The Friend Magazine has updated its website and released it at friend.lds.org. The new site aggregates several resources for parents and teachers to help them teach the gospel to children. Some of these resources include ASL Primary Song videos, Children's Lesson Helps, Games and Activities and more. Magazine articles from 1971 until present are also available on the site, with complete PDFs of the magazine starting from 2001.
I remember working several years ago to map out all the members of our ward. We wanted to create a map for an emergency preparedness plan so that families could check on other families who lived nearby. This was a long and tedious process that involved pasting copies of maps together and adding hundreds of little pins. Eventually we advanced to where we could use some software to do this, but it was so complicated that at times it felt like the paper and pins would be easier.
Well, those days are long gone. Did you know you can now see a listing of your ward instantly on LDS Maps, as well as the ward boundaries? LDS Maps has a variety of uses. Here are a few that come to mind:
Emergency preparedness planning
Home and visiting teaching
Membership cleanup (those members outside your ward boundaries are easy to see!)
Bishopric and other leadership visits
Missionary work (our ward mission split the ward up into districts)
Realignment of ward boundaries in the stake
The application is pretty straightforward. From LDS.org, go to Tools > Maps, and click the Sign In button in the upper-right corner. You can also go directly to http://lds.org/rcmaps. (Note that you need an LDS Account to sign in.)
Google Groups is now integrated with LDSTech projects. When you join a project, you'll automatically be added to the Google Group set up for the project. Google Groups functions as the e-mail listserv for the project, and facilitates communication among project members.
Projects can have several types of Google Groups: Announcement only, Discussion, and Commits groups. Announcement only groups provide one-way communication from the project managers to the team. Discussion groups allow for conversations and discussions among all team members. Commits groups allow members to receive updates when code is committed to the Subversion repository.
Previously, communication within project teams was non-standard and varied from project to project. Since frequent communication is essential for project success, the team needed to implement a seamless and low-overhead method for increasing the communication among project teams.
You can control your subscriptions to various Google Groups by clicking Projects on the top menu, and then clicking the Groups button (see below). For more information about the integration of Google Groups with LDSTech, see Google Groups integration with LDSTech projects.
The LDSTech wiki uses Mediawiki, the same wiki platform as Wikipedia. On the LDSTech wiki, any user who logs in with an LDS Account can make edits to pages. However, you do have to understand a little about wiki syntax and rules as you make contributions to the wiki. As a learning resource, a Wiki editing tutorial page is now available. The tutorial provides about 20 steps you can walk through to get up and running on the wiki.
Check out the wiki tutorial. If you complete the tutorial steps, add a comment to this post about your experience.
While today’s event is a keynote speech, Thursday and Friday are the heart of the conference. Expect two days of information-packed sessions about Church technology, community sessions for testing and developing Church software, and opportunities to interact with other community volunteers.
You can view the LDSTech Conference schedule by going to https://tech.lds.org/conf. (If you haven’t registered yet, you’ll be prompted to register prior to viewing the schedule. Go ahead and register.)
If you can’t make it to the conference, you can still watch the live stream. Although not all sessions will be recorded, keynotes and popular sessions will be streamed. You can view the stream links and schedule at Live session streams.
New this year, conference attendees can share their ideas for Church products. These Open Community sessions are taking place from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. each day in Zion A/C. You can also add your ideas to this wiki page: Sharing ideas for Church projects.
We look forward to seeing you at the LDSTech 2012 Conference this week (March 28-30). For those of you attending the conference, we have a few last-minute reminders:
Print your schedules. Schedules now include room information and other details. To print your schedule, go to the LDSTech Conference Schedule application at https://tech.lds.org/conf. Make sure you have signed up for the sessions you want to attend. Then click Print. For more instructions, see LDSTech Conference schedule.
Complete your user profile. If you're planning to work on various projects during the conference, you need to sign the Individual Contributor's License Agreement. This is part of your LDSTech profile. To sign the agreement, go to https://tech.lds.org and sign in with your LDS Account. Then click Projects on the top menu. You will be prompted to sign the agreement. You can also complete the Skills and Profile subtabs, as well as browse and join projects on the Projects subtab.
Know whom to contact. If you need help with anything, see this list of contact points. If you're trying to contact your project manager, the project manager's contact information is listed in the project team details. On LDSTech, click Projects, and then click the Projects subtab. Click your project's name. Then click the person listed as the 'Project Manager & Contact.'
Watch the streams. If you're not coming to the conference, you can still listen to the keynote sessions and some of the more popular sessions, as they will be streamed. You can watch the session streams by clicking the links on the live session streams page.
A new resource is now available to help members invite others to watch or listen to general conference. The "Invite Others" page is available on the general conference page of LDS.org and on the Church's official Facebook page. Along with an introductory YouTube video that can be easily shared through several social networking platforms, banners and widgets are also available for those willing to place these on their websites or blogs.
If you have a blog and you would like to promote the LDSTech Conference to your readers, you can add an LDSTech conference badge to your blog's sidebar. This badge is simply an image that links to the LDSTech Conference wiki page.
You can select from two sizes of badges: 180px wide or 136px wide. If you have a WordPress blog, you can even install the badge through a plugin. For details on the badges and instructions for installing the badge on WordPress or Blogger, see Adding LDSTech conference badges to your website on the wiki.