LDSTech’s web presence at http://tech.lds.org has a new look! Do you recognize the similarity with LDS.org? As an official Church channel for sharing technology news, LDSTech likes to maintain the same feel as LDS.org pages. Notice the way web elements make better use of your screen area, making it easier to see and click or tap on objects and menu items as you navigate around the new interface.
Are you waiting anxiously to get your hands on some creative new apps with gospel-centered themes? Are you looking for something worthy to occupy your children and teens? While the 2015 App & Game Contest is gearing up, take a moment to check out the many creative apps from the 2014 contest. You will find all the 2014 contest entries in the LDSTech Wiki. Use the descriptions to guide your selections and follow active links to the respective app stores and sponsor websites. Here are a few winning entries that invite exploration:
Quiet Games for LDS Kids (Primary, First place – Android)
Five quiet, fun, and ad-free games for children from Clint at C & R Mobile are bundled into one mobile app for a nominal fee. The “Memory” game matches each picture with its matching counterpart. “Word Search” is a fun way to find Church terms that will keep children engaged while developing visual perceptual skills. “Bingo” follows a conference-related theme with randomized selections. “Prophet Matching” connects pictures with corresponding names in a challenging and fun way. “Hangman” is a guessing game that uses LDS words built letter by letter as a classic stick figure is drawn. For a mobile app that has variety and interest, you will find this entertaining for preschoolers up through elementary age children.
With the Church’s recent statements on ways digital media can be used to spread gospel messages online, and encouragement for members to use the Internet to flood the earth with truth and righteousness, many have questions about sharing beliefs without appearing to be “preachy” or “pushy.” This concern is understandable. In an era of crowded and confusing voices online, it can be difficult to tell if communications will be heard and understood.
With this in mind, the following questions will help you assess whether your online content will convey your meaning and intent:
~ Have I considered the audience’s perspective or frame of reference?
Messages intended for Church audiences often reach those outside the Church as well. When you share what you believe, select wording that is simple and straightforward. Starting with “I feel…,” “I believe…,” or “I have come to learn…” adds personal context to what follows. It leaves the door open for other opinions and questions from your readers.
If you missed the live Face-to-Face event with Elder and Sister Bednar on May 12, or want to revisit the Q&A session held with youth from around the world, the conversation is available online at the Youth Activities Website. Tune in and as you watch and listen, open your mind and heart to the influence of the Spirit. You will be richly rewarded.
The phone rings on Saturday night. It’s your child’s Sunday School teacher asking you to be a last-minute substitute for his class. “You can find the lesson on LDS.org,” he says before hanging up. LDS.org is easy to find, but now where do you go?
LDS.org will get a new navigation menu in a release scheduled for mid-May, the latest of the Church’s continuing improvements to make its official website more personalized and easier to use.
Aware that any changes may be temporarily confusing for anyone who regularly uses the site, the Church has prepared an introductory video as well as instructional video tours to ease the transition. These will be found on the LDS.org home page and linked from social media and other sources to help visitors learn about and navigate the new menu structure.
Why change at all?
Studies by the Church show that members rely on LDS.org to help them
Become better followers of Jesus Christ
Serve in their callings and assignments
Feel inspiration and hope
Find practical helps for life’s challenges
Stay connected with the Church
But users’ feedback over the past few years regarding LDS.org has been clear: resources are difficult to find, and the navigation could be more intuitive.
Chances are pretty good you have social outlets on the web to connect with friends and family. Maybe you use the Internet to communicate with members or do missionary work. You may not realize that what you post, share, or display on the web in any form says a lot about you, and a lot more about the Church you represent, so a periodic assessment of your web presence is timely and appropriate.
You are invited to participate on May 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. MDT in a live, worldwide, online activity with Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Susan. This LDS Face to Face event is an opportunity for you to ask questions and join in a conversation about strengthening testimony while learning new patterns for receiving answers to questions.
Questions may be submitted before the event by commenting on the Youth Activities page any time before the stream begins, and during the event on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #LDSface2face.
Gospel Library for Windows 8.1 is closer to becoming a universal app that will work the same across all Windows devices. Your LDS Account keeps annotations in sync on all your devices and platforms.
As a Windows 8.1 user, the new releases for Windows mobile and desktops have added refinements that support peripherals, accessories and traditional file management tools. Links to social media and email make sharing easy throughout.
Many members use Gospel Library for Windows (GLW) for reading, reference, and multimedia activities, hesitating to do more because they have not yet upgraded to Windows 8.1, and because Windows apps formerly did not have all the features of iOS and Android. With the recent release of GLW, the gap is closing. GLW now shares the same iconography and navigation features as other platforms, and makes use of some very helpful tools native only to Windows environments.
According to Jim Byer, one of the coders for the project, “Gospel Library is meant to be used every day for deep gospel study, inspiration, reference, and teaching.” He is one of over 300 volunteers who are part of a global effort to develop Gospel Library for Windows. He and others do coding, testing, debugging, and building of user interfaces, capitalizing on developments that are bringing Windows mobile and desktop applications closer together.
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.