Learning Opportunities – Coming Now!

These are just a few of the 30 Learn events coming up in November… Professional Development designed for you that can be experienced from the comfort of your home or office.

Check out the learning events listed at Learn (Learn.extension.org). These are for you or for you to share with your audiences! Extend your knowledge and keep more up-to-date on conversations in your areas of interest. Everyone is welcome to participate in the events listed at Learn as they match your interests. Please sign into Learn with your eXtensionID then Follow specific learning events to get notifications and plan to attend. Use each session’s unique URL to share links to online events in your area of expertise or interest so that others can learn with you. Encourage your customers to also sign in with their Facebook, Twitter or Gmail account to Follow, and plan to attend. Additional sessions may be added at any time, so check back to see what’s new, and please add web-based sessions you have planned to teach or at your institution.

Social Media
How to Use Hootsuite to Manage Twitter on November 4 at 10:00 PM Eastern Time
Productive Pinning- Adding Pinterest to your Digital Toolbox on Nov 5
How to Use Images in Social Media Activities to Increase Engagement and Outreach on Nov 5
Data Visualization to Communicate Impact on Nov 13
Educational Technology Learning Network Twitter Chat on Nov 20 (and then on 1st and 3rd Thursdays. Follow #EdTechLN on Twitter)

Winter & the Holidays are coming
All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Where Have All the Honey Bees Gone? Hope for the Future on Nov 7
Food Safety for the Holiday Season on Nov 20
Are You Prepared for Winter? on Dec 4

Go to Learn (learn.extension.org) to see more sessions in 2014, and to add learning opportunities being offered by you or your institution so you may include more for participation and learning!Questions and Comments? Contact Beth Raney at beth.raney@extension.org. If you have web-based events for which you would like more participation, please add them at Learn.extension.org for others to join in!


Educational Technology Learning Network Launches


Announcing eXtension Educational Technology (Ed Tech) Learning Network engagement opportunities!

As the new resource and support network for all things Ed Tech in Cooperative Extension, there are multiple online engagement opportunities available now to members.

To join and receive information from the Learning Network, visit the “Join” page on the blog: http://www.extedtechs.org/join/

OR –

Browse the blog and subscribe to the newsletter: http://www.extedtechs.org/

Why?: The blog will serve as the content hub for information resources such as helpful tools, tips, case studies, Learning Network member profiles, and program spotlights.

Follow on Social Media – Choose whatever tool you use most:
-Facebook: http://go.osu.edu/FBedtechLN
-Google+: http://go.osu.edu/GGedtechLN
-Twitter: #EdTechLN

Why?: Stay current with up-to-date news, blog posts, questions for members, and helpful information will be shared via social media.

Participate in twice-monthly Twitter Chats by following the #EdTechLN hashtag
-Mark your calendar! The first #EdTechLN Chat will take place November 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET!
-Future #EdTechLN chats will be held the first and third Thursday of each month at 2:00pm EST.

Why?: #EdTechLN Twitter chats will allow members to frequently interact with each other by asking and answering questions, sharing success stories, offering insights and support for others trying to integrate tech into their work, and so much more.

Join the Learning Network eXtension Community Page: www.go.osu.edu/eXtEdTechCommunity

Why?: To browse the list of Learning Network leaders and members, their contact information, and also receive updates.


DOD/USDA Award Goes to Military Families Learning Network

The Military Families Learning Network (MFLN), has been selected to continue and expand its work serving military family service professionals around the world, receiving a DOD/USDA grant that will further its success.

Kyle Kostelecky, Project Director, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Elbert Dickey, Principal Investigator on the current project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced here today that the new award will be housed at the Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education on the University of Illinois campus. The current MFLN originated as a special project of eXtension at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010 and work will continue at the University of Nebraska until completed.

“The University of Nebraska and eXtension were the perfect place for this project to form and grow into the tremendous resource it is today. The Center for Wounded Veterans at the University of Illinois is a fantastic next step, bringing the innovation of eXtension to a new educational effort serving one of our nations most important resources – our wounded, ill, and injured veterans. The current and new programming the MFLN will develop will be a great fit for the Center as it works with transitioning service members and their families into the next stage of their lives,” said Kostelecky.

The MFLN currently serves to increase the availability of research- and evidence-based educational resources to connect with and educate military family service professionals. These professionals currently serve military families and communities in the areas of Personal Finance, Family Development, and Military Caregiving, supported by work in in Network Literacy.

“We are excited that our new funding will allow us to expand our work to include providing online professional development, educational programming, and engaging communities in the areas of Community Capacity Building, Families with Special Needs, Transition, and Nutrition and Wellness,” said Sarah Baughman, Project Leader, Virginia Polytechnic University.

In addition to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Illinois, and Virginia Tech, the MFLN includes Cooperative Extension faculty at Auburn University, Cornell University, Fort Valley State University, Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, North Dakota State University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Minnesota, University of Nevada-Reno, University of New Hampshire, Valdosta State University, Washington State University, and West Virginia University.

The MFLN was created through eXtension, an initiative of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System, in partnership with The Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP), and the United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA).


Update on Arkansas Second Life Cohort

Mather group

The first cohort in the University of Arkansas study “Older Persons Participation in Second Life: Implications for Well-being” has completed their eight-week session. eXtension provided technical assistance and training, as well as a home location for the project. Their activities were chronicled in this video.

The study is looking at the effect of activity in the social virtual world of Second Life on the psychosocial well being in persons over the age 60. Subjects from Arkansas CareLink senior centers are recruited to participate. The study is funded by the Mather Institute on Aging.


eXtension Leads Development of Farm Bill Evaluation Tool


eXtension, USDA’s Farm Services Administration (FSA), and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) have developed an evaluation and reporting tool for the 2014 Title 1 Producer Education Program of the 2014 Farm Bill. eXtension, in cooperation with the ECOP office, created a way to manipulate the data gathered from completing two types of online meeting evaluation forms. Craig Wood, Ashley Griffin, and their eXtension colleagues have completed testing of a streamlined process to make it easier for cooperating institutions to meet a portion of the FSA reporting requirements.

As a reminder, all institutions receiving Title 1 funds must provide the name and email address of the person who will be responsible for reporting. Please submit here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17b4C8ZHf7EKW8DLizT0o45GTkwcpbep6qGPrs5LwlX8/edit?usp=sharing. The person named will receive instructions on how to submit data using the online tool. Questions may be directed to Craig Wood at craig.wood@extension.org.


‘New’ eXtension Vote Due November 17


This week the voting members of the 75 institutional members of the Cooperative Extension Section will receive a ballot to determine the future of the ‘New’ eXtension. The deadline for voting is November 17, 2014.

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) through the eXtension Governing Committee, (Dennis Calvin, chair, Pennsylvania State University) engaged an eXtension Strategic Planning Committee in 2014. Chaired by Keith Smith, Ohio State University, and assisted by the Cascade Center for Community Governance, the committee was composed of representatives from all five Extension regions and representatives from USDA NIFA and was charged to present a plan for increasing eXtension’s value to Land-grant institutions and partners.

The final report was accepted at the October 15, 2014 ECOP meeting in Lexington, KY. ECOP unanimously voted to engage the Cooperative Extension Section to
1) Discontinue the current eXtension assessment for 2015; and
2) Move to a new membership, fee-driven model effective January 1, 2015. A “yes” vote on item 2 does not obligate the voting institution to membership.

An October 29 webinar presented by Keith Smith, Dennis Calvin and eXtension Director Elbert Dickey outlined a new vision for eXtension, making Cooperative Extension state and local electronic innovation and professional development the primary priorities. View the Webinar recording here.

The new funding model proposes a change from assessments to a fee-based approach. The webinar defines what you will get for each membership level, what each level will cost, and the process for electing new directors. (Adapted from the CES Monday Minute).


Women in Ag Learning Network Announces Future Webinars

Women in Ag

The Women in Agriculture Learning Network invites you to join them for their upcoming Women in Ag Fall 2014 Webinar Series. Three upcoming webinars will focus on women’s leadership roles, what the 2012 Census of Agriculture tells us about women, and why women’s unique roles in agriculture matter.

November 18: Leading the Way
How Women are Changing Board Rooms and Rural Landscapes

Presenter: Krysta Harden, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

December 2: By the Numbers
What the Census of Ag Tells Us about Women Operators

Presenter: Virginia Harris, National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS)

December 16: Heart of the Farm
Why Women’s Unique Family and Farm Business Roles Matter

Presenter: Angela Carter, Iowa State University

Webinar Times: 12:00 p.m. ET, 11:00 a.m. CT, 10:00 a.m. MT, 9:00 a.m. PT

To join the webinars: Go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/womeninag about 10 minutes prior to the start time. Click on “Enter as a Guest” and type your name in the space provided, then click on “Enter Room.” For best results, we suggest you use Firefox or Internet Explorer as your web browser. Prior to participating in this Adobe Connect event, please go to the following URL to confirm ability to log on to the Connect server: www.extension.iastate.edu/testconnect.


What’s the Buzz around Unmanned Aerial Systems?


Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are being used in agriculture to monitor crop related issues, monitor orchards, create digital imagery of fields, mapping, remote sensing of waterways and lakes, monitoring of forest, and observation of pasture and rangelands.

Research on the performance characteristics of the vehicles themselves and the sensor arrays are being conducted by several Land Grant faculty across the country. Be a part of this exciting field by joining the eXtension Unmanned Aerial Systems user community. The UAS user community plans on meeting quarterly to share research being done, or planned, how UAS are evolving, and how they are being used in the Agriculture industry. The user community is currently building a communication and capacity strategy to move forward and has as a goal to have interaction with FAA on developing guidelines and regulation for use of UASs in Agriculture. We invite you to join and share your expertise.

For more information on the Unmanned Areal Systems contact Craig Wood [craig.wood@extension.org].


Wearable Technology: Experiment with Us and Share what You Learn


If you have a fitness wearable, smart watch, Google Glass or similar wearable device join our eXtension Wearable Technology user community or our Google Human Augmentation and Wearable community and share your experience with others experimenting with these devices.

Many of us in Cooperative Extension are exploring how wearable technology can be used in Extension Programming. eXtension has engaged many of you around this topic. We know there are more people experimenting with wearables. Join others and share your experiences and what you are learning through the user community. Many people are enjoying the benefits of Jawbone, Fitbit, Lift, and other fitness-related technology. eXtension would like to engage with you and hear your great ideas on how you are using these emerging technologies.

As part of the eXtension Wearable Technology Community, Ohio State University Extension will start loaning out three pairs of Google Glass to OSU Extension professionals in mid November. The goal is to document and evaluate the use of Glass for educational and personal productivity impacts. Both county educators and specialists will be invited to help with the testing. The results will be documented and shared with the Cooperative Extension System. This is part of a multi-state project involving Kentucky and Alabama.

Got a GoPro Camera or Google Glass? Let us know how you are using these amazing new technologies. Are they making you more efficient at your job? Are they making you more productive? Share with us your world by joining one of the user communities around wearable technologies.

For more information on the Wearable Technology contact Craig Wood [craig.wood@extension.org] or Jerry Thomas [jthomas@extension.org].


Ask an Expert Question Wrangler Improvements

We released a change to the “Hand off to a Question Wrangler” option to try to improve the quality of question assignments. When someone clicks that option, we now ask “Why?” and provide a couple of common reasons in the form of one-click prompts.

We’re not doing anything programmatically with this information (yet), but it should prove very valuable for Question Wranglers who are manually reassigning questions. The question history now contains the wrangling reason, so please check there when you need more information about the assignment history.




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