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Using Audiovisual Media for Faith Formation

We live in a media-dominated world.  Young people are growing up in a digital landscape very different from that of their parents and cetchists. It is important to use media in catechesis to connect with the ways today's student learns, so that faith formation does not seem irrelevant and the Church look out of touch with the culture. Likewise, it is important to help people of all ages to see media in the light of the Gospel message.  By giving them good multipmedia experiences that reinforce Catholic identity and Christian values and by helping them learn to look and listen more critcally catechists and parents can help form young people equipped to filter the messages they get from television, movies, popular music and the internet.

Visual Media and Young Children's Attention Spans (tips for parents and teachers)

 

Here are some of the basic tools for using audiovisual media in the catechetical classroom.

PowerPoint
Use a projector and a screen with a computer to show slides - to give a point of visual focus for a children's lesson, parent or catechist meeting or general adult formation.  Ten Secrets for Using PowerPoint Effectively.

Music CD's/mp3's
Music is a great way to enhance learning, to reinforce Catholic identity and to keep students engaged. Most kids love to sing and the texts of great Catholic songs can help them learn about faith.  Here are some ideas for where to find good music:

  • Most catechetical textbook series have an accompanying CD of music. These are either composed especially for children or include songs they might sing at Sunday Mass.
  • John Burland has created great learning songs which teach about faith and can include movements. (Watch a sample video) His CDs can be purchased through Our Sunday Visitor
  • Major Catholic music publishers have CD's of music by popular composers. Some have contemporary music suitable for use with youth.  These include GIA Music, Oregon Catholic Press (OCP), and World Library Publications (WLP) (click on the yellow button that says CD's)
  • Christian praise and worship music based on scripture can also be used. Be sure there are no outright theological issues, first. You can find these at any place that sells CD's.  WOW Worship and Hillsong Music are two good sources.

YouTube 
Besides particular Catholic YouTube channels, there are several sources for good Catholic content from YouTube.  Catechists should always have such videos pre-approved before showing them to students.

To put videos on your computer so you can access them later directly from your computer, if you do not already have a video downloader, we suggest the free online downloading site  http://keepvid.com/  First, click on the YouTube icon in the lower right of the video on the REO webpage to go to YouTube. Then copy the YouTube URL into the KeepVid website and it will give you several options for downloading right from the website (no other software needed).  All you need then is your computer, a projector and screen.

Feature Films and Film Clips
Hollywood movies can be a rich source of connections between faith and life.  Find out more about how to use them in the catechetical session here.