Kids on the Future of Tech

Latitude in conjunction with ReadWriteWeb has released research on what children want from their technology.  It’s a fascinating look at the future from a child’s perspective.  You can download the entire summary here. Here are the highlights: •    39% of children’s innovations called for more immersive content experiences (3D features and integrating physical/virtual spaces).  “For children today, true synchrony between physical and digital worlds is no longer a novelty but an expectation.”  I wrote about this phenomenon (which I called “Motion Blur”) here. •    83% want their technology to offer human-level responsiveness. In other words, there is a desire to see technology that knows and responds to the needs of the user. •    37% of the responses did not include traditional methods of interaction (no mouse – no keyboard).  “Half of all participants visually represented themselves interacting with their invented technologies, supporting the ‘iGeneration’ understanding of device as merely an extension of self.” •    The world is shrinking for children today and there is an expectation that technology will allow interaction with users in “far-distant locales.” •    31% of the ideas were related to the idea of content creation.  This drive to create has been the subject of numerous blogs, but my favorite was written by David...

More Light Painting Resources

Light Doodles is one of the best places to learn about how to paint with light.  Check them out! •    Light Doodles Tutorial: how to make a “light drawing pen” •    Light Doodles Tutorial: light drawing...

What are you doing with your spare time?

I’ve been reading Clay Shirky’s new book Cognitive Surplus.  The book is challenging my thinking on the impact of social networking and all things digital on society.  In the book, Shirky notes that people in the United States spend 200 billion hours a year watching TV and it took only 100 million hours to create Wikipedia.  What does that really look like? The point Shirky makes is that all of these hours – billions and billions of them – represent a lot of time that could be harnessed, organized, and put to use.  I think this relates to children’s ministry in a powerful way.  Kids are incessantly interacting with digital tools and we could harness that time and energy into something extraordinary.  We could create the tools for them to make an impact on other nations, to interact with one another for the purposes of faith formation, or to put Scripture in words they can...

Letting Kids Respond to God Digitally

We finished three weeks of Hot U at the end of July.  It was an intense time that required over 400 volunteers and served over 1000 kids.  One of the things that we looked at this year was trying to find a way to allow the kids a place to catalog what they had learned and experienced.  This year we went low-tech.  We placed a simple poster in each room with a key question on it and asked the kids to write on the poster. We asked kids when they felt that God was with them.  We received responses like, “At my dad’s funeral.” “Never.” “When I worship.”  It was a simple journal-like way to get the pulse of what God was doing. Next year I might try GuestReel.  GuestReel is a Mac software application that turns your computer into a video kiosk.  It looks incredibly simple.  GuestReel allows users to put in their name and write a message, then record a video using the computer’s built-in camera or a connected device. It would be SO awesome to see kids respond after large group in this way.  There are so many possibilities!  I’d love to hear from those of you who have either used GuestReel or a video-log to capture kid’s...

Get your ideas organized

I am a huge fan of mind-mapping.  It’s an easy way to organize your ideas.  Here’s a great resource on how to get started (crayons required). View the original source for this post I was having trouble getting started on this column, so I turned away from the keyboard for a while and started jotting down words on a legal pad. There was no order; I just wrote down the things I knew I wanted to include all over the paper. The goal: to start seeing patterns and connections that would help me organize this information. I was trying this approach because I’ve been learning about mind-mapping and visual notetaking. This method of capturing information looks a whole lot different than your old notes from high school history class. You can use a mind map to brainstorm, plan, study or take notes. Mind-mapping fans say it kick-starts creativity and understanding. What is it? To understand what mind-mapping is, let’s start with the work of Katharine Brooks, director of Liberal Arts Career Services at the University of Texas. Mind-mapping is an integral part of her work with students and her career guide “You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career” (which I wrote about in this column last year). She’s also recently begun working with adult job-seekers (see the box on page D6 for information on an upcoming workshop). Brooks encourages the students and adults she works with to do what she calls “Wise Wandering” maps, where they fill a piece of paper with significant experiences in their life, without trying to put those experiences in order....