eXtension Virtual 3D offers Healthy 2015 Series and Opens New Meeting Venue

Every Wednesday at 8:00 pm ET the Avatar Fitness Club in Second Life offers “Healthy 2015 and Beyond: Fresh Perspectives on Nutrition and Exercise” Presenters for the series are Leia Kedem, Registered Dietitian, from University of Illinois and Australian exercise physiologist Jason Jarred. Join us by following this url http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Morrill3/212/88/24

AFC class 1

eXtension has a beautiful new meeting venue in Second Life. The Lakeside Pavilion provides seating for 24 avatars and includes a slide viewer and video screen, voice and text capability, and a meeting coordinator. For privacy this venue is accessible only to you and your participants. Reserve the pavilion for your group by contacting LuAnn Phillips, eXtension’s virtual world specialist.

pavillion 9_003


Jennifer Chilek is new Educational Technologist for Network Literacy


Jennifer Jahedkar Chilek of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension has joined the Network Literacy Community of Practice (NetLit) Leadership team as its Educational Technologist. As an Extension Program Specialist, Jennifer specializes in technology facilitated communication and education and has considerable expertise in Centra, Collaborate, Moodle, and other online tools.

Jennifer will provide support and guidance for the Community of Practice and members of the MFLN concentration areas as they connect with and provide online educational opportunities experiences to clientele.


eXtension Opens New Year with 38 Premium, 20 Basic Members


With a new membership model, eXtension begins 2015 serving 38 premium members and 20 basic members. The eXtension Foundation is currently electing a new board of directors that will replace the current eXtension Governing Committee. The deadline for voting by member institutions is January 20, 2015.

“We have an excellent slate of candidates for the Board of Directors. Each candidate prepared a ‘statement of intent’ describing why he or she wished to serve on the Board, “ said Elbert Dickey, eXtension Executive Director. “It’s exciting to know that these leaders are coming to the Board with strong support and interest.”

One of the first tasks the new Board of Directors will tackle is the hiring of a Chief Executive Officer. More information on that will be forthcoming as the Board moves into place and moves forward.

The eXtension member organizations are:

Premium Members
Auburn University
Clemson University
Colorado State University
Cornell University
Fort Valley State University
Langston University
Louisiana State University
Michigan State University
Mississippi State University
Montana State University
North Carolina State University
North Dakota State University
New Mexico State University
Northern Marianas College
Ohio State University
Oklahoma State University
Oregon State University
Penn State University
Purdue University
Rutgers University
Texas A&M University
University of Missouri
University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Arkansas
University of Delaware
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Idaho
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska
University of New Hampshire
University of Tennessee
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin
Utah State University
Virginia Tech

Basic Members
Alabama A&M University
Alcorn State University
Florida A&M University
Kansas State University
Kentucky State University
Lincoln University
North Carolina A&T State University
South Carolina State University
South Dakota State University
Southern University
Tuskegee University
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
University of California
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
University of Puerto Rico
University of the Virgin Islands
University of Wyoming
Virginia State University

Institutions not found in either membership category have chosen not to become members at this time.


Virtual 3D User Community to Meet Via Avatars January 22


The eXtension 3D virtual reality user community meeting date has been changed to Thursday, January 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET in Second Life. You will need to set up a Second Life account (if you do not have one) prior to the meeting. Paste this Second Life URL http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Morrill/131/5/24 in your web browser to navigate to the venue. The agenda is a jam session about how to get CES jazzed about virtual reality and includes an opportunity to talk about YOUR projects in virtual worlds. We also will discuss eXtension’s upcoming demonstration of Oculus Rift at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in February.


eXtension’s Winter Safety Game is Now Open

winter safety game (1)

eXtension’s popular Winter Safety Game reopened in Second Life this week, providing an entertaining 3D lesson about how to stay safe in severe winter weather conditions. This virtual learning environment, which covers how to prepare for severe weather at home, in the barn, and when traveling by car, is particularly good for new drivers and those without experience traveling in winter conditions.

The content draws on a variety of Extension and government resources and is based primarily on the booklet “Winter Safety,” published by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County, NY, and the Warren County Disaster Preparedness Office.

Navigate to the game by pasting this URL into your web browser. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bailey/127/128/23


Learning Opportunities in January and February!

It’s a New Year with new topics and emerging areas of interest for extension professionals, our volunteers and clientele. Please review the learning opportunities listed here and check Learn.extension.org as well to see what may be helpful and/or of interest to you. Share this and other events in Learn with anyone who may be interested. Join these Learning Opportunities in which you can participate online from your home or office.


All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series
February 6, 2015, 2015 Pesticide Strategy – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
March 6, 2015, 2015 Fire Ant Management Using Baits
March 4, 2015, Work/Life Balance
Childhood Obesity
March 5, 2015, Childhood Obesity Indicators: Capturing the National Impact of Extension
Citizen Science and Plant Health
February 18, 2015, Low cost plant and soil health measurements using PhotosynQ
Community & Regional Foods
January 27, 2015, Developing Local and Regional Food Systems in Nebraska
Dairy Cattle
January 14, 2015, Troubleshooting Design-Based Cow Comfort Issues
February 26, 2015, Formulating Diets for Groups of Lactating Cows
March 24, 2015, Proper Dry-Off Procedures to Prevent New Infections and Cure Existing Cases of Mastitis
January 9, 2015, From Hobby to Entrepreneur – Taking the Leap!!
January 20, 2015, Question Wranglers’ Meetup – January 2015
Geographic Information Systems
January 14, 2015, Tell a photo based story based map in a snap!
February 19, 2015, Sight beyond sight: the power of near-infrared imagery for mapping
March 10, 2015, Making the Most of Esri Image Services with ArcGIS for Desktop
Healthy Food Choices in Schools
January 20, 2015, The Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard: LunchScore
January 16, 2015, Mobile Manure Apps
Military Families
January 14, 2015, Part II Medicaid and Military Families: Children with Special Needs
February 18, 2015, Part III Medicaid and Military Families: Adults with Special Needs
March 5, 2015, Latino Military Families: Current Issues & Implications for Clinical Work
January 15, 2015, Piketty’s Capital & Inequality of Income and Wealth
January 13, 2015, Systems Organic Management Suppresses Cabbageworm Outbreaks: Evidence from 4 Long-term Organic Farms
January 20, 2015, Rotational No-Till, Mulching and Conservation Tillage for Organic Vegetable Farms Webinar
January 22, 2015, Managing Bad Stink Bugs Using Good Stink Bugs
January 27, 2015, Heritage and Ancient Wheat: Varietal Performance and Management Webinar
February 10, 2015, Building Pest-Suppressive Organic Farms: Tools and Ecological Strategies Used by Five Long-Term Organic Farms to Suppress Insects
February 17, 2015, Blasting the Competition Away: Air-propelled Abrasive Grits for Weed Management in Organic Grain and Vegetable Crops
March 10, 2015, Promoting Native Bee Pollinators in Organic Farming Systems
Personal Finance
January 13, 2015, Developing a Personal Asset Allocation Strategy
February 3, 2015, Calculating What to Save for Retirement
February 12, 2015, Domestic Violence: Helping Survivors Obtain Economic Freedom
March 17, 2015, Investing With Small Dollar Amounts
PIE Center
January 28, 2015, Public opinion of genetically modified food
February 25, 2015, Public opinion of landscape water use
Small & Backyard Flocks
January 14, 2015, Quality of eggs from different production systems
January 20, 2015, Health concerns with backyard poultry flocks
February 3, 2015, Health problems with the respiratory system of poultry
February 9, 2015, Housing for small poultry flocks
February 11, 2015, Health concerns for egg layers
March 3, 2015, Health problems with the poultry skeletal system
March 11, 2015, Managing egg laying flocks
Women in Ag
January 14, 2015, Developing a Farm Strategy
January 17, 2015, National Farmers Union Women’s Conference January 17-21, 2015
January 20, 2015, Marketing Your Products – Turning Samples into Sales
January 21, 2015, MidAtlantic Annie’s Project Classes
January 29, 2015, Adverse Possession Webinar
February 12, 2015, MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture Regional Conference
January 13, 2015, Moving Up the Ladder of Youth Engagement
January 29, 2015, How to Develop Educational Farm Tour Programs Like Breakfast On The Farm

Go to Learn (learn.extension.org) to see more sessions in 2014-2015, 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!


Campus (Moodle) in the ‘New’ eXtension


The beginning of the “new” eXtension brings with it two major changes to the use of eXtension’s Moodle site, campus.extension.org. One change is that only faculty from eXtension premium member institutions may teach courses on this site. Fortunately, more than 90% of the courses on Campus were already being taught by faculty from institutions that became premium members. We are currently working individually with Campus teachers from non-premium member institutions to identify alternatives for their courses, a process expected to be complete by June 1, 2015.

The second major change is one that should be good news to any premium member institution wishing to charge fees for their courses. Effective January 1, 2015, the eXtension overhead charge for anyone using eXtension’s Paypal online payment system has dropped to 5% net of credit card and transaction fees. This is a significant reduction from the 25% of gross fees that had been implemented in the past. This reduction only applies to fee-based Moodle Courses. Along with this reduction in indirect costs, steps have been taken to streamline the process of transferring those funds to teachers’ home institutions. Details, along with a request form, are included at create.extension.org/node/3180.

Finally, a little fun Campus trivia as we begin this year.
587 total courses; 332 open for enrollment
32,825 active login accounts
53,464 test questions
52,713 certificates issued
4,193 resource objects
1,690 Paypal registrations
359 course teachers
170 serving other roles

As always, if you have questions about Campus, please direct them to campushelp@extension.org.


User Communities, Networks Seeking New Members

eXtension has many user communities that are always welcoming new members. These communities are not formal learning networks or communities of practice at this point but they are extremely active with idea exchange, online discussions, planning of face-to-face conferences, and presentations to national meetings and agencies.

Joining one of these groups is easy, just follow the links provided and you’ll be added to the email group for each community.


You can join the Big Data community by going to https://people.extension.org/communities/1709 or contact Jerry Thomas (jthomas@extension.org).


You can join the Unmanned Aerial Systems community by going to https://people.extension.org/communities/1708 or contact Craig Wood (craig.wood@extension.org).


You can join the Wearable Technology community at https://people.extension.org/communities/1707 or contact Craig Wood (craig.wood@extension.org).

Thynka Little uses Oculus Rift.

Thynka Little uses Oculus Rift.

You can join the eXtension Virtual 3D community by going to https://people.extension.org/communities/1327 or contact LuAnn Phillips (luann.phillips@extension.org).


The newly formed Educational Technology Learning Network is also welcoming new members and can be joined at http://www.extedtechs.org/join/ or contact Jamie Seger (seger.23@osu.edu).

Again, these communities and networks welcome your input and contributions to the discussions and activities they are leading. Learn, share, create, innovate and collaborate!!!


Military Families Learning Network Hiring Professional Development Coordinator


The Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) is hiring a professional development coordinator based out of the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. The position is .75 to 1.0 FTE requiring strong technical skills and an ability to work with a virtual team. Position can work remotely.

Please contact Sarah Baughman (baughman@vt.edu) if you have questions. The position description and application information is found here: http://bit.ly/1At0oJ4

The Military Families Learning Network is an eXtension learning network with funding from the DoD/USDA Extension Military Partnership. We provide professional development for military service professionals in the areas of Personal Finance, Network Literacy, Military Caregiving, Family Development, Transition Support, Nutrition & Wellness, Building Community Capacity, Families with Special Needs. This position is part of the MFLN leadership team.


eXtension Seeking Project Manager

eXtension LOGO

The eXtension Engineering (web development) Team has an opening for a Project Manager. The full position posting is found at https://jobs.ncsu.edu/postings/46577. While the position will be a North Carolina State University hire, working remotely is possible.

The position will remain open through January 12, 2015.

For more information contact Anne Adrian at


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