The MOCDANZ recognises the value of audio-visual resources but is also cognisant of the dangers of indiscriminate use of such teaching aids.
Accordingly, there is a strict policy on the use of social media and audio-visual materials for special religious education.
This policy should be read and interpreted in conjunction with the Department of Code of Conduct and legislation such as the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 Social Media Policy and Procedures http://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au/ppip-act
It is recognised that the use of social media is increasingly part of everyday activities but at the present time, it is not clear how much social media is beneficial over and above the interpersonal contact of students and teachers. Any effects of social media are specific to content, topics, images, presentation, and audience.
In order to be approved for special religious education audio-visual material needs to be true to the dogma of the Orthodox faith, it needs to complement verbal instruction and will need to link to specific lessons.
At present, the general policy is that no social media (including online material, videos, computer games or powerpoint) will be used for Macedonian Orthodox religious instruction without the approval of the Advisory Committee.
Any materials authorised for use in classes (in particular videos) should have the formal approval of the MOCDANZ to ensure that they are developmentally relevant, are appropriate in content, effective for instruction and available to all.
As a matter of courtesy and protocol, the school must be informed of any video presentation. As a matter of courtesy and with regard to the rights of parents/guardians, they are to be informed in advance of a presentation so that they have the opportunity to withdraw their child from the viewing.
PowerPoint presentations can only be used if they have been approved by MOCDANZ. It is not a matter to be approved at a parish level.
Interactive whiteboards the use of interactive whiteboards is encouraged in special religious education and the MOCDANZ has provided training in the use of interactive whiteboards, smartboards, etc.
The failure to cultivate good teaching cannot be replaced by audio-visual experiences, which may have unintended consequences. To avoid negative consequences, it is mandated that for the time being:
No social media, no computer games is to be used for Macedonian Orthodox special religious education in State Schools.
Power points may be used only if they are approved by Macedonian Orthodox Church, Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.
No written or printed materials may be distributed without prior approval of the MOCDANZ and its Advisory Committee for the Teaching of Religion in State Schools.