Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Religion and technology: Finding holiness through smartphones

When you start class by asking students to take their cell phones out of their backpacks, you definitely catch their attention. Students in the Mission class at Rosary High School had the chance to incorporate technology with their religious studies by going on a video scavenger hunt around campus. 

With the guidance of their smartphones, they journeyed to various sacred spots on campus. These sophomores scanned QR codes at locations on campus that inspire holiness, such as the chapel and statue of Mother St. John Fontbonne, the foundress of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  This QR code linked to a video related to curriculum in the class.


After watching the video, the students used their phones to answer quiz questions using Socrative, a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

This exercise in technology ended across the street from Rosary’s campus at Acacia Park, where the students wrote reflections on finding holiness in nature.

"My goal was expand my classroom beyond its four walls, " said religion teacher, Michelle Reagan.  "I want my students to see that what we study isn't limited to
textbooks. God is present in all that is good.  The scavenger hunt challenged them to see holiness in a new way."

The students enjoyed being able learn outside the classroom in their "family" learning groups– groups of students within the class who work to build relationships with one another while exploring their individual journies of faith. "It brought us together in our families and nature," said Alexa Brinegar ’16.

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