The New Classroom Style–Needed Now!

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Rick Chromey, one of the best Christian thinkers I know, just sent me a link to this article about Generation Y: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_gen_y_is_going_to_change_the_web.php

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Very intriguing from many angles, but the one that intrigues me, of course, is what are the implications for the Christian learning environment and children’s ministry in particular?

The article states: "They’re Plugged In: The term "digital native" applies to most Gen Y’ers. Those in Gen Y grew up around computers, the Internet, mobile phones, video games, and mp3 players. They are web savvy multitaskers, able to watch TV, surf the web, listen to music, and talk or text on their phones, often performing several of these things at the same time."

And, yet, when I think of the existing lesson structures in many Christian environments, I can’t help but think of a monotone Ben Stein droning on and on about something listeners have tuned out long ago.

We have to change! The classrooms of the near-future must mirror the multi-tasking world of children. They must be more like a computer monitor with icons for kids to choose from (choice!) and engage with (interactivity) and have fun with (enjoyment). Kids must be in the driver’s seat–instead of the teacher. And I mean completely and totally–not some pretend arena where the teacher throws kids a bone of choice every now and then but is still very much the lesson plan deliverer.

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We’re digging deep into what this looks like here at Group. And it’s exciting! I think because it’s so new, I’m at a loss for language–what’s this called? Is anyone else doing this well? I’d be grateful for help in tagging this innovative learning environment–that hasn’t yet come to life. Any thoughts?

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 26 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as Group’s Children’s Ministry Champion. She’s responsible for development and innovation of new resources.

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