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September 22, 2008

Productivity Software

I started using Google Docs this fall. I have had some trouble allowing others to see the published works. I can't quite tell if anyone is allowed to see my published works or just those with Google accounts. My guess is that I haven't quite tweaked the settings right to let everyone see the published works.

I have briefly looked at Zoho and hope I can figure out how to use this in more detail. I have thought of putting a plant database on Zoho, then linking to pictures in Flickr. Thought this might be a useful tool, but I need more time to investigate if this would be the best way to go.

It is great that there is so much free productivity software out there. I almost wonder if the next computer I get if I will need to purchase Microsoft Office. I agree that the online tools are easier to use. Most of the advanced features I rarely use in Office, so it's nice not to get bogged down with some of the "smart" features that rearrange formatting for you in Office and actually make things more frustrating.

September 2, 2008

Wikis

I've been using eXtension's cop (community of practice) wiki for a year and a half now. Though they are to be used in a collaborative nature, I find that myself and many other communities of practice find it hard to get other people to collaborate using wikis for content development. I think people may feel somewhat intimidated by a new piece of technology. Others just don't have any extra time to devote to new projects or learning a new technology. For those that are intimidated by new technology, I predict if people just tried the wiki, just once, the intimidation factor to using the wiki would probably go away since there really is not much of a learning curve involved.

I like the wiki because you can go back to prior edits and retrieve information you may have deleted. I get frustrated by the wiki because it fails to open a new window when you link to another source. However, I'm told that research indicates that opening a new window is not as crucial as one might think.

Dr. Michael Wesch of Kansas State University talks about collaborating through wikis for his students at Kansas State, see A Portal to a New Media Literacy. This is a long video, but nonetheless a great model for thinking about how to use collaborative media in higher education.

Today I've observed in humor as I watched, Anne Adrian, Auburn University, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, use twitter to communicate the following: aafromaa sneaky me: I sent out instructions to 200 people to add their names to a list. I never told them they're editing a wiki. Working beautifully

I think wikis are a neat tool. A great way to collaborate. It seems that we just need sneaky ways to get reluctant people to use them more!

Podcast Blog Entry

Download Karen's Podcast file

Podcasts and Audio

I am familiar with iTunes as I finally made the move to purchasing an Ishuffle this year. However, I really haven't subscribed to any podcasts, so I tried it out. I found some extension podcasts on sustainable gardening which I will find useful for a Sustainable unit I will be working on shortly. The podnova, I found interesting, too. I'll use that to help search for podcasts, since iTunes seems like the search engine is not as powerful at times.

Now, I'm going to try and do a podcast in a new entry. Something I've been looking to do for awhile...Thanks for encouraging me to finally do it!