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!

How To Drink from a Fire Hose
May 6 at 2:00-3:30 ET

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 will demonstrate how they filter the flood of information to a manageable stream. Google Alerts, iGoogle, Google Reader, NetVibes, FriendFeed, and TweetDeck are the tools that will be demonstrated in this session. This Professional Development session is offered in partnership with the ACE Information Technology SIG. (all Extension)

Presenters: Google Alerts by Dave Palmer, University of Florida; iGoogle by Rhonda Conlon, North Carolina Cooperative Extension; Google Reader by Stephen Judd, University of New Hampshire Extension; NetVibes by Floyd Davenport, Iowa State Extension; FriendFeed by Kevin Gamble, eXtension; TweetDeck by Vince Verbeke, Penn State.

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


This month we are offering 30-Minute Sessions on a several topics including learning lessons, the Ask eXtension widget, Google Analytics for evaluating content by category, FriendFeed, and tables in the wiki. Give us 30 minutes and we’ll teach you something useful! These sessions will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at and 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, Noon MT, 11:00 a.m. PT, 10:00 a.m. AT; 8:00 a.m. HT) unless otherwise noted.

* May 5 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on eXtension Mentor Series: Creating Learning Lessons by Krishona Martinson, HorseQuest CoP and University of Minnesota, and Nick Broady, eXtension. In this 30-minute session, an established CoP will cover how they plan, outline and implement learning lesson development. They will discuss some of the multimedia tools and technology they use including things like Googlemaps, Captivate, video, options for adding accessibility to your lessons, and more. (For CoP leaders & members, and all Extension)

* May 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)

* May 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Evaluating Your Content with Google Analytics (by Category!) with Google Analytics by Ben MacNeill, eXtension User Interface Designer. Google Analytics (GA) reveals tons of information about which pieces of content perform the best on the eXtension Public Site. However, until recently, it was only possible to look at performance for all content or single pieces of content. If you wanted to find the top-performing piece of content in a specific category (eg. fire ants), you were out of luck. This all changed last month, and you can now use GA to drill down to a specific category. Come learn how to use GA to find your best (and worst) performing content. You will learn about bounce rate, the power of links, traffic sources, organic search keywords and how to get this information emailed to you from GA on a weekly basis. You have to have a Google account to access Google Analytics. (For CoP leaders & members, and all Extension)

* May 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Tables in Mediawiki, by Beth Raney, eXtension Professional Development Leader. Sometimes the information you’re sharing in your wiki article will be better understood if displayed in a table. A WikiTable is an arrangement of columns and rows used to organize and position data. We’ll show how to use a table in the wiki, syntax to build a table, and where to find more help. (For CoP leaders & members, and all Extension)

* May 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Discussion and Q/A of the Ask eXtension Widget, by 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)

* May 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Making FriendFeed your Friend: Part 1 by Kevin Gamble, eXtension. FriendFeed is a service that makes it easy to share with your friends online. It offers a fun and interactive way to discover and discuss items of mutual interest. It falls into the genre of an aggregation and filtering tool. This session will show you everything you need to know to get started in sharing your own information. In Part 2, next month, we’ll show you how to use it to intelligently sift thru piles of information to find only those things of most interest. (For all Extension)

* May 13 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, Clash of Cultures: Linking Across a Seamless Spectrum of Access by Dave King, Associate Provost, Outreach and Engagement, Oregon State University and Lisa Templeton, Executive Director, Extended Campus, Oregon State University. Issue: Aligning credit and non-credit university courses and programs so that there is effective synergy across the spectrum of available online access. From Extension and lifelong learning on one side, to fully cost recovery online credit programs on the other, this spectrum creates a culture clash between parts of the University with vastly different histories. However, the future of our institutions is based on being able address these kinds of difficult issues. At Oregon State, we are creating this spectrum of access. (For all Extension) This Professional Development session is offered in partnership with the ACE Leadership & Management SIG and the ACE Leadership Institute.

This session will be broadcast and use your computers speakers for audio, not your phone (VoIP). Audience interaction will be done using the built-in chat capabilities. This session will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at

* May 28 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, Ask an Expert Question Wranglers. Want to help people find answers to their questions? Work with your Extension colleagues from across the country? Help to serve Extension clientele in a new and exciting way? Then maybe you’d like to become an eXtension Question Wrangler. We have new opportunities for our public to ask questions through our new “Ask an Expert” system, but in order to ramp-up this effort we’re needing a good people to volunteer to help make this a reality. If you think this is something you’d like to do please join us to talk about how we can handle this together. (for all who have signed up as Question Wranglers… to sign up, see the article, “Become an eXtension Question Wrangler “) This session will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at

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

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

May Second Life Events:
May 11, Avatar Express 9:00-10:00 a.m. Second Life Time, Noon – 1:00 p.m. ET. Q & A for eXtension SL newbies. Meet at

May 14, Second Life Roundtable 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET — web conference, meet at Topic: Virtual conferences, are we ready to offer one? Saving travel dollars is a hot topic right now with many of our colleagues are unable to attend upcoming conferences. What would it take to offer a simultaneous event in SL?

May 15, 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 Topic: Making your own giver objects: offer web Urls, objects, note cards.

May 20, Live demo of SL at CYFAR 2009. Noon-1:00 p.m. Second Life time (Pacific) New avatars will be registered and introduced to Second Life on eXtension’s Morrill Island. If you are at CYFAR, join us! If not, join us in SL! Volunteers are needed to greet the new arrivals. Please message Thynka Little in world if you can make a commitment to be there.

May 29, Second Life Meetup — 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. SL time (Pacific), 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. Help decorate/plan/set up for the eXtension Mixed Reality Mixer event planned for Monday June 8 in Des Moines and Second Life. We need your assistance to make this upcoming conference showcase event a success!!!! Meet at and from there we will teleport to the venue.

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

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

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.

If you or a colleague would like to get notices about upcoming professional development sessions offered by eXtension, go to and Click “Join Community.

Recordings of many past professional development sessions can be found at the main eXtension wiki at 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 May!!