Archive for LDSTech

LDSTech Wiki Editing Tutorial

// April 3rd, 2012 // No Comments » // LDSTech

LDSTech Wiki Editing Tutorial: “

LDSTech WikiNearly every LDSTech project uses the LDSTech wiki as a platform for project information. Besides project information, the wiki has information about LDS.org applications, meetinghouse technology, clerk-related topics, family safety, and more.

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.

LDSTech wiki editing tutorial

Check out the wiki tutorial. If you complete the tutorial steps, add a comment to this post about your experience.

New FamilySearch Indexing App Now Available

// February 10th, 2012 // No Comments » // LDSTech

New FamilySearch Indexing App Now Available: “

The Church has released an early beta version of a new mobile app—FamilySearch Indexing—for iOS and Android platforms. You can start indexing right away by downloading the app. Just search for “familysearch indexing” in the iOS App Store or Android Market.

In order to use the app, you must sign in with your LDS or FamilySearch account. If you don’t already have an account, you can easily create one here.

Once you download the app, sign in with your LDS or FamilySearch Account.

About indexing

Indexing is the process of transcribing information on scanned or photographed historical records in order to create a searchable index. Without indexing, images of these historical records can only be browsed, making it difficult and time-consuming to find names of interest for family history.

A guide built into the app answers many common questions about indexing.

Snippets rather than documents

The FamilySearch Indexing app simplifies indexing by allowing you to transcribe individual names, or “snippets,” on your mobile device instead of downloading larger batches of names that must all be transcribed as part of a group. (You also have the option to view the entire document so you can see the name in context.) You can set a difficulty level and skip snippets that are too hard to read.

The app makes indexing fast and easy so you can do family history in smaller amounts of time. You can index while waiting to be seated at a restaurant, while on hold on a phone call, and many other times when you only have a few minutes.

Work offline

You can also index offline when you download more snippets into your queue. By default, you’ll store 25 snippets in your queue, but you can increase the count to 500, or decrease it to 5. The only drawback to working offline is that you can’t see the context of the snippet in the larger document, which sometimes helps by letting you see how the writer may have formed certain letters.

Confirmation rates

Because indexing involves interpreting handwriting that is sometimes hard to decipher, it can be difficult to get completely accurate results. To increase indexing accuracy, the app requires snippets to have a 75% consensus to be approved, at least for the app’s initial pilot period. This means that three out of four people who index that snippet will need to agree before it can be indexed. That number may be adjusted later as genealogists determine the most effective confirmation rate.

Feature roadmap

The app is still in its early stages of development, but FamilySearch will be working to enhance the user experience of the app and also add more features. Some of these features include giving administrators access to reports, keeping track of all indexing users have done, and more.

Crowdsourcing

The FamilySearch Indexing app shows how effective crowdsourcing can be in furthering the work of the Church. People all over the world can index names easily and effectively, which in turn makes it easier for others to search for and find information about their ancestors for genealogy.

Indexing is an easy way to get started with genealogy, and maybe after trying the Indexing app, you’ll have the momentum you need either to continue or start doing your own family history.

 

Updates to the Gospel Library App

// January 3rd, 2012 // No Comments » // iPad, iPhone, LDSTech

Updates to the Gospel Library App: “

Gospel Library provides a comprehensive collection of Church material on your mobile device, including scriptures, conference addresses, magazines, manuals, and even videos. Recently the Gospel Library app for iOS has been updated with three new features:

  • Improved media playback options
  • Study Notebook integration
  • LDS Music integration

Improved Media Playback Options

You can now listen to audio narrations for English scriptures, general conference addresses, magazines, and some lesson material. You can also watch videos of general conference addresses and other material. When you’re viewing content with media playback options, a play button appears enabled in the lower-right corner of the app.

When you click the Play button for conference addresses, you’re prompted with either video or audio media options.

Media Playback Integration

If you play the audio, the play button changes states to indicate the audio is playing. If you choose the video option, the video stream plays.Media Playback Integration

Overall, the media playback gives you more options to consume the content, rather than just reading.

Note that the inclusion of audio and video with Gospel Library requires the presence of media links in the content. These media links were not included in previous content downloads, so to play the audio or video, you must either delete and re-install the library content (a somewhat tedious process), or you must delete and re-install the Gospel Library app (the preferred method).

Before you delete the app, make sure any notes you added have been synchronized with your LDS Account (otherwise they will be lost when you delete the app).

To delete and re-install the Gospel Library app:

  1. Start Gospel Library.
  2. Back up any notes by going to Settings > Account Settings. Click Sync Now. Wait until the Pending Changes number becomes zero.
  3. Tap the iPhone’s Home button to exit the app.
  4. Tap and hold the Gospel Library app icon until the icon wiggles and shows an X.
  5. Tap the X.
  6. Press the iPhone’s Home button to return to the normal mode.
  7. Open to the App Store and search for LDS Gospel Library.
  8. Install the app. Then start it.
  9. Tap Manage Library.
  10. Tap the content you want to download.
  11. Tap the green download arrow to download the content.

When you re-download the latest content to the Library, the new content will contain media links to play audio and video. (Note that the audio or video itself does not download locally but rather streams from a Church server; you must have either WiFi or a cellular connection to play the media).

Study Notebook Integration

My Study Notebook is now accessible from within the iOS Gospel Library app. Previously, notes synchronized between the two apps, but now you can access My Study Notebook directly within the Gospel Library interface, rather than just from LDS.org. A Notebook button appears in the upper-left corner of the Gospel Library app home screen.

Notebook Integration

This Notebook view shows you content from My Study Notebook. These items include the following:

  • Marks: Passages you highlighted.
  • Notes: Passages you annotated.
  • Tags: Passages you have tagged.
  • Links: Passages you have linked.
  • Documents: Documents help you collect and organize your notes for talks, lessons, and topical study.

Probably the most common features are tags and documents. When you tag passages with a keyword, such as millennium, all passages with that same tag appear in a list.

You can add passages to a document by tapping and holding a verse, and then tapping Send.

LDS Music Integration

The iOS Gospel Library app also integrates with LDS Music. When you view a song from the Hymnbook or Children’s Songbook, a link labeled Open in LDS Music link appears at the top of the screen. When you click the link, the song opens in LDS Music. LDS Music shows sheet music and plays audio.

LDS Music Integration

In the image above, the left screen is from Gospel Library. When you click Open in LDS Music, the hymn opens in LDS Music. When you finish the song, the Return to Gospel Library link takes you back to Gospel Library.

Note that if you don’t have LDS Music installed, when you click Open in LDS Music, you will be invited to install it.

Roadmap

Currently these new features are only available for the iOS version of Gospel Library. Eventually the features will be available for the other platforms as well.

 

Updates to the Gospel Library App

// December 9th, 2011 // No Comments » // LDSTech, Weird or Interesting News

Updates to the Gospel Library App: “

Gospel Library provides a comprehensive collection of Church material on your mobile device, including scriptures, conference addresses, magazines, manuals, and even videos. Recently the Gospel Library app for iOS has been updated with three new features:

  • Improved media playback options
  • Study Notebook integration
  • LDS Music integration

Improved Media Playback Options

You can now listen to audio narrations for English scriptures, general conference addresses, magazines, and some lesson material. You can also watch videos of general conference addresses and other material. When you’re viewing content with media playback options, a play button appears enabled in the lower-right corner of the app.

When you click the Play button for conference addresses, you’re prompted with either video or audio media options.

Media Playback Integration

If you play the audio, the play button changes states to indicate the audio is playing. If you choose the video option, the video stream plays.Media Playback Integration

Overall, the media playback gives you more options to consume the content, rather than just reading.

Note that the inclusion of audio and video with Gospel Library requires the presence of media links in the content. These media links were not included in previous content downloads, so to play the audio or video, you must either delete and re-install the library content (a somewhat tedious process), or you must delete and re-install the Gospel Library app (the preferred method).

Before you delete the app, make sure any notes you added have been synchronized with your LDS Account (otherwise they will be lost when you delete the app).

To delete and re-install the Gospel Library app:

  1. Start Gospel Library.
  2. Back up any notes by going to Settings > Account Settings. Click Sync Now. Wait until the Pending Changes number becomes zero.
  3. Tap the iPhone’s Home button to exit the app.
  4. Tap and hold the Gospel Library app icon until the icon wiggles and shows an X.
  5. Tap the X.
  6. Press the iPhone’s Home button to return to the normal mode.
  7. Open to the App Store and search for LDS Gospel Library.
  8. Install the app. Then start it.
  9. Tap Manage Library.
  10. Tap the content you want to download.
  11. Tap the green download arrow to download the content.

When you re-download the latest content to the Library, the new content will contain media links to play audio and video. (Note that the audio or video itself does not download locally but rather streams from a Church server; you must have either WiFi or a cellular connection to play the media).

Study Notebook Integration

My Study Notebook is now accessible from within the iOS Gospel Library app. Previously, notes synchronized between the two apps, but now you can access My Study Notebook directly within the Gospel Library interface, rather than just from LDS.org. A Notebook button appears in the upper-left corner of the Gospel Library app home screen.

Notebook Integration

This Notebook view shows you content from My Study Notebook. These items include the following:

  • Marks: Passages you highlighted.
  • Notes: Passages you annotated.
  • Tags: Passages you have tagged.
  • Links: Passages you have linked.
  • Documents: Documents help you collect and organize your notes for talks, lessons, and topical study.

Probably the most common features are tags and documents. When you tag passages with a keyword, such as millennium, all passages with that same tag appear in a list.

You can add passages to a document by tapping and holding a verse, and then tapping Send.

LDS Music Integration

The iOS Gospel Library app also integrates with LDS Music. When you view a song from the Hymnbook or Children’s Songbook, a link labeled Open in LDS Music link appears at the top of the screen. When you click the link, the song opens in LDS Music. LDS Music shows sheet music and plays audio.

LDS Music Integration

In the image above, the left screen is from Gospel Library. When you click Open in LDS Music, the hymn opens in LDS Music. When you finish the song, the Return to Gospel Library link takes you back to Gospel Library.

Note that if you don’t have LDS Music installed, when you click Open in LDS Music, you will be invited to install it.

Roadmap

Currently these new features are only available for the iOS version of Gospel Library. Eventually the features will be available for the other platforms as well.

 

 

Becoming Familiar with the Resources under Tools on LDS.org

// October 27th, 2011 // No Comments » // LDSTech

Becoming Familiar with the Resources under Tools on LDS.org: “

The resources under the Tools menu on LDS.org provide a wealth of new applications to help members and leaders in wards and stakes.

When you sign in with your LDS Account, the options that appear in the Tools menu are personalized to your calling. Many of the tools are standard for all members, such as the directory and calendar, but some are more specialized for bishops and stake presidents, such as Leader Resources and Clerk Resources. The following screenshot shows the resources available to a stake president’s login.

LDS.org Tools Menu

Below is a brief introduction to some of these resources. If you don’t have an LDS Account yet, go to ldsaccount.lds.org and register for one first. You will then be able to access these resources.

LDS CalendarCalendar

All stake and ward members can coordinate and communicate Church meetings and activities through the ward and stake calendar. You can create as many calendars as you need for each organization in your ward or stake. You can also add any member as an editor to manage calendar events.

The 2.0 version of the calendar was released today. This new version presents a redesign of the administrative interface and many new features and fixes to make the calendar more intuitive. Click Help in the calendar to access videos and information to explain many of the new features. Several calendar training webinars for administrator and calendar editors will be held in mid-November. More detail on the webinars will be given shortly.

LDS DirectoryDirectory

You can view photos, leader callings, e-mail addresses, and other contact information for members and leaders in your ward and stake through the directory. You can upload profile and family photos, update your personal information, and keep your contact information current.

You can also decide whether your personal information is visible to other ward and stake members. Administrators, as authorized, can make changes for individual and household units. The directory can also be printed as a photo directory or exported into a spreadsheet.

On mobile devices, you can view the directory through the LDS Tools app on Apple and Android platforms.

LDS MapsMaps

LDS Maps helps you find Church facilities, such as meetinghouses, employment resources centers, and LDS Family Services centers. You can get driving directions, worship times, and hours of operations for each facility in your area. LDS Maps can also be useful in organizing emergency preparedness plans and response efforts.

When you sign in with your LDS Account, you can see your own ward boundaries, where your ward and stake members live, view leadership contact information, and view other kinds of Church facilities and buildings worldwide. Members can also hide their location information from other Church members.

My Study NotebookMy Study Notebook

My Study Notebook is your own personal, private space on LDS.org to collect your gospel content and notes. Study Notebook is especially useful if you’re doing research for a talk or lesson and are browsing resources across LDS.org, since Study Notebook allows you to gather all of this information into one place and organize, sort, print, or download it.

As you’re reading content on LDS.org, look for a black Study Notebook toolbar to appear on the footer. The toolbar appears when you’re viewing scriptures, lessons, magazine articles, and conference addresses. The toolbar will prompt you to sign in (if you haven’t already). Once signed in, you can highlight passages, add notes, and save this information to your Study Notebook.

Leader and Clerk ResourcesLeader and Clerk Resources

Stake presidents, bishops, clerks, and secretaries can sign into Leader Resources or Clerk Resources to view training, tools, and information specific to their calling. The resources include links to the ward calling list, reports from MLS, focus lists, and other useful tools for working with members.

These resources are consolidated into one secure, online location, so leaders can spend less time managing administrative details and more time ministering to members. Access to Leader Resources and Clerk Resources requires that leaders have the properly assigned, standard calling in MLS.

New this month in Clerk Resources is the ability for membership clerks to edit member information online (beyond just phone numbers and addresses). Clerks can also create, edit, and submit Quarterly Reports. Mission presidents with ecclesiastical responsibilities can access member reports and membership records of members living in units assigned to their mission.

More MLS features will continue to migrate online throughout 2012.

Please let us know your questions and how you’re using these tools in your ward or stake. You can ask questions and help others by participating in the LDSTech forum.