On this page you will find resources to accompany the Diocese of Grand Rapids Office of Faith Formation's Summer Institute:
"Hard-wired to connect: Evangelization, Catechisis and Social Media" June 18-21, featuring Father Larry Rice, CSP.

Day 1 Resources

The Word Became Flesh video
Father Rice on twitter
Father Rice's presentation: The Church and Social Media: Or, Preparing the Church for a Post-computer World

Day 2 Resources
"The Word Was God" - MS Baptist All-State Youth Choir & Orchestra 2008 video
Simply Strategic Volunteers resource book
Father Rice's presentation: The Church and Social Media: What you need to know about the changing landscape and how to get the parish or ministry engaged

Day 3 Resources
Follow video
Joann Fox's Presentation:

Day 4 Resources
Cindy's Presentation (Google Presentation)
Catholic Web Presentation:

Meahgan Pear's Presentation (Prezi)

Face of your Church/School: blogs, websites, wikis

Websites and Blogs:

These websites and blogs have design tips and technology ideas

Blogs to help with ideas and to reach students:

Where can you start a blog?

Blog tips:
  • One point of a blog is to enter in to conversation through the comments. If you are writing a blog, welcome comments and have guidelines for what is expected in the comments. You will also need to decide how the comments will be moderated (screened) to avoid spam. If you are commenting on a blog, remember that comments are going to be available for all to read. Keep comments appropriate and professional.
  • Blog posts: think about the frequency you will post on your blog - every week? every other day?
  • Blog post categories: use the categories to organize your blog posts
  • Blog post tags: use the tags as keywords for the content of your post

Wikis are like websites in that there are pages that can be easily edited. Wikis are like blogs in that there is a discussion page (if the user chooses to use it). A nice feature about wikis is that others can be invited to edit the pages, thus co-creating content. Wikis also have a history feature, so readers can see the changes that have occurred on any page.

Where can you start a wiki?

Social Media

Facebook facebook_logo.JPG


Connect with....

Twitter lingo:
RT: ReTweet - republishing someone's original "Tweet" or update - keeping the original publisher's ID is the polite thing to do
@: A tweet that refers to another Twitter user - useful for "retweeting" and for replying (publicly) to another's tweet
#: Hashtag - this is a way to have a common tag (keyword) around an event, topic, or person. For example #cymc and #awkcatholicmoment when added to a post it makes it easy to search using that tag and find all related tweets.
D: Direct Message - a private message that only you and the recipient can see

And - website URLs are often shortened within twitter to save characters!

Manage those you follow and twitters of interest by grouping them in twitter lists
Consider using a utility such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck to easily see your lists in columns, create columns for tags or searches, and schedule updates not only in twitter but also on facebook and linked in.


Do not simply "grab" images from Google; locating and using appropriate sources and the ethical use of media should be modeled!

Creative Commons - read more about the licensing that allows content owners to make their work available on the internet. Works can be licensed for commercial and non commercial purposes.

Locating photographs and visuals
  • flickrSearch for Creative Commons licensed products
    • Enter a term in the flickr search box, click search, then click on the "Advanced Search" link, scroll and select "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content"
  • Google Images- Search for images "labeled for reuse"
    • Enter a term in the google search box, click the Settings Gear, and then click "Advanced Search" link. Look for the drop down field for "Usage Rights" and select "Labeled for reuse"; click the Google Search button to complete your search
  • Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog - searchable and rich collection of historical visuals
  • Stock.xchnghas both free and for-purchase images. Registration is required. Note the terms of use of each item. Individuals may upload content to the site and add terms.
  • stockvault - free stock photos and images for personal, educational and non-commercial use
  • WorldImages - over 80,000 images free for non-profit educational use

If you are an educator, visit my Media and Copyright page for more information.

Leveraging Web 2.0 Tools


Wordle is a creation tool that will make a picture of any text.
Worlde video tutorial made with screencast-o-mtic


Animoto animoto_logo.JPG

Animoto is a multimedia creation tool.
Easily make a video from photos, video, text and set it to music. Animoto even includes a brief tutorial to help - you will see it upon logging in and creating a video!
There are free accounts (30 second time limit), paid accounts, and educator accounts (school educators can receive free Pro accounts).


What could the purpose of an animoto video be? Our brainstorm:

Your Task Option 1:
Create a 30 second video about (option 1) the Diocese of Grand Rapids, artwork in the building, or Cathedral Square or (option 2) a topic of your choice.
1. Identify a message you would like to convey.
2. Locate images that you can use (be sure the images are available to you with regard to copyright) and have them saved to your device. You can use your own photos/video if you wish!
3. Log in to animoto and create a 30 second video.

Glogster EDU glogster_logo.JPG

Glogster is a multimedia creation tool.
Have students create a multimedia poster around a theme or topic. Posters can include text, graphics, photos, video, audio. Note: terms of use are for students age 13 or older, or with parent permission.
There is a free account for teachers and students - scroll past the paid plans to locate the free accounts. Paid accounts are used by schools to provide teacher/student account management tools.



Doodle is a productivity tool.
Do you find it a challenge to schedule events and meetings? Coordinate pot luck meals? Is it frustrating to send and receive many emails just to find a date? Enter Doodle! Doodle is a free tool that makes it easier to find dates and times as well as coordinate events.

  • Setting a meeting date - add your first name and select one or more dates
  • Potluck - add your name a choose a dish - people will self-select and help balance the meal!



Show and tell is powerful! Capture your screen and create a quick video tutorial.

Mobile Communications

Mobile voting/polling

enable others to "vote" or submit feedback
  • Poll Everywhere - enables others to "vote" or submit feedback by text message, twitter, or web browser
  • SMSPoll - enables others to "vote" by text message or web browser

Texting Tools

The tools below will allow you to send the same message to all students (broadcast messaging) while protecting your cell phone number and the numbers of your students and parents:



Check out the Goodness Reigns Film School: free online tutorials and how-to guides on how to make quality videos. Be sure to check out the 2013 video contest!