworking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups, and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them. The term is closely associated with Tim O'Reilly because of the O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to cumulative changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the Web. Whether Web 2.0 is qualitatively different from prior web technologies has been challenged by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, who called the term a "piece of jargon" — precisely because he intended the Web to embody these values in the first place. What I've learned about Web 2.0 technologies encourages me to use my imagination and creativity to engage others with new tools. Granted, I will never be able to use all of the potential tools. However, I have (to name a few) the following types of tools in the various categories: Social Networking Tools:      

Bebo - Facebook - LinkedIn - MySpace - Ning - Plaxo -

Publishing Tools:      - Joomla - SlideShare - TypePad - Word Press -

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Photo Sharing Tools:    

Flickr - Photobucket - Picasa - Twitxr -

Audio Tools   

iTunes - Podbean - Rhapsody -

Video Tools    

Google Video - Hulu - YouTube - Animoto -

Microblogging Tools   

Plurk - Twitter - Twitxr -

Livecasting Tools    

BlogTalkRadio - Live 365 - SHOUTcast - TalkShoe

Virtual Worlds  

Active Worlds - Second Life -

Productivity Applications    

Google Docs - Google Gmail - Survey Monkey - Zoomerang - INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS | For NCCL Conference participants ONLY – Please Do Not Distribute For further information contact Caroline Cerveny CCERVENY@VERIZON.NET


Hundreds of Web 2.0 tools are available and many are free! Our challenge today is to become familiar with these tools and then to integrate them into a learning environment with our high school students. Now I would like to highlight the tools that we used for the Global Church Project. What is significant to remember about today's learning environment is that we are now able to collaborate and work with one another regardless of distance - from one city to another, from one neighborhood to another neighborhood, and more surpringly from one country to another country. One of the best resources for Web 2.0 collaboration is located at Terry Freedman's website. The booklet, Web 2.0 Projects, or any updates of it, may be downloaded free of charge from As you read through the projects that have already been used in many classrooms around the world, you will be amazed to see in use a variety of Web 2.0 tools, mostly free that have been used to integrate technology into the learning process. So, the Global Church Project stands as just one of many possible collaborative classroom projects. May your minds be stimulated to see the potential of teaching in new ways with your religion students. The Global Church Project will be discussed further later in this white paper. What I would like to highlight now for you are the tools (2.0 tools, software options, and equipment) that were used for the project: SKYPE - An Internet telephone and videophone service (local and international service) from Skype Limited, Luxembourg. After a download to your computer, calls between subscribers are free, including videophoning (one-to-one videophone service). Most calls are free. MS LIVE - This tool will allow multi-site video connections. To make sure that the connections worked (there are some technical issues to consider), IT staff members from each of the locations (Sydney, Australia, Orlando and St. Petersburg, Florida) were involved with the student teams to make sure that all went smoothly. This also involved the IT staff doing a trial run the week before the video conference meeting. A variety of web cams were used (Australia - Roundtable camera). GOOGLE EARTH - Inserting video into PowerPoint was once an exciting way to show the videos that students created. Today, one can weave together a meditative story using Google Earth and student created videos from one end of the world to another. We'll talk more about this later. NING - . Using NING a Facebook type community was created that only allowed membership of students involved in the project and faculty to become a virtual community with one another. FACEBOOK - (Optional) Some students, outside of the class work became FB friends with one another. This especially happened with the students who were present for the January INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS conference INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS | For NCCL Conference participants ONLY – Please Do Not Distribute For further information contact Caroline Cerveny CCERVENY@VERIZON.NET


presentation in Orlando. Some of the schools had restrictions regarding the use of FB in school. EMAIL SERVERS (varied). Varied email services were used by the staff - Verizon, Gmail, and School servers. Despite trying to resolve issues of "black listed" emails, resolution of the problem was not resolved. We then used Gmail for all staff communications during the project time. This incident is shared to highlight that there are alternative options for email if problems arise. VIDEO SOFTWARE (varied). Depending on what students had available to them, a variety of software clients were used to create the videos. Several students used MAC notebooks which has all the software needed to create a video production. Others were able to download MS Movie Maker (a free program) to their computers which allowed them to create a video. POWERPOINT. Some students chose to use PowerPoint, as this is what they have available to them. Digital Camera and Digital Video (varied). Students used equipment that was easily available to them either at the personal or school level - cell phones, digital camera/video equipment, or flip digital cameras to record either digital photographs and/or video. Computer Equipment (varied). Both Mac and PC equipment was utilized by the students. Internet Access. High band Internet access needed to be available at all locations. What is important to note is that it was not necessary to go out and purchase new equipment or software. Those involved in this project simply used what was already available. Overall I observed that those involved were excited in using these tools. If they did not know how to use a tool like NING, they learned quickly!


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Benefits of Web 2.0 In order to articulate the benefits of integrating social media into the learning process, I would like to bring in comments from others who are already involved in using these tools. Benefit 1- Better Communication and Interaction Nowadays, technology has become so pervasive, so essential, so advanced in society that its integration into classroom instruction is imperative. Of course, there have been past instances of the integration of technology with education, but these were limited to tutorials, drills, and practices using the personal computer. Not anymore. Technology continues to expand its beneficial influence into enhanced communication and interaction between teachers and students from all across the globe, better instructional materials that reach out to more people than ever, and better information transfer at lightning speed, among other things. Better Communication and Interaction

Technology allows participants in the two-way learning process to communicate and interact better primarily through the opportunities presented to improve lectures with a variety of audio-visual tools, to enhance the flexibility of presentations through interactive technology, to improve the sharing of resources including new knowledge and processes, and to demonstrate complex concepts in a clearer manner. In essence, the transfer of knowledge in education becomes smoother because technology assists in transmitting it in a faster and clearer way, with ample space for graphic manipulation and stimulation of human interest. Of course, technology provides for the important bases of communication – the storage of past data and the instant feedback on present information. For this reason, too, technology is an excellent tool for assessment purposes as well as advocacy issues between the students and the teachers. Resource: Remember Anything - Benefits of Technology in the Classroom article Benefit 2 - Collaboration In researching the benefits of collaboration, I discovered the 44 benefits of collaboration that Ted Panitz, President, Cape Cod Community College outlines at Later I will refer to several of these benefits and how they were exhibited in the project. These benefits are: 1. Develops higher level thinking skills 2. Promotes student-faculty interaction and familiarity 3. Increases student retention

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4. Builds self esteem in students 5. Enhances student satisfaction with the learning experience 6. Promotes a positive attitude toward the subject matter 7. Develops oral communication skills 8. Develops social interaction skills 9. Promotes positive race relations 10. Creates an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning 11. Uses a team approach to problem solving while maintaining individual accountability 12. Encourages diversity understanding 13. Encourages student responsibility for learning 14. Involves students in developing curriculum and class procedures 15. Students explore alternate problem solutions in a safe environment 16. Stimulates critical thinking and helps students clarify ideas through discussion and debate 17. Enhances self management skills 18. Fits in well with the constructivist approach 19. Establishes an atmosphere of cooperation and helping school wide 20. Students develop responsibility for each other 21. Builds more positive heterogeneous relationships 22. Encourages alternate student assessment techniques 23. Fosters and develops interpersonal relationships 24. Modeling problem solving techniques by students' peers 25. Students are taught how to criticize ideas, not people 26. Sets high expectations for students and teachers 27. Promotes higher achievement and class attendance . 28. Students stay on task more and are less disruptive 29. Greater ability of students to view situations from others' perspectives (development of empathy) 30. Creates a stronger social support system 31. Creates a more positive attitude toward teachers, principals and other school personnel by students and creates a more positive attitude by teachers toward their students 32. Addresses learning style differences among students 33. Promotes innovation in teaching and classroom techniques 34. Classroom anxiety is significantly reduced 35. Test anxiety is significantly reduced 36. Classroom resembles real life social and employment situations 37. Students practice modeling societal and work related roles 38. CL is synergistic with writing across the curriculum 39. CL activities can be used to personalize large lecture classes 40. Skill building and practice can be enhanced and made less tedious through CL activities in and out of class. 41. CL activities promote social and academic relationships well beyond the classroom and individual course

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42. CL processes create environments where students can practice building leadership skills. 43. CL increases leadership skills of female students 44. In colleges where students commute to school and do not remain on campus to participate in campus life activities, CL creates a community environment within the classroom. Regardless of whether we are teaching math, religion or any other subject, a collaborative approach offers many benefits to our students. Benefit 3 - Research shows that children who use technology for learning are more engaged and motivated to achieve. When you have a moment, take time to read one or more research projects that are offered here for your understanding of how technology is affecting learning in the 21st Century. The Digital Generation Project - Today's kids are born digital -- born into a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibilities. But their digital lifestyle is about more than just cool gadgets; it's about engagement, self-directed learning, creativity, and empowerment. The Digital Generation Project tells their stories so that educators and parents can understand how kids learn, communicate, and socialize in very different ways than any previous generation. Pew Research in the area of Technology and Media Use Here you will find several reports. You may want to review The Impact of the Internet on Institutions in the Future report. In general, the Pew Internet & American Life Project develop and advance knowledge about the role of emerging technologies and media trends in society. Kaiser Foundation - Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year-olds Few would deny that media play a central role in the lives of today’s children and adolescents. Their homes, indeed their bedrooms, are saturated with media. Many young people carry miniaturized, portable media with them wherever they go. They comprise the primary audience for popular music; they form important niche audiences for TV, movies, video games, and print media (each of these industries produces extensive content targeted primarily at kids); they typically are among the early adopters of personal computers (indeed, of most new media) and remain a primary target of much of the content of the World Wide Web. This report covers what researchers are learning about this Generation M.

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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 stood forth 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 came in the 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 billetting1, the activities in which they were jointly involved and the long-term friendships and connectedness that were created. Although many of these young people will travel to Madrid, they wanted to capture that sense of belonging to a Global Church in a more 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 effort 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 outreach of new technologies in engaging widely dispersed communities of Faith. At the same time as student 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 and range of ministries of priests in their communities. The end result is a kaleidoscope of digital stories representing our priests in the global community. Students would collaborate on creating and sharing the 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 outline the project. After the agreements were made, Sr Caroline Cerveny suggested that a NING social networking community be set-up, 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. 18 1

Many of the WYD pilgrims were given temporary homes in the homes of Sydneysiders. These were billets

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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 School and Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Florida. Each class divided itself into four groups to identify a priest whose story they wanted 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: Pursuing 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 ready for public viewing, then came the question of publishing and sharing. Google Earth was chosen as the appropriate vehicle. Google Earth offers an astounding technology which allows the user to make virtual tours to almost any place on the planet. But in the case of the Global Church Project, Google Earth 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 take place 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 in Sydney. 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 face to face sharing in Orlando. Students from all the schools gathered in Orlando 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

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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.)

Global Church Project article prepared by: Adrian Brown, Education Officer for the Catholic

Education Commission, New South Wales (Australia). He holds a Masters (Hons) Degree in Educational Technology and was inaugural Computer Educator of the Year (NSW)


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Global Church Project Benefits Benefits of 21st Century Communication and Collaboration in Religion Classes The Global Church Project demonstrates many of the advantages of Web 2.0 outlined in this paper:    

providing the opportunity for students from opposite sides of the world to interact, collaborate, and publish using social networking; enabling young Catholics to appreciate the global and universal nature of our Church through Google Earth; developing an awareness of the different traditions that operate within this universal church through the creation of digital stories; and, learning to use technology in the cause of evangelization and deepening of faith, through publication on the Internet to a worldwide audience.

As a Catechetical Leader with 17 years of experience in educational technology, I see the many possible benefits while engaging our high school students in learning their Catholic faith. So that these comments are not only from my perspective I invited those who attended the first INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS Conference to share their insights to the following stem sentence - As I remember the Global Church Project presentation during the INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS CONFERENCE, the benefits of 21st Century communication and collaboration in Religion Classes for me are/is ____. Tim Welch, Catholic Education Ministries, Diocese of Saint Cloud, and a presenter at the INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS conference said: 

The Google Earth flyover.... our own Mission Office keeps stressing the need for Global Awareness... The flyover (the graphical, near 3D, "bouncing" from one parish to the next, one city to the next, one country to another... and one continent to another) offers the viewer a sense of a global church in a way unparalleled by mere words.

Use of communication tools opens a whole new world of opportunity for community building. The fact that high schoolers have already successfully employed these tools encourages the rest of us to investigate this new power. I can imagine parish programs thinking there isn't time for such investigation... but I wonder if it is catechetical malpractice if we don't make use of such opportunities.

The interviews, especially the video techniques used as introduction to the interviews, demonstrate that now anyone can create powerful storytelling resources for others to consume, and, no doubt, learn much by creating these resources.

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This project, and the technology tools used, resulted in the physical gathering of youth from two continents. Something, I would surmise, that wouldn't have happened outside of the project. Rather than being fearful of how technology can isolate, we can celebrate and leverage how technology can integrate.

Joyce Guris, DRE at Transfiguration Parish, Marietta, GA shares: 

A way to teach kids that our church is bigger than our immediate faith community (i.e., Transfiguration!) Reminds me of Pentecost when the Apostles could spread the good news of Jesus Christ to all!

Valerie Shpak, a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Potchogue, NY, New York says: 

As I remember I thought of it as becoming a tool for the new communications that had just made the world of Religious Education an interconnected realm filled with new frontiers for dialogue and real time interaction that was never easily at hand. I felt like the possibilities were more than I could grasp at the moment but it became oh so exciting thinking of new possibilities while bringing the cultures together in religious dialogue.

I was caught in a new mindset that wasn't limited by anything out of reach, there were oh so many possibilities and I kept asking everyone what do you think of a global religion project? So far everyone seems fascinated just as I was when I experienced it at the conference.

Anthony Munro, Project Officer, eLearning in Religious Education, Catholic Education Office, Sydney stated: The benefits of 21st Century communication and collaboration in Religion Classes for me - it bridges the divide between nations, cultures, time zones and ages; allows for collaborative approaches to student centric learning, empowering students to learn through being active participants in the learning process. Also, students can use tools that are familiar to them, such as iPods, mobile phones etc to capture situations from their life experiences and to share these through the instant access of web 2.0 technology. I (Cerveny) am going back to Panitz's 44 benefits of collaboration. There are several in his list that stand out for me: 

One of our major tasks as teachers is to develop the leadership skills of our students, especially to be Catholic leaders. This project directed students to meet with Catholic leaders - Archbishop, Bishop, and priests in various ministries. They listened to their stories and then retold their story so that other students and anyone in the world could hear the story. Instead of just talking in class about the

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ministry of an archbishop, bishop, or priest - these students were exposed to what our leaders are doing in everyday life. In turn, they re-echoed the story! 

As I listened to the presentations of the 10 teens who were part of the conference presentation, I couldn't help but experience their positive self esteem. Each student articulated what they had learned and what this project meant to them. More importantly, I heard them say, each in their own way, that this project deepened their personal and global faith experience.

Creates an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning. Each team worked together to determine what questions they were going to use in the interview with their priest. They had to figure out how they were going to record this event - in photo format? video format? digital audio format? In turn, once the interview was completed, they needed to figure out what was important to retell in the story of the person they would soon be introducing to the world!

Students develop responsibility for each other - that is they worked as a team to complete a project. So often we send students off to complete projects by themselves instead of engaging them in the wisdom of the community. In today's church, we need to develop the wisdom community. Do we not want to develop the following: A wise person has perspective. They can see the big picture without losing sight of the small. They can see the part without losing sight of the whole. They understand the partnerships of day and night, good and bad, the known and the unknown. They have observed how it all fits together, including their own limitations and immense ignorance - and that realization makes them humble, insightful and flexible. They are free to creatively see and respond to what's actually around them.~ Tom Atlee

Recently, Anthony forwarded to me a copy of the Catholic Education Office digital newsletter. I was pleasantly surprised to find an article from the four students who presented during the conference. As you read the student reflection, ask yourself - how did this project make a difference in the faith lives of these students?

GLOBALCHURCHPROJECT G‘day! Our names are Adrian Vincent, Andrew Hamill, Kate Berger and Megan Muller, and we were the four students selected to represent the two catholic schools from the southern region of Sydney, Australia on the 27th state of America - Florida. Adrian and Andrew come from All Saints Catholic Boys College in Liverpool and Kate and Megan are from Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer, and going to Florida was one of the most exhilarating experiences of our lives. We were the only four students -(with four accompanying teachers) that were selected, and one of the boys - Andrew Hamill - had never been on a plane before. So to summarize his feelings preflight, anxiousness and nerves would fit perfectly. However once we all arrived in Florida, America after three grueling flights, we

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were buzzing. The excitement us teens felt could not be contained, which is probably why we couldn‘t sleep at all the night we got in. Over the 9 days we stayed there, we definitely took some time to ‗appreciate‘ the variety of things Orlando has to offer, such as EPCOT centre, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, and an important one for the females on the trip - shopping! However, the main reason we had travelled the15027km, was to present our project based on the pope‘s announcement of ―The Year for the Priest‖. The project involved students from both schools interviewing priests from near and far to find out their opinions, beliefs and ideas to explore their vocation and ministry. The Global Church Project is based on the idea proposed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, of using technology to connect young people from across the Globe in effort for Catholic youths to exchange ideas, grow deeper in their faith and participate in a type of ―New Evangelization‖. To achieve this, four schools, two from Australia and two from the USA, were chosen to participate in the project. The two schools chosen from Australia were All Saints Catholic Boys College Liverpool and Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer and the two schools from America were Bishop Moore and St. Petersburg High School. The opportunity to travel to America was quite overwhelming and being elected to be a part of this project was truly a privilege. A lot of effort and work went towards the Presentation which was presented at a global conference in Florida. We had to use our wits and time in order to collaborate with schools across the globe, Communication and Accessibility was an obstacle we encountered and surpassed successfully. Not only have we learnt, bonded and reflected upon the experience we have had- but we have also strengthened and deepened our faith. Overall, we believe that the efforts of the classes, students, teachers and public involved all felt the greatness and were in awe of the product and how successful the event turned out to be- and with that we continue to focus on our religious curriculum and sway towards the future in anticipation of what possibilities await us next.


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Summary Of course this project made a difference in these students faith lives! Further reflection on the benefits of 21st Century Learning initiatives - the engagement of both the traditional and the 21st Styles of Learning opportunities that integrates emerging technologies are very important for us to consider today in our catechetical ministries. Today, more than ever, we are called to become familiar with the ever evolving digital world. Once we have familiarized ourselves with what is possible, we need to jump in with both feet and use our imaginations and creativity to engage our adolescents. Trust that the Digital Native will be a step or two ahead of you in using the digital tools. Your task is to inspire and offer guidance and to assist with the connections that are needed to reach success! Once we have engaged our students in new ways to learn about their faith, we need to share our stories and successes with one another. Rome was not built in a day. And the wheel, well it is a wheel regardless of its size and width. It just gets improved upon! In our own unique ways, we need to explore "inch by inch." When we look back we will have gone miles with our digital tools. We will be surprised, where these explorations will take our students! Come join the Digital Catechesis social network to share your stories and to interact with one another in a wisdom community. Sign-up at Your creativity and insights in this ever evolving 21st Century are more than needed! i , pg. 59.


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Faith-Based Projects: 21st Century Communication and Collaboration