Media can be a wonderful enhancement to a gospel lesson. It can bring a spiritual tone that leaves memorable and lasting impressions. The LDS Media Library at LDS.org offers many resources for teaching, learning, and sharing gospel media. Instructions for accessing and using technology tools that support media use are also available in the media library.
If you have been reluctant to use audio and visual components in your teaching due to the potential for unforeseen technical difficulties, the following suggestions will help you avoid technical glitches.
First, plan to download the media file at home and store it on a device where you can find it, move it, and access it using a locally installed media player instead of the Internet. Dependency on the Internet at the meetinghouse may result in a media file that pauses, buffers, and then stops. Similarly, if you plan to queue up a video online and press pause (expecting to resume after a period of inactivity) the browser connection will likely time out or freeze before you are ready to resume. Avoid trying to open an attachment or link in an email message as a source for media content because that involves a remote server connection and unknown variables.
Once the file is downloaded and stored locally, many options become available for integrating the media into a lesson. What works best depends on your individual preferences and what devices you have access to. Some choices include the following:
- Copy or “burn” the file to a DVD+RW disk, and use a DVD player connected to the TV at the meetinghouse.
- Copy the media file to a portable USB drive and plug it into the USB port on a Roku or WD [Western Digital] Internet TV connected to the digital TV in the meetinghouse. A WD TV is a good choice for a meetinghouse because it supports many media formats. USB drives are portable and inexpensive.
- Upload the file into your iTunes and sync with your iOS device. Use your iOS device with Airplay to mirror from your mobile screen using an Apple TV connected to the digital TV at the meetinghouse. The wireless connection with Airplay uses the local network bypassing Internet contingencies.
- Download a file directly to your Android tablet or smart phone that is “Miracast” enabled and “cast” or mirror your screen from an installed media player using an Internet TV that supports Miracast. As an alternative, use a compatible adapter cable to connect the Android device directly to the HDMI port on the meetinghouse TV. There are many “flavors” of Android so test for compatibility.
- Connect a laptop directly to a digital TV at the meetinghouse with an HDMI cable. Use the remote to select the correct HDMI input port to see your laptop display mirror to the TV screen. If you are using legacy equipment, you may need a VGA/HDMI adapter with the cable.
- Use an HDMI cable to connect to a video projector. Make sure the screen resolution on the laptop is compatible with the projector resolution. Set the laptop to mirror the screen to the projector.
Help for downloading media is found http://www.lds.org/media-library/download-instructions?lang=eng. Use menu options to access helpful instructions for using media successfully. Consult your local technology specialist for particulars about audio-visual equipment in the meetinghouse.