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Brown bag sessions (meetinghouse)


All content on this page is moving to clerksupport.lds.org under the Meetinghouse Technology topic. This page will be deleted at the end of October.


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The meetinghouse technology group started a series of monthly lunchtime discussions with stake technology specialists to gather feedback and input about meetinghouse technologies. This feedback will help the meetinghouse technology group better understand and meet the needs of stake technology specialists throughout the Church. We are also tracked and recorded each session so that all could benefit from the discussion.

Contents

April 2011

Issues

Viewing General Conference Presentation How do people outside of the United States view General Conference?

  • DVD distribution. 6 weeks to view conference
  • View the following week. DVR from satellite, then replay the next week
  • Other locations simply don’t watch it. Travel is simply too expensive to get to the stake center
Internet-based technologies have been tested
  • Laptop viewing from LDS.org
  • iPad – LDS.org, or iTunes.lds.org
  • Media Player device – became the most popular solution.

To resolve this problem, we had a beta test for the October conference. 58 different locations participated – over 50 of the 58 decided to use this device. The STS would download files to USB drive and distribute to high councilors. The high councilors would then bring the USB drive to the wards, and would view conference the following week from the media player.

More than 550 locations are now using this solution.

We also wanted to know how we could improve the live broadcast experience. There are some places that cannot receive satellite signal to watch conference live. Last April conference a beta test was performed regarding watching conference live over the Internet.

  • Some locations can’t get satellite. One example is in Alaska, where they have only listened to conference over the phone. Over 68 locations participated in this live streaming test over the Internet.
  • Several examples of people in retirement homes, hospitals, etc who were able to watch conference, including Priesthood session, from their computers.

Future of broadcasting into meetinghouses

  • Once we have general conference streaming into meetinghouses, can we use this technology for other media? CES firesides, videos, etc?
  • We are currently investigating what other media we can bring into the meetinghouse through this technology.

Questions

Cost of the Media Player device
roughly $100
Why did people choose this device? Why not use your own laptop? Laptops are more prone to theft. The media device is low-cost, and plays a wide variety of formats.
Why is there uncertainty regarding whether viewing Internet streaming will be supported?
We need to get direction from the Brethren regarding how Internet streams can be used.
Stake Conference webcasting – can we use it to stream to homebound or retirement centers? The new handbook seems to have verbiage that would prohibit this.
We don’t have an answer to this – check with your ecclesiastical leaders if you have any questions about what is in the handbook.
Some wards are using webcasting to broadcast to homebound or assisted living centers. Those who view it are very grateful, and feel it is a blessing.
Talk to your ecclesiastical leaders.
There were some frame issues when viewing conference. Was this wide-spread, or localized?
It was wide-spread, and we are already implementing solutions to resolve it.

March 2011

Today's presentation was focused on "Meetinghouse Systems: Filtering and Management". The Meetingplace recording may be accessed here.

Issues

Many more meetinghouses are being brought online. The key focus for Internet access is availability and accountability. In the near future, every user in the meetinghouse will have access to the Internet by first entering their LDS account information prior to being able to access the Internet.
Current filtering solution is based on URL filtering. In the future, we hope to move to a dynamic content filtering solution, which should create better Internet experience, while keeping a safe environment.
Reports will be maintained at Church headquarters.
Will this be announced generally so members know their use is monitored?
Yes. When logging in, there will be information posted regarding what they are agreeing to, and what type of monitoring will occur.
Filtering always brings some latency. How much will depend on the location and what is being accessed. Efforts will be made to keep a good Internet experience.
What are some latency issues we have seen?
It really depends on the location. Cloud-based filtering helps reduce some latency, and we are investigating all solutions to reduce latency. Filtering is a priority, as we need to maintain a safe environment. We recognize that filtering brings some latency, and are seeking ways to reduce latency while maintaining solid filtering.
What latency is expected? One unit is seeing significant reduction in bandwidth speeds.
This is an indication of a problem - it is neither expected behavior nor a result of the filtering solution. The firewall is configured to simply determine whether a URL can be accessed or not. If the URL is allowed, the content is directly accessed from the firewall. If degradation is occurring during the loading of a website, there is another problem that needs to be addressed. Contact the Global Service Center to help troubleshoot and resolve the issue.
Sophos is the anti-virus client for clerk computers. An update will be pushed out in the next couple of weeks.
If a clerk computer is using dial-up, is Sophos still required?
Yes - it is still needed. We are working on a better update process that will only send down the deltas so slower connections update faster.
Today clerk computers are sent out with Windows only. All other applications need to be downloaded and installed. Would it be beneficial if the Church were to send a machine with all applications pre-installed?
Yes. This would be helpful. {Stake technology specialist]s spend quite a bit of time setting up computers. Each STS has many wards in a stake, and setting up all of the computers takes quite a bit of time. It is easy to forget a step. Computers today come with no instructions regarding what needs to be installed.
How are updates handled? What about remote stakes, where travel is an issue?
Many STSs have set up automatic updates. Problems are addressed by a visit to the meetinghouse to resolve the problem manually.
Some are using remote login applications so they don't have to make a trip to the meetinghouse to resolve problems.
How are backups handled?
Many wards are using USB flash drives to backup their data.
Backing up MLS is not sufficient. There are spreadsheets and documents that also need to be backed up.
Has the Church thought about using a gateway device to handle storage, malware detection, anti-virus, etc - rather than managing the end-devices?
Yes. Our new router does some of this. For now, we are still heavily client-based.
Google docs may help with this as well. Many wards are using Google docs. This also causes a problem, however, in that the data is now stored "in the cloud". We need to look at collaboration tools.
To help resolve some of the client management issues, some people are using remote login tools to manage the clients rather than driving into the meetinghouse.
One ward has found success using minicom, which allows remote access without requiring software installed to login. NOTE: This is NOT a church-approved solution
As new tools are developed, is the Church keeping in mind additional languages?
Yes. New tools are being translated into multiple languages to be used globally.
Many wards find that password management is NOT secure (passwords not changing, written on white-board, etc)
If we could log in to client PCs, MLS, etc with our LDS account, it would be better and more secure.
You could lock the external USB drive in a drawer under the computer, so it isn't available for anyone to see.
Would it be valuable to open the clerk PC up to other users, for other purposes in the meetinghouse?
Tough to do, since the clerk PC is locked in the clerk office. Having a laptop that is available for all would be better.
Laptop is more open to getting lost.
Lot's of people are bringing in their own computers - laptops, iPads, etc. Allow these to connect, and make it easier to use them in the meetinghouse rather than opening up the clerk PC for other uses.
If MLS could move more to a cloud solution, it would free up the clerk PC more.
One stake purchased a laptop for each building, and locked it to a cart in the library to make it easier to keep in the building.
If a ward/stake is in the process of deploying new solutions, what can they expect from a filtering standpoint?
Filtering is available today with current firewalls. The filtering will be updated in the near future, but that should not affect any current installs.
Some wards are bypassing the filter/firewall because they perceive it causes problems. They want to access sites that are not allowed via the filter, and they want to get to personal email which the filter doesn't allow. Some discussion was taken off-line to help resolve these issues.
Two problems are most likely in play when the firewall is bypassed: 1. maybe the most restrictive policy is in effect, which doesn't allow much. 2. Maybe there is a problem with the firewall itself which needs to be resolved by the GSC.
One stake has installed OpenDNS on all of their systems to help resolve this problem.
This is not an approved solution. We do not recommend this as a solution.
In discussing filter policies, there are three
Restricted, Extended and General. What is the difference?
Some think General means no filtering, That is not the case - General is the most lenient, while still blocking inappropriate sites.
How does one know which policy they are on currently
Call the GSC. It is most likely "General", unless the Stake or District Presidency has requested otherwise.
Some rumors that General is the only policy for the future, once LDS authentication is in place.
This is not accurate. We are researching ways to make the policy more simple, and to try to reduce complexity. We want to provide more flexibility.
How does one submit suggested changes to the policy?
There is a way to do that today, but we are looking to improve it. Today, you click on a link on the block page. When you do this, please include contact information so we can contact you to get more details, or to let you know when a change has been made.
What is the time frame for implementing LDS account authentication?
It is a major initiative for this year. We want to complete this ASAP, but don't have a time frame for completion at this point.
To help resolve the problem of bypassing the firewall, some have installed it in a metal cabinet. The new firewall is not conducive to this, given the built-in wireless. Any ideas?
Install the firewall in the attic, or a locked closet use only for technology (rather than a metal cabinet)
Is there a time frame for the 1041 Wireless APs to be available?
First week of April they should be available on eMarket.
Are we planning to provide any tools that the STS can use to determine whether the firewall has been bypassed?
We now have tools in place at headquarters to tell us of these situations. In the future (not less than a year) we may make these available to STSs.
There are many filtering solutions out there that some wards and stakes want to use. What is the guidance there?
The Church has a team that is looking at the filtering solutions from a global standpoint, that support the features we need. While there are many other solutions, we need to make sure our computers and devices use the solutions offered by the Church.
There was some confusion about this meeting itself. Have better communication about the meeting, who should attend, etc
This meeting is a focus group meeting, and we have intentionally kept it to a small group, mostly local with some attendees outside of Salt Lake City. With the use of our webcasting, and meetingplace, we may now open this up to a larger group. We will look at how best to communicate and leverage this meeting in future months.

Feedback

Was this a good use of your time?
  • Yes – good use of my time
  • Absolutely!
  • Great use of my time!
  • Yes I think it is helpful to know what issues are out there and what is being done to address them. Sometimes those of us doing this as a calling don’t know what we don’t know.
What was the most helpful?
  • Understanding where you are going is very helpful
  • I thought the “Availability and Accountability” direction we are going for internet access in buildings will be very helpful and beneficial
  • Better understanding of filtering
  • Knowing where or direction of filtering is going for church use/activity


February 2011

The brown bag meeting was webcast for the first time.

Issues

Introduced the new Cisco 881w firewall, which started shipping as the standard Meetinghouse firewall at the first of this month.

There were three reasons for making the change to a new firewall. 1. Built in wireless capability 2. Self-activation. In the majority of cases there will be no need to contact support in order to activate the firewall. 3. Scalability. It is more cost-effective to implement this firewall globally due to licensing agreements.

A demonstration was shown regarding how the self-activation works. Activating the firewall associates it with a specific meetinghouse. Wireless is controller-based, meaning that it is automatically configured and managed centrally from Church headquarters. Currently, a preshared key is used for security - in the near future it will change to LDS Account authentication.

Is there a way to return and edit the information entered during the self-activation?
  • Not without calling the Global Service Center, which will de-activate the firewall and reset it so it can be re-activated. In the future, there will be a tool available that allows editing of that information, but this is not available today.
Is there an upgrade path from the current Cisco ASA or Pix?
  • We do not plan to replace any functioning firewalls. This new standard firewall is intended for new installations only, or as replacements if/when a current firewall stops working.
When doing the self-activation, there is a place to enter the upload/download speed. How accurate does this need to be?
  • Filling in this information is optional, and you can proceed without it if you don't know it. When entering the information, it should be the speeds you are paying for from the ISP - not necessarily the exact speeds you are receiving.
Will the new firewall use the same filtering levels as the legacy firewalls?
  • No. Legacy firewalls allow for three filtering levels which can be chosen by the Stake President and set at the firewall level for each building. The Cisco 881w is configured for one filtering level in all cases, which largely resembles the "general" filtering level in the legacy firewalls. The current roadmap for filtering includes a plan to bring all firewalls to the same level of filtering, and includes a change in the way that the Internet is accessed through the firewalls. Watch for more information to be posted on the wiki in the near future.
What if the integrated wireless is not sufficient to provide wireless coverage to our ensure building?
  • You may obtain a Cisco 1041 wireless access point to provide additional coverage.
Does the Cisco 1041 AP require external power?
  • Yes. We are looking at other solutions in the future, but for now it requires an external power source.
What are the current pricing for the firewall and access point?
  • Check with your facilities manager for pricing. All of the standard tools are available for them to purchase through the eMarket.
What band is used?
  • 2.4 single band. Also, both the firewall and the access point are 802.11n, with backwards compatibility to support 802.11g.
How do we find the standard preshared key for the wireless?
  • An email will be sent upon successful activation, which includes the current security key. When the key changes, you will receive an email notification.
Is there a standard switch?
  • Yes. We recommend a standard Cisco 16-port switch. It is also available in the eMarket.
Has wireless range been tested in brick buildings?
  • Yes. In most cases we are finding 50% coverage in stake centers. You may need at most 2 additional access points.


Can you mix hardware (i.e., use the new firewall with old commodity wireless access points, or the new Cisco 1041 AP with old firewalls)?
  • They can be mixed, but we do not recommend it. If you change out an old firewall, it is recommended that you move to the new wireless as well.
How are these devices procured?
  • The facilities managers have access to these devices through the eMarket. They are responsible for funding these purchases.
The Facilities Managers should already have their annual budget in place. Will we be able to purchase these devices if they already have their budget?
  • Yes. They have known about this change for some time, and should have already included these costs in their budget for new Internet installations. If your facilities manager has not been involved, or if you are simply trying to replace an existing firewall, it may be more difficult to get the purchase approved.
Can we set up multiple networks, so that some systems can be segmented off of the public network?
  • Yes. This will require a call to the Global Service Center.
Will the Cisco 1041 work with the new LDS account authentication?
  • Yes. Since the new system is all centrally managed, they will all be affected when the change is made.
Does it matter how the three antennas are aimed?
  • Yes. They should all be upright.
In the training videos it is recommended to use a patch panel. Is there a particular model of patch panel that is recommended?
  • No. We do recommend using a patch panel, but have no recommendation for model or where to purchase.
Are there specific recommendations of wiring or placement for standard building types?
  • Not yet.
What are the scalability improvements referenced above?
  • The legacy firewalls had a limit to the number of people who could attach to the firewall simultaneously. In order to increase this limit, the Stake technology specialist would need to call the global services center and a cost would be incurred to add more users. The new firewall has no such limit. Additionally, legacy firewalls required designating the number of hosts that would connect. The new firewall is configured for larger numbers of hosts, and is easily reconfigured to extend this if needed as well.
Would we like to get input on wiring commonly used buildings?
Will the Cisco 1041 access points have Power over Ethernet (POE)?
  • Not currently, but we are working on it.
In our first meeting we discussed getting a new disk image for the MLS computers. Has anything happened in this regard?
  • Yes. Discussions are underway. Nothing solid yet.
Is there any reason not to upgrade software on the MLS computers?
  • Not that we are aware of.

Feedback

Was this meeting a good use of your time?
  • "Yes. Our stake is still not using the Internet terribly well. Discussion helped to make me more aware of options"
  • "Very good a useful"
  • "Absolutely!"
What was the most interesting or helpful part of the discussion?
  • "Wireless!"
  • "Better understanding of technology that I support"
  • "How the new Cisco firewall integrates with existing systems and new Internet connections"


January 2011

Due to a technical glitch with the meeting hosting provider, the recording for January's meeting is not available.

Issues

Introduced the new newsletter and Stake technology specialist landing page on [LDS.org]

  • To see the Stake Technology Specialist page, Sign in on LDS.org, then select "Tools" and "Leader and Clerk Resources". Note that you must be a Stake Technology Specialist in MLS in order to see the page.
  • The calling in MLS that allows you to see the STS page on LDS.org is "Assistant Stake Clerk - Stake Technology Spec."
  • The STS page on LDS.org points to Meetinghouse technology for all of the content. Only a Stake Technology Specialist will see the page on LDS.org, but anyone can see the content on the wiki.

All meetinghouse-related costs have been moved to Facilities Managers as of this month. If you have not yet been contacted by your facilities manager to discuss moving Internet related costs, you should be contacted soon.

  • Are wireless costs included in this? Answer: yes. the new firewall that is shipping as of Feb 1 will include built-in [[Wireless networking (meetinghouse)}wireless]], and is under the purview of the Facilities Manager.

Previewed the new online training videos that have been developed to help install firewall and extend network throughout the meetinghouse.

  • It would be nice to have the content available in written form. We are working on some quick-start guides in PDF form that would go hand-in-hand with these videos.
  • One idea is to ship a USB thumb drive with the device, which includes the printed material as well as copies of the video training.
  • Are Facilities Managers responsible for actually running the cables? Answer: The FM is responsible for the costs involved, so if a contractor needs to be hired, the FM is responsible for covering those costs. Actual installation, and planning of the network, is done as a joint effort between the FM and the STS.
  • How are multiple access points handled? If you already have access points installed, they will continue to work - but the recommendation is to replace them with the new firewall and access points that are offered through the eStore.
  • What are the password requirements on the wireless access points? In the past, wireless access points have been left up to local STS to determine what to use. Going forward, there is a wireless access point available through the eStore. For now, access will be controlled by a global pre-shared key. In the near future (i.e., later this year), this will change to LDS account authentication, and the pre-shared key will no longer be required. NOTE: This will only be available with the new firewall and access points.
  • Facilities managers must be involved in all firewall installations and network planning. Some feedback was provided that the videos may not have driven home this point.
  • There was some discussion about what should be wired and what should be wireless in the meetinghouse. The videos don't provide strict guidance in these areas, as they should be handled locally.
  • Each area has distinct guidelines around how technology should be implemented. Before implementing any ideas that are shared through the training videos, or from the newsletter, or on the wiki, you should check with your area office to ensure you are following the guidelines set up for your area.


Feedback

Was this a good use of your time?

  • "Yes. Great info to help with future planning of network in our buildings"
  • "Yes.It provided clarity for procedures and relationships with the FM group"
  • "This is a great forum. Would like more info on future solutions and when to expect them. When is would be worth waiting and when it is acceptable if we move forward before it is ready"

December 2010

There was no brown bag session in December, due to the Christmas holiday.

November 2010

Our second brown bag session was recorded. You can view the recording online or download the mp3 file. The full session is about an hour in length.

Issues

We had a presentation on the Audio/Video systems in the meetinghouses. Following the presentation, there was an open discussion - the main issues and questions from that discussion are listed here:

Panning and zooming on our tri-pod mounted camera cause a lot of shaking and distortion in the webcast.
  • Mounted cameras are approved for stake buildings, and help resolve problems with movement of tri-pod mounted cameras.
  • Can get some software that will pan for you – smoother and less noticeable.
Hard to get a good color balance in Meetinghouse Webcast. It almost broadcast in black and white.
  • Camera mounting solutions on MHTech.lds.org. One option is to use a volleyball stand, or put a door in the wall of the chapel.
Where do we find the software for webcasting?
  • You can download it from the wiki.
Color was lost in the webcast. What is the best way to solve the problem?
  • Video Distribution Amplifier helps. You must find and purchase this yourself from the stake budget.
  • Use coaxial cable wherever possible. You will get better signal, and remove interference, which may cause the loss of color.
Worldwide leadership happened in the middle of our stake conference. We needed to record the worldwide session for broadcast later that day. Can we distribute DVDs as well?
  • Digital version is now available online. We will take this feedback to the producers to determine whether we can make the digital version available earlier next time.
Can webcasting content be stored?
  • Current policy prohibits recording or archiving webcasting content at all.
Many years ago it was standard policy to record Sacrament meeting. Does this technology replace that?
  • If desired, and by Bishop’s discretion, a meeting can be recorded to an MP3 recording device. Best way is to use the line-in directly from the auxiliary system.
  • If end goal is to bring the sacrament meeting content to home-bound saints, webcasting can bring this to them directly in real-time, without the need to record the session at all.
Our stake building is only 2 years old, but it seems that our technology is already behind. What can we do?
  • Stake center is approved for either a fixed (mounted) camera or a camcorder. 2 years ago the mounted camera was not an option.
  • Budget could come out of the FM budget
  • Camera is around $880. Wiring is a bigger issue than the camera itself.
Don’t allow technology to make it too easy for Saints to fail to “gather together”. Stake technology specialists must be careful to implement technology that helps Saints gather.
  • One stake used Webcast to broadcast their conference to a retirement center, where many saints gathered together to watch the stake conference. None of them would have been able to attend otherwise.
  • Most stakes find increase in attendance at stake conference increases when they use webcasting.
  • New stake centers are built with the chapel the same size as normal buildings, with the intent of using technology to broadcast to other buildings rather than bringing everyone to the stake center.
LDSCatalog won’t allow Stake Technology Specialists to log in and see pricing
  • Stake Clerk is allowed – assistant clerks (i.e., stake technology specialist) is not.
  • Product information is posted on the wiki.
Webcast Communicator has an overheating problem.
  • This was a problem in the original webcast communicator product. It has been solved in the latest version, and is a non-issue in the software version.
Projectors bulb is going out, who replaces it?
  • The facilities manager should handle this.
  • It is a good idea to copy the Stake President when emailing the FM
  • It would be good to have a spare bulb for the projector if possible.
How are people handling the process of checking out IT equipment, such as projectors?
  • One stake uses the LDS calendar for people to check things out. They get an email with instructions on how to operate it, and they receive approval/acceptance from the STS indicating that they have the device reserved. They are given a pick up and return time.

Feedback

Was this meeting useful?
  • “Excellent. I feel it was more focused from the first meeting. Great continuous improvement”
  • “Yes. Great information”
What was the most interesting and/or helpful ?
  • “Seeing how other STSs do their A/V needs”
  • “Webcasting and how/when to use it”
  • “Yes. It helps me understand other needs and concerns so I can anticipate solutions”
  • “Feedback from participants. Great to know what is being done”
  • “Knowing policies and rationale for approach to technology”

October 2010

This was our first brown bag session. The session was recorded. You can view the recording online or download the mp3 file. The full session is about an hour in length.

Issues

The following issues were raised and discussed in the meeting. Some answers were provided during the meeting, others required some additional research. We will update this page with more responses as we uncover them.

Can we get the Stake Technology Specialist configured in MLS as a standard calling, so it can be sync'd and so communication can occur via the email on file?
  • We have set up an opt-in email list which will help keep Stake Technology Specialists informed. This needs to remain as an opt-in list, however, for a few reasons. One is that there are many other people who may not be serving as a Stake Technology Specialist who want to be part of this email list.
  • The Stake Technology Specialist is currently a standard calling in MLS. It is an assistance Stake Clerk, and multiple individuals in any given stake can be assiciated to that calling in MLS.
  • We are working on creating a Stake Technology Specialist "experience" in the new LDS.org environment. Anyone who is a Stake Technology Specialist in MLS will see this new page on LDS.org under the "tools" menu. It will also provide a mechanism for communicating directly with the STS and the Meetinghouse technology team. Watch for more information on this in the coming months.
Many of the members in our area are very technical. Some are bypassing the firewall, and others simply bring in their own wireless access points and connect them to our infrastructure. How do we prevent this?
There are not many guidelines about installing wireless access points. There is no standard hardware from Church Headquarters, and there are no standard ways of implementing the wireless access points. We are on our own to figure it all out.
  • We have recently published some guidelines regarding wireless access point installation. There is more to come, but this is a good place to start.
  • Wireless access points should never be unsecured. For now, they should all be protected by a password set and maintained by the STS. We are investigating other options for 2011 to standardize and make this a more simple administrative process.
  • View or contribute to additional FAQs about wireless in meetinghouses.
It would be really nice to have a way to use the wireless access points using your LDS Account, rather than having to maintain and distribute the SSID and password.
  • This is a great suggestion. We are looking into ways to make the process more simple in 2011. Watch this wiki for more information in the coming months.
If there were clearer guidelines regarding Internet usage in meetinghouses from Church headquarters, Stake Presidents might be more willing to allow the usage within their stake.
  • We have heard this loud and clear as an issue. We are working to consolodate and document the direction from Church heaquarters regarding Internet usage in meetinghouses. This is one of the main priorities of the Meetinghouse Technology team, and we hope to make some progress in this area in the coming months. When information is made available from the Brethren regarding Internet usage, it will be documented on this site.
Technology, for the most part, is being under-utilized in the local wards and stakes
  • Many feel it is due to a lack of communication, or a lack of understanding, of how technology can be used to bless lives of members.
  • Decision makers don't know what is available, possible, or allowed
  • Stake Technology Specialists have to focus on big things like broadcasting events and getting ready for stake conferences. they don't have the time to spend on the smaller things, like helping to use Mormon Messages in classrooms. Some stakes are very geographically dispersed, and require a lot of travel by the STS to set up and maintain the technology in each building. This takes a lot of time.
  • Sometimes, members are more interested in setting up some technology than the Stake Technology Specialist is. They have to try to get the STS to spend time on their issue, but the STS is either not interested, busy with other tasks, or has been told by the Stake President to focus on other things. Members end up doing things themselves, with is against policy (NOTE: This ties in closely with the many members in our area are technical issue brought up above).
Remote access - LogMeIn and other remote tools - used to keep computers patched, anti-virus updated, etc
  • Requires that the PCs remain turned on at all times. Some stakes require them to be turned off.
  • These tools are not valid for some stakes outside of the U.S., where power is not as reliable. It is not feasable to keep the computers powered on.
MLS not being online causes headaches. Clerks have to go to the meetinghouse to do a simple task.
  • The MLS team is looking into this. We should see something from them to adress this concern in 2011.
Difficult to manage everything. Can't we get rid of all older technologies - i.e., satellite, analog phones, etc - and have everything be done through webcasting, voice over IP, etc?
  • We are looking into ways to leverage technology as quickly as possible. However, when we have tens of thousands of meetinghouses across the globe, it is difficult to upgrade everything at the same time.
Computer management is difficult. Can't we come up with a better way to get new computers prepared for the meetinghouse?
  • Some STS's report taking new computers home to get everything installed and prepared for first use (network management tools, installing MLS, updating Windows, installing patches, etc). This takes quite a bit of time and is labor-intensive. There should be an easier way to get the proper image on a new computer.
Audio-Visual support is not keeping up with local needs
  • In order to webcast a conference, we need more microphone jacks in the chapel so we can properly broadcast the choir
  • The audio mixer is not very compatible with webcasting

Feedback

Some feedback was collected during this first Brown Bag session. Here are just a few selected questions, along with some of the answers we received.

What is your biggest pain point?
  • Data sync from various data sources (MLS, Web directories, LDS.org)
  • Maintaining security patches on PCs throughout the stake
  • Broadcasting to other rooms/buildings'
  • Computer maintenance work
  • WiFi
  • MLS not online
  • Bad Internet connection
  • Lack of projectors - technology can't easily be used
  • Knowing what is available, and how we can use it
  • Running wire for networking an older building
Where is there a general lack of information or direction from Church Headquarters with regard to technology?
  • Our stake feels that Church policy prohibits most Internet access in the meetinghouses
  • New website
  • What is Church policy regarding Internet use in the meetinghouses?
  • Calendaring, wifi, policy
  • Policies, procedures and standards for technology implementation, and making stake technology specialists aware of these
  • Connecting to the Internet, information about ISPs and what to look for, only business hour support for connecting firewalls
Was this session a good use of your time, and did it meet your expectations?
  • Yes - good validation of issues; see how others have solved issues I'm having; see how HQ is helping to move technology forward
  • Good starting point. Need to dig deeper on certain issues
  • Yes. This was a great start. I am excited to see this mature
  • Perfect. Specific topics each month would be great
  • Came to drink from the MHT well, but the well was dry - do it on our own
  • I enjoyed it, and don’t know of a better way to get my opinion heard. It was hard over the phone, because we essentially don’t have a method for “raising our hand”… probably a way to solve that with technology
  • Yes and yes. It was very good to hold it to one hour for the main part of the meeting. It was a bit difficult to participate on the phone, but I think you did everything possible to make the phone experience as good as possible – pausing to ask questions of people on the phone, noting after an informal poll that it seemed to be about half the people, etc
  • Yes and yes. It was very good to hold it to one hour for the main part of the meeting. It was a bit difficult to participate on the phone, but I think you did everything possible to make the phone experience as good as possible – pausing to ask questions of people on the phone, noting after an informal poll that it seemed to be about half the people, etc
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