Religious Instruction and Online Learning

Religious Instruction and Online Learning

Most religious communities require young people to attend an instructional program. In the past, children would have to gather once a week or so at a facility owned by a church, temple, mosque or other house of worship. Now, however, busy families can often take advantage of online learning, and religious classes may occur right in the home, at whatever time is best.

One example of a holy online learning institution is the Christian Science Sunday School. Officially sanctioned by the Mother Church, this school uses copyrighted educational materials which have been carefully developed to explain Christian Science dogma. The application process is straightforward, too: students under twenty years old must fill out an online application and then complete a long-distance interview. So far, youth in nearly two dozen nations have received instruction from the Christian Science Sunday School, including nations like Rwanda, Indonesia and Iceland.

Jewish children have always been required to complete Hebrew school before having their Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah on their thirteenth birthdays, and now online Hebrew schools are gaining in popularity. For instance, the Jewish Online School is a distance-learning institution that accepts students as young as four years old. (There are even special classes for teenagers who’ve already had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah.) This online program teaches the Hebrew language and Jewish prayers, and provides an overview of the teachings and history of Judaism. The Jewish Online School also utilizes the latest e-learning technologies, including digital whiteboards and live streaming. Students are not only able to see and speak to their instructors, but to their fellow students as well. Rabbi Yossi Goodman is the head of the school’s tech support, and he and his team work hard to ensure that all this technology is always in excellent working order.

If your place of worship does not offer online instruction, and if you’re adept with the latest technologies, you might speak to your clergy and volunteer to help set up a program for them. And even if you teach a traditional, in-person religious class, you can still utilize online tools to enhance your pedagogy. A simple Internet search may yield any number of printable prayers and devotional readings, activities, quizzes and tests. Once you start using these materials, you may find your curriculum to be much more varied than it’s ever been before.

Online learning market place

Nov 30, 1999