Masonic Technology

Welcome to Masonic Technology,  a blog dedicated to sharing information about the usage of technology in Freemasonry. Over the course of the next few months this blog will house articles, how-tos, and reviews of various online tools that can be used to increase productivity, communication, and brotherhood electronically. Numerous industries and organizations have been putting the internet to good use for many years, and it is our desire to provide the knowledge needed for Masonic Lodges to do the same.

Masonic Technology is maintained by Brothers Dean Kennedy and Shane Stevens.  Bro. Stevens is currently the Treasurer, Lodge Education Officer, and Webmaster for Delta Lodge #207 F. & A. M. in McArthur Ohio. His education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master’s in Computer Education and Technology, and a Master’s equivalency in Education Administration.

Bro. Stevens has been a Technology Coordinator building representative, and a Technology Instructor both at the high school and collegiate level. His area of speciality is the integration of technology in learning environments, and is currently focusing on Web 2.0 online productivity tools.

It is our belief, that biggest obstacle to productive technology use is the uncertainty and lack of confidence of the audience, and with simple introduction of the skills needed any individual can be a Master.

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Comments

  1. There are some interesting software type technologies that may not be so obvious, such as Tiddlywiki, Mind Mapping, Concept Mapping, and such that are very helpful at taking notes, presenting ideas and creating web pages. I hope these will be included.

    I have also found a really good PDA, that will help any Mason: the pocket notebook, such as the ones by Moleskin. They don’t crash, and have a very shallow learning curve. They’re relatively cheap, and very classy.

  2. Richard Hunker says:

    What a great idea! I’m in the process of developing a lodge survey and am struggling on how to do it on line. Plus, I want to create a website as well as develop a “first class” trestleboard. If I can discover any tools to use from your website it would be fantastic.

  3. Vitruvius says:

    My question would be: do you ‘get’ the wisdom and pragmatism of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)?

    If not, then all your qualifications and chatter are, frankly, just ‘pissing in the wind’…

    Have Fun,
    V.

  4. Rich Vazquez says:

    Shane,
    When discussing FOSS online tools, remind folks they can be used offline as well. For instance, CiviCRM can be installed on a computer that is not on the internet. That would get rid of the security concerns. When they decide it’s ok to move online, they can do that.

  5. Shane Stevens says:

    Re: Vitruvius

    As a public educator, I not only see the wisdom in Open Source, but also the necessity. I have many students, for example, that do not have Word, so yearly I introduce my classes to OpenOffice. To make this software available to all I have placed it on CDs that the students can “check out”.

    My portion of this blog will be focused on ONLINE tools, free and easily accessible, that Lodges and their officers can use to increase productivity.

    Thanks for the comment

  6. Shane Stevens says:

    Re: Richard

    There are many online surveys that may do the job for you, but the one that seems to be used the most by the organizations I deal with is Survey Monkey ( http://www.surveymonkey.com/ ). It is free, and easy to use. The only pitfall is that your lodge members will have to have access to the internet. The surveys can be emailed (it even allows you to create your own email list), or linked to from any location. You can view your data in real-time as it is being collected, and the site analyzes the information for you and shows it in graph form.

    Hope that helps and thanks for the comment.

  7. Matthew Costa Roberts says:

    @ Shane Stevens,

    It’s rare to see a public educator that understands the benefits of FOSS.

  8. Shane Stevens says:

    Re: Rich

    Yes very good idea. My hopes are to provide very basic tools to begin and dive deeper into the ins and outs. The problem I have ran into is that for many members the idea of installing software is something that will prevent them from using the tool. I have had to teach people how to email, so I know that unless the tool is very easy to use they will not even try. Perhaps if we can show them the usefullness of electronic tools, train them how to use them, and provide support then maybe we can move them towards the offline resources??

    I will, however, consider including offline resources for those comfortable enough to utilize them. Thanks for the idea.

  9. David Berger says:

    I like the premise for this Blog and would like to offer up something for you investigate. Since most everyone is carrying a cell phone today, but may not be able to check their e-mail regularly, could you do a piece on group SMS text messaging systems? Meeting, Event and Funeral notifications could all be sent to members this way. Can these systems by “grouped” so possibly a Masonic District could invest in the software for a number of lodges to utilize?

  10. Bro. Jim says:

    My first visit to this blog and have come away with a mince wealth of knowledge that I hope to incorporate into my Lodge.

    Thank you for posting this information so others like myself can take our Lodges into the new direction.

  11. Shane Stevens says:

    Re: David

    Watch for my first post to address that very issue :)

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    Welcome to Masonic Technology, a blog dedicated to sharing information about the usage of technology in Freemasonry. Over the course of the next few months this blog will house articles, how-tos, and reviews of various online tools that can be used to …

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