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503 – Comparing Event Video Notes

On this week’s episode of WELSTech, Martin shares his thoughts on the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement for ministry. There’s also a post-wedding video discussion and some great tips for WELS ed tech leaders on getting started with a 1:1 initiative in your school.

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The discussion:

iPads for Ministry – Continuing the summer focus on ministry resources, Martin shares the thoughts behind his recommendation of the 10.5 inch iPad Pro.

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Ask the Bullet Journalist is this week’s addition to the WELSTech Instructional playlist on YouTube.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 504 – Martin and Sallie return from the long holiday weekend to talk QR codes for ministry. Release date: Wednesday, July 5.

Get involved:

iPads for Ministry

 There are many computing tools at our disposal these days. There are many types of desktop and laptop computers that most of us use. They come in all shapes, sizes and price points. Some are large and powerful. Some are lightweight and minimal. Chromebooks, MacBooks, Surfaces, and the list goes on. Then there are, of course, smartphones, that more and more people are using as their primary computing devices. This is especially true in parts of the world outside of the United States. But it is the last category of computing devices, and one brand in particular this ministry resource focuses on, iPads!

Why dedicate an entire blog post to such a narrow topic? Because I believe this particular product is both transformative, and a valuable resource in the hands of pastors, teachers and other ministry workers. I haven’t always held that belief. In fact, I had pretty much limited my iPad usage in the recent past to watching YouTube videos, brief web surfing, and checking email. Beyond that I felt that a regular laptop was much more efficient. That’s not the case today. I’m writing this blog post on what I feel could be a laptop replacement for many–an 10.5 inch iPad Pro. That is the latest in Apple’s iPad lineup, but perhaps the best device they have ever released! Here are a few of the reasons why:

  1. Form factor – At a 10.5 inch diagonal the iPad provides enough real estate for comfortable single application usage. With the upcoming iOS 11 release split screen and drag and drop will also support some light multitasking. I think that is suitable for the work of most ministry workers. While a larger screen could be helpful at times, that would infringe on one of it’s best selling points, portability. With the appropriate cover and battery life, this little device can go wherever you go. That takes productivity to an even higher level.
  2. Screen quality – This latest iPad has what Apple calls “ProMotion.” That is just Apple’s marketing term for a higher screen refresh rate. Previous iPads refreshed the screen at 60 MHz, while the new Pro doubles that. What that means is that the screen animations and movement are much more fluid and responsive. That along with a processor that in many cases is just as capable as most laptops,  you have something that most would call a laptop replacement. In fact the on screen experience is probably even better.
  3. File Management – Another thing coming with iOS 11 is a Files app…finally. Since the original iPad was launched I had been frustrated by the fact that you couldn’t get at the native file system, like you could on a regular computer. Soon you will be able to, which is a must for most knowledge workers. You’ll be able to easily access files from iCloud, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, and others through a single place. This helps you to organize the files the way you want, and find them quickly. Very helpful.
  4. Accessories – Really there is one key accesssory that makes an iPad more usable as a laptop replacement — a keyboard. While Apple’s is fairly expensive (no surprise there), it is excellent. It acts as a cover and a keyboard. The typing is accurate and smooth, and only slightly smaller than most ultra book size keyboards. It makes text entry and editing a pleasant experience. You do have to get used to no trackpad, as the screen itself is your touch interface. It was an easy transition for me, as I was used to that with my phone already. If you plan on getting an iPad Pro be sure to budget for it.
  5. Apps – Since the iPad Pro was launched a few years ago, one obvious absence has been “pro” apps. Yes, you had all the usual iPad apps, but not much for full on productivity or even media creation/editing. That is beginning to change. Microsoft has recently launched very capable Office apps like Outlook, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, etc. In my experience they do almost everything I need from them. They are stable and work well with the touch interface of the iPad. With an Office 365 subscription you are all set for any document creation, editing or sharing you want to do.

At about $650 for the base model, plus the keyboard, you are approaching decent laptops, but essentially that is what you are buying, but in a smaller, more flexible package. Battery life is excellent. Portability is unbeatable. And the app ecosystem should meet your needs for some time to come.

Application/Audience

So having sung the praises of the hardware and software of Apple’s tablet, why would this be a fit for a ministry worker. Beyond the simple laptop replace arguement, here are a few use cases where I think it makes sense for you:

  1. For pastors I think sermon prep and delivery are naturals. Depending on how you prep, word processing and mind mapping have excellent options on the iPad. For delivery having an iPad in front of you has numerous advantages, especially if you use visuals, which can be routed right from the iPad to your projectors or screens. I watched my pastor a few weeks ago work from a laptop with the screen up in front of him. There were times that most of his face was hidden from the congregation. If nothing else it creates a distracting visual barrier. Having an iPad laying flat on the Ambo/Lecturn would virtual remove that issue.
  2. Another benefit for pastors would be usage in Bible class. Yes, you can project content on a screen with it…even wirelessly with the right hardware. But it becomes even more valuable as you have the Bible available to you, which can be searched for that one verse you know applies to the congregation, but can’t remember the exact reference or phrasing. Recently I led a Bible class using a Keynote presentation, but worked with maps and virtual fly throughs in the GloBible of Solomon’s Temple, plus other online resources that I could easily explore during the class.
  3. Teachers would I think find many use cases for a portable tablet like the iPad. Again, hooked up to an appropriate wireless setup (perhaps a topic for another blog post), the ability to walk around the classroom bring up appropriate/relevant resources would enhance most education environments.
  4. There are so many educational iOS apps, the ecosystem is rich for almost every teaching discipline. It’s not just a great tool for those teaching art, or other “visual” type subjects. Just do a bit of a search in app stores for relevant tools for your area. Better yet, reach out to the WELSTech Google Group and ask what iPad apps others have been using.
  5. Notetaking is a great application for a tablet this size, whether you use the Apple Pencil, or just use a keyboard (virtual or real). I personally use OneNote, but Apple Notes app is getting better, Evernote is still good, or even Google Keep. They all work pretty well with most forms of media at this point. To have them searchable and portable I find to be invaluable. You have notes on previous meetings, visits (member or parent visits), resources, pictures, etc. To have one place for all your inputted materials is a big win. To have it with you most of the time, even better.

There are many more scenarios where an ever present data tablet that gives as much as it gets will pay for itself. I’ve said this before, don’t scrimp on your knowledge worker/management tools. They can’t stand in the way of your ministry. They need to help you be more productive and also be a delight to use. Both those boxes are checked for the iPad Pro in my opinion.

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489 – Showered With Community Feedback

This week WELSTech hosts Martin and Sallie take time out from wedding showers to share some great community feedback. There’s lots to learn – from Google news to electronic giving to several sites for learning math. Apple’s latest announcement may have you seeing red, MLC invites you to tour Luther land, and Sallie shares a video gold mine.

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The discussion:

Community chatter – This week Martin and Sallie share the latest news and discussions on the WELSTech social scene.

News in tech:

Apple’s iPad upgrades makes it cheaper and faster that the iPad Air 2

WELS now:

Celebrate Reformation 500 with Martin Luther CollegeConsider a 2018 Tour of Luther Lands

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

WELS Video On Vimeo

Featured video:

From the Google Plus Office 365 Schools discussion, we learn more about FluidMath, Tablet and Interactive Whiteboard Math Software, a new addition to the WELSTech Product Demo playlist.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 490 – Jason Schmidt joins Sallie for what promises to be a lively edtech discussion. Release date: Wednesday, March 29.

Get involved:

431 – Our Digital Habitats

This week’s WELSTech features a discussion of the hardware, software, browser extensions and devices which Martin and Sallie use in their day-to-day digital work. We also take a look at the newly redesigned Martin Luther College web site, discuss open source church software and feature a video from Lakeside Lutheran High School’s uber popular YouTube channel.

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The discussion:

mergedc145x79Information workers – Martin and Sallie share the tech that makes them smile {big monkey grins}!

Hardware

Desktop

Software

Browser & Extensions

Devices

News in tech:

Google for Education Presents – Content 2.0 Webinar

WELS now:

Ministry resources:

Open Source Church Software Roundup

Featured video:

This week we feature Lakeside Lutheran High School’s Soaring to New Heights video on the WELSTech Promo YouTube Playlist.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 432 – Chapter 6 of With All Your Heart, the WELSTech book project, is on the docket. The focus will be volunteers, and we’ll talk with folks from the Member Ministry team at St. Paul’s Lutheran in New Ulm, MN. Release date: Wednesday, February 17

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417 – Flipping

You’ll flip over this week’s WELSTech topic – creating video for flipped instruction in the traditional classroom as well as any setting learning takes place. Sallie shares what she learned from her new friend, The Copyright Coach, and Martin demos an impressive follow-me tool for recording classroom instruction. Plus we take a tour of the Bible.com site.

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The discussion:

FlippedThe technology behind flipping learning – Martin shares his recent Wisconsin Lutheran State Teachers’ Conference presentation about flipping instruction with tips on software for creating videos on your computer, tablet or Chromebook plus hardware recommendations on microphones and other devices.

News in tech:

Google gets back into podcast distribution with Google Play Music Podcasts

WELS now:

Luther Preparatory School celebrates their 150th Anniversary with a special service featuring choirs for all four synod schools – Sunday, November 15 @ 3:00 pm Central

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Bible.comMobile apps

Featured video:

This week’s we’ve added a new video to the WELSTech Presentation/Teaching YouTube Playlist featuring Pastor Kevin Hundley’s (Bethany, Kenosha, WI) WELSTech Conference IGNITE presentation about On Demand Virtual Confirmation Instruction (slide deck).

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 418 – Tune in for a discussion of project planning as Martin and Sallie share chapter 3 of WELSTech’s DIY book discussion project, With All Your Heart: Project Management for Churches, Christian Schools & Other Faith-Based Organizations. Join us Tuesday, November 10 at 4 pm Central. welstechlive.wels.net

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355 – eGiving

This week’s WELSTech topic, electronic giving, is a popular one as more congregations and schools consider this giving option for members. Besides the main event, there’s news and links of all flavors including Gmail tips, photo sharing platforms, free educator accounts, Android apps and the “Teacher Chart of Doom.”

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The discussion:

churchCC1 145x125Office Resources II – Martin and Sallie wrap up review of the WELSTech Wiki Office resources with a look at the topics of productivity, hardware and software. Lastly they spend some time discussing a variety of methods and examples of electronic giving, from online giving to text-to-give to mobile giving to card reading equipment. Please request a wiki account and add your experience!

Tech tips:

  • Filters and “Folders” in Gmail
  • Control + Shift + L to select the browser URL

Picks of the week:

Of interest:

Did you know … Presenters at WELSTech Conference 2015 (wels.net/welstechconf), July 9-11, 2015 at Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center in Pewaukee, WI attend for FREE?!! We’re currently looking for presenters and tech topics of interest for our breakout sessions. Give it some thought and submit your ideas!

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 355 – On next week’s WELSTech we do a bit of housekeeping as we focus on the always important planning and policies resources for churches and school. (Broadcast date – 08/26/14)

Featured video:

This week we have an addition to the WELSTech Presentation/Teaching YouTube playlist from this summer’s WELS International Youth Rally, Rev. Jon Enter’s Keynote Presentation.

 

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352 – Networking is hard. We need help!

On this week’s WELSTech the discussion is on networking in churches and schools. Martin shares YouVersion Bible reading plans with devotions from Pastor Mark Jeske at Time of Grace, and the featured video is a “must see” from last week’s National Worship Conference.

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The discussion:

network145x125Making connections – The WELSTech solo podcasting stint is over as Martin and Sallie return with a face-to-face dialog on today’s WELSTech Wiki migration topic, network infrastructureRequest a wiki account and add your church or school network specs!

Tech tips:

Picks of the week:

Of interest:

Did you know … Presenters at WELSTech Conference 2015 (wels.net/welstechconf), July 9-11, 2015 at Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center in Pewaukee, WI attend for FREE?!! We’re currently looking for presenters and tech topics of interest for our breakout sessions. Give it some thought and submit your ideas!

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 353 – The WELSTech Wiki migration marches on with the discussion of streaming and recording video. (Broadcast date – 08/05/14)

Featured video:

This week we have a special addition to the WELSTech Music YouTube playlist, from the closing service of the WELS National Worship Conference last Friday – Jerusalem the Golden, arranged by Dale Witte

 

Get involved:

351 – Smile

WELSTech is a podcast about how technology can be used to aid the work of the church. Video hardware for congregations is the wiki migration topic du jour. Plus Sallie demonstrates a “desktop” publisher in the cloud.

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The discussion:

Video Hardware – As we continue our summer trek through the WELSTech Wiki migration project, we explore the video hardware topic. There’s much to learn about cameras, projectors, image magnification and more!

Tech tips:

Canva

Picks of the week:

Of interest:

Did you know … Presenters at WELSTech Conference 2015 (wels.net/welstechconf), July 9-11, 2015 at Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center in Pewaukee, WI attend for FREE?!! We’re currently looking for presenters and tech topics of interest for our breakout sessions. Give it some thought and submit your ideas!

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 352 – Martin and Sallie are together again – live from the Center for Mission and Ministry – and talking all about network infrastructure. (Broadcast date – 07/29/14)

Featured video:

Today’s video, from the WELSTech Presentation and Teaching YouTube playlist, is a parody for the digital age – Goodnight iPad

 

Get involved:

350 – Can You Hear Me Now?

WELSTech passes some major milestones this week, in more ways than one. Join Sallie for more wiki migration, featuring a discussion of audio hardware, plus a double dip of picks of the week. There’s even BACON!! Enjoy!

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The discussion:

earphonesListen Up! – The WELSTech Wiki migration project has arrived at the Infrastructure category today and in particular we cover audio hardware and help resources.

Tech tips:

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 351 – Next week we’ll look at all things video as we wrap up the hardware section of the WELSTech Wiki migration. (Broadcast date – 07/22/14)

Featured video:

Today’s video, an addition to the WELSTech Presentation and Teaching YouTube playlist, is in the form of a folk tale with a lesson about evangelism – A fishy tale

 

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327 – Wifi Chalk Talk

It’s edtech week on WELSTech, and we have not one, but two, great additions to this week’s podcast. Drew Willems shares the “State of Technology at Shoreland”  (and simultaneously enrollment numbers likely spike), plus Jason Schmidt guest hosts with Martin and Sallie and talks wireless infrastructure. Martin gives us the rundown on a new Kindle, and Jason shares some enhanced Raspberry Pi.

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The interview:

Chrome Academy wannabes – Shoreland Lutheran High School Technology Director, Drew Willems, talks with Martin and Sallie about their tech initiatives including flipped classrooms, x:1 support of digital devices, training student tech leaders for manning the Chrome Depot, and much more.

The discussion:

Wifi the right way – Setting up wifi to support the needs of multiple users with multiple devices should be the starting point of planning for school and church technology. Martin and guest host Jason Schmidt explain the basic areas for consideration when implementing a wifi network, most importantly that it takes expertise, not just a few generic routers from the local tech-in-a-box store, to do wifi right.

Tech tips:

Picks of the week:

Community feedback:

Coming up on WELSTech:

(1:06:25) Episode 328 – The WELSTech book discussion is back as Martin and Sallie look at Chapter 8, “The Church of Google”, from Nicolas Carr’s The Shallows. (Broadcast date – 2/11/14)

Music download:

(1:07:20) This week enjoy a free music download from WELS artist Chris Driesbach (chrisdriesbach.com) – Modern Evangelist

Get involved: