Bloggernacle Back Bench: Teaching tips from around the Internet

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

Pictured is a "Arise and Shine Forth" treat jar for young women.

inkablinka.com

Enlarge photo»

It’s been awhile since I’ve combed the blogs for helpful sites dedicated to teaching others. But this week, for some reason, I found and received some amazing new sites full of ideas and resources to help teachers impart gospel knowledge in a variety of settings.

Seminary teaching: A full-time seminary teacher in Herriman, Utah, decided to start blogging in an effort to provide “ideas to make the scriptures relevant in the lives of the youth.”

Why?

Because “I believe that the scriptures contain the answers to life’s problems. The secret in finding the answers to our problems lies in making the connection from our situations to those faced by the people in the scriptures. The more we are able to liken ourselves to the scriptures, the more relevance we will see in the scriptures.” Wow, check out all his scripture-related posts, with themes including “friends,” “marriage,” “endurance,” “symbolism” and so much more. Awesome.

Sunday School: With the advent of the Book of Mormon study year, Julie M. Smith at Times and Seasons has been posting her extensive notes that she uses to then present her lessons. I love the many, many apostle and scholarly links and quotes that she includes under each scripture section. It’s an amazing resource.

And Blogger Nancy W. Jensen is quick to explain that her blog provides supplementary material and upfront includes links to the current manuals and lds.org. But her ideas and questions at Gospel Doctrine Plus help teachers hone their lessons, helping them think of directions they can go. I also love all her links and graphics and photos. Check it out!

Young women: The name Inkablinka.com just makes me smile, and that smile grows wider as I scroll through this blogger’s creative ideas aimed at young women. For instance, you could make a lighted “Arise and Shine Forth treat jar" that the young women can choose from if they have worked on their Personal Progress that week. Or “Arise and Shine Forth Wands” that represent a sunburst. This is just a delightful, smile-inducing website that you need to check out if you teach young women in your ward.

Now let me teach you where to find other blogs throughout the Bloggernacle:

Power pick: Keeping with the teaching theme, the Amateur Mormon Historian has outlined, in 10 easy steps, “What makes a missionary journal a good historical source.” And he should know as he combs through old missionary journals to tell the history behind the 19th and 20th century missionary efforts in the south. And he makes sure to impart this advice to the missionaries they invite into their home for dinner and explains “You can almost see the gears turning in their head as I describe why I like certain journals and not others. To cinch the deal, I go back to my personal experience. I tell them I wish I had read a few good missionary journals before my mission.”

Here are a few of his pointers: “Use full names, at least once. Or at least as full as you know. You may know who "David" is right now. But by the end of your mission you may have met several Davids and your grandchildren will definitely not know. One journalist wrote about 'S. Reed' is one entry. Fortunately he used Brother Reed's full name later on, since his first name was one I would never have guessed, Sirenious.” And “Describe your feelings about specific events. Being particularly in tune with the spirit has benefits. You may not recognize it at the time, but it may mean a whole lot more when you look at it retrospectively. Don't go on for pages. Be concise, and direct. A simple straightforward description is usually the most insightful.” Click in for all 10 tips.

Techie tip: I get pretty excited about the new mobile apps the church releases, but not everything is perfect in every platform quite yet. But that’s where we can all help. LDSTech explains that “ Testers (are) needed for interactive books and magazine tablet apps." Providing feedback and taking surveys help refine the technology for future projects. Click in to see the instructions for exactly how to help. Because it’s pretty likely that these tools and apps are the teaching tools of the future!

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience.

Email: ejensen@desnews.com

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