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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 software development company owned by WELS members 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:

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:

511 – Signs of the Times

A new day has dawned for churches and schools wanting to add signage to their public spaces. Digital is the way to go, and it’s not hard or even expensive. On this week’s WELSTech, we discuss Google’s offering for G Suite users, as well as some cool devices that make getting your message up in lights a snap!

The discussion:

DIY digital signs – Churches and schools … there’s no better time to consider the use of announcement monitors in your buildings. Tune in for hardware and software tips on the Digital Signage + Google equation.

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

It’s back to school time at Martin Luther College which means their weekday chapel services are once again being live streamed! Find all the details at mlc-wels.edu/streams, and watch the archived opening service from August 21, 2017. We send a special shout out to one of MLC’s newest professors, installed in the opening service, WELSTech’s own Rachel Feld!!

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 512 – The summer of Ministry Resources is nearing its end, but not before Martin shares what makes up his portable presentation toolkit. Release date: Wednesday, August 30.

Get involved:

508 – Synod Convention 2017 Special

WELSTech is back, and Martin and Sallie are side-by-side in Watertown, WI to continue our biennial tradition of special coverage at WELS Synod Convention. We’ve got a great lineup of interesting interviews to give you an insider’s look at different topics related to convention.

The interviews:

Prof. Earle Treptow is on the faculty at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and serves as the chairman of the WELS Compensation Review Committee. He presented to the convention delegates several recommendations from the committee as well as debuted the recently developed Called Worker Compensation Calculator (wels.net/cwcompcalc).

Dr. Jeff Wiechman is Vice President for Academics at Martin Luther College as well as chairman of the convention Elections Committee. He explains why that role makes him a frequent visitor to the speaker podium. Plus we get an update on the state of technology at MLC.

Mr. Lee Hitter serves as WELS Director of Communications, and his responsibilities not only include ongoing synod communication efforts but also the complete coverage of Synod Convention. He shares details on the many communication platforms in play as well as the effort that goes into sharing the convention experience with the entire WELS membership. You can learn more about the convention, and watch live streaming coverage and regular video updates at wels.net/2017synodconvention.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 509 – Ministry resources take center stage once again next week. Tune in! Release date: Wednesday, August 9.

Get involved:

Communicating with QR Codes

QR Codes are a communication/call to action method which has existed for over two decades but has failed to garner major adoption. Until now! Recently it was revealed that the upcoming version of iPhone software, iOS 11, will include a camera enhancement that will automatically scan QR Codes. This will eliminate the need for separate QR Code scanning app (I currently use Scan). The need for a special app added to the QR Code “geek factor” and kept many away from using the shortcut tool. With that requirement eliminated, nothing should stand between getting your great communication out to many people.

Application/audience

Consider these ideas for integrating QR Codes into your ministry communication plans:

  1. Presentation resources – For Bible Class or classroom presentations, keep handouts simple and use a QR Code to point people to online resources.
  2. Event advertising – Include a QR code on fliers and pamphlets advertising events so those interested can quickly access online information and registration.
  3. WiFi access information – Does your church or school have a guest WiFi network? Store the credentials in a QR code and post or handout the code to grant access.
  4. Scavenger hunt – Scavenger hunts are always a fun fellowship activity for all ages. Hide QR codes (with text clues which lead to the next code) around your church, school or event location.
  5. Parent resources – Add a page or pages to your website which are dedicated to parent resources, and include the QR Code for the page on a handout and in your newsletter.

Related resources

Create your own free QR Codes on these sites:

See a demo of QR Code creation on several sites in this video, How to Create a QR Code.

See All Ministry Resources

444 – With All Your Heart – Ch 9

This week Martin and Sallie finish up the WELSTech Project Management book project with a look at steps to close out a project to ensure future project’s success. We share all the details of the exciting season of synod school commencement and assignments which has arrived, plus Sallie shares, perhaps, the lengthiest pick of the week of all time – all about the fun Breakout EDU craze.

The discussion and interview:

heart 145x125Going retro – Martin and Sallie complete their DIY book effort this week with chapter 9 of With All Your Heart: Project Management For Churches, Christian Schools & Other Faith-Based Organizations. The chapter includes best practices for wrapping up a project to maximize success on future projects.

News in tech:

WELS now:

Upcoming Commencement events

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Logos 6 Features YouTube playlist

Featured video:

Check out the new Google Slides Q&A feature on the WELSTech Product Demo Playlist on YouTube.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 445 – You write the script for next week’s community feedback episode! Release date: Wednesday, May 18

Get involved:

436 – With All Your Heart: Ch 7

On this week’s WELSTech we return to our project management book discussion and share ideas for communicating project news to your church, school or organization. Listen also for Lenten resources for elementary classrooms, a Chrome browser cleanup utility and an interesting look at the upcoming Gospel Outreach With Media online conference.

The discussion and interview:

bookChp7StainedGlass145x125Communication – Chapter 7 of the WELSTech DIY project management book project, With All Your Heart, takes a look at expanding project communication beyond your project group to engage your congregation, school or organization actively every step of the way.

Professor Tom Kuster, director of Bethany Lutheran College’s Christ in Media Institute, talks with Martin and Sallie about the communication involved in organizing, promoting and carrying out an online conference. Listen for more details regarding the upcoming Gospel Outreach With Media conference, scheduled for March 28 – April 17. Scan the conference agenda, and make plans to “attend” this free online conference!

WELS now:

Visit ShopWELS and subscribe to the ShopWELS Insider for electronic news on great deals for WELS organizations and members

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Rachel Feld blogs on the topic of Teaching Little Ones About Lent at Bread for Beggars

Featured video:

In this last week of Lent we feature Jesus, Grant that Balm and Healing by Koine. Find it on YouTube in WELSTech’s Music playlist as well as Koine’s Lenten Hymns and Music playlist and their Footsteps to the Cross Illuminated playlist.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 437 – Community feedback is center stage on next week’s podcast. Share! Share!! Share!!! Release date: Wednesday, March 23

Get involved:

402 – Convention Tech

The biennial WELS Convention is just around the corner so this week’s WELSTech includes an overview of the technology at work to bring synod convention to those who observe from afar. A discussion of the the redesign of the WELS.net site is included. Plus there’s new developments from Google, recommendations for screen casting software and news regarding the much anticipated update to the Google Lectionary Calendar.

The interview and discussion:

leeHitter145x125Sharing the news – Lee Hitter, Director of WELS Communications, chats with Martin about the various ways the events of next week’s synod convention will be available. He also shares information on the recent WELS.net redesign and move to the WordPress platform.

News in tech:

WELS now:

WELS Night at Miller Park

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Ministry resources:

Featured video:

The newest addition to the WELSTech “Like’s” list on Vimeo  is the latest Heart to Heart parenting webcast hosted by Nicole Balza. Tune in for a discussion of bullying, over-parenting and discipline.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 403 – Martin and Sallie broadcast from the 63rd Biennial Convention of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and chat with delegates about their convention experience. Join us Tuesday, July 28 at a special time, 4 pm Eastern (3 pm Central) – welstechlive.wels.net

Get involved:

392 – Care and Feeding

This week’s WELStech is quite a zoo as Martin shares digital outreach tips, there’s a BORAM on the loose, and the Education on Air archive is available. Tune in for all of this plus a milestone birthday for one of the zoo keepers!

The interview & discussion:

Another day at the zoo10 Tips for Cross-Cultural Digital Outreach – Martin is just back from Boise, ID where he assisted a congregation considering digital outreach strategies, particularly in their Vietnamese mission efforts. He boils down the efforts to 10 useful tips for anyone doing online outreach, locally and globally.

  1. Identify digital content
  2. Pick one priority at a time
  3. Can you do more or do things differently?
  4. Provide digital resources to members (friendship evangelism)
  5. Capture and share stories
  6. Provide digital resources to members for deeper study
  7. Develop a social media strategy
  8. Understand what websites are and aren’t
  9. Develop an engagement strategy
  10. Use a prospect management database

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

It’s Google Chrome plug-in week:

Community feedback:

Ministry resources:

Google’s Education on Air is archived. A few recommendations:

Featured videos:

The newest addition to the WELSTech Music playlist on YouTube is Koine’s Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 393 -Pastor Emile Burgess from Trinity, Caldonia, WI, a presenter at WELSTech Conference 2015, joins us as we discuss church office apps. Watch and participate on 05/19/15 @ 4 pm Central – welstechlive.wels.net

The last word:

We hope you’ll attend WELSTech Conference 2015, July 9 – 11 in Waukesha, WI

Get involved:

287 – Connected Youth

Since it’s confirmation season, today’s WELSTech focus is keeping teens connected to the Word, and we look at ways technology may be able to assist. We also talk with Brandon Steenbock, who is serving “in the trenches” when it comes to youth ministry. There’s Google news, missionary videos and much more packed into this episode.

The discussion:

Relationships and Connections – Today’s youth are more plugged in than any previous generation, but before you connect in a digital fashion with them, it’s important to establish a face-to-face relationship. Martin and Sallie share ideas for making digital connections and keeping your communication safe.

The interview:

(8:36) Not Just an Event Organizer – Brandon Steenbock, Youth and Family Minister at St. Paul’s in New Ulm, MN, shares his experience with Martin and Sallie. From polling youth about their preferred communication channel (Facebook, Text or E-mail) to sharing video clips as discussion starters to engaging youth in summer mission trips, Brandon has had a variety of success in connecting with youth in his congregation.

Ministry resources:

(26:30) Bible Challenge from Back to the Bible

News in tech:

Picks of the week:

WELS.net feature:

(37:03) Check out the schedule of upcoming live streamed events including Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and Martin Luther College graduation activities

Of interest:

  • (37:55)Google Education Summit will take place June 16-21 at Wisconsin Lutheran College
    • Use promo code “WELSTech” and receive a $200 discount on your registration!
  • The first ever WELSTech Camp unconference will be held September, 14 at Martin Luther College. For details and tickets for this free day, visit our event wiki.

Community feedback:

  • (40:22) Missionary Mike Hartman from Leon, Mexico shared a video recap of the recent Greek Fluency Workshop he attended in Israel
  • Summer #WELSed Twitter chat dates are June 13, July 11 and August 8
  • David Schumann from Peace in Janesville, WI is looking for a free or affordable automated solution for telephone messaging to members. Anyone have experience or a suggestion for David?
  • Via Diigo, we learned about …

Coming up on WELSTech:

(49:27) Episode 288 – This year’s book discussion of Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds wraps up next week as we look at chapters 10 and 11 of the book. (Release date – 05/14/13)

The featured artist:

(50:03) We close the podcast with the music of  Mike Westendorf (www.mikewestendorf.com and mikewestendorf on Twitter) – Four To Go

Get involved: