Tech Gadgets in the Chapel

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
Jazbees
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Postby Jazbees » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:30 pm

garylm wrote:... Do you bring gadgets to church, and where do you personally draw the line?

When I had a PDA, I would bring it to church meetings regularly. It was really tough trying to take notes on it, though. I eventually stopped using it altogether, and maybe 6 to 8 months later I got a MacBook, which I bring to church every Sunday.

garylm wrote:... What apps do you run at church and what materials do you access at church? Scriptures? Lessons? Conference talks? Church mags? Presentations? Attendance spreadsheet? Meeting minutes? Personal journal?

As the ward clerk, I use my laptop throughout the entire Sunday block. I use it to take notes in bishopric, ward council, welfare, PEC, and sacrament meetings. In Sunday School and Elders Quorum, I pull up the scriptures and class manuals, and take additional notes as I feel inspired. Sometimes I'll open the dictionary if I feel like digging into the meaning of a word more deeply. If something needs to go on the calendar or into my address book, I've got them right there. If I need to print something, I transfer it from the laptop to the ward computer with a USB memory stick.

garylm wrote:... What is the largest gadget you would feel comfortable powering up in a church meeting? Beeper? Cell phone? PDA? Tablet? Laptop?

I wouldn't want to go any larger than the MacBook. It would be nice if Apple put out a tablet Mac, as I still get a little self-conscious opening and closing the screen sometimes.

garylm wrote:... What precautions do you take to keep from distracting yourself and others?

The keyboard is very quiet, but even with that I try use a softer touch when typing during a meeting. I try to keep it as low as possible, especially if I'm near the front of the chapel or a class, but most of the ward is used to seeing me with it at this point. Once I was asked to download one of the testimony videos that the church posted in the newsroom so it could be used in a class, and it worked very well.

zaneclark
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PDA

Postby zaneclark » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:02 am

I have used a PDA for several years with all the scriptures and manuals loaded. I have also downloaded conference talks and Ensigns for the last several years. My sister and brother-in-law are waiting for their second mission call and after they saw and liked my PDA, I bought them each one and loaded all the scriptures, etc., on them as a gift. I found the same PDA I use, a very basic Palm Z22 on eBay for $65 and free shipping. The PDA has a color screen and 32 mgb of memory. (My wife still carries her scriptures so if I have a need for the paper kind, she kindly allows me to use hers..);)

gdbrown-p40
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PDA at Church

Postby gdbrown-p40 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:29 pm

garylm wrote:...

Do you bring gadgets to church, and where do you personally draw the line?


I have been using my PDA for several years both in administrative meetings and in classes. I have the MLS exported data for each family which allows me to know callings of each family member, who HT/VT each family, birthday, address, phone, email, etc. You get the idea. As a ward clerk I no longer have to leave the room to get infomation the Bishop is always needing. In our stake these are know as adult quiet books. Most of us who use them are as unobtrusive as possible and I for one never use it to take notes, paper and pencil work faster and better for me at least. I use Mobipocket for palm and have almost everything that is available from LDS.org on it. I find that I can turn to a scripture faster than using a traditional book and if I want to check the footnotes, cross references or the bible dicitionary I can do so without loosing my place and I am less distracting to others while I do it. I draw the line when anyone around me becomes more interested in me than the speaker, whether in Sacrament Meeting or Class. Off is the way I use it most of the time.

Vince-p40
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Postby Vince-p40 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:20 am

I have a Dell x51v Pocket PC running windows 2003se and I use it within classes for scriptures. I also have installed almost everything I can download from LDS.org and it often comes in handy to reference information without struggling to find the printed material.
I find it a more subtle than sieving through multiple pages of various books. The amount of data that these devices can hold in such a convenient, accessible manner is quite an asset. We are blessed with technology and I enjoy showing my appreciation by using it where I can that provides convenience and efficiency.

I do not use this device in sacrament, outside of sacrament I use it whenever needed.

Regards
Vince.

James_Piper-p40
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Postby James_Piper-p40 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:53 pm

When I was on call, I used to take my Blackberry 8700C into the block. One time, during the sacrament, I heard the tell tale sounds of a Blackberry chattering into a mic, I quickly took my battery out.. Needless to say, I felt bad that I disrupted sacrament. No one other then Blackberry people would know what the sound is.

morph-p40
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Postby morph-p40 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:41 pm

garylm wrote:...

Do you bring gadgets to church, and where do you personally draw the line?

Do you WAN from church?

What apps do you run at church and what materials do you access at church? Scriptures? Lessons? Conference talks? Church mags? Presentations? Attendance spreadsheet? Meeting minutes? Personal journal?

What is the largest gadget you would feel comfortable powering up in a church meeting? Beeper? Cell phone? PDA? Tablet? Laptop?

What precautions do you take to keep from distracting yourself and others?

Does the fit and finish of a gadget affect its church-ability?


I always take my PDA (never go anywhere without it). It's a good replacement for bulky scriptures, I've always been frustrated carrying them around as they don't generally fit in your pocket and I have a tendency to accidentally leave things I have to carry in my hands under a chair somewhere or even in the chapel car park for 48 hours (yes, that actually happened).

I generally don't have a problem using a PDA during meetings, whether it be sacrament, priesthood, Sunday School etc. as long as it's related to the meeting (i.e. scripture application, lds.org etc). I don't think it is a distraction to others as it doesn't make any noise. The only potential problems I can see is young technology enthusiasts (e.g. the young men) who are easily distracted by anything that has a circuit board, though that's more their problem than mine IMHO. I've also known people to get told off for "being rude" while using their PDA to read scriptures during a lesson. This is generally due to a lack of understanding of how a device like that isn't just a toy.

Anything bigger though would have to be directly related to the meeting. I've taken a laptop to church as a visual aid in a lesson, and would expect it to be used to take minutes in a bishopic or high counsel meeting for instance, but wouldn't use one as a member of the audience in Sunday school.

I have also used it to access my home network and check e-mail while in the church corridor in-between lessons, but shhh.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:19 pm

Welcome to the forum, morph! You summed up my feelings about this pretty well. I used to have an HP iPaq PDA, but now I just carry a smartphone with WM6. I can usually popup footnotes and scriptural references during a lesson faster than it takes someone to reach for their tree versions. I once amazed an instructor by following along with a reading from a decades old conference talk.

But when I read the scriptures or conference reports at home, it's always from the printed version. I don't know. To me, there is something special about the printed word that's hard to describe. I personally feel a better spirit from it. The only reason I use an electronic version at church is I'm confined to a wheelchair and the scriptures, priesthood manual, SS manual, etc. are MUCH easier for me to carry in a little holster on my hip than balanced on my lap. :cool:
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.


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