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MINISTRY IN A DIGITAL AGE
A Course Retrospective
Dudley C. Rose
Course Rationale
• Technology and digital media find significant
use in many U.S. congregations.
• Even if leaders do not ...
HISTORY
TAUGHT IN 2009 & 2014
2009: Ordained Ministers
2014:
Ordained Ministers, Sunday School
Teachers, Professors, Buddhist Teachers,
Rabbis and NGO Executive Directors
2009: Up-to-date laptops
2014: Out-of-date Laptops
2009: Good Computer Skills
2014: Poor Computer Skills: Web Server?
CASE STUDY 1:
WORDPRESS WEBSITE
Project
• Develop fully functional website:
–Church (or other specific) themes
–Event calendaring
–Sermon manager (text, a...
Technology Choices
• Not to use Harvard Hosted
WordPress
• Not to use Commercial Host
• To Have Students Install a Local H...
Process
• Lynda.com tutorial
• Create Local Host (BitNami)
• Install and Configure WordPress
• Install Theme
• Install Plu...
THERE WERE
“ISSUES”
Inadequate Laptops
• Inadequate Disk Space
• Often on last legs
Computer Skills
• Could not unzip, install files
• Little concept of websites
• Local host too complicated
• Did not atten...
Presentation Glitches
• Many dongles
• Unfamiliarity with
hardware
• Wasted class time
Takeaways
• Instructor’s choices poor
• Use commercial hosting
• Use in-classroom computer for
presentations
• Recoup time...
CASE STUDY 2:
DEVELOP MULTI-MEDIA
PRESENTATION
Project
• Develop multi-media presentation
–Worship, teaching
• Choosing and using
–Image, audio and video editing softwar...
“ISSUES”
Add to
• Old cranky laptops
• Low computer skills
• Reluctance to seek help
• Presentation problems
More Hardware Demands
• Underpowered CPUs
• Insufficient RAM
Many Software
Choices
Presentation Audio Editing Video Editing
Proclaim
Easy Worship
Exposong
EasySlides
Datasoul
Songview...
Missed the Mark
Tentative Observation
#1
• Students less computer
proficient than 5 years ago
• Hypothesis: Move to mobile?
Tentative Observation
#2
• Student computers less
up to date than 5 years ago
• Hypotheses
–Move to mobile?
–Older compute...
Tentative Observation
#3
Exorcised Biblical Software
Tentative Observation
#4
Harvard Hosted WordPress
of limited use for instruction
A Few Starting Questions
#1
Is there a way to make
Harvard hosted WordPress
more flexible?
A Few Starting Questions
#2
Is students’ reluctance to
avail themselves of help outside of
class due to:
–Putting off assi...
A Few Starting Questions
#3
Are these projects too
ambitious given:
• Low student computer facility?
• Project complexity?...
A Few Starting Questions
#4
Valuable Learning?
Ministry in a digital age
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Ministry in a digital age

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Technical Challenges in Teaching (Church) Ministry in a Digital Age

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  • Retrospective
    Seen through lens of 2 course projects
  • Widespread usage in congregations
    Leaders – understand what’s entailed and what’s possible
    Small orgs --IT
  • Course taught twice: 2009 and 2014
    Several differences, surprising and not
  • 2009: Mainly those planning to be ordained ministers
  • 2014
    Much larger variety of class participants in 2015
    Not surprising
    Required different and greater variety in projects to accommodate differing interests
  • 2009: Students had current computers
  • 2014: Student computers were old, between 3 and 7 years
  • 2009: Students had high level of computer facility
  • 2014: Much lass computer facility
    Former HDS IT staff person at Halloween party
  • Using ‘case study’ loosely
    Two most challenging/problematic projects
  • Needed:
    Themes specific to org type
    Events
    Sermons/talks
    SEO
    Security
    Images Handling
    Caching
    Social sites
    Podcasting
    User management
    File Listing
    Custom Menu
  • Choices made by instructor
    WordPress
    Not Harvard
    Not Commercial
    Local Host, simplest?
    Boy was I wrong
  • Recipe:
    Lynda.com tutorial
    Create Local Host (BitNami) (turnkey)
    Install and Configure WordPress
    Install Theme
    Install Plugins
    Develop Site
  • Several problems
    May be predictable to many of you
  • Disk Space
    Old CPUs
    Inadequate RAM
    Often on last legs
  • Could not unzip, install files
    Little concept of websites
    Local host too complicated
    Did not attend help sessions
  • Many dongles
    Unfamiliarity with hardware
    Wasted class time
  • Technical Fixes
    Use commercial hosting
    Use in-class computer for presentations
    Recoup local host time
    More time to WordPress instruction
  • More complicated assignment
  • Specifically:
    Develop multi-media presentation
    Worship, teaching
    Choosing and using
    Image, audio and video editing software
    Presentation software
  • There were issues,
  • Add to:
    Old cranky laptops
    Low computer skills
    Reluctance to seek help
    Presentation problems

  • More hardware demands
    Highlighted:
    Underpowered CPUs
    Insufficient RAM
  • Too many software choices:
    Features
    Platform
    MAC, PC, Ubuntu, Cloud
    Cost
    What students owned or used to
    What would run on students’ computers
  • Project presentations:
    Rough and glitchy
    Frustrating
  • Less computer proficient
    Move to mobile?
  • Less robust computers
    Move to mobile?
    Old computers work for word processing
  • Biblical software
    Was large focus and standard for class 2009
    My strength and interest
  • Harvard WordPress
  • Harvard WordPress more flexible?
  • Not attend Help sessions:
    Students used to reading and analyzing as course prep
    Last minute
    Caught by surprise amount troubleshooting required
    Expect computers to just work, RTFM
  • Too ambitious for non-specialists?
    Projects and software complexity and variety
    Need for robust hardware
  • Valuable learning?
  • Transcript of "Ministry in a digital age"

    1. 1. MINISTRY IN A DIGITAL AGE A Course Retrospective Dudley C. Rose
    2. 2. Course Rationale • Technology and digital media find significant use in many U.S. congregations. • Even if leaders do not directly manage the organization’s technology, they need to understand its uses and possibilities. • In small organizations leaders may have direct responsibility for technology
    3. 3. HISTORY TAUGHT IN 2009 & 2014
    4. 4. 2009: Ordained Ministers
    5. 5. 2014: Ordained Ministers, Sunday School Teachers, Professors, Buddhist Teachers, Rabbis and NGO Executive Directors
    6. 6. 2009: Up-to-date laptops
    7. 7. 2014: Out-of-date Laptops
    8. 8. 2009: Good Computer Skills
    9. 9. 2014: Poor Computer Skills: Web Server?
    10. 10. CASE STUDY 1: WORDPRESS WEBSITE
    11. 11. Project • Develop fully functional website: –Church (or other specific) themes –Event calendaring –Sermon manager (text, audio, media) –Security, SEO and other plugins
    12. 12. Technology Choices • Not to use Harvard Hosted WordPress • Not to use Commercial Host • To Have Students Install a Local Host
    13. 13. Process • Lynda.com tutorial • Create Local Host (BitNami) • Install and Configure WordPress • Install Theme • Install Plugins • Develop Site
    14. 14. THERE WERE “ISSUES”
    15. 15. Inadequate Laptops • Inadequate Disk Space • Often on last legs
    16. 16. Computer Skills • Could not unzip, install files • Little concept of websites • Local host too complicated • Did not attend help sessions
    17. 17. Presentation Glitches • Many dongles • Unfamiliarity with hardware • Wasted class time
    18. 18. Takeaways • Instructor’s choices poor • Use commercial hosting • Use in-classroom computer for presentations • Recoup time devoted to local host • More time to WordPress instruction
    19. 19. CASE STUDY 2: DEVELOP MULTI-MEDIA PRESENTATION
    20. 20. Project • Develop multi-media presentation –Worship, teaching • Choosing and using –Image, audio and video editing software –Presentation software
    21. 21. “ISSUES”
    22. 22. Add to • Old cranky laptops • Low computer skills • Reluctance to seek help • Presentation problems
    23. 23. More Hardware Demands • Underpowered CPUs • Insufficient RAM
    24. 24. Many Software Choices Presentation Audio Editing Video Editing Proclaim Easy Worship Exposong EasySlides Datasoul Songview Quela Dreambeam OpenSong Powersong SNAP Projection Asaph Audacity Magix Music Maker WavePad AVS Audio Editor Diamond Cut Garage Band MS Movie Maker iMovie Techsmith Camtasia Adobe Premier Final Cut Pro Magix Movie Edit
    25. 25. Missed the Mark
    26. 26. Tentative Observation #1 • Students less computer proficient than 5 years ago • Hypothesis: Move to mobile?
    27. 27. Tentative Observation #2 • Student computers less up to date than 5 years ago • Hypotheses –Move to mobile? –Older computers work well enough for word processing
    28. 28. Tentative Observation #3 Exorcised Biblical Software
    29. 29. Tentative Observation #4 Harvard Hosted WordPress of limited use for instruction
    30. 30. A Few Starting Questions #1 Is there a way to make Harvard hosted WordPress more flexible?
    31. 31. A Few Starting Questions #2 Is students’ reluctance to avail themselves of help outside of class due to: –Putting off assignments? –Preparation variables surprised them? –Expect computers to just work? –Something else?
    32. 32. A Few Starting Questions #3 Are these projects too ambitious given: • Low student computer facility? • Project complexity? • Need for robust hardware?
    33. 33. A Few Starting Questions #4 Valuable Learning?
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