July Professional Development Opportunities Steam Up Summer

eXtension’s professional development opportunities are open to all Cooperative Extension faculty, staff and employees. No pre-registration is required. 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 the much asked, “Why Can’t Google Find My Stuff?” as well as the Ask eXtension widget, Moodle, Ning, and profiles in the Extension directory, People. 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.

* July 7 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Why Can’t Google Find My Stuff? by Kevin Gamble, eXtension. We get asked on almost a daily basis, “Why can’t I find my article when I search for it with Google” (or any other search engine). This session will hone in on the major reasons content is not found, and discuss concrete things you can do to try to fix the situation. Warning: Some of it you may not want to
hear. (For all Extension).

* July 14 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)

* July 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Moodle Courses, by Jennifer Jahedkar, Texas AgriLife Extension, Extension eLearning. In that session, she’ll show examples of different types of courses and show how the pages and the settings are organized and arranged to better accommodate different topics and better reach different learners. (for all Extension)

* July 23 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)

* July 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Your Profile in People, by Beth Raney. The Extension Directory at https://people.extension.org is valuable in helping the people in extension find each others in a variety of ways. It’s important to update your profile to include your interests, areas of expertise, social networks, etc. Come for a tour and suggest how you may use it. (for all Extension)

* July 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-Minute Session on Using Ning Groups to Improve Learning in Extension Programs, by John Dorner, NCSU. Social networking is a great way to continue the educational process after the classroom – where the real learning takes place. Ning.com is a tool that is very easy to use and could be used to augment many Extension programs to help achieve better results (participant learning). This session will show you how to create a Ning group for your programs and discuss how it can be used. Ning has lots of features that Facebook has, but with some tools and features that make it more appealing for using in an extension educational program. (For all Extension)

* July 15 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 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 fairground, a model county office, and 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”.

July Second Life Events:
* July 9, Second Life Roundtable 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET — web conference, meet
at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn
Topic: Visioning session. A functional “virtual county extension” in Second Life: What? When? How? …. And why?

* July 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/118/180/24 Topic: Tour of Rochester Institute of Technology Island

* July 20, Avatar Express 9:00-10:00 a.m. Second Life Time, Noon-1:00 p.m. ET. Freebie treasure hunt, collect avatar customization freebies from
leading SL designers. Meet at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland/60/46/21

* July 24, Second Life Meetup — 11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. SL time (Pacific), 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. Join us to tour the Nonprofit Commons, the SL home of more than 30 nonprofit organizations. Finish up at Real Waves, a virtual swimming experience. Meet at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Morrill/118/180/24

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

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.

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 July!!