Tag Archive for: productivity

Just ToDo It - WELSTech 719

710 – Just ToDo It!

It’s always a happy day when Martin and Sallie are in the same location for a WELSTech recording, and that’s the case on this episode! Join us in Sallie’s living room for a discussion of to do list, upcoming big events, chair cushions, and a bit of AI in education. You won’t want to miss this dose of WELSTech goodness!

The discussion

Just ToDo It - WELSTech 719To Do lists – Perhaps the first component of any productivity effort is the “simple” to do list. Martin and Sallie discuss their expectations of the perfect to do list tool, including the ability to set reminders, manage recurring tasks, and integrate with email and calendars, as well as a full host of potential tools from paper to digital and across all platforms.

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Mark your calendar for these events happening in the summer of 2024:

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One thing leads to another in church and school management. Martin and Sallie discuss automating tasks using a variety of utilities.

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686 – Tech-Enhanced Ministry: Personal Productivity

The Tech-Enhanced Ministry series continues with today’s episode of WELSTech, and Martin and Sallie share their favorite tech for being productive. Today’s show also includes discussion of photo albums for events or projects, smart bulbs, video production training, and media resources to support Bible lessons.

 

The discussion

Personal Productivity – A common thread throughout WELSTech history is the discussion of personal productivity and the technology that supports it. Martin and Sallie tackle the topic again on this episode, breaking productivity down in terms of capture techniques and tools, storage, calendar and tasks, hardware, and consistent review practices.

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The Tech-Enhanced Ministry series continues with a discussion of all things mobile.

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675 – Staying Productive: At Home & Office

WELSTech headlines with a discussion of tools to keep you productive, wherever you are. Also in this episode, learn about a great blog to follow for ministry tech topics, organizing passwords, taking smart notes, and live streaming devices.

The discussion

Top productivity tools – Martin and Sallie each share the 5 tools that keep them on top of their productivity game.

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Church Leaders blog > Ministry Tech

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Process icons created by Freepik – Flaticon

644 – Five Below Cables

WELSTech is back with the final installment of our Atomic Habits book discussion as well as an interview about cyber security training for children. Martin and Sallie make their last picks of 2020, and we learn about captioning video calls. The beautiful Christmas concert from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary closes this last podcast before Christmas, and we send our best wishes to WELSTech listeners for a joyous celebration of our Savior’s birth.

The discussion

Make It Satisfying – Just in time to apply to the new year, Martin and Sallie finish their book discussion of Atomic Habits by James Clear with a look at the 4th law and taking your habits from good to great.

Join us in January for our next book discussion of The Post-Quarantine Church by Thom Rainer.

The interview

Security education – MLC second-career staff ministry student Mike Tracy shares his experience in cyber security training, and, in particular, his thoughts on training children about information security.

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Ministry resource

How to Add Closed Captions to a Video Call

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Creating digital side doors featuring Pastor Peter Hagen and the Raised with Jesus podcast from the December Forward in Christ magazine.

Enjoy the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Christmas concert.

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2020 is drawing to a close, and that means it’s time to look back at some of our favorite WELSTech moments of the year.

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643 – Mind Candy

Tune in to this week’s WELSTech for a great discussion of the 3rd Law of Atomic Habits. Stay tuned in for a little bit of Elon, Van Gogh, virtual team building, and hymn previews plus lots more WELSTech goodness to enhance your public and personal ministry efforts!

The discussion

Reduce friction – Martin and Sallie return to the book discussion of James Clear’s Atomic Habits, this week focusing on the 3rd Law, Make It Easy (chapters 11-14).  Sallie even has a (short) chat with the author!

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In the Facebook group WELS Educators During COVID-19 and Beyond, Lori Ehlke (St Paul’s, Onalaska, WI) shared an art tutorial video titled Van Gogh Nativity. Check out her YouTube channel for more – Ehlke Art.

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Christian Worship Hymn Preview

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We wrap up our discussion of Atomic Habits (chapter 15 to the end) and chat with Mike Tracy about cyber security training for schools.

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641 – Make It Attractive

This week on WELSTech we share the story of one school’s largely digital rebranding efforts that gave them community recognition and a large enrollment increase. We also have more from our Atomic Habits book discussion, a couple of great picks of the week, free early childhood education resources and more!

The interview

Rebranding for Outreach – Brian Polfer serves on the Board of Education at Carlsbad Christian Academy, the school ministry of Beautiful Saviour Lutheran Church, Carlsbad, CA. He joins Martin and Sallie to share details of the steps they took to more than quadruple their school enrollment this year – from changing the school name to Google and Facebook advertising to a mobile-friendly website and more.

The discussion

Temptation Bundling – Martin and Sallie explore the second law of Atomic Habits by James Clear, which adds temptation (incentive) bundling to habit stacking (chapters 8-10).

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Ministry resource

Christmas Event Planning Amid COVID-19 from Church Tech Today

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ChristLight Sunday School at Home is extended through Winter and Spring!

Pastor Donn Dobberstein, Administrator of WELS Discipleship, shares thoughts on the program.

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Edtech with Rachel Feld and Jason Schmidt!

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639 – Make It Obvious

Tune in for 52 minutes of WELSTech goodness including great tips on habit forming as well as special guest insight into the tech behind world mission work. There’s also recycling tips for old devices, Bible commentary discounts, church WordPress themes, and the perfect YouTube channel for budding videographers.

The discussion

Implementation and stacking – Martin and Sallie continue their book discussion of Atomic Habits by James Clear, looking at starting new habits, motivation, and the secret of self-control (chapters 4-7).

The interview

Pastor Paul Nitz recently returned from 25+ years of service as missionary to God’s people in Malawi and central Africa. Hear about his new role in World Missions and the tech that makes it all happen!

BONUS: Check out Pastor Nitz’s OneNote template for meetings for ideas on how templates can improve your work processes. Pastor Nitz writes, “I create the template in Excel and paste it in. I always choose to put in a page color to make the tables pop out. That, for me, takes care of the one thing about OneNote I really DON’T like, the huge colorless blank canvass effect.”

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Ministry resource

James Clear’s 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter

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WordPress Themes for Churches – Google group discussion

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Looking for the perfect Pastor Appreciation gift? Visit Northwestern Publishing House for 25% off Bible Commentaries through October 15.

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Video ministry and Atomic Habits – Make It Attractive (chapters 8-10)

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637 – Atomic Habits

This week, WELSTech starts fresh for the 2020-21 podcast season with a revised show lineup, a great interview on 21st century catechism, a new book discussion, and a couple of hardware picks of the week. There’s also community discussions around Instagram for ministry, Google for Education application requirements, and document camera recommendations. We cap it off with a celebration of 100 years of Campus Ministry!

The discussion

Back to the books – Martin and Sallie kickoff a new book discussion of Atomic Habits by James Clear with a look at the mathematics of compounding tiny changes over time to reach the tipping point and benefit from the exponential “power of latent potential.”

The interview

Catechism instruction – Pastor Paul Waldschmidt from Peace Lutheran Church in Hartford, WI recently taught a summer course at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary titled Educational Technology for the Catechism Classroom. He chats with Martin and Sallie about the methods and tools he implemented in order to foster the 4Cs identified as 21st century skills – create, communicate, collaborate, and critical thinking – in his classroom.

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Ministry resource

Atomic Habits free resources

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WELS Campus Ministries celebrates their 100 year anniversary

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We talk edtech with a pair of guest hosts – Rachel Feld and Jason Schmidt!

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You Got This

630 – Productivity That Lasts

WELSTech Summer has arrived with an abbreviated show format and a break from pandemic discussions this week. We’re talking productivity, including tips to stay productive long term. A new Googly podcast, wired internet solutions, progressive web apps, online lesson planning tools, and an awesome song are all part of the conversation. Press play now!

The interview and discussion:

You Got ThisProductive summer ahead – Martin and Sallie kick off the WELSTech Summer with a discussion of a recent blog post titled 7 Rules for Staying Productive Long-Term. The conversation also includes ideas for cleaning up your digital footprint this summer.

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Is He Worthy? by the Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas

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We kick off our summer interview series on pandemic ministry

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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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