By Cheryl Statham,
member of Prince of Peace, Johnsonville, and the Worship
and Spirituality Ministry Team
(Part 2 of 2 articles)
The first part of this article, published in the
September issue of Partners
in the Spirit, gave information on how to set up a computer room physically.
This part will deal with what happens after your computer room is up and
What do you do next?
How do you integrate the computer room into your normal Sunday school
curriculum? What programs are out there
and which ones
are worth the money? Do you train the teachers to use the programs
or do you have only one or two people responsible for running
How you settle these questions will be different depending on your
own church's situation. However, there are some options to consider.
Sunday Software has an excellent line of CD-ROMs that cover a wide
range of Old and New Testament stories, as well as some programs on the
itself. These are geared for middle-to-upper secondary level students
for the most part, and most are beyond the understanding of most K-third
Programs for younger children can usually be found in the Augsburg
Fortress catalog and at local Bible book stores. Before you buy from anyone,
the return policy. If the program isn't what you expected it to be,
you will want to be able to return it. Remember, too, that you need to
CD-ROM for each computer that will be running the software or you will
be violating copyright laws.
Whether you train all of your teachers to use the room or have just
one or two teachers designated to run the computers depends on your congregation’s
situation and on your teachers’ computer comfort level. Either way,
the teachers must be familiar with the programs and be able to integrate
them into the desired lessons.
To become familiar with the programs, your teachers need to spend time
on the computers playing with the programs. This works best if you
schedule a special meeting for teachers where the only thing they will
is getting comfortable using the machines. Allow at least two hours
so there is plenty of time for teachers to explore all of the programs’ options.
Integrating the Computer Room into the Schedule
Integrating the computer room into your lesson schedule will again
take place in different ways in different Sunday schools. If you are using
rotation workshop model (see September Partners), the computer room
can be added to the workshops if you have a CD-Rom program that can supplement
the lesson you are teaching. However, even with the traditional Sunday
format, a computer room can be integrated easily into your weekly schedule.
The important thing to remember is that a computer room is always to
be used as a supplement to your regular lesson, not as a replacement.
All sessions in the room should begin with the teacher giving a short
emphasizing the major points of the story and explaining how the computer
program they will be using ties into that lesson. Then, and only then,
the students can be allowed to start running the program. Remember also
a few minutes at the end of the time to go over the major points of
the lessons once again.
Hopefully these articles will give you some ideas on how to proceed
if you are interested in integrating a computer room into your Sunday
program. There are several books on the subject that are available
in catalogs if you are interested in learning more. Good luck!
(For more information, contact Cheryl Statham at firstname.lastname@example.org.)