March Roars In With Professional Development Opportunities

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
Understanding Social Comfort to Improve Social Tool Adoption
by Thomas Vander Wal

March 24, 2010
2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time

http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/Learn

There are three elements around social comfort to keep in mind when selecting and using social computing tools to interact with others: social comfort with people; social comfort with tools; and social comfort with subject matter. These components of social comfort contain factors that cause unease with most people outside the early adopters and those with technical ease with these tools and services. Thomas Vander Wal will discuss each of these three components of social comfort to help move social tools more toward mainstream adoption.

Thomas Vander Wal is Principal & Senior Consultant of InfoCloud Solutions, Inc. (http://infocloudsolutions.com/about.php) In Thomas’ more than 20 years as a professional in information services and web he has worked in many industries and in many roles. He has always been the problem solver and the person who can see the big picture and put it into details to get it accomplished.

Thomas coined “folksonomy” in 2004 as part of his interest with how a novel approach to tagging aids a person re-finding information and is also used to augment other information structuring methods so to help other people find information. Thomas also presents and provides training at many conferences, workshops, and in-house events. Thomas presents and leads discussions at many events across the U.S. and Europe on a broad range of topics including: folksonomy, Personal InfoCloud, social software, information architecture, design, web standards, ubiquitous computing (ubicom), tagging, and designing for use and reuse of information across devices.

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 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) (For all Extension)

30-MINUTE SESSIONS

This month we are offering 30-minute sessions on a several topics including two on Second Life, two on using the Ask an Expert widget (back-to-back sessions), Moodle, and the next in our series on using 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.

* March 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)

* March 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Beginning with the Ask an Expert Widget by Aaron Hundley, eXtension (For all Extension) 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.

* March 23 at 2:30 EDT, a 30-minute session on Discussion of the Ask an Expert (AaE) System and Widget by Beth Raney, eXtension Professional Development Leader and Aaron Hundley eXtension Software Engineer (For all Extension) 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 AaE strategies for answering questions to discussion about the AaE tools.

*March 25 at 2:00 EDT, 30-minute session, Introducing Second Life Viewer 2.0 with interactive web on a prim and flash integration. The long awaited “easier to learn” Second Life browser has been released in beta test version, including provocative new multimedia capabilities that can greatly enhance the educational experience. Take a look at what it can do and let’s talk about how eXtension can repurpose content to leverage this new capability. (For all Extension)

* March 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Moodle Showcase by Jennifer Jahedkar and Susanna Coppernoll, Texas AgriLife Extension. Tour a real live Moodle course from the eXtension site, and hear how it came together and how it’s being used. Learn how real people are using Moodle and why.

* March 31 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Staying Organized in Google Wave by Kevin Gamble, eXtension. This is another in our series on using Google Wave in your workgroups. We will take you through all of the steps to staying better organized: folders, navigation, tagging, and constructing and saving searches. Get this part down– and you’ve mastered 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)

OTHER SESSIONS

* March 10 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET, Diversity Issues in the Digital Age, presented by Dr. Kayt Sunwood, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Inclusion matters in the rapidly diversifying digital world in which we live and work. Explore the challenges and opportunities that gender, age, cultural, ethnic, and a veritable rainbow of diversities present in our Web 2.0 world. You’ll come away with resources and strategies for leaders, managers, and communicators to transform the rhetoric of inclusion into the practice of equity. Dr. Kayt Sunwood, manager of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Women’s Center and coordinator of eLive sessions for the Math in a Cultural Context: Lessons Learned from Yup’ik Elders project will lead this exploration. Kayt holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instructional Technology from Iowa State University. There will be discussion so all participants will connect with their phone. (for all Extension) This Professional Development session is offered in partnership with the ACE Leadership & Management SIG.

* March 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.

* March 22 at 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET Extension 2.0: Harnessing the Power of Blogs to Expand Programming Potential & Impact, by Jamie Seger, Kara Newby, Mark Light, Jerry Thomas and Andy Kleinschmidt all of OSU Extension. This session will answer the why/how/when/where of blogging. Also learn how to utilize online statistical tools to capture feedback and impact your blog is having. See the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=306247235249 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. (For all
Extension)

SECOND LIFE
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:
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”.

March Second Life Events:

* March 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. Join using web conferencing at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/Learn (For all Extension)

* March 12, Second Life Meetup — 11:00-12:30 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

*March 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET, 30-minute session Introducing Second Life Viewer 2.0 with interactive web on a prim and flash integration. The long awaited “easier to learn” Second Life browser has been released in beta test version, including provocative new multimedia capabilities that can greatly enhance the educational experience. Take a look at what it can do and let’s talk about how eXtension can repurpose content to leverage this new capability. Join using web conferencing at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/Learn (For all Extension)

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

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.

EMAIL LIST:
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:
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 March!!