Teaching Practices, Model Assignments

Sifting New Media

Literacy: navigating hybrid and digital cultures

Demographics aren’t destiny, but they are important for ministers to understand.

This simple “jigsaw”-format class activity will give students exposure to the demographic and sociological research on Internet users and the chance to discuss its importance and implications for ministers. Individual readings and other resource choices can be updated as new research is published by Pew and others.

A secondary goal of this and other Quick Challenges from Kyle Oliver’s Digital Media for Ministry course is to develop students’ ability to review and synthesize online resources in an efficient and critical manner.


Our goal for this brief class activity is to learn about how different groups of people use technology/the Internet/new media. We will use resources created by the Pew Internet Project and other research organizations.

Choose a group of four. Your group has 30 minutes to review and discuss a selection of the resources below and prepare to report to the class about what you learned. Choose at least one resource from each category.

(This link requires a Google account. It will prompt you to make a clean copy of the document that you can then edit according to your needs.)

Demographic data

Image: “Crunching the numbers” by William Iven via Unsplash (CC0)

Background image: “Info” by Tuan Anh Tran via Unsplash (CC0)