Gadgets & Gizmos - Sanctifying Mobile Technology

This page contains information and resources pertaining to my 2011 presentation at the Catholic New Media Celebration entitled "Gadgets & Gizmos: Sanctifying Mobile Technology".

Download this Presentation

You can download a PDF file with all the slides from the presentation here: Sanctifying Mobile Technology [3.1 MB PDF].

Guiding Principles: Worship and Devotions

More information will be posted here after the presentation.

Recommended Devotional Apps:

  • iRosary - an iPhone rosary app with pictures and the text of prayer, which can help a beginner or someone needing visual references when praying the Rosary.
  • iBreviary - a mobile-optimized version of the books of Christian Prayer.
  • Confession - an app made to assist Catholics in preparing for and partaking in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Mobile Technology for Your Organization

QR Codes

QR Codes are, simply, graphical representations of text. They are very helpful for mobile phone users, as they allow a person to quickly get to a URL, send a text message, make a phone call, or write an email, without worrying about typing in an address correctly.

QR Code Reader Apps

Generating QR Codes

More Ideas and Information

Registration and Mobile Donations

Getting people to sign up for something, or to register for your parish, is difficult. Make it easier for people by asking them to sign up on the spot, using nothing but their mobile phones!

Similarly, asking someone to donate money by check or cash can be difficult, considering many people don't carry around either payment methods. Instead, accept donations via text message, mobile sites, or with a card reader.

SMS Registration

flockNote allows you to ask people to simply text your keyword to a certain phone number. flockNote will then ask people for their email addresses, and then get them fully registered with your organization.

Online Registration

You don't need anything fancy or expensive to allow people to send you their information. You can just set up a simple form using WuFoo, SurveyMonkey, or even an extension for Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.

You can even have a QR code someone can scan on a phone instead of making the person type out a URL to the form, or go from one place to another to get to the form.

The key here? KISS - Keep it Simple, Stupid! When people are on their mobile phones, you don't want them spending too much time trying to figure out a form—they'll give up.

Mobile Donations & Payments

Besides having a simple 'Donate' page on your website (make sure it works on mobile phones!), you could use one of the following innovative methods of accepting mobile donations and payments:

Custom Mobile Apps

Catholic STL was created by the Archdiocese of St. Louis to help it's many thousands of parishioners be able to find the sacraments, pray in community, and see what's happening. Your own Church, Diocese, or organization can have its own app, too!

If you don't have a programmer able to create an app for you, you have a few options:

Hire a Developer/Company

Buy a prepackaged solution

I've posted all this information to the Open Source Catholic Wiki (link), and if you have any more information or companies worth adding to these lists, please feel free to edit that Wiki page and add it!

DIY Podcasting & Video Production

Podcasting gear and production of pro-caliber video doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Chances are you, or someone you know, has a smartphone able to record reasonable-quality HD video and audio.

While I focus on the iPhone 4, there are many other models of mobile phones that can be used with varying degrees of success when recording video and/or audio on the go (or at home).

Here are some resources I've put together for mobile A/V production:

Where do we go from here?

It's the Wild, Wild West out there - what are your ideas for integrating mobile technology into parish/organizational activities, and bringing people closer to Christ?

Follow discussion of this workshop under the #cnmc11 #gadgets hashtag combo.