Smart phones can be a huge source of frustration for LDS youth leaders. It can be very hard to have an engaging lesson when everyone is someplace else (mentally) on their phones or other electronic devices. You can certainly put them all in a box for your lesson. It’s one way to solve the problem. I prefer to not use that method. Here’s why: there’s a good chance they will be using some kind of portable electronic device for the rest of their lives. What they need is to learn how to use it appropriately. You can guide them through that.
I’ve compiled some different ways that you can use a teenager’s love of technology to your advantage in the LDS classroom.
Ask Them if They Have the Gospel Library App
Believe it or not, not every teenager knows about the Gospel Library App and how to use it. I’ve asked some of my young women and been surprised to learn that a) they don’t know about it and b) they don’t have it on their phone. Sometimes, I do this if I see them on their phone during the lesson. I simply ask if they have the Gospel Library App so they can follow along. Every time I do that, they find a way to participate. Yes, sometimes that even means they put down their phone.
While you’re asking them about the Gospel Library App, you could also teach them how to use it. During the lesson, you could direct them to look up a conference talk, an entry in True to the Faith or Preach My Gospel. Just walk them through finding the location of the resource you want them to use within the app, just like you would help them locate a scripture in the Standard Works.
The lesson “why is it important to study the scriptures?” could be a tutorial on how to use the Gospel Library App. You could teach them how to bookmark, highlight and tag to create their own collection of favorite scriptures and gospel quotes. This can be useful to them when preparing talks, during their own personal study and for sharing in class.
Have Them Text the Answer to You
Ask them a question and have them text their answer to you or you can text them a question to answer.
Kahoot is a quiz game that you can use during your lessons. You can set up a multiple choice quiz about the lesson topic. You could assign a young man or young woman to create a quiz.
Maria Eckersly of Meckmom Blog created this great video tutorial for how to use it in the LDS classroom.
Make a Video or Image that Relates to the Lesson
Have your class in pairs or small groups make a short video or image answering a question or prompt you give them. Then you can watch the videos together.
Your class could also use any number of graphic design apps to make an image with a quote or drawing to explain the lesson topic and then share their image with the class. Canva and Picmonkey are both free. Drawing Pad is a drawing and painting app that will let them draw a picture for sharing. I’m pretty sure some of your class members will have a favorite photo-editing or drawing app they can recommend, too.
Your turn. What are some of your favorite ways to engage your class in lessons using electronic devices?
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