Digital Storytelling for Today’s Kids
Matt Guevara is the executive director of INCM and author of 11 Ways to Share the Gospel with Digital Natives. I attended his breakout to see if there were any ideas or tools I hadn’t already heard of to take home and use in my children’s ministry. I had never heard Matt speak before, but I was extremely impressed by his breakout. He used great visuals, had lots of quality content to share, and offered unique digital tools to use for teaching kids. I’m excited to share my notes with those of you who missed this breakout.
- “Technology and the pace of life has dramatically changed since our childhood.”
“There is a profound difference between a story and a report. A report is a list of things that happened. A story shows the highs and lows, emotions, and depth.”
“When you teach the way your audience learns you will earn their trust.”
Connect with your audience.
– This requires a unique approach when your audience is children. How does your audience learn and understand?
– Marc Prensky – recommended storyteller- check out his website.
Lure learners in.
– Often Sunday mornings can be boring because kids always know what’s coming. Make sure your audience knows that they are in THE story. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
Strive for simplicity.
– Attention spans are minimal and shorter than they used to be. Train your storytellers to stay focused, tangents ruin stories.
Lead with authenticity.
– Tell the story as if your sharing it with a friend. Tell the story like you know it, not like it’s scripted. Don’t look down at the paper and read the story. You will lose the kids! Bring yourself into the story. What gifts and talents do you have that you could bring into the story?
Follow the form.
– Every story has a beginning, middle, and an end, in that order. Memorize the form, and don’t stray from it.
Respond to cues.
– Live storytelling is a give and take with your audience. Use mindful eyes and ears as you are speaking. Are they engaged? Are their eyes wide or distracted? Provide feedback to the audience with gestures. Engage the interruptions. They are tiny little gifts. It shows the kids that they matter, and their question matters to you.
Give more than words.
– Next-level storytelling is immersive. When you look at the video games the kids are playing, they are immersive worlds. Kids receive stories through the mind gate, eyes gate, and the heart gate. Try to engage all three through your storytelling.
Bring your emotion to the story.
– Your words are important, but the way you deliver them will be the difference between “Bueller” and “Braveheart”.
- Comic Master – Web tool for creating your own short graphic novel – choose your look, backgrounds, dialogue and captions, and special effects.
- Adobe Spark – App that empowers anyone to turn ideas into social graphics, web stories, and animated videos in minutes.
- Puppet Pals – App to create your own unique shows with animation and audio in real time! Simply pick out your actors and backdrops, drag them on to the stage, and tap record. Your movements and audio will be recorded in real time for playback later.
- Bible Buddies – Bring Bible stories to life by allowing YOUR CHILD TO STAR alongside Daniel, Esther, and Abraham in your own CARTOONS!
- ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard – Turn your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard! ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online.
- Sock Puppets – Sock Puppets lets you create your own lip-synched videos and share them on Facebook and YouTube. Add Puppets, props, scenery, and backgrounds and start creating. Hit the record button and the puppets automatically lip-synch to your voice.
- Toontastic – Toontastic is a creative storytelling app that enables kids to draw, animate, and share the
- Buncee – A creation and presentation tool for students and educators to create interactive classroom content, allowing learners of all
- Moovly – Moovly is a video animation maker that is completely web-based. Make videos and build creative presentations. Combine visuals, sounds, voice and video in clear explanations or engaging stories.
- Bunkr – The first presentation tool that displays any online content. Useful for telling a story that pulls from multiple online sources
- VideoScribe – Web tool create stunning, high-definition whiteboard animation style videos (without needing to draw anything).
For a full list of storytelling tools and a guide for using them visit incm.org/d6 .
- I enjoyed all of the practical advice Matt gave on how to improve your storytelling technique. They are useful tips I plan on using in training my storytellers in the future.
- The digital storytelling tools he recommended are great resources that are easy to use even if you aren’t very tech-savvy. I had personally never heard of any of these resources before, and look forward to checking them out to use in our kid’s ministry.
- We need to start viewing the technology that is entering our kids’ lives as teaching tools, instead of distractions.
How are you using technology in kid’s ministry to engage your kids?