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October 14, 2008

Podcasts - Week 5

I've always wondered what a podcast was. Thanks to this course I now know. I can uses for podcast in our work in food safety education. It could be a very useful training tool for ESL and low literacy food workers. For example, steps on how clean a piece of equipment could be recorded and downloaded on an MP3 player with clear instruction or in the primary language of the food worker. I love this opportunities to brainstorm new and emerging methods to reach our audience! Sweet!

October 7, 2008

Extension 2.0 Reflection about this Learning Journey

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises?
One of my favorite public radio programs (besides Car Talk) is Future Tense with Chris Gordon. Half the time, I don’t know what he is talking about but it’s great to listen to him talk to ‘techy’ folks that know what they are talking about. I have always felt that Extension programming needs to take a leap into the future and get on board with using technology to deliver our educational programs and message. This course has given me tools, resources and ideas to ‘do a short video’, ‘educate through a blog’, and ‘post presentation using UM Connect presenter’.

How has this program assisted or affected your everyday work?
Using web conferencing more through UM Connect for meetings and to review documents with others. Easy to use and love that you can share your desktop with others.

Were there any unexpected outcomes or take-aways that surprised you?
I was surprise how easy it was to set-up and post on a blog. I’m going on a study-tour to Brazil in November. One of our assignments is to post our travel adventures on a blog. I need to practice uploading pictures to it but otherwise I feel comfortable doing it.

What could we do differently to improve this program?
It was a great introduction course to learn about the various tools available. I like that it was self-paced. I think it would be good if we could interact a little more with participants to see how they are using the various tools. Maybe a midway webcconfernece and an end. Or perhaps develop user groups interested in a certain tool?

If another enrichment course of this nature were offered in the future, would you try to participate?
Yes. Definitely yes! I’m really interested in ‘how to use and access the U’s library via the Internet.

September 30, 2008

Webconferencing

I have use the presenter version on web conferencing and posted training. I narrated it and sent it to others to view. It’s a great way to reach lots of people and make everyone is receiving the same information. I haven’t set up any meeting using UM connect until today. It’s easy to do. I invited Shari Schmidt to the meeting. We hooked up our microphones and were able to chat back and forth. We shared our screen and edited documents. It was really cool. I am mentoring a new food science educator. I want to use UM Connect to do some of the orientation and to show her the features of how to use this program.

September 29, 2008

It's all about communication!

We hold some of our classes on the St Paul campus so I thought it would be good to sign up for the TXT-U wirleless emergency notification system. Many of us hold meetings on campus so it might be good thing for all Extension staff to do. Speaking of emergency contacts, I was showing someone my cell phone the other day. She saw my ICE contact and asked what it was. I explained it's my contact "In case of Emergency". Adding an ICE number to cell phones, is another good thing too do.

When we first were notified about the U's instant messaging program. I installed Pidgin and used it a bit but forgot aobut it and quit using it. I got a new computer and haven't reinstalled the program. I can see ways IM could be used as a follow-up quick evaluation tool to participants. Or answer any questions that came up in class that weren't answered.

I guess I'm not enough of a 'geek' to appreciate Twitter. I did read the articles and viewed the public site but got lost in the 'tweets'. Maybe, I'll need to 'get with the times' to communicate with my kids as they get older and get a Tweeter account. Of course, by then (3 years from now) there will be a new way tool and way to communicate.

September 24, 2008

Productivity Tools

I was really excited to do this module. Tools to make me more productive. Sounded too good to be true. However, after exploring the tools I found two tool I thought could be especially helpful and save time. I really like slide share. I think this could be used to see what your colleagues have developed on similar topics so you don’t have to revinent the wheel and to make sure your messages are close to the same.

The other tools I thought was cool and could use was Jing. I could do a quick video on how to put on gloves or wash produce safely.

I thought the online documents creators were interesting but not sure when I would use them. I guess if I was at a library or using someone else’s computer, I may use it but not sure when else.

Regarding the organizing tools, I like to have everything in one place so use Outlook to organize me. I’m not a ‘to do’ list type and have been able to relay on my calendar and my memory to keep me on task so won’t invest time learning an online one yet.

September 23, 2008

Wacky Thoughts about Wikis

Okay. One should not try and do all of the modules for this course in one day. All of the tools available on the Internet are mindboggling. I explored the eExtension wiki and found a site on food safety for very small food processors. Great information on that site. I haven't tried to change/add anything to a Wiki yet. I do see how it could be very useful to share food safety teaching ideas and resources for your area of expertise. I believe in synergy and borrowing ideas from others. Very cool stuff.

Flickr and Photo Stuff

At home, I use Snapfish to upload my photos and order prints and stuff from it. I found the Flickr website to be crowded and a bit overwhelming for me. I did like visiting and seeing photos. I searched for Brazil photos since I am going there on an EFANS study tour. I found over one thousand photos. Most were copyrighted. This site probably won't be my first stop when looking for food safety photos. USDA has a great site that I use often.

I just noticed, I have a typo in my primary category. I wrote 'Couse' not 'Course.' Does this thing have spell check?

I didn't find spell check so I just added another category with the correct spelling. I couldn't figure out how to delete the word I mispelled though.