Integrating Technology on a Shoestring Budget

shutterstock_99374858Go on a technology scavenger hunt around your house.  You may have all the hardware you need at home to begin integrating technology into your children’s ministry program. That’s what I did when I began integrating technology into small class instruction.

Just because it isn’t brand new doesn’t mean it can’t be used.  An older desktop computer with a CD ROM drive can be used to play memory verses games or Bible verse games from CDs that accompany your curriculum. Old smart phones can be used even if the phone itself is no longer activated.  Just use it over wireless to access the internet.

You might even borrow some tech devices from your husband or kids. My husband lets me use his iPad. If you borrow from your kids you may have to “sign in blood” that you will make sure it comes back in one piece. You might want to remind them that God loves a cheerful giver. :)

Every kid does not have to have their own device. Kids sharing technology fosters collaboration. Some kids may want to bring their own device (BYOD) such as an iPod to reference their Bible app.  I believe this is permissible if kids are taught the ground rules for appropriate use and they have both their parent’s permission. Check your church’s wireless network policy on allowing wireless access to people other than church staff.

Here’s a list of personal devices that I found on my home scavenger hunt.

  • Old desktop computer that runs Windows XP and has a CD ROM
  • Personal Laptop (mine has a built in webcam)
  • 2 iPads (my iPad and my sweet husband’s iPad)
  • 2 speakers (blue tooth and wired)
  • My old iPhone
  • My Android smart phone
  • My Kindle
  • Earbuds that came with my old iPhone
  • Headphones with attached microphone that my daughter used to learn Rosetta Stone
  • Microphone
  • Digital camera that the family no longer uses since we take all of our pictures with our phones
  • USB flash drives I collected from all the conferences I have attended

If your church does not have a budget for purchasing hardware or only has a minimal budget, using your personal tech hardware is a viable solution. Today’s digital kids relate to technology whether it is old or new!

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