October 7, 2008

Week 11: Wrap Up

What were my favorite discoveries or exercises?
I enjoyed all of it but especially learning to Blog, posting to Flickr, knowing more about Podcasting, leanring of some productions tools I can utilize such as lists and google docs. I might also try Wikkis and social networking sites in the future.

How has this program assisted or affected my everyday work?
It has made me take a look at some tools I did not know about or use and learn more about them. I do now or plan to use some of them such as Google calendar, Podcasting, Flickr, lists, and Blogging.

Were there any unexpected outcomes or take-aways that surprised me?
There are more new technologies than I thought that I can utilize in work. In the past, I might have just blown some of them off without even considering them.

What could be done differently to improve this program?
I really liked the pace of it and flexibility to do it when I had time to fit it in. Maybe use some IMing times to discuss some of the topics more in depth? That would allow more hands-on practice of some of the technology as well (much like the blogging each week).

If another enrichment course of this nature were offered in the future, would I try to participate?
YES!! The MP3 player was a nice incentive/bonus too!

Week 10: Web Conferencing

I've participated in a few web conferenes before, but had never set one up. It seemed easy enough to set up and the "Getting Started" guide was very helpful. I think this might be a good way to explore doing some long distance education with clientele, especially if you need to tap into speakers that live a distance. The biggest challenged I had when taking part in conferences in the past was dealing with the county's firewalls and being allow to view a web conference. I would like to see it used more for staff meetings or short trainings instead of always having to travel to places.

Week 9: Communicating in 2.0

I could see using Instant Messaging as a way to have a meeting with volunteers who live in different communities, so you they could avoid traveling. The biggest hurdle I could see having in my program is that many of the people I work with are older. I think sometimes they would just as soon meet face to face, because they aren't as comfortable with the technology and like the social aspect of seeing each other. It might be interesting to try with a small committee and see how it goes. This might also be a good way to have a group Q & A dialog with a specialist or speaker who might not be able to meet with you otherwise.

As far as using Twitter, that was an even harder concept for me to grasp. I could see possibly using it to market a program or as a way of support for clients (questions answered on-line). I think I would need to explore and become more familiar with it to be really useful though.

September 18, 2008

Week 8: Social Networking

The article by Seb Chan was interesting. As I explored some of the sites, I kept thinking how might I use this at work? I could see the marketing and support functions being useful. Marketing a specific program or program area might be a way to get interaction and feedback from interested people and well as generate interest in upcoming classes or events. The Support feature I can see perhaps using with a question and answer type programs such as horticulture. The main thing to consider with this is that they would probably need to be monitored in some way to make sure inaccurate info would not be spread. Maybe we could only allow the general public to post questions and only staff would be allowed to answer.

Week 7: Productivity Tools

I like the variety of tools presented this week. I could definately spend more time checking some of them out to learn more about them and get a feel for their use in work and daily life. I really liked the Google Docs & Google Calendar. I could see using Google calendar in my personal life to keep track of my family's activities. I liked the many templates you can find on the Google Docs site.

I have used both UMCAL and Netfiles so find both of those useful now. Netfiles has been very useful for doing teamwork and sharing documents when you have staff in multiple sites working on a project. We used it to post changes, share photos for powerpoint presentations and post final documents/presentations for future use.

I also checked out some of the other suggested sites and think one of the "To Do list" sites like Ta-da Lists might be helpful. I work in 2 offices and often think of things to do for the other when I'm in the opposite office. Maybe this type of website would be a good way to keep up on that. Another use might be for committee work - so that team members could check things off as they are completed? Don't know if it could work in that way - but might be interesting to try it.

September 8, 2008

Week 6: Wikis and other collaborative tools

I had no prior experience with Wikis and probably need to explore the concept a bit more. I think I get it, but some of the suggested sites were blocked here in Sherburne. I have probably visited Wikis before and didn't event know that's what the were. As far as how to use it within work, I could see using it with gardening questions and possibly around some committee work. I think I need to learn more about these . . .

Week 5: Podcasts and Audio

This week was a little more challenging due to the technology restrictions in Sherburne County. It seems when I tried it here at work before I ran into several roadblocks and had a hard time downloading. I have listened to podcasts before at home, so was a little familar with them. I have a Master Gardener who would like to explore this idea further as well. I could see a weekly update of what we are seeing locally in terms of insects or other plant issues and what to do or where to get more info or could be monthly gardening tips. It might be another way to reach people. Something to think about. Would need to really work with Sherburne Co first so we aren't spinning our wheels to get it going.

August 21, 2008

Week 4: Images and Video - Flickr

Very interesting this week. I had not used Flickr before except to view a picture once. I can see this having value in my personal life - sharing pics with family and friends. I can also see using it as a possible data base of pics I use for work. In working on the Living on the Land Small acreage curriculum this winter we needed pictures representing Minnesota instead of western states where it was written originally. We did load pictures on netfiles and that worked except you had to take the time to open and view each picture individually. With Flickr you would be able to view them all at a glance or by category and that could definately save some time plus provide a resource to go to for the future. It was easy to upload and tag a picutre as well. http://www.flickr.com/photos/29775065@N07/2784234875/?edited=1

August 12, 2008

RSS & blogs

Tried to use this. I subscribed to Bloglines and set up three feeds (I think). It didn't go real smoothly. How do we know there are new postings? Do they send an e-mail? Does it appear in MyU howm page or this site? Do I have to go to the Bloglines site to see them? Too many places to remember to visit - I think I had 8 web pages open at one point in doing this exercise. And speaking of that is there a place on MyU home page that has a link to this blog site? so it goes . . .

First Post

Well, I'm going to try this course. The younger consumers we see in coming into extension offices are embracing this technology and so are my kids, so I had better get with it too! Not sure if I'm ready for a My Space page yet.

What do I hope to get out of this course? To become more familiar and confident with the various new technologies available and to see how I might be able to utilize them in the work that I do.

Looking forward to leanring lots of new hip stuff from you Amy!