"The 'Come Follow Me' Web-based curriculum (on lds.org) has been a great strength to me as a Sunday School teacher," said Mark Francis, a 12- and 13-year-old Sunday School teacher in the Taylor Monument Ward, Kaysville Utah West Stake, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
With 17 students in a small classroom, my husband knew that teaching such a large group could present some challenges.
"I've learned to take advantage of technology as I prepare and present my lessons," said Francis, who was called to teach Sunday School in January. "It's very helpful to have everything online, so that as I prepare I can study the curriculum and then click on a scripture, video or general conference talk, and go right to the source. As I study for my lesson, I type my notes onto my iPhone, and then have everything I need right at my fingertips."
Some of the students come to class with hardbound scriptures, while others bring their scriptures on a digital device.
"I encourage students as they read to mark verses digitally or with a pencil," he says. "I've learned that they can feel the spirit using either type of scriptures."
Recently, as the class discussed the blessings of the Atonement, one student said she had something to share. She then talked about reading the scriptures on her phone one night. As she read, she had several ideas come to mind about what the Atonement meant to her and recorded the notes on her phone.
"The spirit was very strong in the classroom as she shared with us her personal notes," said Francis. "It was a testimony to me about the power of using these tools we have been given."
Online conference talks are another blessing of technology.
"It's wonderful to be able to easily listen to the words of the apostles and prophets right in our classroom, and even watch them as they speak," he said. "I encourage students and teachers everywhere — even if we are hesitant at first — to embrace technology and magnify our gospel-learning experiences."
Lanette Francis is the mother of nine children. She and her husband, Mark, are both youth Sunday School teachers in Kaysville, Utah. She blogs at fromthefrancisfarm.blogspot.com