A Shocking Vision of Students, New Media and Technology

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I caught this video over at Mike Hayes’ blog – with a teen headed to college next year and a tremendous interest in New Media, it caught my attention.  I’ve seen my kids “multitask”, seen how they interact with their friends online and in person, seen them turn off the TV but live out loud to iTunes, and seen the way they obtain their information.  What are we, the grown ups who love them — and a Church who wants to reach them — doing to realize and communicate with them in their changing world?  Fascinating – please take five minutes and watch this video.  I’d love to hear your take.



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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

3 Comments

  1. I briefly interned with Mike Hayes when I was in college, and that’s how I came across your blog (through him). I went to Fordham Univ, majored in theology and graduated in 2007, and then to Yale Divinity School where i completed my MA in religion in May of 2009. I just started working at a Catholic parish as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry–a brand new position here.

    That video hit me on many levels. First, I am a member of the first Facebook generation, and have seen it grow from a small college social networking system into a way of life — and I admit, I am helplessly immersed in it. Now that I have moved to a new state where I knew no one, facebook/email/texting/blogging has become my main way to stay connected with my friends and family. I also send lots of postcards, but I don’t think that’s a common characteristic for those of my generation =).

    Being being so fresh out of college/grad school, I am keenly aware of how inefficient the education system can be.

    The bulk of what I learned in college and continue to carry with me was not obtained in the classroom. I certainly learned from my professors, and some of them are still beloved mentors, but the most valuable time I spend with them was spent in their office during office hours, or at an event that they were holding. It was the quality *personal* time that they gave me — time during which they enriched what they had taught me in the classroom with personal care and opportunities to learn further through application of the material (in creative ways) — that meant something to me and affected me and will continue to affect me for the rest of my life.

    knowing this, and being a youth minister gives me a host of mixed feelings. I am thankful, in a sense, because at least I am *aware* of 1) the kinds of teaching which did not reach me and 2) the kinds that did. But I’m also terrified, because, as far as I can tell through the research I’ve done, there are no good resources out there about how to teach well the kids of our technological age. I am also keenly aware about how far behind our Church is at utilizing new technology. Let me emphasize that — we are waaaaay behind.

    We are, though, trying! Sites like BustedHalo are certainly steps in the right direction (thanks, guys!), and my own diocese is making a concerted effort to utilize technology to the fullest. We have a loooonnng way to go, though, and I think that one of our biggest hurdles will be dealing with change. Technology does not presuppose the eradication of all of our ancient beloved items and traditions, though I suspect that our resistance to utilize technology might stem from such fears.

    We, as a Church, really, really, really need to adjust the way we get our information to young people. I know in the past we’ve tended to see the shift in the way the youth respond to the world as a bad thing, but I think we absolutely need to get out of that frame of thinking. One thing technology does *very* well is that it connects us. The Catholic community is global — the Body of Christ is alive around the world. I think we ought to be excited that we can now be better connected to our Church family.

    I hope that I can figure out how to utilize technology in my Youth Ministry to better minister to my kiddies, but I’m pretty nervous, I must admit. Please keep us in your prayers!

    Good luck to your college-bound teen! If I had to give him or her advice it would be this: get involved right away in Campus Ministry. There you will find a community that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Also, get to know professors on a personal level — go to office hours and go often!…and HAVE FUN!

  2. Maggie – your comments are amazing! The teens who will be with you in Youth Ministry are blessed to have such a great, inspirational presence in their lives. I want you to know that I’ll be praying for you in your ministry. As you begin to get your “feet wet” – when you discover great resources will you please share them with me? This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.

    Also, I’m going to print off your comments and share them with my son Eric – it’s good to hear words of advice from someone who’s not your mom!!

    Thanks again Maggie!

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