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!

Cooperative Extension Brand Value: The Results of the National Survey
February 16, 2010
2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time


In 2006, ECOP charged a task force composed of Extension directors, administrators, and communicators to “develop and implement more effective, higher impact, and likely more integrated marketing and communications for the national Cooperative Extension System” and to help “the state extension systems learn about, adapt, and adopt best marketing and communications practices.”

All good marketing efforts are built on foundation of sound research, yet a consistent, nationwide research base for Extension was lacking. In 2008, the task force commissioned a national study of Extension’s brand value and market potential, carried out by Copernicus, a Boston-based marketing and research firm. The study findings are both inspiring and daunting, demonstrating the strong brand value Extension has among those who know us, but also how far we have to go in building recognition and understanding. Sohel Karim, who led the research initiative for Copernicus, will present the results of the study and discuss the implications for Extension’s future.

The study results have been presented to the Extension directors and administrators and to the members of the Association for Communications Excellence. Now, the ECOP task force is making these important findings available to the broader audience of Extension employees. The ECOP task force has also created the eXtension Professional Development CoP on Extension Brand Value. The CoP is open to all Extension employees with an interest in building Extension’s brand.

Presented by Sohel Karim and Elizabeth Gregory North. Sohel Karim is currently Senior Consultant with Copernicus Marketing, Consulting, and Research. He provides Copernicus and its clients with expertise in not-for-profit marketing and branding. Elizabeth Gregory North is a member of the ECOP task force, co-leader of the Brand Value Professional Development COP, and Associate Professor and Extension Program Leader, Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

This session will be broadcast and use your computers speakers for audio, not your phone. Audience interaction will include opportunities to use built-in chat capabilities. Plan to join the session 5 minutes before the starting time. The session will be held at 2:00 Eastern Time (1:00 p.m. CT, Noon MT, 11:00 a.m. PT, 10:00 a.m. AT; 8:00 a.m. HT) (For all Extension)

This Professional Development session is offered in partnership with the eXtension Professional Development CoP on Extension brand value.


This month we are offering 30-minute sessions on a several topics including Ask an Expert, Corporate Development, Google Wave, 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.

* February 9 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)

* February 9 at 2:30 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Ask an Expert Question Wrangling with Aaron and Beth — 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)

* February 11 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Navigating Second Life: If there’s so much to see, how do I find it and how do I get there? by LuAnn Phillips, eXtension. (For all Extension)

* February 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Corporate Development by Dr. Randy Raub, Director of Research and New Product Development for Purina Mills and Director of the Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LongView Equine Research Facility. Raub, a former research and teaching specialist at Kansas State and now working for Purina, will share his comments on Corporate Funding. Raub spoke at the eXtension National Meeting and will talk about how to work with Corporations, their expectations, why they invest in organizations, and what we need to do to secure corporate funding. His experiences on the academic side of fund raising and now being on the corporate side will provide a great view of corporate fund raising in today’s world. (For all Extension)

* February 18 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Making Your Waves Sizzle by Kevin Gamble, eXtension. Google Wave is primarily a system for collaborative document creation. This session will focus on the specifics of making your waves look their best. We’ll show you how to use color, fonts, and other formatting techniques. We’ll cover adding links, images, and videos. We’ll demonstrate adding attachments. Then we’ll dive into the robots that can assist you in maintaining your waves. This session is targeted for beginners– with a focus on this one particular aspect of using Google 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)

* February 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Moodle Quizzes by Jennifer Jahedkar, Texas AgriLife Extension eLearning. This session will discuss why you might use Moodle quizzes, and how. (For all Extension)

* February 18 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET, IT Budgets in Crisis by Floyd Davenport, Information Technology Officer, Iowa State University Extension. Allocated funds supporting IT services have slowly diminished for a number of years with the culmination of the recent financial crisis requiring additional and significant reductions in State funds. How do you plan to sustain your services during this difficult economy? While there is no magic solution to this crisis, it is more important than ever to fully understand your IT budget in the context of the services you provide. Discussion topics will include budget components, alignment, budget health, revenue, sustainability and possible budget strategies. The presentation will target 30 minutes, but I would like an open discussion to follow and the opportunity to share information and ideas. (For all Extension) This Professional Development session is offered in partnership with the ACE Information Technology 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”.

February Second Life Events

* Feb 11, 30-minute session 2:00-2:30 p.m. ET , Navigating Second Life: If there’s so much to see, how do I find it and how do I get there?

* Feb 12, 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. Second Life Meetup: Scavenger Hunt to practice search and navigation skills

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

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 capabilities of Adobe’s Connect Pro conferencing software. Most sessions will be broadcast and use your computers speakers for audio, not your phone. Audience interaction will include opportunities to use built-in chat capabilities. Plan to join the session 5 minutes before the starting time.

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 February!!