Usually I draw or make a quick note, write a poem, anything that connects me to and helps me concentrate on the message. So oops there I was, on my phone checking a fact during the sermon, and being caught out. I missed the very large invisible sign on the door that “obviously” said NO TECHNOLOGY IN THE SANCTURY.
On Tuesday, it was International Safer Internet Day.
A day of some importance to me as I trained in cyber safety as part of my Professional Development for Teaching, about 8 years ago.
It was significant for me then, because developing technology has always been a part of my learning and working environments, and I could see it bringing new opportunities and advantages. So when I learnt about the cruel ways that technology was being used to belittle, control and demean our children and young adults, learning how to make the new technology as safe an experience as possible appeared the best solution.
I value technology as a teaching tool, as a form of community or connection, and I don’t feel that the sanctuary should be a technology free zone, so I don’t shy away from using it with children even the smallest.
There are some good sites out there for children, parents and those interested in Faith Formation. I do try to make sure that what I suggest are theologically accurate and age appropriate. BUT parents need to be aware that ads might be at the beginning of, or cut in in the middle of a video clip. That there might be ads around a suggested blog. I cannot control what these are, often they are generated from cookies on your device.
So parents there is some degree of responsibility on your part to stay engaged with your child while they are on the internet so they get the very best of what is on offer, and your quick intervention if something untoward pops up.
Sites I love to use with children include:
Lost Sheep https://www.lostsheep.com.au/stories/mary-and-the-gardener/
Bible for Kids https://www.bible.com/kids
Guardians of Ancora https://guardiansofancora.com suitable from middle primary
40Acts https://40acts.org.uk suitable for teenagers
Bible gateway https://www.biblegateway.com
3 minute retreat https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer
To help with online safety
But as this is a British publication the contacts list won’t be useful.