December Professional Development Offers Real Gifts!

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 Web accessibility, Moodle, Google Wave, Ask an Expert, and AaE Question Wrangler tools. Give us 30 minutes and we’ll teach you something useful! These sessions will be held at our Web Conferencing Center at 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.

* December 8 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Using Video in Moodle, by Jennifer Jahedkar, Texas AgriLife Extension, Extension eLearning. Video can add a lot to an eLearning course in Moodle. Join us to learn about things to consider when using video in Moodle. We’ll touch on things like… What format works best? How long should each video be? What low-bandwidth or accessibility accommodations need to be considered? What is the best way to insert the videos into the Moodle course? (For all Extension)

* December 10, 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Second Life–Customizing Your Avatar Part 1, presented by LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual Worlds Coordinator. See the Second Life section below for Part 2.

* December 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on the Ask an Expert Widget, by 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. New this time is a demonstration of how the new Ask an Expert follow-up feature works. This session will introduce you to the Ask an Expert system, the Ask an Expert widget, 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)

* December 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Google Wave by Kevin Gamble, eXtension. This introductory session will discuss Google Wave and why it is the next big thing. It will include an introduction to the various components of the interface, creating new waves, organizing your waves with tags and folders, managing your contacts, and search. The session will also discuss how this technology fits in to the emerging flow of knowledge, and how it is has the potential to reshape communication, and learning. Attendees should have a Wave account. If you need one, contact for an invitation. (For all Extension.)

* December 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Ask an Expert Question Wranglers by Aaron Hundley and Beth Raney, eXtension. If you are currently a member of the Ask an Expert Question Wranglers Community or are thinking of joining, please join us for a discussion on how AaE Question Wranglers can use the new features developed in the Ask an Expert application including re-opening questions and viewing completion percentages of AaE experts to better serve our audience and get a faster turnaround for getting questions answered. There will also be time planned for any other AaE Wrangler related discussion items that may arise. (For all Extension)

* December 17 at 2:00 ET, a 40-minute session on Introduction to Web Accessibility by Luis Perez, Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Project Manager, Tech Ease for All, Florida Center for Instructional Technology, University of South Florida. This presentation will begin with a definition of web accessibility and address the benefits of web accessibility for everyone who uses the computer, not just for people with disabilities. The presenter will also share some quick tips that will help participants create more accessible content for the Web. (For all Extension)


* December 9 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, ACE Seal of Approval, presented by Faith Peppers, University of Georgia. Faith Peppers will present and lead a discussion regarding the ACE Seal of Approval. This session is offered in partnership with the ACE Leadership & Management SIG.


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:

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”.

December Second Life Events:
* December 10, 2:00-2:30 p.m. ET 30-minute session: Second Life-Customizing
Your Avatar Part 1.
Web conference, meet at

* December 11, 2:30-4:00 p.m. SL Meetup In-world: Customizing Your Avatar
Part 2:
tour to pick up freebies Meet at the Virtual State Fair, Morrill Island, in Second Life

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

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 to call your phone, or use your computer speakers along with the Chat feature within Adobe Connect.

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 December!!