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Faithfully Connected authors

601 – Don’t Give Jason Your Password!

Spring has arrived on WELSTech as we wrap up our season-long book discussion of Faithfully Connected with guest host Jason Schmidt and an interview with the authors. Jason shares a “life changing” Google tool and a great book recommendation for summer. Plus, there’s news from Last Pass, a recommendation for Pear Deck, and the debut of the BORAM. Listen now!

The discussion and interview:

Faithfully Connected authors

Dr. Ben Boche and Dr. Jake Hollatz

Finding balance –  Jason Schmidt, edtech co-host extraordinaire, joins Martin and Sallie to wrap up our book discussion of Faithfully Connected. We cover chapter 9, Digital Security, and the conclusion.

And, as a special bonus, Martin and Sallie talk with the authors of Faithfully Connected, Dr. Ben Boche and Dr. Jake Hollatz, to learn more about the motivation and message of the book.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Learn more about Pear Deck for Google Slides in this introductory video.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 602 – Pastor Jim Behringer, administrator for Special Ministries, kicks off our summer focus on WELS Congregational Services.  Release date: Wednesday, June 5.

Get involved:

598 – Digital Health and Wellness

Tune in to this week’s WELSTech for a “healthy” discussion of the positive and negative effects of a digital lifestyle on our overall wellness plus ideas for teaching and modeling smart tech limits. We’re happy to have Martin Luther College Professor Rachel Feld on hand as we celebrate MLC Day, and Martin shares details on our current audio recording platform.

The discussion:

Finding balance –  Rachel Feld is back in the edtech guest host chair to chat with Martin and Sallie about chapter 8 of Faithfully Connected – Digital Health and Wellness.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Check out Google’s Applied Digital Skills playlist on YouTube for more free training, such as how to Create an Interactive Story.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 599 – Jonathan Witte shares a sneak peek into his Church and School Promotional Videos sectional happening this summer at #EdTechLead19.  Release date: Wednesday, May 8.

Get involved:

595 – Digital Law … and Gospel

WELSTech returns with a discussion of digital law and digital rights and responsibilities, covering important lessons for students (and adults) regarding ethics, copyright, our freedom of speech, and responsibilities that come with it. We’ve also got Pinterest boards with supporting resources, as well as a further discussion of copyright related to movies and music in school settings.

The interview:

Can do/Should do –  Martin and Sallie welcome our semi-regular classroom technology correspondent, Jason Schmidt, and we discuss chapters 6 & 7 of Faithfully Connected – Digital Law and Digital Rights and Responsibilities.

Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry Pinterest resource:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Learn more about Jason’s pick of the week – Bark for Schools Demo

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 596 – Using Google for your School Intranet.  Release date: Thursday, April 18.

Get involved:

590 – Digital Etiquette

It’s edtech week on WELSTech, and Professor Rachel Feld is on hand to discuss the next chapter of our season-long book discussion, Faithfully Connected. Martin has new wearable tech, and Rachel shares pins for Lent. Plus, find out who’s up for celebrating the National Day of Unplugging.

The interview:

Mind your manners –  Martin Luther College Professor Rachel Feld joins our edtech book discussion of Faithfully Connected, chapter 5 – Digital Etiquette.

News in tech:

National Day of Unplugging

WELS now:

Serving those who serve

Picks of the week:

Ministry Pinterest resource:

Check out Rachel’s Bible Lessons for Lent board

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Pastor Jeremy Mattek talks about how Grow in Grace has touched his ministry.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 591 – Pastor Peter Hagen shares his ideas regarding digital side doors to church.  Release date: Wednesday, March 6.

Get involved:

577 – Share Your Gifts

On WELSTech this week, we welcome guest host Prof. Rachel Feld and talk about letting our lights shine online, and teaching our children to do the same, in the digital communication that we share. Martin Luther College has a new devotion booklet and all the higher education schools have Christmas concerts available via live stream starting this weekend. An added bonus – we cozy up the (virtual) fireplace!

The discussion:

Digital footprints – We welcome back Martin Luther College’s Rachel Feld, Director of Academic Computing and Online Learning, to discuss the third installment of our edtech book discussion of Faithfully Connected: Integrating Biblical Principles in a Digital World by Ben Boche and Jake Hollatz (available from Concordia Publishing House and Amazon). The chapter is titled “Digital Communication” and addresses the guidance we can give young people to understand the permanency of posting on the Internet and how our digital footprints can and should reflect our Christian beliefs.

News in tech:

Share Your Gifts – Apple Commercial

WELS now:

Live streaming Christmas concerts

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Martin Luther College devotion booklet – The Names of Jesus

Community feedback:

Featured videos and more:

What’s better than a cozy fire and Koiné Christmas music? Enjoy both in this Christmas Song Playlist of 2 Hours of Christmas Hymns from Koiné.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 578 – Next week we’ll share the mobile apps we were willing to pay for, and whether we think it was money well spent. Release date: Wednesday, December 5.

Get involved:

573 – Kids and Commerce

This week WELSTech is all about edtech as Martin and Sallie are joined by Jason Schmidt, and we continue the discussion of Faithfully Connected. Add to that a long list of news, picks, Pinterest ideas, and community feedback, and this episode is brimming with ideas for tech-in-ministry.

The discussion:

Digital commerce – Jason Schmidt, Technology Coordinator for Bennington Public Schools, joins Martin and Sallie to continue our edtech discussion of Faithfully Connected: Integrating Biblical Principles in a Digital World by Ben Boche and Jake Hollatz (available from Concordia Publishing House and Amazon). Chapter two of the book focuses on teaching children a Christian worldview of self-control and contentment in our marketing-driven society.

News in tech:

WELS now:

5 to Thrive podcast

Picks of the week:

Ministry Pinterest resource:

32 Practical Ways to Use Pinterest as an Educator

Community feedback:

Featured videos and more:

A bit of history you may not be aware of …. The History Behind Cntl+Alt+Del, a new addition to the WELSTech Presentation/Teaching Videos Playlist.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 574 – “Harnessing the Power of Technology – Before it Harnesses You” was the topic of a recent presentation Martin shared at the Men of His Word Conference in Rochester, MN. Tune in for the highlights of this interesting talk. Release date: Wednesday, November 7.

Get involved:

568 – Faithfully Connected

Martin Luther College Professor Rachel Feld is back in the guest host chair on WELSTech, bringing her thoughts on education technology to the discussion. We kick off a new book for the school year, Faithfully Connected, and we shake up our Ministry Resource for the week with STEM resources Pinterest-style!

The discussion:

New book discussion – Kicking off a new season of edtech talk, MLC’s Rachel Feld, Director of Academic Computing and Online Learning, is back as one of WELSTech’s semi-regular classroom technology correspondents, and she brought a book along to share. Read along with us as we discuss Faithfully Connected: Integrating Biblical Principles in a Digital World by Ben Boche and Jake Hollatz (available from Concordia Publishing House and Amazon). This week we learn why Rachel is using the book to train future teachers at MLC plus why she recommends it for teachers, pastors, parents and beyond, and we explore the first chapter of the book, Digital Access.

News in tech:

iOS 12 is now available: How to update, its best new iPhone features and more

WELS now:

Announcing our first #EdTechLead19 presenter … Rachel Feld! Rachel will be presenting “Using Technology in Bible Lessons” and “Using Google Apps in WELSSA.”

  • Learn more and plan to attend June 25-27, 2019 at Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells

Picks of the week:

Ministry Pinterest resource:

Check out Pinterest for great STEM activities for elementary, including these boards:

Community feedback:

Thayer Birding Software free offer for students

Featured videos and more:

Learn more about digital access from the PBS Frontline special, Digital Nation. Here’s a sneak peak trailer for the special.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 569 – Martin shares his research on digital security, including encryption and database management, in light of new regulations, both in the U.S. and abroad. Release date: Wednesday, October 3.

Get involved:

546 – Awesome Apps: Education

We wrap up “Awesome Apps” month on WELSTech with a look at the edtech space and insights from guest co-host Rachel Feld. Microsoft makes the news, we share a free eBook to help churches communicate on Instagram, and Martin reveals a great way to improve your Windows 10 knowledge for free.

The discussion:

Education apps- Our traditional end-of-month edtech focus brings Prof. Rachel Feld from Martin Luther College into the co-host chair as we explore favorite mobile apps for education.

News in tech:

OneNote Desktop 2016 no longer in active development

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Check out the Everyone Can Create curriculum from Apple

Community feedback:

Microsoft Teams

Featured video:

Learn how to make anything talk with ChatterPix by Duck Duck Moose.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 547 – Join us to celebrate #mlcday18 WELSTech-style. Release date: Wednesday, May 2.

Get involved:

534 – #trackhopper

This week on WELSTech, we finish off our month-long focus on professional development by talking to Jason Schmidt about his approach to conferences, advanced degrees and helping others “sharpen” their tech skills.

The discussion:

Formal education – Just back from the Future of Education Technology Conference 2018 in an unknown destination, semi-regular education co-host Jason Schmidt shares his thoughts on certifications and advanced degrees as well as church and school financial support of staff professional development. He also shares his favorite “shiny” tech he observed at the conference – the Sharper Origin, a hand-held CNC machine (video).

News in tech:

WELS now:

  • Interactive Faith online Bible Study – Isaiah: God confronts and comforts his people – Pastor Daniel Habben from St. John’s, Antigua leads the study on Wednesday’s now through February 7 at 6 pm and 8 pm (central).
  • Mark your calendars for WELS Education, Technology, and Leadership Summit – June 25-27, 2019 at Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI – Sign up for information

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

MathCounts – Middle-school Math competition, club and video competition

Community feedback:

Daily video devotions from Peace in North Mankato, MN are reaching 2,000+ subscribers. tune in on Facebook (facebook.com/PeaceDevotions) or at peacedevotions.com.

Featured video:

This week’s WELSTech double feature kicks off with a sample instructional video from our Ministry Resource discussion – MathCounts Mini #77 – More Counting Using Cases.

And, new on the WELSTech Vimeo “Likes” List is WELS Year in Review.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 535 – The February WELSTech focus on training volunteers kicks off with a discussion of worship projection and an interview with Kristen Tetteh from Proclaim software. Release date: Thursday, February 8.

Get involved:

The State of Chromebooks in the Office

It is no secret that Chromebooks rule the one-to-one computing space in classrooms across WELS. I don’t have exact numbers but anecdotal observations suggest that those schools who are committed to putting computers on classroom desks have gone the route of Chromebooks or have plans to do so. And it isn’t too hard to see why. They are fairly inexpensive, easy to configure with central management tools, and fast to load and operate. Yes, you still see “traditional” Windows computers and also iPads, but by volume the numbers aren’t even close.

But what about the church or school office. At least in my visits, I rarely see faculty and staff with Chromebooks as their primary computing device. The reasons for that are also obvious, or at least they used to be. Chromebooks have very little storage, they don’t allow the installation of “traditional” office type applications like Microsoft Word and Outlook, and they don’t function well if “offline” mode, so an internet connection is a must.

Those “we can’t use a Chromebook in the office because…” reasons have pretty much evaporated! Microsoft has made their Office apps web accessible. So if you get a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet from someone you can now open it, even on a Chromebook. On top of that, modern Chromebooks now allow the installation of Android apps, so you essentially get “apps” that provide Office, or many other installable programs, which improve their usability and offline capabilities.

OK. What about the storage thing? No longer an issue either. Chromebooks come with more and more storage, or SD/USB drives to do it as well. However, with the popularity of cloud storage, local storage is less and less an issue. I have a traditional computer with 500 gigabytes of storage. I hardly use any of it since the benefits of keeping things online outweigh having things “offline.”

What about connectivity requirements of Chromebooks? What if you are on a plane or someplace where the internet isn’t. While those internet dark spots are fewer and farther between, Chromebooks and their apps now do a much better job of allowing offline access to applications and files you deem important.

One other objection to Chromebooks in the office is that most of the available hardware just isn’t as well built and easy to use as “real” computers.  I’m writing this on a Chromebook, a $299 Chromebook from Acer, the R11. I’m impressed. While an 11 inch screen wouldn’t be the first choice for this fifty-something eyes, it is actually pleasant to look at, a touch screen, flips over to use in tablet mode, and it’s resolution is more than sufficient for any tasks I’ve tried on it. In addition, it comes with a built in HDMI port for easy connection to an external monitor.

While this isn’t an article about the R11, I do have to say it is a very nice piece of computing hardware. It has two USB ports (one 2.0 and one 3.0), an SD card slot, and audio jack. But perhaps the best parts of the R11 are the input tools, the keyboard and trackpad. Awesome…especially for a device that is $299. The keyboard keys have nice “travel”, is full size, and have a nice texture to them. If I have one complaint, it’s that they aren’t backlit. The trackpad is a nice size, smooth and very responsive. There are a number of configurations available including Intel versions. I’m using the slower Celeron version, but find it perfectly usable.

I’m sold. I think in most office situations, Chromebooks are viable, and in some cases preferable. They are more secure, great battery life and of course, cheaper. There are of course certain use cases that might be more challenges. I can think of serious video editing, perhaps even page layout, although there are online options for both, plus the option for Android apps. Your mileage may vary, but I think it’s worth a try. The upsides are worth the look.

 

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