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November 03, 2011

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Most recent additions:
bulletThe Story of Jesus for Children -- a VHS video interpretation of the life of Jesus for children.  Source for obtaining the video and  and keyed index of the  contents are provided.
bulletBible Quiz, free computer software for in-class review.  I will provide monthly updates for the LifeWay Christian Resources Bible Study for Kids curriculum.
I currently have the privilege of teaching a class of fourth-grade children at the Jersey Baptist Church with my wife Sydney.  We have been experimenting with using computer technology as a teaching aid in the classroom.  You may wish to view a newspaper article featuring our class. On this page we will share some of our ideas and approaches.  Please provide your comments, suggestions, and your own ideas using the discussion forum, email, or the guestbook.

Come back often...I'll be adding more ideas as we try them out!  Be sure to check out the Resource Page for links to the tools and utilities I used to generate these pages.

You will also want to visit Kids Web Home, a subweb of The Sunday School Page designed for our fourth grade class (but really for anyone).  It contains many of the activities we have used in the classroom, available for the children to access at any time.

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Children's Topics

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Curriculum Guide

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ChildrensMinistry

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Vacation Bible School

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Technology and the Sunday School

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Sunday School Software Ministries

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The Internet--Friend or Foe?

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Other WWW Resources

Table of Contents

Bullet Background Information BulletPuzzle Page
BulletUnit Question Page BulletKid Carousel
BulletPrince of Egypt Review BulletResource Page
BulletThe Story of Jesus for Children
     video index
BulletTrivia Quiz Shell

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bulletBackground Information

The textbook of the Sunday School is the Bible.  This is the main distinctive of Sunday School work; this gives Sunday School its power to change lives.  However, we need to get the Bible into the minds, hearts, and lives of our pupils to be effective.   Along with other useful resources such as commentaries, curriculum materials, teaching pictures, and learning activities, the computer can be a tool to help teach pupils the truths of the Bible.

I came to realize that the types of information presentation and interaction used on the World Wide Web were often ideally suitable for classroom use, particularly with children.  Keys to teaching children (actually, any age) include:

 
bulletAttracting interest and holding attention
bulletActive involvement and participation
bulletAppealing to multiple senses
bulletUsing familiar tools and approaches
bulletRepetition and drill

 

Kids and Computer on Sunday Morning

All of these approaches can be supported by computer-aided education.  I decided to give it a try.

Techniques

The examples which I can present on this web site are mainly based on web page construction.  You don't need a live internet connection to use them (I don't have one in our classroom).  Rather, I simply place all the files required on my notebook computer, and connect it to a larger television monitor so that the whole class can view it.  This works fine--no download delays, and no dropped connections.

Other games and resources don't require the television monitor--they can be used by one or two children at a time interacting directly with the computer (See the Resource Page for suggestions).

There are many other uses for a computer in the classroom and in Sunday School ministry.   Many children have email access today, and it's a great way to keep in touch.  You can even involve the children in producing their own class web page!  

Don't worry about teaching the children how to use the computer--you'll find that this won't be a problem at all.  Try a few ideas, and see what works for your group.   But remember--the focus needs to be on the Bible lesson; the computer simply is a way to get into or interpret the Biblical text.

bulletThe Bible Story Page uses Microsoft Agent technology to present a narrated and illustrated Bible story.  I use maps and architectural images to tie the Bible story in with real times and places, and draw from photographs, fine art paintings, and other illustrations to help the children visualize the events fo the story.  The animated Agent character captures their attention.  See more details on the Microsoft Agent page.
bulletUnit Question Page I

I used this review quiz with the whole class as a review of the Bible story of Isaac: Man of Patience. It could also be used as a review exercise for individual pupils.

Features:

bulletUnit song is used as background music
bulletTitle picture was scanned from pupil book
bulletA timed popup window prompts pupil to say the day's memory verse
bulletVarious animated GIF files are used to develop the "well" theme and also our department decoration "smiley face" theme of the month.
bulletThe questions were taken directly from the unit questions suggested in the curriculum.
bulletThe interactive quiz was generated using Web Writer (see Resource Page), with embellishments added after the page was generated.
 
bulletUnit Question Page II

This is a second style of quiz page, with a little more interactivity provided by the color-changing bullets and sounds.  I have learned that the kids seem to respond well to audio feedback signals, so have tried to use more sounds in my recent work.

This page is somewhat more difficult to prepare.  There is no code generator as provided by Web Writer.  I had to edit the HTML code to insert the questions, answers, and identify the correct answers.  However, the comments in the JavaScript used make this not too difficult, even if you don't know your way around HTML that well.

The sounds represent another level of difficulty.  They are generated by a Java applet called AU Player, provided as freeware by Applet Orchard by Matts Högberg.

I can make a ZIP package available to supply all the required Java classes, sound files, and image files for this page (in a template file) so you can add your own questions.  Please email if you are interested.

bulletKid Carousel

Here's a way to show off pictures of your pupils (or to advertise an upcoming event). I used this page as a background for my PC window (Microsoft Active Desktop in Windows 95 or 98) or left it running throughout the morning...sort of an animated refrigerator picture gallery! This is based on free Java applets from Intel (see Resource Page).

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Thomas J. Cook, Webmaster
Updated: Thursday, November 03, 2011
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