Thursday, November 4, 2010

Interview with a Youth Minister

Great sense of humor and understanding. "Youth Ministry" has post-graduate degrees both in Theology and in Making Youth Group Awesome. He has traveled far to bring home a greater sense of purpose and mission.

How do you use new technology at your job?
I am both a Youth Minister and a middle school teacher, and so I find myself using technology often. In YM it's mainly for communication to young people and their parents. Without using Facebook (and texting), I would not reach probably 70-80% of the kids I'm trying to reach. And email just makes it easier to stay in touch with parents. As a teacher, I use different media all the time in the classroom (short downloaded films shown on my projector) & mainly email to communicate with other teachers. 

Is there any new technology/website made in the last 5-7 years that you cannot live without?

There are three: my phone, Google calendars, and Dropbox. I recently dropped Outlook like a bad habit (which it is) and switched to Google calendar and my life has never been more seamless. ... (*sweet! Giants just won World Series!!!!*) ... It easily syncs with my phone and iCal on my Mac and updates in just seconds when I add an event. I also like that if I ever lose my phone I haven't lost my schedule for the whole year. Then there is Dropbox. I can access all my files on any computer I'm's a great tool. And being able to use a SmartPhone where I can receive my emails and sync my calendar is priceless. It keeps me from spending 2 straight hours every day sifting through a bunch of email when I get to the office cause I can take them as they come.

Is there any new technology/website made in the last 5-7 years that seems useless to you?
Twitter. I still don't see the point, but obviously someone does since it's so wildly popular. Maybe I'm just not narcissistic enough to appreciate it.

What do you wish you could do with technology that you can't do now?
I'd like to think I'm forward thinking enough to come up with an answer to this question, but for some reason nothing is coming to me. I think I'm just inundated with figuring out how to bring the school into the 21st century with their technology.

[EDIT: Over the phone, "Youth Minister" and I discussed a new answer to this last question: a specific notification that all cars should give, alerting the driver what specific maintenance they should expect and why, including the last time such a maintenance was done and how frequently it should be done. We even pictured the Microsoft Paperclip, only this time it would be a wrench with eyes, popping up onto the windshield. "Did you know that your brake pads are close to needing a change? Would you like me to search for nearby auto repair shops now?" Why, yes I would! Thanks for asking!]

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