November 18, 2017

Blended learning and communicating the parish to millennials

 

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Participants of the 27th CFA National Catechetical Congress in the Communication Foundation for Asia, Sta. Mesa Manila. (Communication Foundation for Asia)

WITH the fast-paced technological advancements leading to the decline of participating millennials in Church ministries, parishes must re-invent their old-fashioned evangelization and teaching methods to integrate new media and contemporary communication styles.

In answer to this reality, the Communication Foundation for Asia (CFA) held their 27th CFA National Catechetical Congress and Seminar-Workshop with the theme “Communicating #TheParish: Communion of Communities from the Millennial’s Perspectives.”

The seminar-workshop focused on catechists and religious educators that presented new communication technology and skills which could serve as platforms for millennial-friendly catechetical modules for what is referred to as ‘blended-learning’.

“Blended learning [means] the whole world is a classroom and the four walls of the classroom is not enough for the learning process, so the catechist must meet the needs of the students outside the classroom—online,” Fr. Benjamin Alforque, CFA Consultant to the President, explained in an interview.

“They can meet after class in the cyber world, so the catechists and the student must have an online presence,” he added.

The Old and the New Media

In communicating the teachings of the Church and the Parish as communion of communities, the congress showed the importance of using both modern and traditional means of media and communication.

“As young educators we need to be educators of the 21st century because we teach 21st century learners, this Congress taught me the wiser use of technology and that we must use the new ways but never forget the traditional” Jayvy  Dizon, participant of the congress, shared in an interview.

“It’s good to look back to the traditional ways because we would not appreciate the new ways if we do not know the old styles… using both produces harmony,”  an educator of Mater Carmeli School in Novaliches said.

Joy of the Gospel

The focus of the seminar was reaching the young people so they can contribute to the enrichment of the Gospel.

“In the new evangelization, in the new method we should never forget the Joy of the Gospel. We should speak the language of the young so that the church language will forever be new and the church will forever be new because of the young,” Alforque noted.

The workshop was a venue for the participants to be equipped with more approaches and methodologies and an opportunity for eye-opening encounters with the actualities on the youth today.

“This congress will help me cope up with the rapid changes on the various students I will teach. I cannot teach them if I do not know them, this congress equipped us with many techniques and methodology on how to bridge the gap,” Dizon said.

The CFA National Catechetical Congress and Seminar-Workshop is an annual event, this year was the 27th and it was held on May 8-11, 2017 at the CFA center in Manila.  (Christine Paguirigan / CBCPNews

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