APRIL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES SPRING FORWARD

eXtension’s professional development opportunities are open to all Cooperative Extension faculty, staff and employees. No pre-registration. Please share this announcement with others and encourage them to pick a topic and try it out!

SPECIAL TOPIC
Drinking from a Fire Hose
April 14, 2009 at 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET

With so much information, sometimes it seems like you are drinking from a fire hose. Anne Adrian, Associate Director, IT for the Auburn University College of Agriculture and Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University, will describe the importance of keeping up with various streams of information. She will also describe how the workstreaming environment (http://tinyurl.com/cywnvu ) forces us to consider new ways of receiving, gathering information, and possibly learning. You can get a preview of a similar presentation on SlideShare (http://tinyurl.com/dzrp2c ). This session is presented in partnership with the ACE Leadership and Management SIG and eXtension.

This session will be broadcast and use your computers speakers for audio, not your phone. Audience interaction will be done using the built-in chat capabilities. This session will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn.
There will be a related session on May 6 as a follow-up How To use some of the software mentioned in today’s talk.

30-MINUTE SESSIONS
This month we are offering 30-Minute Sessions on a several topics including the Ask eXtension widget, Categories in the Wiki, and Social Bookmarking. Give us 30 minutes and we’ll teach you something useful! These sessions will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn using your telephone. Plan to join the session 5 minutes before the starting time. Each session will be held at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (1:00 p.m. CT, 12:00 p.m. MT, 11:00 a.m. PT, 10:00 a.m. AT; 8:00 a.m. HT) unless otherwise noted.

* April 7 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on The Ask eXtension
Widget –
Aaron Hundley, eXtension Software Engineer. How to use the Ask eXtension widget to receive and answer questions directly from your county Extension web site or Extension-related blog. This widget adds question asking capabilities to your site, but uses the power of the eXtension Ask an Expert and FAQ systems to assist you in answering. Take questions from your clients, and use the 40,000 questions in the FAQ system to assist you in providing a timely and accurate answer. Check out the widget-tracking feature that allows you to name the widget and monitor questions coming from your site. Also learn about the widget routing capability that will allow you to have questions routed to you from your widgets. This session will introduce you to the tool, show you the latest features developed, and will discuss what is necessary to begin using it immediately in your own county sites and blogs with helpful tips. (For all Extension)

* April 7 at 2:30 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Discussion and Q/A of the Ask eXtension Widget – Aaron Hundley, eXtension Software Engineer. If you are currently participating in answering questions that come from any of the Ask eXtension Widgets, this will be a great discussion to be involved in. This session will focus on answering questions that you might have on the Ask eXtension Widget or the Ask an Expert system in general. We’ll share tips and recommendations for using the Ask an Expert system and discuss surrounding topics. (For all Extension)

* April 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Categories in the Wiki. Categories are the primary mechanism for navigation that to lets you find what you’re looking for at the right time in a wiki. (For CoP leaders & members, and all Extension)

* April 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Social Bookmarking— how to keep your team on the same page without burying them in email… Social bookmarking is a great tool for reducing email, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, and increasing team efficiency. The emphasis will be on delicious but other options will
be shown. (for all Extension)

* Postponed until a date in May to be determined, a 30-minute session on eXtension Mentor Series: Creating Learning Lessons – by Krishona Martinson and Nick Broady. In this 30-minute session, an established CoP will cover how it plans, outlines and implements learning lesson development. They will discuss some of the multimedia tools and technology they use including things like Google maps, Captivate, video and more. (For CoP leaders & members, and all Extension)

OTHER SESSIONS
These sessions will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn and your telephone unless otherwise noted. Plan to join the session 5 minutes before the starting time. Each session will be held at 2:00 Eastern Time (1:00 p.m. CT, Noon MT, 11:00 a.m. PT, 10:00 a.m. AT; 8:00 a.m. HT).

* April 21 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, Becoming a Community of Practice: The Application Process. Presented by Dan Cotton, Director, eXtension. Groups interested in becoming an eXtension Community of Practice either have to complete a CoP Application or apply for a grant through a CSREES competitive program with an eXtension-related component. This session will describe each process, application criteria and tips for writing successful proposal. If you’ve been thinking about applying for a grant this session will get you started on the right foot. (For all
Extension)

* May 6 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, How to Drink From a Fire Hose. With so much information, sometimes it seems like you are drinking from a fire hose. The most effective method of managing and filtering the flow of information is to use a combination of tools. Several people who attend the April 14 “Drinking From a Fire Hose” session will demonstrate how they filter the flood of information to a manageable stream. Google Reader, iGoogle, FriendFeed and Tweetdeck are a few tools that will be demonstrated in this session. This session is presented in partnership with the ACE IT SIG and eXtension.

This session will be broadcast and use your computers speakers for audio, not your phone. Audience interaction will be done using the built-in chat capabilities. This session will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn. There will be a related session on May 6 as a follow-up How To use some of the software mentioned in today’s talk.

SECOND LIFE
Second Life is an immersive 3-D virtual environment, inhabited by over a million users from all over the world. You can learn to use Second Life to meet with colleagues, to create 3-D models that would be too expensive or impossible to make in reality, to provide guest speakers for a real life group, to teach using role play or group problem solving, to make content in your subject area available to a worldwide audience. This is an emerging and transformative technology, much like the early days of the Internet, and is expected to change the way most people experience web content within the next five years.

In Second Life, you will find that eXtension has a virtual fairground, a model county office, projects in development on assistive technology, turf grass, pest management, and more. In Teen Second Life, we have Bailey Island available for any 4-H educator to use for programming. Each month eXtension hosts several community events in Second Life. It is best to spend two or three hours orienting yourself to the Second Life environment before attending an event. You should know how to walk, sit, chat, use voice, and teleport.

Instructions for entering Second Life are here: http://collaborate.extension.org/wiki/Cooperative_Extension_Second_Life_Educators

LuAnn Phillips, Second Life educator, is available to assist you, and can be reached at luann.phillips@extension.org or by instant message to Thynka Little in Second Life.

Please consider joining the Facebook group “Cooperative Extension Second Life”.

APRIL Second Life Events:

April 6, Avatar Express 9:00-10:00 a.m. Second Life Time, noon-1:00 p.m. ET. Q&A orientation for new newbies. No such thing as a foolish question!
Meet at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland/60/46/21

April 8, Living in Hard Times: Caring For Your Wardrobe, 9:00-9:30 a.m.
SL time (Pacific) and again at 7:00-7:30 p.m. SL time. Real Extension Education in the Second Life virtual world! This month Menda Bombastic, a long-time FCS educator from Penn State Extension, reminds us of those basic skills we can apply to make what we have last longer and still look good. Meet at the Virtual County Extension building at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Morrill2/181/171/2

April 9, Second Life Roundtable 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET — web conference, meet at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn. Developing your Second Life project: planning, process, evaluation.

April 10, Second Life Meetup — 11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. SL time (Pacific),
2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. Meet at the Virtual State Fair, Morrill Island, in
Second Life http://slurl.com/secondlife/Morrill/165/136/29 Mentoring session–Lose the Newbie Look! OK maybe you aren’t still wearing the pink polka dot dress, but well-customized avatars exude confidence and acquire respect. Share hints and tips for getting great stuff and putting it all together.

April 24 Second Life Meetup — 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. SL time (Pacific) Meet at the Virtual State Fair, Morrill Island, in Second Life
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Morrill/165/136/29 Program TBA, watch Facebook group. “Cooperative Extension Second Life” for info.

Add these dates & topics to your calendar, and plan to join us on for one or more of these sessions in April!!

TO PARTICIPATE in any of the sessions held in our Web Conferencing Center…
1. Five minutes before the start time, go to our Web Conferencing Center meeting room at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn.

2. You will be presented with a login screen that has an “Enter as Guest” option.

3. Enter your first name, your last name, and your institution/university, then click the “Enter Room” button to join the conference.

4. To hear the audio of the workshop and participate in the Q&A portion of the workshop we will be using a built-in teleconferencing capability of Adobe’s Connect Pro conferencing software. Once you log into the meeting you will be presented with the option to enter your callback number, your phone will automatically be called. After entering your number you will be automatically called and joined into the audio portion of the Web conference on your phone.

EMAIL LIST:
If you or a colleague would like to get notices about upcoming professional development sessions offered by eXtension, go to https://people.extension.org/communities/learn and Click “Join Community.

RECORDINGS:
Recordings of many past professional development sessions can be found at the main eXtension wiki at http://about.eXtension.org/wiki and scroll down under Professional Development heading and find “Recordings of eXtension Professional Development Sessions”, or search on the word Recordings.

Looking forward to having you join us to learn something new in April!!