Meetinghouse Internet - How is it used?

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
russellhltn
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Meetinghouse Internet - How is it used?

Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:05 am

Meetinghouse Internet - what do you use it for, or what would you use it for if you had it?

Here's a hypothetical example: Internet costs $50/month or $600 per year per building. Some buildings only house one ward. That's a good chunk of change from the stake budget. It's doable, but the leadership is asking you just what the benefit is so they can justify the expense. (And cut that amount off of other budgets since stake budgets tend to be zero sum gain.)

There's a few obvious uses that the clerks would like, but that's quite a bit of money to keep a couple of people happy. What are the uses that will benefit the leadership at large to run the ward more efficiently, or even benefit the members? Assume that WiFi will be installed in the building.

Answers must be based on existing websites and services and must not violate any current church policy. If you are already doing this, please describe all the benefits, especially those that will trickle down to the members.

I know some uses have been described in other threads, but I wanted to collect it into one clearly marked thread as I'm sure this question will be raised in many stakes.
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cboling
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my $.02

Postby cboling » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:27 pm

Since my stake president is considering this question, I've been trying to work on a list today. Your "quite a bit of money to keep a couple of people happy" comment resonated with me; while I have been accused of not being able to survive more than 2 minutes away from technology, I have not been a big proponent of spending sacred tithing funds on the latest toys and gadgets unless there is a very good reason. It's not just a question of "is it in the budget", but "What "good works" could the church do with, say an extra, $3 million a year instead of giving all the U.S. chapels broadband?"

That said, here's my list [so far] of some of the advantages of Internet connectivity (some copied straight out of other posts to this forum):

- Remote Support: (Possible but painful with [unapproved, unprotected] dial-up access.) Stake clerks can provide some assistance over the Internet, rather than driving long distances to buildings.
- Family History class using Internet research
- Lessons on using Ward/Stake web sites, providentliving.org, or other church sites
- Merit badge class on topics involving Internet resources
- lessons including video clips from lds.org or byubroadcasting.org (but DVD/Television not available or not worth hassle)
- presidency/committee meetings using ward calendar or accessing any references
- http://maps.lds.org (a "must-have" for clerks!) and other address/"skip-tracing" tools
- Public demonstrations that the clerk's not doing his job (that came from my wife, NOT me!)
- Email access for church-related activities

eyoungberg-p40
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4 WiFi uses

Postby eyoungberg-p40 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:11 pm

RussellHltn wrote:What are the uses that will benefit the leadership at large to run the ward more efficiently, or even benefit the members? Assume that WiFi will be installed in the building.


1) Familysearch Indexing class. We have already run one joint EQ/HP class where we have done a Familysearch Indexing training session. Using several laptops, we trained a number of people on how to sign on, how to do the process, and submit the names.

2) Family History research and website training. Family History consultants teach a family history class during Sunday School. Part of the training requires going to the Familysearch website and training people on the navigation techniques.

3) lds.org "Obtain an Account" signup. At tithing settlement, people were introduced to the lds.org website and invited to create a logon. It was an ideal opportunity to introduce people to this facet of the Church because they had their membership number, and access to the website.

4) Ward and stake website signon. The Bishop and stake presidency wants/needs the capability of pulling out a laptop during a meeting and signing onto the ward website to update the ward calendar. Other organizations are looking to do the same thing. Several of our bishoprics are doing this now.

Welcome to the paperless world.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:31 pm

RussellHltn wrote:There's a few obvious uses that the clerks would like, but that's quite a bit of money to keep a couple of people happy. What are the uses that will benefit the leadership at large to run the ward more efficiently, or even benefit the members?


Although I'm a clerk, I'm not really concerned about keeping clerks happy. The main focus of an Internet connection should be to support the ward and stake leaders in their service, and to help the members.

Cboling gave a pretty good list of member benefits. Here are some additional administrative benefits not already mentioned. Being able to obtain or update information immediately leads to improved efficiency and accuracy.

  • Access to the online missionary recommendation system. This allows immediate entry of the bishop's comments, stake president's comments, and medical/dental information. It allows printing of the application, and submission of applications. This can help move the missionary application process forward much more quickly, and often it is important to move quickly.
  • Local Unit Web Site (LUWS) access allows immediate updates as calendar decisions are made, new leaders are sustained, news and information items are created, lesson schedules, etc. This not only helps changes to be made more rapidly, but also more accurately as the source information needed is often right there on the administrative computer.
  • Access to the online Church Directory of Leaders. This can be very helpful when priesthood leaders need to communicate with priesthood leaders in the former units of members new to the stake.
  • Much faster MLS transmissions.
  • Access to online Record Keeping Training
  • Placing orders for materials and supplies immediately on ldscatalog.com
  • Valuable online information sources such as clerk.lds.org, ldsclerks.org, and of course tech.lds.org can answer questions immediately. This can shorten troubleshooting cycles tremendously; without an Internet connection, you have to make notes about the problem, go home and do some research, making notes of possible solutions, go back to the church and try them out, make notes about what didn't work and what else you need to research, go home and do that research, etc., etc., etc.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:46 pm

eyoungberg wrote:Part of the training requires going to the Familysearch website and training people on the navigation techniques.


I'm going to nit-pick here: Can you show me where that's part of the church's Family History SS core curriculum? I can understand how that's desirable and teachers want to teach that. I just have a problem with the word "required" in that sentence. If it were truly required, the church would have provided a machine and connection a long time ago.

But the ability to teach the website along with the rest of the ideas are duly noted and appreciated.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:47 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Access to online Record Keeping Training


The one we were supposed to download and install a couple of revisions back? ;) Or is this something else?

Good ideas. Keep them coming.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:44 pm

RussellHltn wrote:The one we were supposed to download and install a couple of revisions back? ;) Or is this something else?

Good ideas. Keep them coming.


Of course I have downloaded the lessons. Unfortunately, the downloadable version of the training lessons is many months behind the online versions. That's why access to the online versions can be helpful even if you have downloaded the older version.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:09 pm

Zip code and/or address validation.
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:03 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:Zip code and/or address validation.


Ohhh, or how about mapping the address? To see if it's in the ward boundaries? Certainly mapping the members was a popular topic.
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:16 pm

cboling wrote:Public demonstrations that the clerk's not doing his job (that came from my wife, NOT me!)


Odds are ten to one that would quickly turn into a public demonstration that the ward isn't getting the information necessary to the clerk. :mad:

Which actually gives me an idea for another thread. :cool:
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