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Reply to "Lesson Ideas for Online, At-Home Sunday School"

We used Facebook Live as that is a format our church is familiar with and interaction was really, really important to us. However, the lag presented challenges for us and it meant we couldn't show kids or let kids lead the way we would in person. I repeated their comments and reacted when I saw the comment which the kids enjoyed. The pacing was just awkward. However, feedback from parents was excellent. I just want to consider ways to do it better.  Do you have suggestions for using Facebook Live videos in a way that incorporates comments but doesn't drag? 

Neil added his answer to Heather here rather than create a new post 

Hi Heather!

Facebook Live comments, for those who don't know, are the participant comments that scroll down the bottom part of the video screen. If people post a lot of them, the scroll moves fast and can become unreadable.  I mentioned over in my Online Worship experiences that adults were posting FB comments during the prayers and sermons! Very distracting. The bigger the group, the bigger the problem because it doesn't take many to clog the screen. See my suggestions below, especially the "CAT."

You said a lot when you wrote "we couldn't show kids or let kids lead the way we would in person."  Doing things online has many challenges to be figured out and man of our teaching habits aren't going to translate to certain mediums, like Facebook Live without being modified. To me, that's the silver lining of this current crisis -- it's forcing many to venture into a way of connecting that we will certainly be doing more of in the future.

  1. First thing I would do is simplify and shorten my lesson. Less moving parts means less material to be interrupted. You don't want to squash participation. Early on, we want to create good habits and expectations.

  2. Second thing is to recognize that the "interruptions" might be what some kids need right now. Many have been separated by their friends and are just glad to be together.

  3. Third thing I'd do is create some "rules," such as "When I post the photo of the Cat saying QUIET, stop typing responses until I post prompt some of you BY NAME to respond. In other words, "make them raise their virtual hand" and then call upon them.

  4. Fourth. look at Zoom or Microsoft Teams for video conferencing. The leader can control the action, audio, screens, etc. A bit more of a learning curve that FB Live, but it will solve the problem of control.  Different tools for different uses.

    Looking forward to hearing back how your experiments are going.




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