Archive for the ‘Information’ Category

Learning Opportunities in August 2014 and Beyond

Please check out the learning events listed at Learn ( These are for extension educators as well as our audiences! Extend your knowledge and keep more up-to-date on conversations in your areas of expertise and interest.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the events listed at Learn ( as they match your interests. Sign in with your eXtensionID to Follow to get notifications and plan to attend. Use each session’s unique URL to share links to online events in your area of expertise 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. Please add web-based learning events that you have planned to teach or at your institution.

Topics coming in August
Aug 7, August meeting of the Small and Backyard Flocks CoP,
Aug 11, Hoard’s Dairyman Webinar: The new world of genetics,
Aug 12, Cliffs Notes from the Journal of Financial Counseling & Planning,
Aug 12, Tips and Tools for Recruiting Volunteers,
Aug 13, Project Youth Extension Service (YES)! ,
Aug 13, Developing Children’s Financial Habits and Behaviors,
Aug 15, Livestock Mortality Composting — Beyond the Basics Part 1,
Aug 19, Teachers, start your mapping! Free online GIS in the classroom from Esri and ConnectEd,
Aug 19, Your Body, Your Tools,
Aug 19, My Health County: Take Action, Change Lives,
Aug 19, Question Wranglers’ Meetup – August 2014,
Aug 20, Caregiver Compassion Fatigue,
Aug 21, Homeowners’ Preferences for Landscaping Practices: Are Floridians Willing to Pay More for Eco-Friendly Lawn Fertilizers? ,
Aug 21, Avian anatomy and how to perform a necropsy,
Aug 28, Redefining Differences: A Biopsychosocial Approach to Addressing Special Needs,

Topics from July (and early August)
These live learning opportunities are past, but recordings are available. Find a topic of interest and extend your learning. A few of these sessions are part of ongoing series around a topic. See these and also plan to attend associated ones during the year!

All Bugs Good & Bad
Aug 1, All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Minimize Mosquito Problems. Watch the recording, check out the Resources, and add Comments at

eXtension Institutional Teams
Jul 1, Institutional Team Web Conference – July 2014. Watch the recording and add Comments at
Aug 5, Innovation/Institutional Team Web Conference – August 2014. Watch the recording and add Comments at

Jul 11, Flood Plain Maps and Long-term Flood Plain Management: One City’s Experience. Watch the recording and add Comments at

Healthy Food Choices in Schools
Jul 23, Using the Power of Persuasion to Influence Student Food Choices. Watch the recording and add Comments at

Master Gardeners
Jul 16, Sustainable Roses Series: General Care. Watch the recording and add Comments at

Military Families
Jul 17, Needs and Supportive Strategies for Professionals Working with LGBT Military Families. Watch the recording, check out the Resources, and add Comments at
Jul 23, Caregiver Identity Discrepancy & Implications for Practice. Watch the recording, check out the Resources, and add Comments at
Jul 29, Small Steps to Health and Wealth. Watch the recording, check out the Resources, and add Comments at

Jul 14, Peaks and Pitfalls of Extension Scholarship in an Online World. Watch the recording, check out the Resources, and add Comments at

Small & Backyard Flocks
Jul 10, Normal poultry behavior and dealing with behavioral problems in small and backyard flocks. Watch the recording and add Comments at

Jul 18, Managing Biosecurity to Control Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). Watch the recording and add Comments at

Jul 1, Using Technology to Reach Diverse Audiences. Watch the recording and add Comments at

Women in Ag
Jul 22, Tune-Up Your Farm Market Booth To Boost Sales Webinar. Watch the recording add Comments at

Go to Learn ( to see more sessions in 2014, and to add learning opportunities being offered by you or your institution so you may get more participation and learning!

In Learn ( you’ll see more learning opportunities…
The following list topics for August and beyond are somewhat categorized. Add yours that aren’t listed yet to Sign in and click “Create a new event.” If you have questions, contact me (

All Bugs Good & Bad
Aug 1, All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Minimize Mosquito Problems at
Sep 5, All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Kudzu Bug Takes Over the Southeastern U.S./Brown Marmorated Stinkbug — All Bad at
Oct 3, All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Alien Invasions, Zombies Under Foot, and Billions of Decapitated Fire Ants at
Nov 7, All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Where Have All the Honey Bees Gone? Hope for the Future. at

Animal Manure Management
Aug 15, Livestock Mortality Composting — Beyond the Basics Part 1 at
Sep 19, Livestock Mortality Composting — Beyond the Basics Part 2 at

Big Data
Nov 13, Data Visualization to Communicate Impact at

Child and Family
Aug 28, Redefining Differences: A Biopsychosocial Approach to Addressing Special Needs at

Dairy Cattle
Aug 11, Hoard’s Dairyman Webinar: The new world of genetics at

eXtension Institutional Teams
Aug 5, Innovation/Institutional Team Web Conference – August 2014 at
Sep 16, Institutional Team Web Conference – September 2014 at
Oct 7, Institutional Team Web Conference – October 2014 at
Nov 4, Institutional Team Web Conference – November 2014 at
Dec 2, Institutional Team Web Conference – December 2014 at

eXtension Question Wranglers
Aug 19, Question Wranglers’ Meetup – August 2014 at
Sep 16, Question Wranglers’ Meetup – September 2014 at
Oct 28, Question Wranglers’ Meetup – October 2014 at
Nov 18, Question Wranglers’ Meetup – November 2014 at
Dec 16, Question Wranglers’ Meetup – December 2014 at

Aug 19, Teachers, start your mapping! Free online GIS in the classroom from Esri and ConnectEd at

Healthy Communities
Aug 4, Extension in the Intersection of Community Development & Health at
Aug 19, My Health County: Take Action, Change Lives at

Aug 21, Homeowners’ Preferences for Landscaping Practices: Are Floridians Willing to Pay More for Eco-Friendly Lawn Fertilizers? at

Master Gardeners
Sep 10, Sustainable Roses Series: Cultivar Selection — Right Plant, Right Place for the Right Person at
Nov 12, Sustainable Roses Series: Integrated Pest Management of the Rose at

Military Families: Caregiving
Aug 20, Caregiver Compassion Fatigue at
Sep 17, Give Care. Take Care. at

Military Families: Personal Finance
Aug 12, Cliffs Notes from the Journal of Financial Counseling & Planning at
Sep 23, Financial Planning for the Second Half of Life at
Oct 21, How to Read a Mutual Fund Prospectus at
Dec 9, Year-End Tax Planning Strategies at

Military Families: Youth
Aug 13, Project Youth Extension Service (YES)! at

Sep 22, 100 Years of Extension: Extending Knowledge Changing Lives from One Century to the Next at
Oct 21, Evaluating Social Media Activity in Extension Educational Programming at

Personal Finance
Aug 13, Developing Children’s Financial Habits and Behaviors at

Small & Backyard Flocks
Aug 7, August meeting of the Small and backyard flocks CoP at
Aug 21, Avian anatomy and how to perform a necropsy at
Sep 25, Winter care of backyard poultry flocks at

Aug 12, Tips and Tools for Recruiting Volunteers at

Women in Ag
Aug 19, Your Body, Your Tools at

Questions and Comments? Contact Beth Raney at If you have web-based events for which you would like more participation, please add them at for others to join in!


It’s Time to Join the Educational Technology Learning Network!

Ed Tech Learning Network

eXtension’s newest learning network is getting off the ground and ramping up for an active future within Cooperative Extension. It’s often not easy to see what might be ahead for a community OR how you might fit should you choose to join that group. Learning network leader, Jamie Seger, Ohio State University took time answer a couple of questions related to the new Educational Technology Learning Network.

What’s in it for me?

Putting examples of how to successfully integrate technology into actual practice! The new Educational Technology Learning Network will provide sharing and learning opportunities among both Extension professionals and private sector technology experts to foster successful use of technology integration into Extension programming across the nation. The old format of only learning how Extension colleagues use technology during conferences, then returning with little direction as to where to begin, is in the past. Building a collaborative and cooperative network of professionals who support one another in their innovative programming efforts is the way of the future!

How can I get involved?

We’ve created an eXtension Community for the Learning Network at the following link: Anyone who is interested in becoming involved in the Learning Network in some capacity is invited to request to join the Community, particularly those with an interest in sharing technology as it applies to our Extension work. Get involved even further by sharing your EdTech story on the community page or posting online with #EdTechLN: what you’re using, how you are using it, and what you would like to accomplish (goals) using educational technologies.

This Learning Network and its membership will become a national leader in sharing what software, apps or technology work well through blogging and other social media, as well as training peers nationally in the most effective use possible.

The Ed Tech Learning Network blog and social media channels will go live September 1. Information for both will be forthcoming. For more information contact Jamie Seger [], Jerry Thomas [], Paul Hill [] or Barbara Chamberlin [].


Applicants Sought for Military Extension Internship Program


The Military Extension Internship Program is accepting applications for Spring 2015 internships until September 30, 2014. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity!

Internships are on active military installations across the U.S. and around the world with child and youth programs. Interns will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in military child and youth programs. Please visit for more information about the internships, including job descriptions; instructions on how to apply; intern profiles; and frequently asked questions and answers.

University faculty and staff may also request brochures online to provide to students. Below is a brief announcement about the program that you are welcome to forward to anyone who may be interested in the Military Extension Internship Program.

More information and application materials can be found at Specific questions regarding the internships may be referred to: Jessica Wandless, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Internship Coordinator, at


eXtension Campus (Moodle) Continues Strong Growth


eXtension’s online course system,, continues to grow in both course numbers and participation. There are currently 306 courses available for enrollment, with another 327 either being developed or used for training or testing. These courses are being taught by 489 Extension faculty representing 47 states or agencies. Since January 1, 2014, some 11,470 new users have registered on the site, and 17,850 certificates of completion have been issued.

Aside from the overall statistics, there appears to be interest by faculty from many institutions in offering courses related to some of Extension’s traditional subjects. Faculty from 17 institutions are offering courses related to 4H & youth development, faculty from 11 institutions are addressing some aspect of human nutrition, and 9 institutions are using Campus for master gardener education. Horses, however, is the topic with the highest number of courses, with 22 courses currently available for enrollment, and another 27 being developed. Most of these horse courses are sponsored by the eXtension Horse Community of Practice.

Over the past year, the following “top ten list” of courses generated the greatest amount of activity. While “activity” in Moodle is akin to “hits” on a website, it is also very reflective of the amount of engagement people have with the course and the depth of the course experience. Clicking on these course titles displays the course description and teachers of each course, along with a link to enroll in the courses if desired. Congratulations to the teachers of these “top ten” courses.


While the Moodle technology used at Campus continues to evolve and improve, it is more exciting to see the ways Extension faculty are finding to use an online course system like Moodle. Some of these courses above have been described in past issues of the eXtension Update. However, one of the courses, Roscoe Collegiate ISD Veterinary Science, will be part of a future eXtension Update article describing an effort by Dr. Floron Faries, Extension Veterinarian with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, to prepare students for possible careers as veterinary assistants using a train-the-trainer approach. This approach greatly leverages Extension’s limited resources, such as Extension veterinarians, to reach a much broader audience, while equipping the external trainers with the same tools used by Extension.


University of Georgia Extension is now planning to use Campus for much of its foundation trainings. Under the leadership of prior eXtension Be, Grow, Create award winner Dr. Todd Hurt, it has opened up three such courses on Weeds of the Southeast, Insects of the Southeast, and Plant Diseases and Disorders of the Southeast. Targeted to the professional development of county Extension faculty, these courses feature picture galleries of various specimens, and then a flash card game for individuals to test their knowledge. This is followed by a quiz, and depending on satisfactory performance on the quiz, a certificate of achievement. Those completing these courses will be able to submit them to their professional development tracking system. Georgia Extension plans to expand these offerings significantly as other topics are identified and content developed.

Todd Hurt

There are many more similar examples that could be shared, but simply browsing through the available courses at Campus should give one a good overview of the topics and approaches being used by Extension educators. Finally, to learn more about Campus and how it can be used, please check out the quick reference guides at, particularly the Campus Fact Sheet located there. And, as we always end our various communications, if you have any questions or requests, please address them to


Power of Excellence in Extension Database Collects CES Impact


You never know when comprehensive data, at your fingertips, might be needed to tell the Cooperative Extension story to elected officials, to university administrators or to members of your own organization.

The Excellence in Extension database provides historical and comparative information for Cooperative Extension systems across all land-grant universities. This important tool designed especially for Extension leaders is most powerful if everyone participates.

As of the June 30 data entry deadline, only 17 out of 75 Extension organizations had complete or partial data in the database, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Texas, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota (partial), Alaska (partial), Oregon, and Wyoming.

If the due date slipped by you, it’s not too late to enter 2014 data. The recent program upgrade has many improvements, making entry easy. The data is used to describe the overall scope of Extension, market it as a national system, document Extension’s strengths, and focus on areas of impact. (Adapted from the Monday Minute).


eXtension’s Phillips Helps Found Women in Virtual Reality Group

wivr logo

Women active in virtual reality technology, business, media and education have formed a new association to promote and celebrate contributions women have made and continue to make in virtual reality and to attract more women to this field.

LuAnn Phillips, eXtension’s Virtual Worlds Specialist, joins twenty-six industry pioneers as a founding member of Women in Virtual Reality. The new organization will encourage networking and mentorship and work to increase the visibility of women in the profession.

Read the full text of the announcement.


University of Arkansas Begins Research on Aging and Second Life®

Mather Cafe

Can social activity in an immersive virtual world help older persons feel better?

A new research project based on eXtension’s Morrill2 region in Second Life®
will look at how the psychosocial well-being of older persons may be impacted by their exploration of the Second Life 3D virtual world.

The subjects of the study will access Second Life on computers at Northwest Arkansas Area Agency on Aging Senior Centers, where staff will be trained to assist along with trained volunteer guides in the virtual world. The participants will enjoy a combination of guided activities and independent exploration.

Timothy S. Killian, PhD, University of Arkansas School of Human Environmental Sciences will lead the study, which is funded by the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging. Co-Investigator is Dennis Beck, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at University of Arkansas. Other partners include Virtual Ability, Inc., Arkansas Division of Aging and Adult Services; along with LuAnn Phillips, eXtension’s Virtual Worlds Specialist, and Dr. Rodger Marion of University of Texas Medical Branch.

eXtension is assisting the study in several ways. Throughout the conceptualization and implementation phases of the project, eXtension is providing expertise and guidance. A home location in Second Life was built, modeled after a Mather Café activity center, where Extension educators will offer the subjects classes in nutrition, financial management, caregiving, and horticulture. A device is being designed to gather data about the subjects’ behavior and activities. eXtension will work with the team to develop guided field trips for the subjects. Finally, eXtension will assist with dissemination of results through publications, conferences, and media.

To begin development of your own research project in a social virtual world, contact LuAnn Phillips:


What can Google Apps do for You Today?

Many people across eXtension are familiar with the many products Google offers. The suite of products is generally referred to as Google Apps. Common Google Apps include Google Docs, YouTube, Google Hangouts (and Google Hangouts on Air), Blogger, Google Analytics, Google Maps, and of course, Google Mail (Gmail) as well as many more. When looking at the Google Apps suite, a question for many is “do any/all of the Google Apps have direct advantages to serving the Cooperative Extension mission?” In other words, why would you as an individual, or even “you” as an Institution use and adopt this particular technology application?

Part of the proposed new eXtension strategic plan includes a process by which technology tools and workplace advances can be evaluated and demonstrated in the context of the needs of the Cooperative Extension Service as a whole. The use of Google Apps, and the potential uses within CES, is one of the technologies being looked at by a group of users from across the System.

The nine-member “Google Apps for CES” team has been tasked with shedding insight on the use of Google Apps – specifically in the context of use in the CES system (individually, state/regional, or national level). Not only are they looking at Google Apps, but they are also using the Google App tools “by example” to demonstrate their use to CES. The group has been tasked to give guidance on some areas that can help entities within CES evaluate these tools. Tasks include:

1.) What Google Apps compliment the work process of CES educators (create efficiencies, teach proficiencies, provide new collaboration opportunities, support clients)
2.) Who is using Google Apps across the system and what have they learned?
3.) What processes, or pitfalls might CES encounter with these tools or technologies that need to be identified?
4.) What ways do Google Apps help serve the CES mission of creating channels for science-based information to reach the public?

The short-term goal of this group is to provide insight to those that need it across the system on the value of Google Apps to CES. As a long-term goal, additional training (both virtual and on-site) would be available. If you can’t wait to see what this group has to say, you don’t have to! They have created some spaces (using Google Apps tools of course) for you to watch and join right away:

Google Plus Commuity – Google Apps for CES

Blogger site – Google Apps for Cooperative Extension

You have the opportunity to use many of the Google Apps by signing in with your eXtensionID. In order to do that, you will need to know your eXtensionID (found in the People eXtension app – and your password you use in eXtension. Detailed instructions can be seen on our short video eXtHelp – Using your eXtensionID to Access with Google Apps [Video] 2:31.


Food Security Conference Features CES Potential, Capacity


The eXtension Community, Local & Regional Food Systems (CLRFS) Community of Practice will host a national Food Security Conference entitled: Building Extension Capacity to Address Community Food Security through Food Systems, September 29 – October 1, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The goal of the conference is to concretely position food security as a priority in food system research and practice, and to enhance Cooperative Extension’s capacity to work on food security and food systems.

Registration is now LIVE for the CLRFS Food Security Conference.
Follow this link to the registration site:

DO NOT REGISTER RIGHT NOW IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT VIA THE SURVEY ( See more information on the survey below. You will need to wait until after the deadline to see if you will receive reimbursement and at that time you will be given a special link to register for the conference. If you haven’t filled out the survey, please do so. You only have until August 22.

Click here to see the current Agenda. The conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Downtown, 1100 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 44115. Phone: 216-658-640. Conference room rate is $111 plus applicable taxes. Parking is $12 for overnight and $5 per day for attendees who are not staying at the hotel.

The hotel block is set up and ready to accept reservations. The Group Code is OSU. You may call the hotel directly (216-658-6400) or call Central Reservations (1-877-782-9444) and give them the group code (OSU) or ask for the OSU AFRI Food Security Conference Room Block. To make your reservations online, go to using the group code.

Organizers have funds to provide partial travel reimbursements for up to 60 participants. The reimbursements are granted on a limited, first-come, first-served basis with a bonus point system. They are available in amounts ranging from $200-$500 per recipient. The deadline is August 22, so hurry and fill out this survey to apply. Conference organizers are striving for diversity among attendees and they are strongly encouraging EVERYONE to apply for a reimbursement.

If you have any questions about the conference , please direct them to Katie Wright (

The Community, Local & Regional Food Systems (CLRFS) goal is
to provide resource materials, training opportunities and collegial interaction for Extension Educators, community-based practitioners, and individuals involved in work related to building sustainable and equitable food systems.


eXtension Strategic Plan Interim Report Accepted by ECOP


The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) has accepted the interim report on the eXtension Strategic Planning process chaired by Keith Smith, Ohio State University. See for a summary of the new Innovation Foundation (working title) designed to augment electronic capabilities of participating institutions.

The business model calls for a membership structure in place of the current assessment process. The final report is due to ECOP at its October face-to-face meeting in Lexington, KY. (From the Monday Minute)