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Internet tips and tricks

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The fine folks over at YouthMinistry360 have some great freebies for your youth group teaching this Easter.  Visit their Easter Vault to download 3 free lessons and 10 free student devotionals.  It’s a great little treat to stick in your Youth Ministry Easter basket.

Here’s what you get:

Lesson 1: Encounter: Death. Life. Forgiveness.
Purpose: Challenge teens to remember why Jesus did what He did and what was accomplished through His sacrifice, and to formulate a response to Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Lesson 2: The Thread of Love
Purpose: Help teens see how God wove a thread of redeeming love through the Bible, culminating with the greatest expression of love, Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Lesson 3: The Big Picture
Purpose: Challenge teens to fully grasp the impact Christ’s resurrection has had on their lives by helping them articulate their response to Christ’s resurrection, and how it has affected them personally.

10 Easter Devotions: Death. Life. Forgiveness
Purpose: Help teens get prepared for Easter by looking at a chronological view of the events surrounding Jesus’ last days on earth. They will help your teens prepare their hearts and minds to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

Thanks YouthMinistry360!

Take Me to the Downloads

Twitter released a new tool to easily find out what your first tweet was.

Here’s mine:

Discover_your_first_Tweet___Discover

(Evidently I wasn’t big into capitalization.)

Check out the your first tweet!

Youth Game Idea:

If you have a lot of students who use twitter, you might be able to make a youth group game out of it.  You could look up student’s or staff’s first tweet before youth group so you know what it is.  Then bring them up on stage and see how good they are at remembering what their first tweet was.  You could even make it multiple choice.  “Was your first tweet about a) Food, b) Your Parents, or C) Homework.” You might also let the group try to decide what the first tweet was about.  Then put in the user name with the tool up on the screen so everyone can see.  Even better might be to make up some fake ones.  You won’t be able to use the tool live then of course, but it could be lots of fun.

What was your first tweet?  Don’t forget to follow me at @CRD55 or this blog @YMGeek.

I don’t know about you but managing all my social media accounts can be a pain. If you are like me you have personal accounts, ministry accounts, work accounts, and fun accounts that all need to be kept up to date so your followers can know what’s going on.  I’ve tried many ways to keep them all in check, and a few months ago I discovered the easiest and most powerful yet — Buffer.

The first step in getting your Buffer going, is connecting your accounts.  In the free version you can connect 1 Twitter, 1 Facebook, and 1 Google + account which is great for personal use.  If you want to connect more, you can upgrade to their Awesome plan that allows up to 12 accounts, 2 users and unlimited posts for as little as $8.50 a month. This would be great if you wanted to manage your own accounts, plus those of your ministry.

Once you get your accounts connected, you can setup your schedule for posting.  On the free plan they allow up to 4 posting times a day that you can set to be what works best for you.  Once your schedule is set you can start loading your posts and can choose to post immediately or put it in your “buffer” to go out at the next scheduled time.  They also have a ton of pluggins and app hooks that make it easy to share articles and posts that you might be reading on your laptop, phone or tablet.

If you have been looking for a better way to manage your social media, give Buffer a try.

Find out more at BufferApp.com.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly adding things from my email into my calendar.  It doesn’t take long but just the cutting and pasting from an email into a calendar appointment can slow me down enough to take me out of the “Zone” when I’m working on a project.  That’s why I was excited to try a new service that called Super.CC and allows you to add an appointment to your calendar with just an email.  You use it just like Tripit, another service I love (you can read more about that HERE).

Here’s how it works:

1. send an email or copy [email protected] on the email with the appointment name in the subject and the details in the body. You can even put @ “meting location” in the body and it will put the location in the appointment so you can pull up the map on your phone.

super.cc email2. In a few minutes you’ll get a confirmation with the details of the appointment you created.

You can learn more about the different feature on their FAQ page.

It’s super easy and works pretty well.  It doesn’t always get the location right, but it seems to be getting better.  The location is still a new feature they are playing with.

It works with a variety of calendars, I’ve been using it with my Google calendar, so I’m not quite sure how well it works with some of the others, but I’m sure it’s great.

The best part it the service is free, so what do you have to lose. It’s lists itself as “Early Access” so I’m not sure if they plan on charging for it in the future.

Check it out at Super.CC

social-media-survey

My buddy Jeremy needs your help with a survey to help him in a class for Denver Seminary.  The survey is about what Youth Ministry and Social Media looks like across the nation.  There’s also $40 worth of swag for you for taking the time to fill it out.  It will only take a few minutes, I promise.

Take the Survey

 

I confess, I saw Star Trek Into Darkness this weekend, and I loved it.  Sure it wasn’t perfect, but it was a fun, space adventure — everything I want in a summer movie. (As a side note, it made me super excited for what JJ will do with Star Wars).  To celebrate the number one movie this weekend. Here’s a funny little video I saw this weekend:

I think I may have to make a starship Enterprise costume like this to wear at Comic Con this summer.

Bob Goff on YS Idea Lab

Chris —  May 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

In the latest episode of the new YS web show, YS Idea Lab, they interview Bob Goff. I also enjoy an opportunity to listen to him, if you’ve never heard him before this is worth 5 minutes of your time.

YS Idea Lab – Bob Goff: Loving People Inefficiently from Youth Specialties on Vimeo.

I’m really excited that Bob will be at the National Youth Worker Convention this fall, I hope to see you there.

DSLR Video: Who I Follow

Jon —  May 16, 2012 — Leave a comment

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have been diving into DSLR video over the past few months. The DSLR Camera has, as Philip Bloom described, “democratized cinematography.” What he means is that the affordability of DSLR cameras has made cinema quality video available to even the low budget amateurs such as myself. The world of DSLR video has certainly exploded, and if you aren’t on the first wave it will be easy to get left behind. I wanted to highlight some of the video gurus in the DSLR field that I have found most helpful.

1. Philip Bloom: A London based professional cinematographer who has loads of helpful videos like this one on Vimeo, and his own personal site.

 

2. Caleb Pike: Caleb operates a site called DSLR Video Shooter. His site is a very practical approach to DSLR video, complete with reviews, instructional videos and the like.

 

3. Vimeo Video School: This is by far one of the greatest resources out there on cinematography in general. From equipment, to technique, to post production, the Vimeo Video School is a wealth of knowledge!

 

Do you know any other video resources out there? Share em with the community in the comments!

 

I’m a big fan of TED and what they do online with their videos from their events.  They just released a new tool that allows anyone to build an online lesson using web video.  You can select a video and video and create questions, quizes or give links for people to dig deeper.

Here’s a diagram to show the parts of the lesson:

I could see using this as a quick training to send out to volunteers, student leaders, or even to get kids thinking about a topic before they come to small group, sunday school, Wednesday night, or what ever other gatherings you have.  I know a lot of educators are big fans of having the lecture portion of teaching done independently before a student comes to class so that class can be about discussion and unpacking the material.  This is a tool that allows you to do that.

To learn more, visit Ed.TED.com.  Also did I mention the service is FREE?

iPad 3 First Few Days

Jon —  April 19, 2012 — 4 Comments

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Should you buy the new iPad? Well, I was very lucky that a church member wanted to buy 4 staff members at our church the newest edition. After a few days playing around on it I want to make a few comments on why you need an iPad even if you have an iPhone.

1. There are apps on my iPhone that I love, but never use because the screen size is not optimized for the application. The first being the WordPress app I am creating this post on. If you are a serious blogger, iPad is money! The square footage really maximizes the potential of apps like WordPress, Evernote, any “reader” app, and many more. I have fell in love with the same apps I had on my iPhone all over again.

2. Your students will think you are cool. NOT. But gathering students around an iPad for a teaching video in a small group, or having students register for camp on an iPad is way easier than an iPhone. The other night in small groups the iPad became a tool to draw students into conversation, and I wasn’t having to hold my hand near the speaker so everyone could hear.

3. If you have an iPhone 4 or later you know the sheer bliss of the Retina display (cue the angel choir). I really believe the 10″ Retina display comes close to justifying the purchase. I held off on iPad 2 because I was disappointed there was no Retina display, but boy was it worth the wait. This thing dazzles.

If you have an iPad what are your favorite apps? I’ve only had mine for a few days so I am hoping productivity will increase to it’s normal level soon.