October 16, 2008

Summary

This course has been an EXCELLENT discovery and learning journey for me. All of the topics covered over the course I had heard of but this course provided the insight to learn more about each. It truly streched my web comfort zone and now it is up to me to dive in to using more of these technology options in my everyday work. I am far better positioned today to use these than I was 10 weeks ago!


Web Conferencing

This week I set up a WebConnect meeting for a confernce meeting with me, myself and I. Everyone invited got their invitation and was totally engaged in the conference! The host uploaded a Powerpoint presentation and shared this with all and took questions from the members. All in all, this was a good trial run to go through and my overall comfort level was raised in using this technology. I do have some concerns about the audio portions of this technology. I communicate with many professional colleagues in the private world and it seems like they have better options in web conferencing than the U is providing. I suspect for a greater "price" there can be more options!

Communicating in 2.0

This week's course on unique communication methods was very intriguing. I truly believe that IMing can be a very efficient communication system--I need to follow up on the options for this. The materials on Twitter were very interesting as many resources, especially the Twitter for Academics article was so insightful. The YouTube video referenced in that article was informative. The applications of these communications for Extension are more challenging. Internal communications need to seriously consider these options as program teams could easily be more inclusive with Twitter circles. Reaching external audiences with Web 2.0 communications may be realistic with some youth audiences, but I am concerned with more traditional audiences at this time as e-mail is just gaining acceptance for others.

September 18, 2008

Social Networks and Extension

From Extension's perspective, the use of social networks can extremely beneficial to programs by the marketing and feedback potential and to the organization by the communication and public relations potential. As an organization, Extension is premised on tradition and strong public perceptions. As Extension engages its current and future audiences, social networks appear to have the potential to enhance the outreach of Extension.

September 17, 2008

Productivity Tools on the Web

My on-line activity can be greatly enhanced with the many productivity tools. My challenge is to focus my productivity enhancements on the activities that are of priority to me! I spend significant time fostering relationships, especially through the meetings. Thus, the Doodle tool was very intriguing to me and would be more efficient that having a person essentially try to arrange meetings. Lots of potential for me with this tool. Another tool that captivated me was Jing. It seems that capturing screen shots and being able to share that would be beneficial rather than trying to use words to describe concepts and diagrams.

In viewing the many tasks and roles that Zoho could provide to me, I only saw potential in the file sharing options as I am often using multiple computers over a course of a few days/weeks. The other applications did not seem to create a sense of value to me.

Extension Wikis

Wikis would appear to have great value for an organization such as Extension. Extension is a major transformer of information. Whereas the niche that Extension fills is that we use research to drive our educational mission, Extension still provides significant information that can benefit from collective experiences and voices. The majority of Extension's consumer access value could be sourced to wiki-type resources. Even Extension's educational curriculum could benefit from the wiki process so that supplementary information can be combined with research findings.

August 26, 2008

Podcasts: Revival of the Spoken Word

Podcasts evoke a hip and techno-savvy image. Podcasts are reviving the old-fashion notion that people might actually have something worth saying or listening (that is not music)! And now the updated technology is allowing for the spoken word to also be in great demand. Whether technology or human culture is driving this revival of the spoken work, everyone must recognize this trend. Extension can be a great beneficiary of this trend. As more of society is valueing lifelong learning and information, Extension has so much to offer to this content repository. Our goal must be to take our existing material and align it into this audio medium.

August 20, 2008

A Picture is worth a 1000 words!

The use of photo sites can be a very valuable educational tool. There is no doubt that many web sites cater to the desire to use that photograph that can add great communication value in a technology-based networking society. While I personally would like to supplement any educational resources with my own photography, this is not always possible and the web provides options for all of us educators.

August 19, 2008

To Feed or Not to Feed

Learning new technology-assisted learning tools, such as RSS feeds, was challenging to say the least. Either my computer and/or software is creating unique screens or I could not follow the explanations/directions given very well. Regardless, after following the directions and clicking on some interesting feeds, I can safely state that I have no idea where I will ever see the information that I had selected! I hope to eventually find out where these feeds are being deposited.

I am totally convinced that using feed aggregators can be extremely useful in Extension's work. We are constantly staying current with our work, either in our scholarship or our dissemination, that we constantly need to be learning from multiple sources. We can make significant strides forward with use of this technology tool.


A time to begin

Blogs carry a bit of intrigue and challenge for me. The intrigue is certainly the inside information that might be gathered from additional information a blog can provide, especially on topics of high interest to me. The challenge is being able to catch up to the new culture that is relying on communication that is much less face-to-face. In addition, there is a strong challenge in learning the limits of what you want people to know from oneself. But, we all must dive in at some time and now is the time!