545 – Awesome Apps: Communication

The WELSTech April series called “Awesome Apps” continues as Martin and Sallie share some of their favorite smart device communication tools for texting, emailing, video conferencing and more. Sallie has to figure out how to say the name of her new car but in the process found a great car buying app, and Martin, tuning in from a conference in Salt Lake City, found the benefits of handwriting notes…digitally.

The interview:

Care giving tech – Dan Stelljes is the Product Development Lead for First Layer Health, a WELS-owned software development company which focuses on making social and healthcare communication easier for older people. He shares details of their newest product, TheirCare, which delivers video calls, messages, and more to certain internet-connected televisions. One of the uses of the tool is for church shut-in ministry. Contact Dan if you’d like to pilot a program in your congregation.

The discussion:

Communication apps – Reaching out to touch someone via a plain old phone call, is so yesterday. Martin and Sallie discuss their favorite smartphone apps for many forms of communication.

News in tech:

Google shutters it’s goo.gl URL shortening service

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Check out Faithlife’s new Ministry Team magazine

Community feedback:

The Ultimate Guide for Using Trello at Home

Featured video:

What made us laugh in Star Trek IV (circa 1986) is turning into our reality in 2018 – voice controlled devices. Enjoy this throwback to Mr.Scott (a.k.a. The Miracle Worker) communicating with a computer.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 546 – Prof. Rachel Feld co-hosts, and the discussion centers around awesome apps for the classroom. Release date: Wednesday, April 25.

Get involved:

544 – Awesome Apps: Utilities

The WELSTech month of “Awesome Apps” continues with a rundown of Martin and Sallie’s go-to mobile utilities! From weather to shopping to travel, there’s an app for that. Plus, we share news of a new program to address child abuse and neglect as well as a new online Bible study for women. And the community feedback bag holds lots of interesting tech in ministry goodies as well!

The discussion:

Utilities – We call those devices in our pockets “phones,” but that’s probably the understatement of the century. They have the ability to do so much more that connect to others for a voice conversation. This week Martin and Sallie focus on the plethora of utility apps that can enhance your ministry efforts, productivity, pocketbook, and life, in general.

News in tech:

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

WELS Women online Bible study

Community feedback:

Featured video:

If Sallie’s pick of the week intrigues you, learn more about Habitica and Task Management in this week’s featured video.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 545 – Next week Martin and Sallie talk awesome communication apps . Release date: Wednesday, April 18.

Get involved:

543 – Awesome Apps: Photos

April is “Awesome Apps” month on WELSTech as Martin and Sallie share some of their favorite apps that can provide a boost to your productivity, ministry activities or just plain enjoyment of your smart devices. In this episode the “focus” is on photo apps including cameras, photo management, editing and sharing. Don’t be satisfied with just “taking pictures.” Up your game with these awesome apps!

The discussion:

Photo apps – The best camera is the one you have with you! And these days, your handy smartphone camera offers quality and features which result in stunning photos. Martin and Sallie share their favorite apps to extend your smartphone camera capabilities, including capturing, editing and sharing.

News in tech:

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Untangling Audio Cable Confusion from Church Tech Today

Featured video:

Watch President Schroeder’s 2018 Easter Message.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 544 – Awesome Apps month continues with a deep dive into a variety of mobile app utilities. Release date: Wednesday, April 11.

Get involved:

542 – Back to the Basics: Presentations

The last installment in WELSTech’s “back to the basics” March focus is all about presentations. From classroom to Bible study to conferences, most listeners will agree that presentations are common across all ministry and non-ministry related roles. Jason Schmidt joins the conversation about tips and tools for great presentations. There’s a new Chrome OS platform and affordable robots for classrooms included in this week’s discussion as well.

The discussion:

Present that – Jason Schmidt from Bennington Public Schools in Omaha, NE co-hosts this week, and he’s all about #appsmashing your way to great presentations.

News in tech:

The first Chrome OS tablet is here

WELS now:

‘Tis the season to register!

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Polling tools for your presentations

Featured video:

Enjoy the MLC College Choir singing In My Father’s House.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 543 – April arrives with a focus on Awesome Apps, and the week 1 discussion is all things related to mobile photography. Release date: Wednesday, April 4.

Get involved:

541 – Back to the Basics: Calendars & Tasks

WELSTech’s “back to the basics” March focus continues with a look at two favorite tools – calendars and task managers. Perhaps tips shared for each will unlock listener’s super powers! And you won’t want to miss the lively discussion of technology in worship based on a recent article by Pastor Caleb Bassett.

The discussion:

Trusted systems – At the center of personal and professional productivity are two basic tools – calendars and task managers. Martin and Sallie share their recommendations for each as well as ideas for churches and schools to capitalize on the power of these basic tools.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Print My Cal

Community feedback:

Let’s rethink how we think about technology in worship

Featured video:

Watch Pastor Caleb Bassett’s Worship Conference presentation, Screens in Worship: Dos and don’ts – but mostly don’ts

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 542 – Jason Schmidt helps Martin and Sallie close out “Back to the Basics” month with a discussion of Presentations. Release date: Wednesday, March 28.

Get involved:

540 – Back to the Basics: Document Management

WELSTech continues the “back to the basics” theme as we discuss technology that has a lengthy life-span but is still very relevant today. The week we look at document management. Plus, the community feedback mailbag is overflowing with WELSTech goodness from listeners & viewers.

The interview & discussion:

Best practices – Knowledge workers are in the business of creating and collaborating on documents, which makes the need for document management policies and training important in our churches, schools, and personal lives.

Drew Willems, Technology Director at Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills, WI, talks with Martin and Sallie about how they use G Suite for document management at Lakeside. Plus Martin and Sallie explore the topic further with a discussion of other solutions, use cases, tips, and questions to consider.

WELS now:

Calling all presenters!! Submit your ideas by May 31 for a session at #EdTechLead19, WELS Education, Technology, and Leadership Summit, happening June 25-27 at Kalahari Resort in WI Dells – welsedtechlead.com/call-for-presenters

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Visit the WELSTech Photo Challenge Album on Flickr for royalty free seasonal images including …

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Check out the translation work at StoryWeaver and an overview of Google’s involvement in the project in our video of the week.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 541 – We go back to the basics of calendaring and task management. Release date: Wednesday, March 21.

Get involved:

539 – Back to the Basics: Email

WELSTech is going “back to the basics” in March and tackling old technology that is still very relevant today. Email is one of those oldies but goodies. You might be surprised what email can do for you today. Tune in for that plus a BIG announcement about next summer’s EdTechLead Summit and how you can earn a free night at Kalahari Resort!

The discussion:

Email for the win – Email has been around since we began using the Internet (way back when!), and despite the multitude of communication methods available today, email is still the right tool for the job in many instances. Brush up on your knowledge of email as Martin and Sallie share their preferences and reference resources for administrators.

News in tech:

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

National Day of Unplugging – March 10

Community feedback:

Lesley Bergemann reports that teachers at Good Shepherds in West Allis, WI are using FastDirect for parent communication, but that doesn’t mean they can leave their classroom web pages empty.

Featured video:

Check out the full complement of Drafts screencasts, including this Overview.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 540 – Martin and Sallie talk the basics of document management with Drew Willems from Lakeside Lutheran High School. Release date: Wednesday, March 14.

Get involved:

538 – Training Techies: School Websites

The last WELSTech episode in February finishes off a month-long focus on training. Today we are joined by MLC Professor Rachel Feld to discuss school websites and how to approach training faculty members who are already stretched too thin. An interesting challenge, but there are tools and techniques to help. Rachel talks about a $99 pencil, Sallie brings some plugin goodness, and Martin finds his “waze.”

The discussion:

Websites for classrooms – Martin Luther College Professor Rachel Feld joins the conversation with tips for training teachers to manage classroom web sites. It’s not always about tech savvy teachers switching to the latest shiny technology. Instead, adopting tools school wide and committing to long-term usage, ongoing training, and support may be the wiser strategy.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

InsertLearning.com

Community feedback:

Joe Dexter from Emanuel in New London, WI shared information on the pending demise of 600 MHz wireless microphones.

Featured video:

Appropriate for the season, check out Koine’s Lenten Hymns and Music playlist including this week’s featured video, O Dearest Jesus.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 539 – Tune in as WELSTech goes back to the basics, exploring the nuances of the tech tools we rely on daily to get our jobs done. Release date: Wednesday, March 7.

Get involved:

537 – Training Techies: Social Media Ambassadors

February, designated as “training techies” month on WELSTech, continues as Martin and Sallie discuss training social media ambassadors. See how those folks can provide great channels for the message of the gospel to reach people your church can’t. We also received some excellent first-hand feedback on the Livestream MEVO camera.

The discussion:

Click image to view larger

Image courtesy of Alyssa Bream https://alyssabream.com/free-resources/ Click image to view larger

Social training – Martin and Sallie discuss ideas for coaching members of your church to expand the reach of church social media communication by liking, sharing, and commenting on posts.

News in tech:

Samsung unveils world’s largest SSD with whopping 30TB of storage

WELS now:

Register for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society (LWMS) 2018 Convention happening June 21-24 in Green Bay, WI. Early bird registration savings ends April 1.

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Learn more about Summer continuing education classes offered at Martin Luther College and get registered!

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Tune in to the latest Together Video Update to learn about WELS Home Missions from Pastor Jared Oldenburg and Nicole Balza.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 538 – MLC Professor Rachel Feld joins the conversation about training techies to manage your church and school website. Release date: Wednesday, February 28.

Get involved:

536 – Training Techies: Church Management Software

February, designated as “training techies” month on WELSTech, continues as Martin and Sallie are joined by Peter Frank of Concordia Technology Solutions to discuss church management software. Their picks of the week have a Google theme including timers and calendars, and there’s some great community feedback.

The discussion:

Working with the church database – An important function of the church (and school) office is maintaining information on members and prospects. This is typically done using a database with a special name … Church Management Software (CMS). Most CSM solutions allow for multiple users to enter data, which is both a blessing and a responsibility for those who oversee the CSM. Martin and Sallie share tips for maximizing the effectiveness of the volunteer’s work in the CMS.

The interview:

Peter Frank from Concordia Technology Solutions shares insights on working with volunteers and Church Management Software. Peter heads the team behind two popular CMS tools – Shepherd’s Staff and Church360º Members & Ledger.

News in tech:

WELS now:

Upcoming Men of His Word Conferences

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Concordia Technology Solutions Resource Center

Community feedback:

Featured video:

New this week from the Concordia Technology Solutions YouTube channel is The Value of Tracking Church Attendance (and How to Do It!).

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 537 – Tune in for tips on equipping members to be church social media ambassadors. Release date: Wednesday, February 21.

Get involved: