Downloading Videos

I often get questions about downloading church videos and where to find it once it has downloaded; this is an easy question to answer.

However, the purpose of downloading a video is to share with a small group on a large screen; this leads to the next question of how to connect to a large screen. The answer to this is more complicated.

The purpose of this article is to answer these questions; to provide you the information you will need to use videos in your teaching successfully.

Information on cables and connections is first, then how to download and view videos from the four church apps.

Cable Connections

Viewing videos on your smartphone are great if you are the only one viewing the video, or perhaps sharing with one other person.

A tablet, is a step up from your smartphone, and could be viewable by 4 or 5 people if they are sitting close together.

However, the best option, when working with a group of people, is to connect your mobile device to a large screen.

However, this can be problematic, because it depends on what mobile device you have, which version of the operating system it uses, and the age of the large screen.

It is easier if you always teach in the same building because of the consistency. Once you have figured how to make the connection, there are no further worries.

However, if you are a missionary and always in different locations such as church buildings and homes, then connecting to a screen becomes an ongoing challenge. The positive side is over time, you will become a pro, and solve the problem regardless what is thrown before you.

In this section, I am going to cover, the most likely connections that you will face, and how to be prepared for any situation. There are two types of connections – cable and wireless and I will cover both.

Connections

Flat Screen

The most common connection is HDMI. Older devices will use VGA.

HDMI
HDMI
VGA

Apple (iOS)

Older iPhones and iPads used a 30-pin connection. Newer devices, since the iPhone 5 and iPad 4th generation, use the lightning connection.

30 Pin
Lightning

Android

Older phones use the Micro-USB and the newer phones use USB C. Defining what are older and newer phones is beyond the scope of this article, because there are 15 different Android operating systems and a countless number of phones. (fig1 – micro USB, fig2 – USB C)

Micro USB
USB C

Summation

At the most basic level you need a cable that can connect to your mobile device on one end, and the other end to a large screen. Let’s look at the most common situations you will face.

Connecting

iOS

If you have an iPhone or iPad making a connection is really easy.

Purchase, depending on the age of your phone, either a lightning to HMDI dongle, or a 30-pin to HMDI dongle. Be sure to get the dongle that allows you to charge you phone while you are connected to the large screen.

For older large screens you will need a dongle that will connect via a VGA connection.

Lightning to HDMI with Charging Port

If the screen is connected to Apple TV then you will not need a cable. How do you know if there is an Apple TV connection? Look for the small Apple TV box, which is usually on a table below the screen. Don’t see it? ask!

Apple TV

To connect to Apple TV turn on the TV and open the Control Center on your phone. To open the Control Center Swipe up from the bottom edge of your phone. If you have a iPhone X or later or iPad with iOS 12 or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the phone. Now, tap on “Screen Mirroring.” and pick the name of the TV you want to connect to. You will see names like “Living Room,” or “Family Room,” if you are not sure which is the right one, then ask someone. Now the TV will show a four digit number. Enter that number on your device and you are connected.

Apple will also work with wireless connections Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV, The connection does not work as smoothly as Apple TV so it will require some practice. To know how to make the connection google for instructions. Roku and MiraScreen will not connect to Apple devices.

Chromecast
Amazon Stick
Roku
MiraScreen

Android

From personal experience connecting an Android to a large screen is problematic. As mentioned above it is strictly dependent on which phone you have, the operating system and the screen.

If you feel that figuring it out on your own is beyond your capabilities, my best advice is to get help from the local electronic store, a friend or family member who is a geek.

Going to an electronic store is not without trial and error. Sometimes you will end up with a connection that doesn’t work because the sales person is not knowledgeable of all the different types of Android devices (something that I can fully understand). Make sure you can return the item if it does not work.

Android can also make a wireless connection through Roku, Miracast and Chromecast to name a few. Some new TV’s even have Android mirroring built-in. In general, using an Android to work with the above is easy. For instructions google for instructions.

Tips

  • Practice, practice, practice. Practice at home and then go to the building where you will be presenting for further practice. Ask a few friends to allow you to connect to their screens.
  • Make sure your charge cords are long enough. I find that 10 feet is the minimum. Personal experience has taught me the frustration of trying to charge my device and the cord is to short.
  • Do not depend on the Ward or Stake having the correct dongle and/or cables. Bring your own. It will take just one time to find that the building’s dongle is defective, missing or being used by someone else that you will see the wisdom in purchasing your own. Yes, they are expensive, but well worth the peace of mind.

Video Sizes and Quality

When you download a video from the internet or apps, you often have to choose the kind of resolution you want to download. So what is the resolution? Answer? That depends.

The larger the number, the better the video will look, but it also takes more storage space. This section will give you the knowledge you need to make the right decision.

A screen (smartphone, tablet, computer, or TV) are made up of a series of dots called pixels. The screen resolution is determined by the number of vertical pixels in the screen.

In general, the more pixels, the better the picture, but the actual size of the screen tempers this. For example, a lower amount of pixels would look good on a small screen but not on a large one.

Since 2010 the standard resolutions are 360p, 720p and 1080p. The p means “progressive scan.” A progressive scan creates an image on a TV screen, where the lines are drawn in one at a time in sequential order. I know, BORING, but hang in there.

Below gives you an ideal of how much storage and what size of screen is best for the following number of pixels.

  • 360p (37.6MB) 640×360
  • 720p (102.1 MB) 1280Sx720
  • 1080p (322.7 MB) 1920×1080

Some of the latest TV’s are at 4k, and there is talk of achieving 8k. One question that comes to mind when seeing these numbers is, can the human eye tell the difference.

Research has shown that the difference between 1080p and 4k it is virtually impossible to see. One would have to get very close to the screen to see any difference.

On smaller screens under 15 inches, it is hard to see the difference between 720p and 1080p.

Now here are some of the latest resolutions on smartphones.

  • IPhone X 2436 x 1125 (458ppi) (pixels per inch)
  • iPhone 6 1334 x 750 (326ppi)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 2960 x 1440 (514ppi)
  • Samsung Galaxy s9 2220 x 1080 (570ppi)

Another factor is the aspect ratio of the screen. The standard is 16:9 and is what Apple has held to. Samsung for their Galaxy s9 is 18.5:9.

The most popular TV size is around 50 inches, and a 1080p resolution will be just fine.

So now you have the answer to which is the best to download. Consider the size of the screen you will view the video and pick the appropriate resolution; the smaller the screen, the lower resolution you need.

Closed Captioning (CC)

You should always be aware of the needs of your audience. Hearing loss is widespread, particularly with senior citizens. Providing CC with your videos will enable those that have trouble hearing or are deaf to read what is being spoken.

The problem is that not all of the church sites provide CC, and some videos were produced before CC was standard.

First, make sure that your mobile device has CC turned on.

For iOS go to Settings/General/Accessibility/Subtitles & Captioning.

For Android, go to Settings/Accessibility/Hearing Enhancements/Subtitles. Keep in mind the Android you have may differ. If that is the case, then google for information regarding your particular device.

Do not assume that because you have your settings set to CC that it will work in every case, even when CC is available for a particular video.

For example, the video, “Patterns of Light: Spirit of Revelation” provides captioning on my iOS devices but not for my Android. But when I download the video on my iOS device and play the video, the CC is lost.

If you are having trouble with captioning, go to YouTube and see if the video is available. All YouTube videos offer CC. The problem is unless you have YouTube Premium, you cannot download the video, which depending on your location and strength of the wifi could be a problem.

In considering those who are hard-of-hearing or deaf, do the best you can. If you are unable to offer CC, take the time to explain why. Perhaps you can offer them a print-out of the transcript.

Gospel Library

The Gospel Library has the following categories of videos available:

  • Inspirational Messages
  • Bible Videos
  • Old Testament Videos
  • New Testament Videos
  • Book of Mormon videos
  • Doctrine and Covenants Videos
  • Church videos
  • Films
  • TV Ads
  • Holiday Videos
  • Basic Beliefs
  • Introduction to the Church
  • Videos from 2010-2013

Many of these videos can also be found in Gospel Media.

Downloading

Open the video, tap on the large download icon on the screen and the video will quickly download. Tap on the play icon to watch the video.

Viewing

Tap on the play icon.

Gospel Media

iOS and Android

This is a companion to the Gospel Library app and provides full access to the media library on the church website. It contains videos, images, and music, which can be downloaded for an offline presentation.

There are three key advantages to using the app. First, you can organize your downloads into presentations enabling you to put the material in the order you need for a specific lesson.

Second, you can add notes to videos, images, and music in your presentation. Then when you play the presentation on a large screen such as a TV, you will be able to see your notes on your device, while the audience will see the video or image.

Third, you can trim the videos and music. Trimming allows you to decide where you want the video or music to begin and end.

Fourth, an excellent “Search” feature.

Other benefits are sharing individual material and playlists with others, and labeling a specific video, music, or images as a favorite for quick retrieval.

An excellent “User Guide” is available by tapping on the Settings icon in the lower right-hand corner, then tap on “User Guide.”

Be mindful that user guides may not keep up with the app updates. Therefore, something mentioned in the user guide may no longer be available, or not suggest a new function.

Downloading

Tap on the download icon in the upper right-hand corner and the video will quickly download, the download icon is replaced with a trashcan icon.

Viewing

Tap on the play icon.

Using the Media Library Online

Interactive Video

The following is from the church regarding “interactive video.”

“The Media Library now has interactive transcripts available for select videos. Interactive transcripts are displayed below the video source and allow the user to interact with the video in different ways. Each word is clickable, and the user can search for a specific word and navigate to that exact point in the video by clicking the word. As the user watches the video, the transcript highlights each word as it is spoken, allowing the user to follow along with the audio.

Interactive transcripts also allow the user to clip a specific part of the video by selecting that portion of the text. The user can then share that clip with a shortened link or on social media. The shared link includes the entire video but will start and stop playing where clipped. Viewers can watch the whole video from the shortened link.”

Go here for instructions on how to use “interactive Video.”

Mormon Channel App

An Internet 24/7 radio station that provides live broadcast of:

  • Music
  • Talk

According to the Church Magazines, “Mormon Channel, the official Church radio station, was launched in May 2009 at Radio.lds.org1The new station originates from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, broadcasting new programs created specifically for Mormon Channel as well as content from the Church’s archives and programming from partner organizations such as Deseret Book, Bonneville International, the Deseret News, LDS Business College, and the campuses of Brigham Young University.” Official Church Radio Channel Launches Online by Kimberly Bowen, Church Magazines

The site has:

  • Radio
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Kids
  • Daily Quote

The MormonChannel app also adds memes.

Downloading

Tap on the download icon in the upper right-hand corner and the video will quickly download, the download icon is replaced with a trashcan icon.

Viewing

Tap on “Watch.” To see a list of the videos you have downloaded tap on the “Downloads” menu bar at the bottom of the screen.

YouTube

It is illegal to download a YouTube video using a third-party program or interface.

The only legal option is to subscribe to YouTube’s “YouTube Premium” service. The service includes YouTube originals and ad-free YouTube music.

The monthly cost:

  • Single $11.99
  • Family $22.99 (for six members)
  • Student $6.99

Internet

If the video you want to view is not in one of the church apps, then google it. Not all videos will be downloaded.

The following requires you to have a Dropbox account. If you do not have an account go to the Dropbox site and signup for a free account. By the way, everyone should have a Dropbox account; it is convenient in so many different ways. If you are new to Dropbox here is a short overview.

Downloading

  • Find the video you want to download.
  • Tap on the download icon.
  • Tap on the size of the video you want. The video will start playing, tap on the Pause icon.
  • Tap on the share icon
  • In the second row (gray icons) tap on “Save to Dropbox.” If you do not see Dropbox, then slide your finger to the left until Dropbox appears. If you get to the end and do not see Dropbox, then tap on the ellipsis which will open a list of available actions. Find Dropbox and make it available by sliding the on and off icon to the right, then tap on “Done.”
  • Now find “Save to Dropbox” and tap on it.
  • Now the file name will appear. I would suggest you change the name of the file so it will be easier to locate.
  • In the Save Location section, choose the folder where you want to save the file.
  • Tap on Save.

Viewing the Video

  • Now open the Dropbox app.
  • Locate the video and tap on the video.
  • Tap on the share icon.
  • Tap on Save Video.
  • On your device, go to Photos/Videos.
  • Tap on the video, then tap on Play.

Editing the Video

  • Open the Dropbox app.
  • Locate the video and tap on the video.
  • Tap on the share icon.
  • In the top row of icons (colored) find “Copy to iMovie” then tap on it. If the action is not there go to the end and tap on the ellipsis, find the action and make it available by sliding the on and off icon to the right, then tap on “Done.”
  • Now find and tap on the action “Copy to iMovie.
  • The video will now open in iMovie.
  • Complete any editing.
  • Tap on Done.
  • Tap on the title iMovie assigned the video (the title from Dropbox does not carry over) then type the title you want.
  • Now the video can be viewed from iMovie.
  1. Radio.lds.org is now mormonchannel.org

Tags Made Simple

Tags Made Simple

While at the RootsTech convention in Salt Lake City I saw an interesting interactive display. People were encouraged to take a skein of yarn provided in bins located at the left of the exhibit, then tie and connect all the data points that apply to them. The purpose was to show how all of us are interconnected.

As I looked at the exhibit, I thought of how it is an excellent example of the Tag function in the Gospel Library. Tags create personal connections to the principles, concepts, and messages found in the Gospel Library. The relationships are unique to my life experiences, circumstance, and knowledge of the gospel.

A frequent question I receive is regarding tags in the Gospel Library. The issues vary, but the most common are “What are tags?” and “How Do I use them?”

The term “tags” comes from the social media use of hashtags, which derived its name because of the use of a “#” before a word. A hashtag serves the same purpose as an index in the back of a book; the aim is to point to information found in the book. An index is arranged in alphabetical order and shows the page or pages where the data can be found.

Here is a partial list from an index in the book “The Sketchnote Handbook” by Mike Rohde. (an interesting book I recently finished reading).

A

About this book, xiv

Active listening, 46

B

Backup supplies, 58, 79

Balara, Matt, 91

C

Caching ideas, 25, 46, 48

The “Index to the Triple Combination” found in the Gospel Library and hard copies of the Triple Combination replaces pages numbers with scriptural references and often additional information. For example, in the hard copy of the scriptures the first entry is:

Aaron – brother of Moses (see also Bishop; Priesthood, Aaronic: BD)

D&C 8:6-9 gift of A.

The same information is found in the “Index to the Triple Combination” in the Gospel Library but is set up a little differently. You first locate the keyword, then tap on it for the information.

The index in the Gospel Library is far superior to the one in the hard copy of the scriptures because of the links. In the hard copy, under Aaron, it recommends also seeing the entry for Bishop. In the Gospel Library “Bishop” is a link, so instead of flipping through pages, one can quickly be taken to the entry “Bishop;” this is indeed a time-saver. This is why I recommend for those that prefer to use a hard copy of the scriptures for their study, to also use the Gospel Library in conjunction with their hard copy.

Now, back to Tags. Tags provide a way for you to build your own personal index to the scriptures (along with any other material found in the Gospel Library).

Here is a list of the first page of my Tags. Tapping on the first entry “Aaronic Priesthood” brings me to the next page.

Tags in the Gospel Library can be listed alphabetically, or by Count or Most Recent. Here are my tags sorted by Count. Notice I have 127 items that have been tagged with Prayer.

To create a Tag, select a word or some text, tap on Tag and give the Tag a name. Unlike hashtags in social media, the Tag in the Gospel Library can be more than one word. For example, in social media a hashtag would look like this “#baptismsforthedead,” in the Gospel Library it can be “Baptisms for the Dead.” (without the quotes)

You can have multiple Tags for the text you selected. For example, I have Helaman 3:35 tagged with Fasting, Humility, Prayer, and Sanctification.

You can create Tags for any material in the Gospel Library including, Conference talks, Come, Follow Me material, videos and etc.

Hopefully, this has cleared the air for those that question the use of Tags in the Gospel Library. So start tagging.

Part 2 – Preparation for “Come, Follow Me” – February 4–10

Multi-screens Revisited

As mentioned in a previous post, Multi-screens makes it easy to move from one part of the library to another part.

In the previous post, I provided a brief tutorial. On page 110, in my book, “Digital Scripture Study for The Busy Latter-Day Saint: 7 Minutes a Day” there is a full explanation on using Multi-screens.

Multi-screens provides me quick and easy access to those items that I will be using while studying “Come, Follow Me.”

I thought it would be helpful to share with you what I have included in my Multi-screens and the order they are arranged:

  • Come, Follow Me lesson
      • Matthew
      • Mark
      • Luke
      • John
      • Bible Maps
      • Bible Maps Index

Important to note that Multi-screens are not synced across devices, so you will need to set up the Multi-screens for each device you use.

More About Notes

In “Come, Follow Me,” for February 4-10, there is a chart comparing Jesus Christ to you.

If you are using a smartphone in the portrait position, the chart does not look very much like a chart. If you turn your phone to the landscape position you will see the actual chart. In either position the results will be the same when following the instructions below.

The first column of the chart asks a question about Jesus Christ, followed by the answer.

The second column are questions about you and allows space for you to answer the questions.

This chart can be copied and pasted in a Note in the Gospel Library. The actual chart format is not retained, however, the text is kept intact, and in the order shown in the chart. Once copied, you can type in the answers to your questions. Here is a comparison between the chart and the Note.

From “Come, Follow Me.”

Phone

Notice in the Note to make it easier to read, I have bolded the questions and italicized the answers.

As always, I hope that you find the information of help in your study of the scriptures, and encourage you to share what works the best for you.

Change, Change, Change

One my of my readers notified me this week that she is having a problem with the instructions regarding Multi-screens on page 110. The first set of instructions are:

  • Tap on Lessons.
  • Tap on Sunday School.
  • Tap on Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine. If it has not been downloaded, you will have to tap again to open it.
  • Tap on Lesson 1.

My reader said that she does not have a Collection called “Lessons” and therefore unable to find “Sunday School,” and “Old Testament: Gospel Doctrine.”

I informed her that it is because the Gospel Library has changed to conform with the “Come, Follow Me” curriculum, which came after the book went to the printer.

The introduction of my book in “How To Use This Book” on page xviii, I state the following, “Since technology changes at a blinding speed, a book on using technology or a how-to book on using an application is temporary at best. As technology changes, so do the applications that operate within the confines of the technology. New options become available, and often the placement of the options within the application are moved, combined, or deleted.

In addition, the hardware will also change to take advantage of the advanced technology. For example, the smartphones we use today will likely be very different than what we will be using in five years.”

I then explain that the book is designed to be principle-based; I suggest reading Section Five on UI Awareness to help understand the principles of using a digital device.

The recent change in the church curriculum is an example of the above statement.

As to the confusion regarding the Multi-screen example in the book. It is possible that you will not have a problem because you haven’t updated your Gospel Library software and therefore, you still have the old Collection structure.

However, if you find that you are having trouble with the Multi-screen instructions because the folders in the directions no longer exist, then substitute any folders and manuals you want. For example, Come, Follow Me/Sunday School/Come, Follow Me–For Sunday School/February/Matthew 4:Luke 4-5.

The purpose of the exercise in the book is to demonstrate how to create Multi-screens, though it would be nice to have the correlation, it is not important if what you are creating are not related.

Please remember, I am here to help with any questions you have. You can reach me by email, or leave a comment on my website. I will always respond and do whatever is necessary to help you. For example, once I sent a short video on how to perform a particular operation.

Thank you for your support.

Preparation for “Come, Follow Me” – February 4 – February 10

At the beginning of each weeks lesson it encourages you to “record your impressions.” There are several ways in which that can be accomplished.

  1. Write, using a pen and paper, in a journal
  2. Write, using a pen and paper, in a journal, then scanning it to a digital format
  3. Write in the built-in Note app in your digital device
  4. Write in a digital journal
  5. Write a note attached to the scripture in the Gospel Library

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the critical issue is retrieving the information in the future, so option one is not an option because of the difficulty searching through volume of notes.

Option 2 and 3 are workable but separate the impressions from the scripture.

Options 4 and 5 are the best options, if option 4 is a journal created in a Notebook in the Gospel Library.

For example, while reading Luke 4:14 you receive an impression about the “power of the spirit” and how it applies to your life. You select the verse, then create a Note and record your impression. Before saving the Note you also, tap on the “Add to Notebook” icon, and create a Notebook on “ The Spirit,” then save the Note.

Now you have your insight attached to the scripture and have created a Notebook about the Spirit, which will reference the scripture and the note you created.

To make this method even better. You can copy the impression recorded in the Notebook into your digital journal. The journal would be an excellent way, to pass on to your posterity, your insights, and provide an excellent backup. As in previous post I have mentioned that I highly recommend the Day One journal.

For you use iOS and have the Day One app, the copy and pasting process can be automated.

Tap on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner (the three horizontal dots), tap on “Share,” tap on Day One (you may have to swipe to the left to find it). If you have more than one journal, you will need to pick the journal you want the note sent to. You can also add tags at this point, then tap on Save.

To make the above process even faster, I have created a shortcut which will avoid having to pick the journal you want to send the Note to, and will add any tags you use.

You can download the shortcut here. Remember to download the shortcut you must be using your iPhone or iPad.

Now, in the future, when you want to review your impressions on the “spirit,” you can either do a search in the Gospel Library or go directly to your Notebook on the subject.

As always, I am very interested in your feedback and other methods that you use to record your impression.

Preparation for “Come, Follow Me” – January 28-February 3

There are two things that you can do to set up your Gospel Library so that you can easily access the lesson material for the week.

First, make sure to create a Bookmark for the “Come, Follow Me” manual. Go to the manual and open the lesson for the week. Tap on the Bookmark icon. For iOS it is at the bottom right of the screen, and for Android at the top right of the screen. Tap on the Plus sign and you now have a bookmark. In the future open the Bookmarks and tap on the Bookmark to go directly to the manual.

Second, setup your device so that it is easy to move among the three books that the lesson entails – Matthew 3, Mark 1 and Luke 3.

To do this use the Multi-screen feature in your Gospel Library. For iOS it is the 2nd icon from the right at the bottom right corner of the screen. For Android it is the the 2nd icon from the right at the top right corner of the screen. With Android, after tapping on the Multi-screen icon, make sure you then tap on Screen at the top of the screen.

To create a Multi-screen on either device tap on the Multi-screen icon, then the Plus sign, open the book and chapter you want, and you are done. Repeat the process for each book and chapter.

To open the books. Tap on the Multi-screen icon, then tap on the book you want to open.

The scriptures for this week are about John the Baptist and the baptism of our Savior. Go to Scriptures in the Library and then tap on Maps, then tap on map 11 and find “Bethabara” (If using a smartphone tap on the map so you can enlarge it). In the legend it is number 12. Notice the location of the place on the map. You could have also searched for “Bethabara” in the search function.

Now, open up map number 1. A look at the elevation of Jerusalem and then the elevation of the Dead Sea, then notice the area where Bethabara is located.

Now, do you see a connection between the elevation of the place the Savior was baptized and the scripture, “…he descended below all things?”

    

The New Study Plan Feature

A few weeks ago I created a video on the new Study Plans feature in the Gospel Library. Currently, it is only offered for iOS, but a beta is currently out for the Android and should be released soon.

I am wondering if anyone has tried the feature and what your feelings are about it.

Do you find it helpful?

Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

I would really be interested in your comments.

Transferring Twitter and Instagram Posts to Day One

I have had several requests about how to automatically transfer Twitter and Instagram postings to the Day One journal.

It is straightforward. You need to join the free IFTTT (If This Then That) service. You can sign up either through their iOS or Android app or at their website.

You need the Day One journaling app. This is available for iOS and Andriod and Mac. There is a free version and a subscription version. If you are not familiar with Day One, then start with the free version to give it a try. I have talked about this app many times and say again, it is a tremendous app and I use it every day, sometimes more than once a day.

Once you are logged on IFTTT tap on, discover at the bottom of the screen, and then tap on the search icon at the top of the screen.

Search for Day One, then scroll down to find “Save your tweets to Day One.” Tap on “Turn on.” Then scroll down to “Which Journal” and choose which journal you want to save the tweet. If you have the free version, only one journal is available. I have the subscription service and have 11 journals. More on that in a later post. Now tap on “Save.”

Then search for “Instagram to DayOne” and go through the same process as above.

You are done! Your tweets and Instagram posts will start showing up in Day One.

Creating QR Codes

A QR Code is familiar to all of us although not everyone knows its purpose. A QR Code is used to store information such as URL’s, addresses, event information and etc. The code is read by a camera on a smartphone. In the past a special QR reader app was used to access the information in the code.

For iOS 11 and above the feature is built-in to the camera but it is has to be turned on in settings. Go to Settings/Camera/Scan QR Codes and make sure the feature is turned on.

Android phones also have the feature built-in to the camera. There are no individual settings that need to be switched on.

While the feature is baked into the newest devices, you may want to also download a reader because the app can also scan bar codes you find on all products in the stores. In addition, if you have an older apple device that is not compatible with iOS 11 then you also need to download a reader.

QR Codes can be created using the various free websites that are available, for example, qr-code-generator.com or using an app on your smartphone. The apps are easy to use. Type or paste in the information you want to have coded and a code will be generated, then copy and paste the code on your handouts or project it on a screen.

To create a code for my website ,I would enter the URL in the app and would end up with the following.

Now, that we have reviewed what a QR Code is and how to read and generate one, the question for us today is why you would want to create a code? As mentioned in my book you might consider using them in Sacrament programs or the classroom.

I used have used them in Sacrament programs for information of an upcoming event. Sacrament programs have limited space, so instead of using the valuable real estate to provide information about the event I insert a QR Code. QR Codes are saved as photos so it is very easy to insert the photo and reduce it to a size that the will work with the program. QR Codes can be read even when the are extremely small.

Another use for the Codes is in the classroom. Suppose you have a handout with information that fills an 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper and, perhaps also fills the back of the page.

Create a document with eight 1 inch rows. In each row copy the code along with a brief statement what the code is for. Cut the paper into 8 horizontal strips. Make enough strips for the entire class. This will not only save on paper but also ink. Another option, though more expensive, is to copy the code, along with a short statement on a business card stock and hand out the business cards. Office supply stores have a large selection of Avery type ready-cut sheets The cards are less likely to get lost or destroyed on the way home.

Even easier, you can bring up the code on your device and then connect your device to a projector or large flat screen. This would eliminate the use of any paper.

At this point you might be thinking why go through the process of generating a code? Instead upload the document to Dropbox, copy the link to the document and type the link onto strips of papers or project the link on a screen. The answer is simple.

Typing a link or URL address allows for errors. A QR Code is error free and quicker.

There is one problem with using QR Codes, and that is many may not know how to use them, so you will need to show them how. Using interactive technology in the classroom always requires some instruction, but I find people quickly adapt.

The other problem is not everyone may have a device that can read a QR code. For those that do not ,you will need to have a few hard copies of the document with you.

I would be interested in your feedback on this subject.

Have you tried using QR codes in the classroom or on Sacrament programs? If so, what was your experience?

More On Taking Notes

A friend just reached out to me, and it caused me to start thinking about taking notes and revelation again. My friend, Paul Porter, had a great influence on my life, although on be knowns to him.

I will never forget the time he told me that he has his small notebook and pen ready during Sacrament meeting so that he could write any revelation as it came. That statement weighed heavily on my mind for some time. I am a slower learner, so it took me a while to go to his way of thinking, but now, I am a convert; it has enriched my life.

Paul uses actual pen and paper, and I use an Apple Pencil and my iPad, but the results are the same. I have talked in a previous post about taking notes and the reason that I use the digital form. In that post, I mentioned that there are several good digital notebooks available and that the app of my choice was Notability.

I have now changed from Notability because its competitor, GoodNotes, just came out last week with a new version. I always preferred GoodNotes but used Notability because it had a universal search of handwritten notes, but now GoodNotes not only added extensive searching but a great stacked filing structure among many other significant changes.

As I study the scriptures, I have GoodNotes open and take notes and draw out ideas as they come to me. Then if needed the handwriting is converted to text and copied in a note attached to a verse.

Currently, Notability and GoodNotes are only for iOS, but there are some excellent alternatives for Android. If you have a Galaxy Note9, you already have a built-in note-taking app and a handy pen.

Regardless of the method you use, there are significant benefits to handwriting notes. Give it a try.