Online classes are becoming more and more common – not just for adults seeking flexible degree programs, but for children. I came across a great article in the Seattle Times about an online class for kids about kindness. Here’s what Dan Pink had to say about the kindness class:
Andy Smallman, head of the Puget Sound Community School in Seattle, has come up with a social innovation that’s ingenious, inspiring, and infectious. He calls it “kindness class.”
Each week students in the online course get an assignment. In week one, they do something kind for themselves. In week two, they do something kind for someone they love. And so on. Along the way, participants do something kind for a neighbor, provide something wonderful for someone to find, let everyone go ahead of them for a week, and do something kind anonymously.
For more information, check out the site and this Seattle Times article. In a world where people are seeking purpose and connection, kindness classes could be an idea whose time has arrived.
This class is the idea of the week, so I’m going to spend 30-60 minutes this week brainstorming how it could relate to children’s and family ministry. Here’s what I have so far:
• This class integrates technology with values
• It connects students via emailed assignments
• It breaks down a value into actionable steps
• It explains each step in the simplest of terms – no one is confused after reading the assignment
• The steps are not intuitive and would take work to accomplish
• Each step includes a quote
In terms of application, I’m going to specifically brainstorm how to use the aforementioned broad strokes with an upcoming campaign our church is doing on the theme of “serving.” We’re doing an 8 week series on Serving for the entire church. Kids through adults will hear messages on serving with very similar content. My team is writing all the small group and large group curriculum for K-5th. Adult Community Groups will use the small group books we created. It would be awesome to break down “serving” into 8 actionable steps for kids and families and have those steps posted to a blog or available for e-newsletter.