Teaching with Tech – How I use my iPad to lead Bible Studies

If you like tech (like me) and if you like having your Bible study materials with you (like me) and if you like traveling light (like me), then I may have a trick for you that will allow you to teach your Bible study group by using a piece of tech you probably own, an iPad.

My church has chosen to use Bible Studies For Life. It is the world’s best-selling, ongoing Bible study series, used by millions of adults, students, and kids every week. It’s super easy to prep for a session, and it is highly discussion-centered. I have found it gets groups talking and discussing Scripture in ways they never have before. To learn more about it, just click here.

Although Bible Studies For Life has a print version of a leader guide (with easy-to-follow group plans, commentary, and more), I buy the digital version from LifeWay for just a few bucks (13 Bible study sessions in all – a really great deal). It is emailed to me as a PDF, and that’s when the magic begins!

STEP 1: Download the iStore app, Good Notes. It allows me to upload PDFs into it, and once they goodnotes-411336daare available to me in the app, the PDF becomes alterable. I can add text via the keyboard, hand write notes, add images, add pages, highlight text, etc. It’s super easy, intuitive, and flexible.  The Good Notes logo is pictured to the right.

STEP 2:  Open my leader guide PDF in Good Notes.  I receive the digital version of my leader guide via e-mail. I simply open the attachment on my iPad, and then choose Good Notes as the app in which I want to view it.

STEP 3:  Alter the Leader Guide in Good Notes. Once my Leader Guide is downloaded to Good Notes, I can use the app’s tools to change things in my lesson plan. I can add an illustration, add notes to myself about things I want to say or do with my Bible study group as we work our way through a Scripture passage. I can add a page or two and include commentary I want to reference during the study. I can draw an “X” through a question or suggested activity I don’t want to do use. It allows me to be in the driver’s seat and customize my group’s study plan.

STEP 4:  Teach!  Rather than using my print version of a Leader Guide (it’s about 9X12), I simply open Good Notes on my iPad mini and teach with my iPad in hand.  I can quickly use the “two finger pinch” to zoom in and out as needed.

By having the PDF version of my Leader Guide in Good Notes, it allows me to work on my group’s Bible study session during my lunch hour or other “down times.” It’s made me more productive, and wherever I go, my iPad (and my Bible study materials) go with me.

If you happen to use LifeWay’s ongoing Bible study curriculum (Bible Studies For Life, Gospel Project, or Explore the Bible), you can also purchase the digital copy of your leader guide and use your tablet as a new teaching tool.

See a recent example of how I used Good Notes to modify the opening page of a Bible study session I led (image is below). I used many of its key features: added a text box, added a hand-written note to myself, and highlighted some text. Enjoy!

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good notes
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  1. Thanks for the information on Good Notes – This quarter I’ve been making a powerpoint or in this instance a Keynote presentation. I have the presentation on my MacAir. I have both the MacAir and my iPad on the the same wifi network. (in this case my hotspot on my iPhone.) I open Keynote on my ipad. On the MacAir, I open the presentation on the MacAir. One the iPad I click the second icon at the top that looks like a iPhone with a small error at the bottom. A small window pops up that saids Keynote Remote. It says “You’re ready to control the slideshow on My MACBOOK air.” There is a large green circle that says PLAY. you hit that circle and you are in control of the presentation, The Macbook Air is stowed under the table I have the projector on and I can teach from the podium. On my iPad I can see the slide and the speakers notes! This is the best way of seeing the speaker’s notes I’ve seen. you slide on the left side, and see the slides and can choose what slide to see next,

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