Aren’t you continually amazed at how fast technology changes? What may be more amazing to me is how quickly I fall behind and how it comes so easily to younger generations! You don’t have to look far to see a baby on a tablet or a toddler on a computer. Elementary age children can show their parents how to navigate the internet and nearly every teenager owns a smart phone! Whether you consider yourself “techie” or not, technology is here to stay and younger generations will be using it!
School classrooms everywhere use technology by way of computers, smart boards, and iPads. Even if you aren’t comfortable with them, your students are. Using technology in your Bible class is a great way to present Bible lessons and review memory work while at the same time keeping students engaged and staying relevant.
Though it should be obvious, I will remind everyone to proof everything you present to children. Many great materials are available that can be used, but must be edited first. Always be careful not to accidentally mislead those you teach!
Here are a few suggestions of how Bible class teachers can incorporate technology in the classroom:
- Review Bible drills and review lessons by playing games. One very user friendly site that I have found is SuperTeacherTools.net. With this site, you can put in your own questions and answers so that you have a customized Jeopardy or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game.
- A great site for Bible quizzes and flashcards is Quizlet.com. You can set up your own account to add questions on any topic you like. Perfect for reviewing lessons! While there, I found many sets of questions already made up for the Lads to Leaders and the Sycamore Bible Bowls.
- Have you seen BibleForChildren.org? That site has Bible stories chronologically for the entire Bible in every language imaginable. You could use a Power Point to project the stories on a screen or wall. You can also print off materials that would be perfect made into flip charts or take home work. If you need materials to take on a mission trip, you can print everything in color, laminate, and you have a Bible lesson in any language you need! Again, proofread everything first and skip the “sinners prayer” stuff at the end.
- What about using short video Bible story clips in the lesson? I do not recommend spending a bulk of your class time watching videos, but I have found several 5-7 minute story clips that could be used as supplemental material. Again, be sure to preview for accuracy, but I found clips on You Tube and Vimeo with great lessons and animation.
- Have you seen the app “Globible“? It not only has the Bible text, but it is also multimedia presentations. It includes maps, 3 1/2 hours of high definition videos, 450 virtual tours, and 2300 photos. There are some things that are free, including small amounts of multimedia, King James and NIV translations of the Bible, but depending on what you want, you can get other Bible versions and all the multimedia presentations for $20-$50.
- Does your congregation support any missionaries? Think about using Skype for a lesson. How cool would it be to study Paul’s missionary journeys and then contact a missionary and his family through Skype? Students could find out what it is like to live in another country, what is interesting about that country, what it is like to be a missionary. How much fun and encouraging might that be to the sister congregation for your students to meet, talk, and ask questions to a group of children in their congregation?
- Set up a blog for your class of middle and high school age students and post articles written by the kids. For example, if you have a quarter long study on the parables, have each student write a post about one parable and give practical applications that was learned from it. This will certainly develop higher levels of learning!
- Have students use a video camera to develop a promo video or commercial. It could be a promotional video about VBS that played during the church announcements. Maybe students could write and star in a video based on a Bible story complete with costumes & props that could be shared with younger students. Lots of possibilities!
- Do you know about Ning? I have not personally used it, but I worked in an elementary school where a teacher did with the students. Think of a totally private, controlled social media that is administered by the Bible class teachers. Kids can post pictures of their activities, projects, camp, VBS, service projects, or anything else to share within the closed group. There is a free trial subscription that you can check out and then a regular subscription is just $25 a year.
Not every Bible class we teach has to have technology included, but with all the great possibilities available, let’s mix things up once in a while and give our kids something to remember!