Flipboard magazine: On Faith, God & Jesus

I love the iPad app Flipboard. It is, without a doubt, the best way to read information that others share with you via social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The only other iPad magazine I currently read which can compare is National Geographic, but that is written and curated by professional journalists.

I started a new @flipboard magazine today: “On Faith, God & Jesus.” The description I wrote is:

A collection of articles and posts related to Christianity, religion, and faith aggregated by Wesley Fryer. Including an article here does not constitute the endorsement of or agreement by the aggregator (Wes) with the topics addressed or opinions expressed. For the opinions of Wes related to issues of faith, see his Christian blog, “Eyes Right” on http://pocketshare.speedofcreativity.org

I hope you subscribe and share this with others. I won’t post to this Flipboard magazine as often as I do to my edtech Fipboard magazine, “iReading with Wes,” but I’ll post periodically when I find and read / watch / listen to thought provoking content related to faith, God and Jesus.

A Facebook App College Students Hide From Parents

This post fits into the unique category, “Stuff that is pretty dark and I don’t know if I should even blog about it.” I found a tweet today about a Facebook app which people are using to connect with friends they want to have sex with. I’m not going to link directly to the app here or mention it by name, because I don’t want to amplify it by giving it whatever meager Google SEO points this blog can give. I first debated with myself whether to share this link at all, and secondly whether to share it on my main educational technology blog or not. I decided to just share it here on Eyes Right.

Life is about many things, but one of the most important is CHOICES. This app is a case in point. Technology is enabling and empowering us in powerful ways, but at the same time it challenges us to define WHO WE ARE both for ourselves and to others through our actions.

People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do

You can be sure Apple (with its present guidelines) would not approve this as an iOS app in its app store. 🙁 – I can recommend the Movie Box app for the whole family if you are looking for something new, works on most phones I think.

Solar Under the Sun: Kenya (December 2012)

This evening I helped Robert Menja, who went on a mission trip to Kenya with Solar Under the Sun and Upendo Kids International in December 2012, create a 5.5 minute narrated slideshow about his experiences.

We’re going to work together on another video next Monday. I’m very excited to be able to help Robert with this! For more related resources, see my presentation wiki, “Telling Your Mission Story with iPad Video.” I’ll be sharing a presentation about this at the 2013 Mo-Ranch Men’s Conference on May 4, 2013.

Robert Menja in Kenya with Solar Under the Sun

Daily Bible Audio: PRICELESS!

I posted this as a review in the Apple App Store for the free YouVersion Bible app:

I use this app every day when I’m commuting to work. This app is a HUGE part of how I’ve been able to read through the entire Bible in a year, the last two years. The daily Bible reading plans are awesome. I love the fact that multiple translations are available in audio format so I can listen while I drive. Thank you YouVersion!!! Get this app and use it daily to read as we’ll as hear God’s Word!

Narrated Sermon Art

Both Rachel (my 9 year old) and I created some visual notes yesterday during the sermon shared by Pastor Mateen Elass at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma. Today we recorded some audio to accompany our drawings, using the free mobile app and website AudioBoo, to create these “narrated art” examples.

Click the play button (play arrow) to listen to each AudioBoo below. As one is playing, you can “mouse over” the embedded image thumbnail to view a larger version of each drawing.

Leveraging YouTube to Tell The Story of Your Church Mission Outreach

YouTube and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter offer incredible opportunities for Christian mission outreach ministries to “tell their story” and share with communities both local and international about the work God is doing through their volunteers. For several years I’ve felt God is calling me to use my knowledge and skills with digital media technologies to further the gospel and support the ends of His church on earth… and tonight I had another long awaited opportunity to answer that call in a small way.

Upendo Kids International is a mission outreach non-profit based in Edmond, Oklahoma, which sends teams each summer to Kenya to show God’s love and kindness through a variety of activities. This evening, I had an opportunity to show the nineteen members of the June 2012 Upendo Kids mission team how to use the iPad application “Explain Everything” to briefly narrate five photos from their trip. All together, mission team members brought home thousands of digital photos. Until this evening, however, I don’t think any of them had recorded their voices alongside selected photos and published them as videos on YouTube. Here are the two narrated slideshows we created at the end of their meeting tonight.

Kids Touched by God in Kenya by Kelly Ewing (2.5 min)

Selfless Faith in Kenya by Carly Murray (3 min, 48 sec)

I challenged each of the mission team members present at the meeting tonight, who are mostly high school students, to create a narrated slideshow like these before school starts for them on August 19th. I told them “the devil would do a happy dance” if they stop talking about their mission trip experiences and the ways they saw God at work in Kenya after school starts in August. I dearly hope each one of them will accept my challenge and create a short narrated slideshow about their experiences in Kenya this summer, and publish it on YouTube. Some of the students and parents reported they were providing their trip sponsors / supporters with CDs including hundreds of photos from their trip. I really think a two or three minute narrated slideshow with five key photos from the mission trip would be worth MUCH more to a person or family who donated to make their trip possible.

People say “pictures are worth a thousand words,” but I agree with Margaret Nan Harkey who created the video for Celebrate Oklahoma Voices, “What’s Your Story? The Importance of Telling the Stories of Your Photos.” Photographs can become MUCH more meaningful and powerful when we put our words with them.


Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

I applaud both Kelly and Carly for their courage in sharing part of their stories and experiences in Kenya this year. To check out more Kenya Mission Trip stories from June 2012 and Upendo Kids International, subscribe to UpendoKids on YouTube.

If you’re interested in leveraging the power of YouTube and digital storytelling to “tell the story” of your non-profit, I encourage you to attend an upcoming “iPad Media Camp” workshop on creating narrated slideshows. I’ll be offering this workshop again in Oklahoma City on August 31, 2012, and again on December 18th. Please check the registration page on iPadMediaCamp.com for other dates and registration links.

Also, be sure to check out the YouTube Nonprofit Program and also read the PDF, “Playbook Guide: YouTube for Good.” The price is right: YouTube video hosting is FREE. To create videos like Kelly and Carly’s, you’ll just need an iPad with the app “Explain Everything” along with photos and your voice!

Be A Digital Witness for Jesus

Today at the 61st annual Men’s Conference at Mo-Ranch near Hunt, Texas, I shared a presentation titled, “Be A Digital Witness for Jesus.” I audio recorded the second session, and added that audio to my presentation slides on SlideRocket. You an hear the entire 60 minute presentation by pressing “play” on the embedded version below, but you’ll have to manually advance the slides because it doesn’t appear that SlideRocket lets me set the synchronization/advance timings.

Please access all referenced resources on this Google Site, including all videos except the profane one I discussed briefly. I don’t have the presentation slide I used for it or the video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” included on SlideRocket, I added those slides after I’d already uploaded my presentation.

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me directly. Please share this idea with your own church members and encourage them (especially your youth) to get involved documenting the stories of faith in your community. We all can be digital witnesses for Jesus.

Follow Jesus

Today was the fourth time this semester I’ve prepared a full lesson for our sixth grade Sunday school class and not been able to teach. I’m quite frustrated and mystified at the fact that I’ve been a co-teacher in our class all semester (since we started at the end of August) and have not been able to teach a single lesson yet. Our schedule is changeable and chaotic and communication has left much to be desired. Through it all, whatever my personal experiences and perceptions, I pray our students are gaining a deeper understanding and living a deeper relationship with Jesus as a result of their experiences in Sunday School.

I used ReelDirector on my iPad to create a short (6 min, 40 sec) narrated slideshow tonight highlighting the main ideas I’d planned to share with our sixth graders today. I originally created this slideshow in Keynote on my iPad, primarily using photos from Flickr I took this Friday and Saturday in New York City. There’s no way (at last that I could find) to convert an iPad Keynote presentation on the iPad (without syncing) to images which can be used in another program. So, I created screenshots of my Keynote slides and then imported them into ReelDirector. I used my iRig microphone to record the voiceover in ReelDirector, and set each photo to display in the video for the maximum (20 seconds) permitted by the program. The last few seconds of my recording got cut off, but at this point I’m just going to go with “my first take!”

Hopefully next week I’ll actually be able to teach our kids. It’s exceptionally frustrating to work hard and prepare lessons for multiple weeks and then not be able to teach.

Narrated slideshow using ReelDirector for iPad

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Stories of Faith: digital witnesses for Christ

At long last, a new podcast channel for “Stories of Faith: digital witnesses for Christ” is available online at faithstories.speedofcreativity.org. I first wrote about this idea in September of 2008, but the idea of “Christian Digital Storytelling” is something that’s been on my heart since the summer of 2004 when I attended the Digital Media Academy at Stanford. I wrote about this in October of 2004, and still have some resources about “Christian Digital Storytelling” online at www.wesfryer.com/cds. I started the “3 Minutes About Jesus” project (3minutesaboutjesus.org) in the fall of 2010 and hope that project will grow in the months ahead.

Stories of Faith Podcast: digital witnesses for Christ

I’m THRILLED to at last have the seven audio podcast interviews from 2008/2009 online in a “Stories of Faith” podcast channel. One of the big reasons this is “doable” at this point (besides finding the flash drive recently which contained three of the original, finished interviews) is my learning about Podcast Generator last semester teaching at UNT. See my September 2010 post, “Creating a course audio lecturecast (podcast) with Podcast Generator,” for more background. Podcast Generator is open source (free) and the easiest way I’ve found yet to publish a “real” podcast channel which includes a subscribable RSS/web feed on your own site. Sites like iPadio are great too, but there is no guarantee third-party commercial sites like this will be around in a month or five years. If you use an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, consider using the $2 app Podcaster to manage your podcast channels from your device WITHOUT needing to sync to iTunes. More info about that process is also available.

A simple keyword search on Google today for “stories of faith” (without quotation marks) yields over 48 million results. These include sharingfaith.org, greatfaithstories.com, ChristianFaith.com (a site filled with ads) and Inspiring Stories from Georgia Girl. Our landscape of voices is only going to grow more diverse in the years ahead. I think it’s important we share our Christian witness and testimony with others on the digital, global stage– and we invite others to share their stories too.

I submitted the “Stories of Faith” podcast channel to iTunes this evening so it will be listed there soon. I pray the sharing of these audio interviews and testimonies will bring more people to know Jesus Christ and join a local, loving community of Christian brothers and sisters.

Modified Podcast Logo with My Headphones Photoshopped Onphoto © 2009 Colleen AF Venable | more info (via: Wylio)

 

Free 1 Year Bible on YouVersion

At the encouragement of others in my church and Friday morning men’s group, I’ve started reading the “One Year Bible.” Rather than purchase this Bible version in paper form, however, I’ve started reading it for free on the YouVersion Bible iPad app. It is free and not only tracks your reading, but also lets you save notes. You can make these notes public to share or keep them private. You can also read notes others have shared publicly, which is a very interesting and potentially valuable way to socially interact as well as reflect when reading.

YouVersion 1 Year Bible (free) on iPad

YouVersion 1 Year Bible (free) on iPad

I started this a few days late after the new year, but thankfully the app lets you catch up. Just read ahead, and then in your reading plan select “catch me up.”

YouVersion 1 Year Bible (free) on iPad

Since I read the first three days of verses today and chose “catch me up” twice, I’m on the right schedule to finish by December 31st. You will need to create a free account on the app, or directly on the YouVersion website, which you use to login on the app and track your Bible reading. I’ve completed a couple of shorter reading plans previously using this system. I have never read through the entire Bible in a year, however, so this will be a first for me. My wife has talked about doing this too, and I’m going to encourage her so we can share in our discussions and learning throughout the year. Consider reading the Bible this year with this great plan! Another alternative is the website www.oneyearbibleonline.com. I really prefer the option to read on my mobile devices, however. YouVersion syncs whether you read on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The latest nagging of my wife has been for me to get a hobby, so I started looking up the finest top drone brands like I did when I was a teenager so I could get into RC planes again.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad, edited later with Mars Edit. Cross-posted from “Moving at the Speed of Creativity

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