January Professional Development Opportunities Warm Up Winter

Happy New Year! 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!

SPECIAL TOPIC: Social Media and Agriculture

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern

The purpose of this conference is to provide examples of how social media is being used in agriculture. Ag Extension agents, specialists and others who attend will become familiar and begin to understand how social media is being used in agriculture and begin to use the tools themselves. Presenters are:

Arlan Suderman, Market Analyst, www.twitter.com/arlanff101, will discuss the use of Twitter and mobile applications in sharing information that affects commodity markets.

Will Gilmer, Alabama dairy farmer, www.twitter.com/gilmerdairy, will discuss his use of blogging, Twitter, and video to educate others and serve as an ag advocate, by using contests, videos, blogging and Twitter.

Carrie Oliver, Oliver Ranch Company, www.twitter.com/carrieoliver & www.twitter.com/meatcamp, will discuss her use of Twitter and blogging in support of her business and in educating other about the speciality meat industry, Artisan Meat. She will also discuss an open Twitter forum called #meatcamp that focuses on issues pertaining to producing and consumer use of meat. This forum is a collaborative effort among Carrie, www.twitter.com/KYFarmersMatter (cattle producer and livestock processor), and Penn State meat scientist, Chris Raines,

Dan Toland, Ohio Farm Bureau www.twitter.com/OhioFarmBureau and www.twitter.com/d_toland, will discuss how Farm Bureau’s success in using social media as way to educate and communicate about issues of agriculture. He will also discuss briefly Ohio Farm Bureau’s social media policies.

Andy Kleinschmidt, Ohio State Ag Extension educator, www.twitter.com/akleinschmidt, will describe his success in blogging and Twitter as an Extension educator.


This month we are offering 30-minute sessions on a several topics including Web accessibility, SecondLife, Ask an Expert, and Google Wave. 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.

* January 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 40-minute session on Web Accessibility Techniques by Luis Perez, Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE), Project Manager, Tech Ease for All, Florida Center for Instructional Technology, University of South Florida. The presenter will demonstrate several free tools that will allow participants to set up an accessibility-testing environment with minimal expense. These tools include browser accessibility toolbars and plug-ins, validation services, and screen reader simulators for testing web page access for people with visual disabilities. The accessibility of PDF documents, video, and Flash will also be addressed. (For all Extension)

* January 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Second Life Skills: Communication In SL – Chat, Instant Message, Voice. LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual Worlds Coordinator. Viewing a live shared desktop, learn the basic controls for each mode of communication, plus some advanced topics such as logging, and messages to and from external email. Follow up practice session in SL on January 15, see below. (For all Extension)

* January 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on the Ask an Expert 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. Also check out 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)

* January 26 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Discussion of Ask an Expert, Aaron Hundley, eXtension Software Engineer, Beth Raney, Professional Development Leader. This is a session aimed at experts who have been answering questions in the Ask an Expert system who would like to have a discussion around Ask an Expert. This will be an open format allowing and encouraging everyone to participate. Topics for the discussion can range from Ask an Expert strategies for answering questions to discussion about the Ask an Expert tools. (For all Extension)

* January 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on More on Google Wave by Kevin Gamble, eXtension. This next step to using Google wave will be more advanced than December 2009’s introductory session. Here we’ll see search, organization, widgets and robots, and using Wave for real world collaborations. We will throw in some best practices for collaboration using wave. Attendees should have a Wave account. If you need an account, send your Gmail address to kevin.gamble@extension.org for an invitation. (For all Extension).

* January 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Second Life Skills: Meetings and Conferences in Immersive 3D: Industry trends, eXtension opportunities. LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual Worlds Coordinator. The hottest trend in Second Life and other 3-D worlds is virtual meetings. We will review several case studies from enterprise, education and nonprofit sectors; see how money can be saved, reach expanded, and collaboration enhanced; and look at some of the obstacles and how they can be addressed. Also, see a preview of the new meeting spaces available on eXtension’s Morrill sims.


* January 13 at 2:00-3:00 ET, ACE Leadership & Management SIG professional development session coordinated by Juella Sparks. (For all Extension) This Professional Development 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, 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”.

January Second Life Events:

January 14, 30-minute session 2:00-2:30 p.m. ET , Second Life Skills: Communication In SL – Chat, IM, Voice. This two-part session will cover all user options for communication in SL, both technical how-to and social conventions. Web conference, meet at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn. Then, on Friday, meet in Second Life to practice these skills.

January 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 County Extension http://slurl.com/secondlife/Morrill2/181/172/24. We will practice communication skills in a variety of informal and formal exercises. Chat, IM, voice. Please be sure to have a headset, or mic and speakers available to participate in voice.

January 28, 30-minute session 2:00-2:30 p.m. ET, Second Life Skills: Meetings and Conferences in Immersive 3D: Industry trends, eXtension opportunities. Web conference, meet at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/learn

January 29, 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 County Extension http://slurl.com/secondlife/Morrill2/181/172/24. Tour of new conference center, plus lesson on using rezzers and holodecks to store your teaching materials. Please be sure to have a headset, or mic and speakers available to participate in voice.

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

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 January 2010!!