Viewing and Maintaining HT/VT Assignments

Discussions about the Leader and Clerk Resources on lds.org.
mandjreid
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Viewing and Maintaining HT/VT Assignments

Postby mandjreid » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:36 pm

One thing that would be really great to have available in online tools (I'll bet it's been said before :)) would be the viewing and maintenance of home and visiting teacher assignments. It's difficult for our priesthood and RS leaders to get access to the clerk's office computer, and they're all finding other options, like external sites or local spreadsheets. We've recommended to our leaders that they not use online sites (like returnandreport.org or even in Google Docs) because it could pose security/confidentiality risks. It also lacks the benefits potentially afforded by having it all in MLS:
- the information is easily accessible to ward leaders (esp if made available online)
- the Bishop doesn't have to try to juggle all the different formats and versions of assignment files being emailed to him
- member lists and contact information changes are automatically in-synch with MLS and across organizations
- it makes it easier to keep up with new members and whether they've been assigned to the Elders or High Priests for home teaching, so they don't fall through the cracks

I understand the information may only be local at this point, but are there short or long-term plans for making this functionality available online? I am very encouraged by the many things that have already been provided already! Thanks.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:01 pm

mandjreid wrote:One thing that would be really great to have available in online tools (I'll bet it's been said before :)) would be the viewing and maintenance of home and visiting teacher assignments.
You're right, it has been discussed in numerous threads over the past five years.

The limiting issue right now technically is that the detail data for HT/VT resides on the MLS computer and not on an Church system/server. All the data we now have access to at the many LDS.org applications is stored on Church systems/servers. Even though the data that is used on LDS.org applications is also stored/generated/edited on MLS, it is also stored in locations available for use on the LDS.org applications.

mandjreid wrote:I understand the information may only be local at this point, but are there short or long-term plans for making this functionality available online?
The initial efforts for this was back in 2008/9. We have not heard about any further plans after the those efforts were pulled. Many have speculated why the initial effort was pulled but there has been no official notice of a schedule or plan.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

adamhirk
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Postby adamhirk » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:44 pm

LDSplan.com is a great alternative for this it is free and even has apps for iPhone and Android. It even helps home and visiting teachers with scheduling their appointments. If your ward is using LDSplan like mine is, leadership can see real time information who has been visited so far this month and who has appointments set. This is a far advancement from having to wait until the next month to get reports.

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brado426
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Postby brado426 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:35 pm

mandjreid wrote:One thing that would be really great to have available in online tools (I'll bet it's been said before :)) would be the viewing and maintenance of home and visiting teacher assignments. It's difficult for our priesthood and RS leaders to get access to the clerk's office computer, and they're all finding other options, like external sites or local spreadsheets. We've recommended to our leaders that they not use online sites (like returnandreport.org or even in Google Docs) because it could pose security/confidentiality risks. It also lacks the benefits potentially afforded by having it all in MLS:
- the information is easily accessible to ward leaders (esp if made available online)
- the Bishop doesn't have to try to juggle all the different formats and versions of assignment files being emailed to him
- member lists and contact information changes are automatically in-synch with MLS and across organizations
- it makes it easier to keep up with new members and whether they've been assigned to the Elders or High Priests for home teaching, so they don't fall through the cracks

I understand the information may only be local at this point, but are there short or long-term plans for making this functionality available online? I am very encouraged by the many things that have already been provided already! Thanks.


Before recommending against using online tools such as ReturnAndReport.org that greatly enhance and improve members' ability to perform their callings, please be sure to read the Church handbook. ReturnAndReport.org and many other tools are in compliance with current Church policy.

http://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/selected-church-policies?lang=eng#21.1.22

Brad O.

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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:31 am

ReturnAndReport.org claims that only public records are shown such as name and phone number, but a phone number may be unlisted or private. Use of these tools must take into consideration what is really considered "personal information" that requires an individual's consent before being displayed.

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brado426
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Postby brado426 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:15 am

rbeede wrote:ReturnAndReport.org claims that only public records are shown such as name and phone number, but a phone number may be unlisted or private. Use of these tools must take into consideration what is really considered "personal information" that requires an individual's consent before being displayed.


ReturnAndReport.org gives full control over whose information is stored within it. Participation is optional and RAR encourages all users to remove user information for anyone who requests it. RAR also removes information upon request and notifies whoever is managing the group to refrain from adding the information again. This is a common-sense courtesy that all decent web applications should abide by.

Additionally, phone number is not even a required field to use the system.

Brad O.

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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:15 pm

One would be better off not putting anything besides a persons's name up there without consent of the individual first though. A person isn't going to want to find out about their personal information being posted and then having to request it removed.

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brado426
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Postby brado426 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:54 pm

rbeede wrote:One would be better off not putting anything besides a persons's name up there without consent of the individual first though. A person isn't going to want to find out about their personal information being posted and then having to request it removed.


Of course. Everyone using the system should be onboard with it before they are signed up for it. Any leader using the system has complete control over this.

I haven't heard of any issues with this in the 5 years ReturnAndReport.org has been running. There have been a few people who did not want their information online and those people were accommodated.

Brad

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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:28 pm

Yet leaders who use the system shouldn't upload personal information about members unless those members consisted first. The member shouldn't have to find out there information is on a web site and have to opt-out. They should be left out unless they opted in and not just added by members by default. In European countries not getting opt-in would be illegal.

The issue would be leaders uploading information about all members without getting explicit consent first.

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brado426
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Postby brado426 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:12 pm

rbeede wrote:Yet leaders who use the system shouldn't upload personal information about members unless those members consisted first. The member shouldn't have to find out there information is on a web site and have to opt-out. They should be left out unless they opted in and not just added by members by default. In European countries not getting opt-in would be illegal.

The issue would be leaders uploading information about all members without getting explicit consent first.


I'm not sure how what I just said is any different from what you just said. Leaders should ensure that their teachers want to opt-in. If the leaders fail to do so, a second tier of protection is that RAR will ensure that information is removed upon request.

Brad O.


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