eXtension Professional Development Opportunities Keep August Jam Packed

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!

This month we are offering 30-minute sessions on a several topics including Getting Started Answering Ask an Expert questions, Ask an Expert Widget, and Moodle. 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 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.

* August 11 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)

* August 25, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Repurposing content for Moodle – Jennifer Jahedkar, Texas AgriLife Extension, Extension eLearning. (For all Extension)

* August 26 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Getting Started Answering AaE Questions – Kevin Gamble, eXtension. This session will show you how it works, how to get started, setting your preferences, creating your profile, getting involved in answering either through an eXtension Community of Practice, or by answering questions where there are no communities. We’ll also discuss general question answering guidelines and etiquette. Answering questions can be kind of fun and we’d love to have many more Extension professionals participating. (For CoPs and all Extension)

* August 11 at 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, Meet-up of Technology Trainers and anyone else interested in discussing the best way of teaching social media to extension staff in your state. Possible questions to address might include: What kinds of information do you typically cover in discussing social media (i.e. blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc)? Do you devote entire sessions to a single topic (i.e. creating blogs) or do you cover a variety? What kinds of hands on experiences have worked best for your audiences in learning these topics? (For all Extension) This session will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn.

* August 27 at 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET, Meet-up of 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? Become an eXtension Question Wrangler! We have opportunities for our public to ask questions through our “Ask an Expert” system, but in order to ramp-up this effort we need 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… or might want to become one. To sign up, go to https://people.extension.org/communities/38 and Join). This session will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn.

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 fairgrounds, 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 luann.phillips@extension.org or by instant message to Thynka Little in Second Life.

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

August Second Life Events:
* August 6, Second Life Roundtable 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET — web conference, meet at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn Topic: Reports on current projects and Open Discussion/ Bring your topic!

* August 7, 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/130/174/25 Topic: Avatar Appearance – learn about many options for changing the look of your avatar. Then hop on the freebie tour and round up some amazing stuff!

* August 28, 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/130/174/25 Topic: Cool Tools for Educators – see a demo of some useful scripted items used for teaching in SL, many are free!

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

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 call-back 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 https://people.extension.org/communities/learn and Click “Join Community.

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 August!!