Sunday School is about building relationships:
•A relationship with Christ
•A relationship with scripture.
•A relationship with other Christians
•A relationship with the Church
Software can help facilitate these relationships by attracting students to an engaging learning environment.
1. Good Software frees up the Teacher to be More Relational
Using software takes the pressure off teachers to be “The Ringmaster” and allows them to become the guide-by-the-side. With good software on the screen guiding you and the students through content and pop-up questions, the teacher doesn’t always have to have their nose in a guide.
The software provides an instant attraction to the students, and often provides the content, even the discussion questions. This takes the “content and activity” pressure of our volunteer teachers, and allows them to be more attentive to the kids. And let’s admit it, not all our volunteers are as well-prepared, creative and engaging, and as biblically informed as we want them to be. Good software helps.
One of the concerns some have about teaching with technology is the degree to which it “might impersonalize” our teaching. They worry that computers will get in the way of the student-teacher relationship. They worry that the kids will “tune them out.” And for Sunday School teachers who are used to face-to-face discussion, they are suspicious of a medium where the kids aren’t looking at them.
Some of these concerns are based on the way we adults tend to use computers in a solitary way wordprocessing or browsing the net, or seeing their children at home playing video games. Some of these concerns are based on the improper way computer learning is sometimes done in the public school. And some of these concerns are based on the improper way some computers are used in Sunday School (putting one kid per computer and sticking headphones on them, for example)
2. The SECRET many of us have discovered is that teaching with computers can be a VERY PERSONAL way to teach, if you do it the right way.
And the right way is to sit down by your students and go through the material with them. See our teacher-customers in this photo? They’re doing it right.
This surprises many adults who are new to learning with computers. They assumed the computer was a solitary learning tool because that’s the way THEY often use it. But in the Sunday School, we use it together. And the kids don’t have to be looking right at you to have a conversation or feel your care (any more than your children need to be staring into your eyes as you read a book to them). BEING TOGETHER at a computer can be a very satisfying learning and bonding experience, whether it’s using Christian software at church, browsing a website with your kids, or laughing together at Youtube videos at home (something we do a lot at our house),
3. Eager students are easier students to relate to and teach.
Eager students are more ready to talk. And eager students learn and remember more than bored students. But it’s more than just “attraction.” Software engages their senses, and sense of playfulness. Software’s creative visual content sticks in the brain (you remember 80% of what you see, and only 20% of what you hear). And their focus on the software makes them less self-conscious around their peers (and around the teacher!).
Read the article Information to Transformation for more help on making your lessons more transformational and relational.