October 9, 2008

Last entry for Extension 2.0

* What were your favorite discoveries or exercises?
This was my first blog ever, having the opportunity to create it and keeping up to date was great! I really liked the idea of Flat Classrooms...and adding pictures, videos, podcast to the blog. I hope to keep working on it and have the blog continue after this course!!

* How has this program assisted or affected your everyday work?
I think the best way this program helped me was to give me an opportunity to apply what I was learning in the course. I did things that I had used before but I also explored new ideas (RSS, Flat Classrooms, etc) and ways of putting things online, meeting w/people, etc. One way I will utilize is to hopefully continue my blog (EFA) and also in sharing documents on line with colleagues. This is a great way of collaborating, decreasing travel time, and ensuring effectiveness in our work.

* Were there any unexpected outcomes or take-aways that surprised you?
Hmmm...The RSS feeds I think is something I want to learn more about; I have seen them in sites and added them to my blog but I still quite don't understand how it works :(.

* What could we do differently to improve this program?
I thought it was well implemented. It was good to get the weekly reminders to do our homework! Overall it went well. No changes at the moment.

* If another enrichment course of this nature were offered in the future, would you try to participate?
Definitely! It was a great experience and really helped me in applying what I was learning.

October 2, 2008

Web Conferencing

What a great learning opportunity. I actually had to host my first web conference/meeting this last Monday (29th) for the YWI regional staff. I was in charge of creating the meeting, setting the invites, and hosting it for about 2 hours. It went really well and I even used my webcam so others could see me live!!! Although I had participated in many over the past few years, I had never hosted one myself and overall it was a good learning experience (made a couple mistakes, fixed them, and everything went smoothly).
I have participated in courses taught via UMConnect with colleagues and students in Mexico and other Latin American countries...I believe that in my work this will be a great tool.

Also...YWI will be hosting the Howland Symposiums this fall over UMConnect...if you can't make it to campus, feel free to join us online!.

September 22, 2008

Communication tools

Hmmm Twitter...I'm still a bit lost. I've heard of twitter mostly on the radio, I have never used it and today was the first time I browsed through the "timeline" to get a feel for it. At first it was strange, however, once I read the "Twitter in Academia" article, it made a little more sense.
I really like the ideas on building classroom community, chatter amongst the students, and more so, the opportunity that it gave the instructor to learn more about the lives of his students. In doing so, he was better able to deliver a class that was interesting and related to the "real world" where students live day in and day out. I will keep investigating this twitter thing to see how I could use it for my work.

September 18, 2008

Flat classrooms!!!

Ooppss...It looks like I missed week 6 here is my entry on Wikis :) I loved the Flat Classroom idea where students from different parts of the world can share ideas on common projects, etc. A colleague and I in the EdPA department here at the U have been implemented something like the Flat Classrooms (not so advanced though :( with students in MN and Morelos, Mexico. There is a small town in Morelos that has over a third of its population residing in the Twin Cities...we have attempted to connect classrooms utilizing chats, and web cams. Now knowing about this Flat Classroom project will help us take our little project a step further. This is many opportunities! We could use this with 4-H as well...connecting club across the country that would like to share projects, ideas, and do so with technology! Doing so allows for children to explore other cultures, ideas, and worldviews!

Social Networking

Social networking has a great deal of potential for my work and my organization (Extension- YWI). We have been discussing this at staff meetings, among co-workers, etc. since many of your younger audience (newer youth workers) are on these social networking sites. We ask ourselves? What is our presence? How can we reach out to them through Facebook and other sites in which they network and stay connected?
I personally believe that there is potential for us to get out there, learn what others are doing, and utilize these spaces as another avenue to reach our audience, promote our programs, and get ideas on current issues affecting our clients.
I've been in Facebook for a few years now (started it in college) and I have continued to use it, I stay connected with colleagues, old friends, and family and friends in Argentina :).

August 25, 2008

Extension tours Red Lake Nation

A group of approximately 50 Extension staff toured the Red Lake Nation on August 19th and 20th. The two-day long tour included visits to educational institutions, the comprehensive health care facilities, a reservation fishery, and green house. Extension members were able to select from three different themes (Education, Health Care, and Natural Resources). Due to my work, and personal interests I decided to explore the educational facilities of the reservation along with 20 or so other Extension employees...we toured the high school and middle school building (adjacent to each other), the elementary school, and the tribal college.
The visit to Red Lake Nation was a first step to a collaborative partnership between University of Minnesota Extension and the Red Lake community. On our second day of the tour we were able to participate in small group discussions (around the three main themes) with members of the American Indian community to further explore partnership opportunities and to learn more about the needs of this community from the members themselves.

Here are some pictures of the tours, beautiful scenery, and more :)


Extension staff approaches the Red Lake Elementary School...


The elementary school has its own bird cage, something that the little students really enjoy.


Red Lake Tribal College former president welcomes Extension employees to the institution...


A view of Red Lake (the second largest lake in MN after Lake Superior). It's such a tranquil view!