What are participants saying about Digital Discipleship Boot Camp?
I must admit, I was a little cocky going in to this program. After all, I use the computer every day; I teach Facebook at the local Senior Center; I even use Twitter! How tough could this be? I’ll breeze right through. HA! Thankfully, I was soon knocked off that high horse! Not because the challenges posed were insurmountable – they were not, and my coach was with me every step of the way – but the fact that there actually were challenges! But then, that was why I signed up for DDBC in the first place. I wanted to learn about all these wonderful tools out there and DDBC made me not only learn about them, but use them as well, and that is their secret sauce: actual hands-on experience of the tools, with gentle coaching and encouragement as needed. It was wonderful; scary at times (“Do I have to click ‘Submit’?”) but wonderful. And now I am excited and feel ready to apply what I have learned and explore even more.
(Kathleen Kerns, Pastoral Assistant, St. Joseph Parish Community, Martinsburg, West Virginia. Winter 2016 )
One of the things that I learned during the DDBC course was the need for social media integration on the website. I created a Facebook page for the group, and linked it to the website. Although some of the older groups of women are not on Facebook, a surprising number are. Grandmothers love to use Facebook to see photos of kids and grandkids far away, for example, so now that the website is up and running I can ask them to join the Facebook group. Learning about social media was one of the aspects I really enjoyed during DDBC, and especially reading the textbook on how to use social media in a faith setting.
(Sarah Pedrozo, St. Catherine of Siena, Winter 2015)
The schedule of the webinars worked very well for me, and the tools introduced spanned a broad spectrum from those I found very familiar to others that I knew little about. I soon learned that
participants also spanned the spectrum of knowledge, but each on their own wavelength. This is a key feature of the DDBC since it is designed as a non-threatening introduction to those who have some or no knowledge of Web 2.0 tools. The labs and assignments allowed ample opportunity to use the tools, rather than just learn of their existence.
My goal of learning to utilize new Web 2.0 tools was easily met, as was reporting to my colleagues in the NECDDRE. My goal to inspire PCLs was exceeded when my Capstone Project was met with such great enthusiasm, inspiring several people to ask for the link to the DDBC. One unanticipated result was my new connection with the 40 catechists that piloted my project. This alone shines a light on the value of this experience. (Claire McManus, Diocesan Director, Diocese of Fall River, Winter 2014)
In sum, my experience with DDBC not only introduced me to a wide range of digital tools but also provided me with language and tools to engage in conversation with confidence in the office and professionals from organizations. My experience and the skills I learned have had a positive impact on the openness and use of technology in my ministry department. I recommend DDBC as a great resource to equip individuals to proclaim Jesus Christ in the digital age. (Jose Amaya, Director of Faith Formation, Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) – Winter 2014)
When I was first approached about the idea of enrolling in DDBC I thought, “No Way!” I asked what could I possible learn through this online class? I am the smartest person in my circle of influence when it comes to technology and could help them all with their questions. However, my experience in the weeks that followed DDBC has proved to be life changing. Each week presented a new tool, challenging assignments, and exciting ideas. During this time, I have developed a better comprehension and understanding of Web 2.0 tools, established a new found confidence of using various social media tools, and gained knowledge on how to efficiently and effectively use Web 2.0 tools to communicate with a social media audience. (Angela Jackson, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Richmond, Virginia, Winter 2014)
I can summarize my experience with DDBC in a few words: life changing. As you would expect, I have grown in my knowledge of social media. DDBC has also helped me grow in my self-confidence. Let me explain. I have always been a technologically challenged person. But taking DDBC’s online course has helped me to be on my way to become a digital maven. DDBC has opened many doors to me which has allowed me to open doors to members of my parish. (Tanya LaSane, Director of Religious Education, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Richmond, Virginia – Winter 2014)
DDBC has been an incredible journey into the cyber world. I had some knowledge of various technologies and tools, but I was not aware of the many that I could utilize to impact my ministries. Since beginning this course I have implemented several different technologies, from short videos to creating a website to use in my parish faith formation program. (Rose Mary Saraiva – Winter 2014, Director of Faith Formation, St. Michael Parish, Fall River, MA)
Digital Discipleship Boot Camp (DDBC) has been a blessing. During this past six months, I have been well equipped and trained on Web 2.0 Communication Technologies by the DDBC Mentor team. I have not only gained the understanding of how best to apply these skills in my classroom and ministry, but I have also been empowered to be an effective communicator in the culture of the digital native. I am very aware of the tremendous gifts of dedication, patience, and information from the Digital Discipleship Boot Camp staffs. (Maria Lai – Winter 2014)
Digital Discipleship Boot Camp is a wonderful, eye-opening experience. It gives participants a wide, extensive overview of how we as Catechetical Leaders can use technology to spread the Good News without losing our way. (Kellie DeLeo – Winter 2014)
I feel privileged to be part of the DDBC community. I have learned a great deal and consolidated ideas that were fermenting but not defined, regarding the role of social media and technology in my diocesan role. I have also engaged with the diocesan catechists and they are keen to go forward. Together we are going to make a difference. (Sr. Sian Owen – Summer 2015, Religious Education Office, Diocese of Aukland)
I was intrigued by the DDBC course that in a few, relatively short, sessions would introduce me to ways to utilize various forms of social media in lifelong faith formation ministries. As it turns out I learned more than I expected. I also gained confidence to use my new skillsets to help parishioners grow in an understanding of their faith, as well as to experience faith filled events like the World Meeting of Families celebration in Philadelphia, PA with Pope Francis. DDBC has provided me knowledge about how I can empower catechists to utilize the internet in the classroom together with the children and youth in their class. (Johan Engstrom – Summer 2015, Director of Faith Formation, St. Pius X Church, Rochester, NY)
My goal when I applied to Digital Discipleship Boot Camp was to take the “scare” out of technology. Being a digital immigrant and the elder on our Faith Formation staff I always felt five steps behind everyone else. My initial reaction when they talked about a project involving technology was just to say “I didn’t know how”. And many times I didn’t even understand the language members on the staff were using: wiki, Weebly, Gravatar, web 2.0 tools, HTML, Digital Storytelling, Animoto, etc. DDBC changed all that! The modules and assignments gave me the incentive and confidence to try. (Constance Armstrong – Winter 2015, Director of the Office of Special Education for Catechetics, Diocese of Syracuse )
God has provided me with an outstanding experience in the Digital Disciples Boot Camp to take the training I have received and to go out and set the world on fire through the digital world. (Katie Choudhary – Winter 2015)
Personally I am most grateful to have participated in DDBC. Because of it, I have grown; I have changed; I am a better Catechist, a better echo-er of the Word. (Sr. Cora Lombardo-Winter 2015, Immaculate Conception-Assumption Parish, Tuckahoe, New York, Archdiocese of New York)
As a Regional Faith Formation Associate one of our responsibilities is assisting Catechetical Leaders and Catechists to integrate technology into their programs. DDBC has exposed me to a number of tools to share with those I serve. Suggesting web 2.0 tools, helping to create and implement lesson plans using those tools, assisting to train, or explore new web 2.0 tools would be some of the ways I will apply what I have learned. (Stephanie Stewart – Winter 2015, Syracuse Diocese, Regional Faith Formation Associate for the Office of Faith Formation)
This is the BEST learning experience I have had in a LONG time! No matter how experienced…or inexperienced…you are navigating on the digital continent-you are going to learn a lot. Don’t get overwhelmed…just start with those ideas presented that really grab you…conquer the ones you like best. Then use what you learned every day. It gets easier if you use your new skills as much as possible.
(Amy Barber, 6-8th Grade Catechist, Queen of Peace Parish, Gainesville, FL)
This course is about making religion education relevant to the students. It begins with awareness that who we teach today are digital natives, and if we do not want to be treated the way we treat some immigrants, we need to read the signs of the times. The course then gives us the time and resources to analyze what digital possibilities there are to make religion education relevant to the students. It also allows us the time to practice with the technology that is available. Finally we have the choice to act. We can create lesson that are meaningful. This is the circle of faith awareness, analyses and action. (Sr. Ann Regan, High School Religion Teacher, Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa, FL)
I thought these webinars were really great! The content and information was really outstanding. I am looking forward to implementing some of the programs and tools that we learned into our Faith Formation program. I think the students will be excited and appreciate learning more about their faith, Practice, practice and more practice is the key to the success in anything you use in our parish programs. (Pat Brockman, Administrative Assistant for Faith Formation, St. Scholastica, Lecanto, FL)
Stay the course! It is so moving to young people that the Church is meeting them where they are. Thank you for taking the time to learn all of these tools to help further the education and spiritual development of all of those with whom you work. (Jennifer Ferraris, High School Religion Teacher, Clearwater Central Catholic High School, Clearwater, FL)
You can complete all of the work, but you must, must work on not overwhelming yourself! The more you do right after the webinars the better. And start using at least some of the tools. They really are very exciting! Also, have great presenters like Sr. Caroline and Claudia. (Walter Smith, Parish Director for Pre-K to Young Adult, St. Justin Martyr, Seminole, FL)
This course opens windows to the digital world and an abundance of riches in Web 2.0 resources. Be aware that the journey appears to be short and on level terrain, but soon it becomes a steady climb requiring a little more work than anticipated and inexperienced travelers may encounter obstacles along the way. The sojourn ends in a lofty place with a new vision of our world and a digital citizen with new skills to explore the digital continent. We are still digital immigrants, but better prepared for digital citizenship. (Glennell Munné, Our Lady of Fatima, Inverness, FL, and Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute Student, Diocese of St. Petersburg)
This course is excellent. I would recommend it to anyone in ministry who has not yet begun the journey toward meeting this generation with the tools they use expertly. There is so much to be learned. While it might be scary at first, you will gain confidence as you continue to use the tools. This generation needs us to use these tools to meet them where they are in order to bring them the Good News of Jesus Christ. (Sr. Beatrice Caulson, Adult Faith Formation, Queen of Peace Parish, Gainesville, FL)
In a previous conversation I had with Sr. Caroline and another colleague, I mentioned that I was in technology purgatory for a long time and now through the good works of others (great teachers and classmates), I am seeing the light! This course of study was much more demanding than I expected and that is what I needed to get over so much intimidation. I have a long way to go in feeling comfortable with all the new tools we covered and those yet to be explored (see that already is a new way for me to be talking about technology), but I know they exist and the ones that I have felt comfortable using, I used with something that would currently assist me with the work I’m doing. How awesome it was for me to teach my 16 and 8 year old digital/technology natives/geeks (children) about tools such as Digital Storytelling and Wordle. I think I am going to be wallpapering the house in Wordle printouts! Thanks for helping me to discover new ways to grow and for encouraging me to continue this growth! For future participants…go for it…jump in…there are lifeguards and life preservers for when you go into the deep and may be unsure of your skills. Before you know it, you’ll be swimming…some may even make the swim team! (Diane Kledzik, Associate Director of Evangelization, Diocese of St. Petersburg)
Pack your bags for a trip to the digital continent! This course is a working vacation, where you’ll be swimming in possibilities… bring a friend if you can. Oh, and be prepared to be ‘unpacking’ all the great options for many months afterward (I know I will be!). (Kristin Jenkins, St. Cecilia Catholic Community, Fort Meyers, FL)
The course gives an individual a means to reach a generation that is beyond the old methods of communicating. This course will prepares you to begin to understand the many tools available to make learning exciting and be able to maintain a front in the world of ministry in the digital age. (Jennifer Ferreris, High School Religion Teacher, Clearwater Central Catholic High School, Clearwater, FL)
Stay on course. Don’t save all of your homework until the end. Creates unnecessary stress! And last, but certainly not least, USE THESE TOOLS! Don’t put them on your “cybershelf!” (Pam Emery, Director of Faith Formation, Nativity Parish, Brandon, FL)