April Showers Plenty of Professional Development

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!

30-MINUTE SESSIONS

This month we are offering 30-Minute Sessions on several topics including Google Wave, Second Life, Ask an Expert, Ask eXtension Widgets, eXtension Community Homes and Engineering Project Management. 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 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.

* April 13 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Google Wave Tips and Tricks. This session will cover miscellaneous little goodies that are in Wave that you might not realize even exist. We’ll explore some tips for working with your contacts. Show you where your personal profile is hidden (HINT: It’s a wave). We’ll show you how to protect your public waves. Talk about private message within waves, and finish off with some nifty bots for making your Wave experiences more pleasant. This session is for everyone, but it will probably have more meaning if you have attended some of the previous Wave sessions or are actively working in Wave. If you need an account, send your Gmail address to kevin.gamble@extension.org for an invitation. (For all Extension)

* April 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on “How Can Our CoP Get Started In Second Life?” With LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual Worlds Coordinator. The Morrill Islands in Second Life are available to any CoP for project development. This can start as small as an information kiosk, and grow over time to become an immersive experience linked to a Moodle course. We’ll go over the steps needed to begin, and then brainstorm some ideas for each others’ content area. (For CoP leaders and members)

* April 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Beginning with the AaE 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. 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)

* April 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Keeping your eXtension Community Home Current by Ashley Griffin, eXtension Content Design Leader. Join us to learn how to keep your eXtension CoP home page current and up-to-date. We will cover home page attributes relevant to launching new and sustaining existing communities of practice. (For current or potential CoP leaders and members.)

* April 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Instructional Design for Online Education by Jennifer Jahedkar and Susanna Coppernoll, Texas AgriLife Extension. In the session we’ll share instructional Design best practices for Building an Online Course. (For all Extension)

* April 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on Engineering Project Management in eXtension: How eXtension develops systems and software by Jason Young, eXtension Engineering Manager. In this session, Jason will be highlighting the ways that the eXtension Engineering/Information Technology team does their “stuff” – the
values, methods and tools we’ve found work for us for developing our systems and software. If you’ve ever wondered what is going on behind the scenes with eXtension IT – this session is for you! (For all Extension)

* April 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on New Features in Second Life with LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual worlds Coordinator. Many changes in Second Life: Viewer 2.0, improved first hour/new user experience, new features like shared media on a prim, and, a new support area for educators. So much at once! Lets meet and sort it all out. (For all Extension)

OTHER SESSIONS

* April 13 at 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET, New Question Wrangler Orientation, presented by Beth Raney and Kevin Gamble, eXtension. As each state identifies Question Wranglers to help with questions submitted via Ask an Expert by the public at www.extension.org, we’ll hold this orientation to help you get familiar with your role, and tools available to make it easier. (For new eXtension Question Wranglers)

* April 14 at 3:00-5:00 p.m. ET. “Evaluation Methods in Action.” Dr. Nancy Grudens-Schuck and colleagues from Iowa State will introduce principles and examples for good survey writing and Ms. Sacheen Tavares-Leighton from NOAA will introduce and share examples of concept mapping, a promising qualitative methodology. For the intro to Methods, check the PowerPoint or recording for March at the Evaluation CoP website:
http://nc4-heval.wikispaces.com (follow the links from Eval CoP to Webinars to Webinars 2010). This session will be held at
http://elluminate.wolfware.ncsu.edu:80/join_meeting.html?meetingId=1261498488868. (For all Extension)

* April 16 at 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET, Extension 2.0: Beyond Blogging & into the World of Social Media, presented by Kara Kewby, Andy Kleinschmidt, Mark Light, Jamie Seger, and Jerry Thomas – The Ohio State University Extension. Online tools do not stop with blogging. Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools have transformed how the public receives information. In other words—it is no longer lying dormant on a web page waiting for someone to find it— it is finding them. This session will go beyond simply introducing you to the major social media tools out there, you will learn how to best utilize these tools as an Extension professional. (For all Extension)

* April 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET; Repeated April 29, Noon ET. “Public Talk, Public Action.” Helping communities examine public issues — such as land use, water quality, education, food access, health care, and economic development — can be challenging to Extension professionals. Without question, many of these issues can be complex and can cut across a range of academic disciplines and public values. They can result in contentious discourse that causes rancor and fragments communities. Reaching consensus on how best to address these public issues is tough work. If you or other Extension professionals are faced with working with communities struggling with contentious issues but haven’t got a real grasp on how to work side by side with citizens, organizations and leaders to help them deliberate and act on matters of importance then this is the webinar for you!

We’re developing an eXtension professional development community of practice (PDCoP) so that Extension professionals can gain the set of skills, competencies, and experiences needed to effectively employ citizen-centered approaches as a core part of their Extension activities. If you are searching for tools that will strengthen your portfolio to help engage the public in community dialogue, deliberation, and action strategies that can assist residents in making sound public choices amid uncertainty and conflict this community of practice is for you. During the webinar we will cover the basic architecture of using dialogue and deliberation as a tool for citizen driven problem solving and we’ll solicit your input for how best to design user-friendly materials and present them in a way that serves your needs.

This webinar will be presented twice for your viewing convenience – April 23 at 3 pm ET and April 29 at 12 pm ET. More information will be provided in the April newsletter or for more information contact Dr. Wynne Wright (wrightwy@anr.msu.edu). Stay tuned. These sessions will be held at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/Learn. (For all Extension)

* April 29 at Noon ET (repeated from April 23); “Public Talk, Public Action.” See description above for the April 23 session. (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, and projects in assistive technology, turf grass, pest management, nutrition, 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 a couple of 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 and using 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”.

April Second Life Events:

April 15 at 2:00 EDT, a 30-minute session on How Can Our CoP Get Started In Second Life? With LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual Worlds Coordinator. The Morrill Islands in Second Life are available to any CoP for project development. This can start as small as an information kiosk, and grow over time to become an immersive experience linked to a Moodle course. We’ll go over the steps needed to begin, and then brainstorm some ideas for each other’s content area. Join at
http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/Learn

April 16 Second Life Meetup at 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. Topic – New Viewer 2.0 Workshop Please install Viewer 2 and come to the workshop using it. We will experiment with interactive web on a prim, and have Q and A about its many new features.

April 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET, a 30-minute session on New Features in Second Life with LuAnn Phillips, eXtension Virtual worlds Coordinator. Many changes in Second Life: Viewer 2.0, improved first hour/new user experience, new functionality like shared media on a prim. And, a new dedicated support area for educators. So much at once! Let’s meet and sort it all out. Join at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/Learn

April 30 Second Life Meetup at 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. A visit to Deadwood, an historic role-play sim set in South Dakota, 1876. While SL is not considered a gaming virtual world, there are many sims dedicated to role-play style interaction. We will have about an hour to enroll as Deadwood participants and try it. You must dress for the period; freebie outfits are available there or wear your own western attire. This is an advanced beginner activity. New users should contact Thynka Little for basic orientation prior to the meet up, to get the basic skills needed.

Add these dates & topics to your calendar, and plan to join us on for one or more of these sessions in April 2010!!

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.

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 April!!