10 Steps to Getting Wi-Fi in Your Classroom

wifichalkboardAs a children’s ministry teacher or leader, you probably realize the benefits of having wireless Internet access in the classroom. That doesn’t mean your church leaders recognize the instructional benefits. Maybe your church has Internet access in the auditorium and office area but not in the Sunday School classrooms. Maybe your church doesn’t have Internet access at all.

The steps below are the ones I took to successfully encourage the leaders in my church to provide wireless Internet access in my Sunday School classroom.  These steps or a slight variation should work for you, too.

  1. Develop a plan. Don’t forget to pray about it first!
  2. Enlist the support of other well respected members of your church who regularly use technology and will understand the benefit of using the Internet to teach biblical concepts.  They may be young techies, youth leaders, deacons, or other leaders.  Share with them your desire to have Internet access, how you want to use it, and why you want to use it.
  3. Make sure you don’t leave your pastor out of the loop. Schedule a time to personally communicate with your pastor.  If your pastor isn’t tech savvy, make sure you speak in layman’s terms when explaining the benefits.
  4. Be prepared to demonstrate specific examples of how you would use technology in your classroom. If you have internet access in the room where you will be demonstrating, use it. If you do not have internet access, create screen shots of sample web pages, print them and  be ready to share.  Don’t forget you can use your cell phone as a wi-fi hotspot if your phone has that capability.
  5. Have kids assist in your demonstration to the church leaders. Everyone likes to see kids excited about learning biblical concepts!
  6. Do your research on the one-time cost and recurring cost of implementation. Contact your internet provider to get monthly internet rates and prices for modems, wireless routers, installation, wiring, etc. Don’t forget that there are often techie people in your church who can set up hardware or do some installation if money is an issue.  By the way, you need at least 3 MB download speed to stream videos and 6 MB or 10 MB is even better.
  7. Assure church leaders that you will monitor your student’s use of the Internet and keep them safe. Make sure you keep your promise!
  8. Set  a password on wireless routers for security purposes. Change the password often.
  9. Offer to bring your own hardware to use in your classroom if the church isn’t willing or able to provide wireless devices. You can do a lot of technology integration with just a few Internet capable devices.
  10. Share your success stories with church leaders once you begin using the Internet in your Sunday School classroom.

Question for my Readers

Can you think of other ideas to encourage church leaders to provide wireless Internet access to the classrooms?

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