OneNote for Meeting Management

Meeting management is a blend of art and science. You need mad “people skills” to bring polar opposites together sometimes. Soft touches. Tough love. And a whole host of other soft skills are an important part of making meetings go. Fortunately the “science” side of meetings is a picture that gets brighter and brighter as technology finds it’s groove in this space. For me an important technical resource for keeping things straight and everybody engaged in a meeting is a tool called OneNote. It’s been around a long time and has just recently been getting the credit it deserves. This Microsoft product comes as a free app on all Windows 10 installations now. I think that has helped. But it is available in a fuller version with Office 365 subscriptions (both pc and mac). It has an online web version, which is pretty good. Microsoft has even created iOS and Android mobile app versions.

Because you can not only create local copies of your OneNote Notebooks, but also store them in a free OneDrive cloud account, it’s utility is somewhat endless. In the screencast at the bottom of the page I walk through an example of using the free OneNote version along with OneDrive to build a nice meeting management solution for collecting and sharing meeting content like agendas, action items and meeting assets.

Application/audience

For those who attend or management meetings for ministry purposes, a digital meeting management tool is a welcome addition to your tool belt. I can see many uses for this approach in situations where staff and volunteers come together to plan, report and just get stuff done. Church councils, boards, school faculties are all groups that meet and could benefit from an online, full featured tool like OneNote. I’d probably even go as far as saying even a better tool than Google’s Docs and other G-Suite products. For church/school leadership teams one of the best features might be OneNote’s ability to embed assets like images, audio files and documents. You can craft one page that could include every imaginable resource that would just be there whenever anybody opens the page. No confusing subfolder names, permissioning issues, or broken links. Literally a one-stop-shop for all your meeting stuff. Super easy!

 

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515 – #Meetings

WELSTech’s month of meetings continues with an interview of New Ulmer, Brian Fischer, who shares his strategic planning experiences in business and the church. Sallie schools Martin on hashtags, and, as usual, they both share some interesting internet resources you can use in your ministry today.

Play

The interview and discussion:

Strategic planning – Brian Fischer, lay member of St. Paul’s, New Ulm, MN and owner of New Ulm’s Design Home Center, visits the WELS Technology West offices to chat with martin and Sallie about a method he uses to facilitate strategic planning, both in the church as well as in the business setting. At it’s core are three important questions:

  1. How are we doing?
  2. Where are we going?
  3. How do we get there?

News in tech:

Trello Desktop for Mac and Windows

WELS now:

Christian Aid and Relief updates on Hurricanes Harvey & IrmaVolunteer

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Ministry resources:

5 ways to let your light shine online

Featured video:

The newest addition to the WELSTech Music Playlist on YouTube is Koine’s Brothers, Sisters, Let Us Gladly.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 516 – We welcome Prof. Rachel Feld back to WELSTech to talk about meetings in the school setting. Release date: Wednesday, September 27.

Get involved:

5 Ways To Let Your Light Shine Online

The appeal of social media in the 21st century is undeniable. The various platforms for sharing, from Facebook to Instagram to WeChat to Pinterest to {insert your favorite here}, offer connection to those we care about, and a channel for self-publication. But do we consciously consider how our social media use fits with our Christian walk?

I recently read the new Churchm.ag eBook The Social Christian. It served as a good reminder of why we do everything we do in this world – to share the Gospel message of the redemptive work of Jesus with everyone. With the reach of social media, many doors are now open to us which didn’t exist a decade ago. Rather than hide the saving Gospel, we can share it via social media in all we do and say.

As you consider how best to use social media, consider these five guidelines for how and what you share:

  1. Be in the Word – If only we had an instruction book for letting our light shine in the digital world. But wait … we do! God’s holy, inerrant Word found on the pages of the Bible is our all-encompassing instruction book. If we struggle with what to say or whether to say anything on social media, we can find the answer in prayerful study of his Word. With the Word nurtured in our hearts, our words and actions – both face-to-face and online – will reflect the joy of salvation we have received freely from Jesus Christ. Consider the amount of time you spend in the Word compared to using social media. Would your postings have a different flavor (perhaps including more “salt” ~ Colossians 4:6) if those times were reversed?

    “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
    ~ Colossians 3:16-17 CSB

  2. Decrease self/Increase God – Often I consider whether my posts on social media are narcissistic or self-absorbed or vain. It’s an easy trap to fall into when my own personal pedestal awaits on my favorite social media platform. Look what I did … Look how adorable my kids are … Look at how lovely my home is …To avoid that trap, consider that most people predominantly post the “highs” of their life on social media. Do we normally see posts about their failures, the times they have to discipline their children, their messy house? Those aren’t the norm. I’ve found it best to just be real. And reality for me is I’m a sinner who needs a savior. My normal is definitely not pedestal worthy. Instead I can elevate Christ alone in the good and bad of my normal life. He is my sure hope in times of sorrow and of blessing.

    “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
    ~ 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

  3. Lift up others – Make it your mission to share your joy in Jesus with your social media contacts. Where there is sorrow, share compassion and strength. Pray for those in need. Share a special verse or song (like the I Will Rise video shared below) that offers comfort. Let them know you care and, more importantly, that your savior Jesus cares.

    “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
    ~ Ephesians 4:2

  4. Share wisely – Perhaps you enjoy sharing things via social media. This tip is here to encourage you to be careful of what you share. Many links today can lead others who may not have faith or whose faith isn’t deeply rooted to explore associated content that isn’t God-pleasing. Satan would like nothing better than to use a Christian to lead someone away from salvation.

    “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
    ~ 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

  5. Give God the glory – I’ll say it again … In all things (including social media posts) give God glory!  One of my favorite ways to do this is through the popular practice of hashtaging posts. Oddly, this running together of words to convey what you are thinking has added another creative layer to our communication. Everyone enjoys coming up with and reading clever hashtags. When I close my post with what I’ve termed #hashtags4Him, I have turned not only my eyes and heart toward Jesus, but also those who read my posts. #salvationthroughJesusiswhatmattersmost

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
    ~ 1 Peter 1:3 NIV

Martin Luther College – I Will Rise.

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514 – Staying Awake in Meetings

“Meeting” month continues on WELSTech with an interview with World Missions Administrator Larry Schloemer who shares his experiences, tips and tools used in managing meetings. New Bible study resources are available for those working on called worker compensation review. Martin is back with yet another screencasting pick of the week, while he and Sallie discuss the latest Apple iPhone announcements.

Play

The interview:

Level 10 – World Missions Administrator Larry Schloemer talks about elevating meeting effectiveness with team trust and healthy conflict in meetings.

The discussion:

Meetings mode – Martin and Sallie continue the discussion around effective meetings with a book review, a look at one congregation’s methods for engaging members in long-range planning, and recommendations for tech tools to assist with meetings.

News in tech:

September 12, 2017 Apple event and product announcements including the exciting animojis

WELS now:

New Interactive Faith online Bible Study – Luther’s Lasting Impact – starts October 4. Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Prof. Joel Otto will lead the study on Wednesday’s October 4 to November 8 at 6 pm and 8 pm (central).

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Called Worker Compensation Bible Study

Community feedback:

Featured video:

WELSTech has not one, but two, great featured videos this week! Check out The Backwards Brain Bicycle from Smarter Every Day …

and the EOSWorldwide channel and Level 10 Meeting overview.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 515 – Tune in for tips on strategic planning, a specific meeting type that most churches and schools could benefit from. Release date: Wednesday, September 20.

Get involved:

Called Worker Compensation Bible Study

If you are a called worker or church leader responsible for called worker compensation, you’ve probably heard about the newly released Called Worker Compensation Calculator. In fact, last month I wrote a brief ministry resource blog post on the topic. What maybe wasn’t clear are the great resources that have been created around the whole topic of compensating those who have dedicated their lives to full time ministry. The most recent offering is a brief video Bible study that can be used by calling bodies to think properly and biblically about the entire process of support called workers. The video is embedded at the bottom of this post.

A summary of the Bible study reads:

This brief Bible study on called worker compensation focuses on a few key passages, reminding calling bodies of God’s grace in providing public ministers of the gospel and their God-given responsibilities toward those who minister to and with them. The study offers guidance to congregations and schools regarding a process to follow and tools available to assist them in a careful, prayerful, and thoughtful approach to compensation.

The PowerPoint slides that Professor Treptow shared with the study is also available. Used together the video and PowerPoint slides would be a great tool for a church council and/or school board to work through before the budgeting season begins. What a great way to prayerfully approach the important work of called worker care.

Related resources

 

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513 – A Month of Meetings

WELSTech declares September “meeting month.” We’ll take a different angle on meetings each week to help all of us be better meeting managers and get the most out of our meetings. We are also back with all of your favorite segments including “WELS Now” where we identify some real ways you can get involved with Harvey relief. Sallie shares some awesome PowerPoint templates for teachers, while Martin does the same for Camtasia users.

Play

The discussion:

Season opener – Along with the new school year, Martin and Sallie are excited to return to the regular WELSTech schedule. New this season will be a month-long focus on a discussion topic relating technology to ministry. First up is everyone’s favorite … meetings. Well, at least meetings should be everyone’s favorite by the time we finish our September discussions!

Revisit the Meetings chapter of WELSTech’s With All Your Heart project management book, and learn about healthy conflict, meeting prep and environment.

News in tech:

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Computer Science Fundamentals For Grades K-5

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Rewind through WELSTech history to watch a meeting-focused interview with Pastor Rob Guenther, the “Faster Pastor,” from Grace in Kenai, AK.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 514 – Tune in for tips on strategic planning, a specific meeting type that most churches and schools could benefit from. Release date: Wednesday, September 13.

Get involved:

Computer Science Fundamentals For Grades K-5

In today’s education space, it’s hard to have a discussion without the acronym STEM or STEAM being injected. And whichever side of the debate you fall on – including Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics grouping, or not – all would agree that an emphasis on teaching students the basics of programming across all grade levels is moving toward broad adoption by schools. Challenges to adoption are introduced, particularly at lower elementary levels, where teachers already span multiple disciplines and may not have confidence to teach areas with heavy technical emphasis.

Code.org recently released a new K-5 Computer Science curriculum to help with this need. The Computer Science Fundamentals Courses A-F includes interactive graphical lessons in the Blocky coding environment, an offshoot of MIT’s popular Scratch environment. Lessons start with pre-readers manipulating arrow icons to build a set of commands which moves a popular Angry Bird character to pounce on the enemy Pig character. In the process, kids are improving critical thinking skills and learning coding concepts such as algorithms (a fancy word for instructions), sequencing, conditionals, and functions.

But the curriculum is not all about online lessons. There are a long list of “unplugged” activities for teaching these same concepts. From planting a seed to binary bracelets to songwriting, the unplugged activities are geared to get students out of their seats and using coding skills in concrete ways. The entire curriculum, included detailed lesson plans for the unplugged activities, is available in this 350 page PDF document.

Code.org doesn’t stop there, however. The most exciting piece of the puzzle for teachers is the excellent professional development resources available for those who want to learn to teach computer science with this curriculum. They offer free one day workshops for K-5 teachers which …

‘provide an intro to computer science, pedagogy, overview of the online curriculum, teacher dashboard, and strategies for teaching “unplugged” classroom activities’

If you cannot make it to a workshop, they offer the same concepts in an online self-paced course. Teachers not only learn the basics of Computer Science, but they also get to test drive the online programming modules that the students will experience. And, if your enquiring mind is wondering, yes, there are Angry Birds for teachers too!!

What better way to STEAM into the new school year than with the free resources from Code.org.

Code Studio: Kid tested, teacher approved

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