One of the gifts of COVID-19 has been collaborating with fellow deacons Kathy Pittenger and Tanya Campen to create Launch!, a collection of playlists for faith formation leaders. Kathy happens to be a master class instructor on the topic of playlists, which she describes as “curated content and experiences (activities, videos, podcasts, articles) for families and age groups that provide a way to bring faith formation to people in multiple settings – self-directed, mentored, at home, in small groups.”
You might be familiar with playlists on Youtube, which allow users to curate a set of videos on a particular topic. While Youtube playlists are limited to videos, faith formation playlists can include multiple kinds of media. Some examples:
The great news is that you don’t need to create all the content for a playlist. You can link to existing content that you trust. The hard part is sometimes finding high-quality resources that align with your particular church theology.
Once you have a playlist on a particular topic there are several ways to organize it, no matter what your tech skills are:
Another option for creating a playlist might be a Bitmoji classroom. You may have seen your teacher friends posting these lately. Bitmoji classrooms often look like the teacher’s classroom with a desk, whiteboard, shelves, etc. Each item in the classroom is linked to something the students might use for class. It could be a lesson video, learning game or anything on the web! Christian educators like DeDe Reilly have been creating them, too.
I decided to try one for our 3rd grade 10 Commandments Unit. I created it on a Google slide using this tutorial from Hello Teacher Lady. Because my goal was to generate interest around the 10 Commandments, I created a travel postcard style slide rather than a classroom. The great news is that I can keep adding new things as I find them and the link will stay the same.
People are getting creative with what I like to think of as visual playlists. I’ve seen teacher friends create a calming room bitmoji classroom which has tools for managing stress and emotions (who doesn’t need that during COVID-19?). Another forward thinking colleague is creating an Advent Bitmoji Classroom.
Playlists empower children and families to move at their own pace and explore subjects that are most relevant to them right now. They are a wonderful tool for asynchronous learning, especially in this time of COVID-19. Even though attention spans are short, people are hungry for a word of hope. Thoughtfully curated playlists might be one way to offer Christ’s peace to a weary world.