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Church News Article link: Gospel Library app Update Print E-mail
Written by   
Monday, 24 February 2014

Church News recently had an interesting article on the android and apple Gospel Library app., which was a presentation during RootsTech 2014.

The article, written by Ryan Morgnegg, starts out by saying:

"In response to user feedback and in an effort to constantly improve a member's digital experience with gospel content, the Church has released a major upgrade to the Apple and Android versions of the Gospel Library mobile app improving search, navigation and other key functionality.  ..."

To view the entire article, click on this link:

http://www.lds.org/church/news/latest-updates-make-gospel-library-app-easier-to-use?lang=eng

 
March Broadcast: CDOL update Print E-mail
Written by Greg Duerden   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014

 

 

Mel Broberg will give a presentation on CDOL (Church Directory of Organizations and Leadership) which is used to locate information of church leaders and organizations. It is accessed with an LDS account either through cdol.lds.org

Details on this tool will be exposed on March 14, 2014, at noon (MDT) during the LDSTech monthly broadcast.

How to Attend the Broadcast

To watch the LDSTech broadcast over the Internet, go to the Broadcast Page and click Watch Now at the time of the broadcast.

If you would like to attend the broadcast in person, you may join us in the Riverton Office Building (3740 West Market Center Drive, Riverton, UT, Ground Floor, Zion Room A).

Each broadcast is recorded, so if you miss one, you can re-watch the recording at any time. In fact, if you tune in late to the broadcast, you can rewind the broadcast and play it from the beginning. See the Broadcast Archive to view previous broadcasts.

Asking Questions

Viewers can ask questions through Twitter during the broadcast. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one at Twitter.com. When you ask a question, include the hashtag #ldstech in your tweet. For more information, see Twitter and LDSTech.

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Br. Black spotlight Print E-mail
Written by Barbara Ann Gardener   
Tuesday, 26 November 2013

  Have you ever wondered just exactly what happens after you submit feedback from any of the thousands of pages on LDS.org? Elder Jed Black, Church Service Missionary (CSM) with LDSTech explains the process.

 “The feedback goes to a central location and they look for keywords,” explained Black. “If the Feedback has the words calendar, directory, or lesson scheduler in it  they send me a notification of the feedback.” Why? Because he is the Knowledge Specialist for those three applications.

Elder Black reviews the information and responds in one of three ways:

  1. User Education – many questions can be resolved by training the user to better interface with the application. This may be as simple as a return email or as involved as a training session at a ward or stake level.
  2. Update Frequently Asked Questions – The centralized Feedback Group answers as many questions as possible prior to forwarding requests to Knowledge Specialists. To do this they utilize a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ database. The more complete the database the fewer questions actually funnel down to the Knowledge Specialists.
  3. Identify Bugs – Because Knowledge Specialists are experts in their applications they can tell the difference between a user issue and a program defect and are capable of communicating with the development staff in a clear and concise manner. Knowledge Specialists are in a great position to beta test and recommend product improvements as well.

Elder Black works in Salt Lake but of the five Knowledge Specialist CSMs assigned to Gospel Library; two work in England,  one works in Colorado and two work in Salt Lake.

Although Elder Black had 38 years of programming with the UNISYS Corporation prior to his retirement, this level of expertise is not necessary to become a CSM Knowledge Specialist. One must be familiar with an identified application and comfortable communicating with both novice users and program developers. If this is you or if you are interested in possible part-time or full-time CSM opportunities contact: Elder Allen Bottorff or Sister Cheryl Bottorff at  (801) 842- 4771, or e-mail them at their email address   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or fill out the LDSTech Missionary Form.    

     For those with language skills, interested in becoming Area Technology Specialists in countries outside of the U.S. (Korea, Dominican Republic, Central & South America, etc.) contact: Elder Gary and Sister Marilyn Peterson, call them at 801-240-7373 or email them at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or you can check out the current CSM Opportunities on lds.org/callings/missionary/churchservice    or  servicemission.ldschurch.org/csm-public/home.jsf

 
Area Technology Specialists Needed Print E-mail
Written by Barbara Anne Gardner   
Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Have you spent years of your life immersed in technology? Have you ever considered using those skills to build the kingdom? Do you want to make a real difference in the lives of people throughout the world? Are you ready to join 83,000 missionaries who are called to ‘hasten the work’?

The blessings of technology need to be shared throughout the Church and around the world, and a technology mission is a great way to do it. We need people who are capable of implementing technology solutions and who can support and train the people who live in those areas. Some areas with current openings include Brazil, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Japan, and Korea.  They need you if:

  • You are ready to serve as a full time senior missionary
  • You are experienced with computers, printers, copiers, scanners, wired and wireless networks, the Internet, and audiovisual equipment
  • You love working with and teaching others
  • You can speak one of the languages needed
  • Solving problems is one of your favorite things

These senior missionary assignments are called area technology specialists (ATS) and they provide training and support to stake technology specialists (STS) throughout each mission. Follow the link http://tech.lds.org/mission to learn more.

And even if you aren’t ready to serve a mission, maybe you know someone with the right skills who is looking for an exciting missionary experience. We encourage you to let them know about this great opportunity to serve!

 
February LDSTech Broadcast Print E-mail
Written by Greg Duerden   
Monday, 20 January 2014

Jim Byer will be giving the presentation “Windows 8 Gospel Library” at noon MST on Friday, February 7, 2014.

The Gospel Library for Windows 8 was originally developed last year. An LDSTech community of .NET Developers was formed to convert it to Windows 8.1, update the content, fix some bugs, and release it to the Microsoft Windows Store. That release was posted December 26, 2013.

Additional features and a redesign of the user interface is scheduled for the next release, which may come as early as April general conference. New features include synchronizing annotations (bookmarks, highlights, notes, tags, and cross-references) with other devices, presenting content in multiple languages, resizing text, and other features as time and resources allow.

The changes to Gospel Library for Windows will also have a positive effect on the Gospel Library for Windows Phone application. The two products were completely separate, but the new architecture will merge the code into one base.

How to Attend the Broadcast

Watch-it-now.png

To watch the LDSTech broadcast, click the "Watch it now" button at the time of the broadcast. If you would like to attend the broadcast in person, you may join us in the Riverton Office Building (3740 West Market Center Drive, Riverton, UT, Ground Floor, Zion Room A).

Each broadcast is recorded, so if you miss one, you can re-watch the recording at any time. In fact, if you tune in late to the broadcast, you can rewind the broadcast and play it from the beginning. See the Broadcast Archive to view previous broadcasts.

Asking Questions

Viewers can ask questions through Twitter during the broadcast. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one at Twitter.com. When you ask a question, include the hashtag #ldstech in your tweet. For more information, see Twitter and LDSTech.

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An LDSTech International Trio Print E-mail
Written by Greg Duerden   
Monday, 25 November 2013

Three International Attendees from the LDSTech Conference:  Mafoya, Caesar, Guilli

International attendees at the 2013 LDSTech Conference included LDSTech Chapter members from India, Africa, and Brazil, among others. The Chapter President from India was Uday Teki (see separate spotlight article). From Benin, Africa, was Mafoya Joel Dossoumon. From Brazil were Caesar Silva and Giulliane Cristine Nunes Ferraz.

 

 

Brother Dossoumon lives in Chicago now, but he came out to the conference this year after hearing about it from his friend Seth Ayim, who is the LDSTech Chapter President in Accura, Ghana.

Mafoya came to the United States four years ago to go to school. He has since graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Illinois (last May). Now, like many college graduates, he is looking for work “in online communications, web content management, marketing, public relations, writing, anything.” And he is a published author and has a book of his experiences in Africa he has published.

He taught computer classes to adults as part of his LDSTech Chapter experience in Ghana – where he attended part of his schooling and got to know Seth Ayim. “I hope to go back and start more chapters in Western Africa.”

When asked about the potential of technology in Africa Mafoya said, “There is a tremendous opportunity in general, but for members who can use technology and take advantage of it in teaching and at other

Church events, the opportunity the Church has is great. Little things we take for granted here, like watching a live stream of general conference, means the world to those persons in Africa. Or the members can use phones to download scriptures and share them. There is a wide, wide world of possibilities for the Church in Africa.”

   Brother Caesar Silva was from Tomdrina, Brazil, and graduated from LDS Business College but is now attending BYU. He was eight years old when his family joined the Church in Brazil with his two brothers and sister.

Silva was a presenter of a new app at the Idea Sharing sessions on Thursday, during the conference. He is also a returned missionary (Brazil Sao Paulo Mission) where he regularly went to the Family History Center in his area to help non-members do genealogy and family history, which then opened the opportunity to give them the discussions, a win-win all around.

Also attending with Silva was a friend of his from Rio de Janeiro, Giulliane Cristine Nunes Ferraz. They met here in Salt Lake City while both were attending LDS Business College. She also graduated from there in May and now works at the Church Office Building.

 

When asked what they had gleaned from the conference so far, both said they had enjoyed the keynote speaker and were looking forward to Silva’s presenting his idea at the sharing session.

Br. Dossoumon said he had “learned about service, putting the work of the Lord first, using our talents to further the work - that seems to be the center of all the messages we received. It has been a humbling experience for me, seeing hundreds of highly skilled people eager to put their talents and skills to the service of others.”

 
LDSTech’s Connection in India: Uday Teki Print E-mail
Written by Marianne Kjar-Duerden   
Monday, 25 November 2013

At the LDSTech Conference it became obvious that Church tech is beginning to flood the world. Areas which have been restricted to the gospel are being opened through technology – some of these places include parts of India.

 Uday Teki

India’s LDSTech Chapter President

Uday Teki is an LDSTech chapter president in India. He came to Utah to attend general conference, a BYU Management Conference, and the LDSTech Conference. The Church is young in India with some areas which are closed to proselyting, but tech devices are often able to go where people are not allowed.

India is the second-most populous nation in the world, behind only China. Some studies estimate that up to 80% of the country has accessibility to or are connected to the Internet. But, these tools are somewhat controlled in certain areas, according to Uday.

Uday first saw missionaries on his street when he was 16. He asked them to pray with him for his family because they were going through some tough times. After investigating the Church, he was baptized when he was 17.

 

At his undergraduate school, in India, he represented his school in Sports, Science, and Cultural Affairs. He played on the national team of badminton and cricket as well as representing the school at a national science symposium. He won a scholarship to do graduate level study at Coventry University in the UK. He graduated with an MBA in supply chains and information systems.

After graduating, Uday received a mission call and went on a mission to southern India, working in the Mission Office for 9 months as the Mission Secretary. His Mission President is now part of the Area Presidency, and Uday is working with him on technology issues and setting up more chapters in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan in the next 6 to 8 months. He is one of a few young members in India to be a well-educated RM.

 
2014 Innovator Summit Print E-mail
Written by Gregory Claude Duerden   
Tuesday, 07 January 2014

Kickoff Your New Year With Chris Dancy at 2014’s New RootsTech Innovator Summit


Experience the largest event focused on expanding technology and business opportunities which leverage family history data. LDSTech members can use the early registration discount code IS59GC2 through 1/14/14 to get a discounted pass at $59 for Wednesday, or $139 for a full conference pass. [This offer expires January 15, 2014]

New for 2014, RootsTech Innovator Summit is a unique opportunity for software developers, entrepreneurs and technology business leaders to explore and influence technology solutions in the family history industry.

This year, we’ve created a day for a wider audience of innovators to participate in a great lineup of sessions and content. Attendees will have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from other developers, business leaders, academia, and industry experts on a Pre-Conference Kickoff Day, Wednesday, Feb. 5 2014. Additional tech sessions will be held all throughout the RootsTech conference (Feb. 6-8) and the Expo Hall from Thursday through Saturday, which also includes several business oriented sessions for innovators. 
Full details are online: https://rootstech.org/schedule-info/innovator-summit/.

Full details are online: https://rootstech.org/schedule-info/innovator-summit/.                          

New Innovations. New Opportunities.
To keep pace with expanding opportunities, family history organizations are increasingly working together to create compelling solutions. The evolving API landscape is creating a host of new opportunities.
World Class Content and Networking Opportunities
Join us for a FREE lunch on Wednesday with our keynote speaker Chris Dancy, "The Most Quantified Human," featured in WIRED, TED NYC 2013, and PBS. Network with people from innovative companies such as Disney, Google, and Lexmark, with more than 100 leading technology vendors in our massive exhibitor hall (Thursday-Saturday). There will be 30+ business/tech sessions including a keynote address by Chris Dancy, "Facebook of the Dead" Keynote/lunch, as well as Cydni Tetro, Disney; Robert Gardner, Google; Phil Windley, Kynetx CTO; Evan Carroll, (author, Your Digital Afterlife); many developer/API sessions

More information can be found at http://bit.ly/IPNKhp

 
LDSTech December Broadcast: Meetinghouse Copiers and Printers Print E-mail
Written by Greg Duerden   
Saturday, 23 November 2013

Chris Ricks, the product manager of the Church copier and printer program, will give the presentation for the December Web Broadcast, Friday Dec. 6, 2013,  12:00 Noon MST. 

Learn about the printer and copier equipment located in your local Church buildings (primarily US & Canada),including the different roles and responsibility for those who are involved with this equipment and the program that the Church has in place to manage this equipment.

LDSTech has skipped the last two months broadcasts, due to the prep and recovery from the highly successful LDSTech Conference, but we are back on schedule to close out the year with our final 2013 Broadcast.

How to Attend the Broadcast

To watch the LDSTech broadcast, click at the time of the broadcast. If you would like to attend the broadcast in person, you may join us in the Riverton Office Building (3740 West Market Center Drive, Riverton, UT, Ground Floor, Zion Room A).

Each broadcast is recorded, so if you miss one, you can re-watch the recording at any time. In fact, if you tune in late to the broadcast, you can rewind the broadcast and play it from the beginning. See the Broadcast Archiveto view previous broadcasts.

Asking Questions

Viewers can ask questions through Twitter during the broadcast. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, you can sign up for one at Twitter.com. When you ask a question, include the hashtag #ldstech in your tweet. For more information, see Twitter and LDSTech.

 
The Who, What, and How of Area Technical Senior Missionaries Print E-mail
Written by Barbara Gardner   
Thursday, 15 August 2013

Howes sitting in front of Computers

After working for 13 years with the Church's Information and Communication Services (ICS) department, Ralph Howes was looking forward to turning the free time of retirement into full-time service. It wasn’t long before he began filling out papers for a full-time mission. At the same time the Africa Southeast Area Office in Johannesburg was asking for a replacement for their ICS technology specialist missionary. Because his skills were just what Johannesburg needed, a match was made. The Howes entered the MTC in August and were welcomed in Johannesburg by the beginning of September.

Elder Howes found himself in the middle of many ongoing projects including Internet connectivity in meetinghouses, rolling out opportunities to use webcasting, and identifying and supporting Stake Technology Specialists. But in Africa many areas are still too remote to connect to the Internet, and some members were too economically challenged to travel to a central location. Finding solutions to these needs required both high- and low-tech components and ingenuity.

First, media players were installed in remote locations. General conference sessions and other broadcasts were then recorded, downloaded onto thumb drives, copied, and distributed to meetinghouses on foot via “sneaker net” to the entire stake, allowing everyone to hear the voice of prophets and leaders.

Elder Howes helped in a pilot project to make computers more accessible to members in South Africa, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With training, members are now able to prepare lessons, do schoolwork, perform research, do temple and family history work, and search out employment. These computers also help overcome the challenge faced by many African families who have a missionary in the field. With no reliable postal service, weekly letters home are unheard of, but with meetinghouse computers and a few lessons on email, families are staying connected!

After eighteen months in Africa, Elder Howes is currently serving as a Church-service missionary in the Church’s Temple Department. Does he enjoy using his technical training in the service of the Lord? Yes. He is in the process of filling out papers looking for another full-time missionary opportunity.

For Africa to request an ICS missionary replacement at the exact same time that a 13-year information technology veteran is filling out mission papers can only testify of matches being made in heaven. To ensure that this process can happen again and again, Anna Butler, Field Communications Analyst in the ICS department, is willing to be another hand in the Lord’s work.

“Full-time senior missionaries serving technical missions is fairly new,” Sister Butler said. On the same day that Elder Howes was filling out paperwork for a new mission, Sister Butler was participating in a bi-monthly phone conference with the 14 worldwide area offices, requesting each office to define which ICS needs could be fulfilled by senior missionaries. These area offices are located in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, South Africa, Russia, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Japan.

Clarifying the role of full-time senior technical missionaries, Sister Butler said, “These missionaries will focus on serving as technology specialists. Just as any area in need uses welfare or family history missionaries, these areas will utilize the technology experience of retired professionals.”

It is one thing to have Church-wide technology needs identified and defined, and a totally separate thing to find qualified professionals to fill those needs as full-time missionaries. Brother Gary and Sister Marilyn Peterson are committed to fulfilling this effort. Having already served full-time missions in Denmark and Nauvoo, the Petersons were excited by the unique opportunity to be pioneers in the technology world of the Church.

Petersons standing side by side in front of their global map for senior missionaries

One of the first obstacles they addressed was a training program specific to each worldwide area office. Their solution involves a technical training that lasts between three and five days in addition to the traditional training the missionaries receive at the MTC in Provo. “We hope this specific training will help them feel confident as they do the work the Lord needs them to do,” Sister Peterson explained.

The Petersons will be instrumental in helping recruit missionaries. One effort to get the word out was during this summer’s Education Week on the BYU Provo Campus. As attendees discovered what full-time opportunities are available, Elder and Sister Peterson answered questions. Dozens of potential missionaries passed their contact information to the Petersons, and now the process begins for matching the right missionaries to the right corner of the vineyard!

The worldwide technology needs of the Church are varied and suggest exciting opportunities for couple missionaries. While Sister Butler gathers information on the "where" and "what" that needs to be done, and as the Petersons search out "who" is willing to do it, it is hundreds of "Elder Howes" that the Lord needs now.

Stay tuned for more information about these technical opportunities and more for senior missionaries.

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