October 22, 2008

Wrap Up

Well, I just finished reading the wrap up assignment--I mistakenly thought I was all done after the 10 courses!

Yes, I would take another one of these courses. The timing of the class worked out well witht he 4-H year, because the county fair crazy schedule was slowing down by the time the course started--which allowed for a little extra time to do this work.

It is nice to be exposed to technology and terms to which I would hear about, but not really know WHAT it was. I feel much more "in the know." Thanks much.

October 16, 2008

RSS Feeds

This assignment led to some confusion on my part, because I went to Blogline to subscribe to NPR feed. However, from that point on I was mistakenly blogging on blogline, instead of using the movable type platform. So I was doing each week's session, but none of them were showing up on the right platform! Well, it was a learning experience, anyway. On the NPR feed, I watched Michelle Obama's interview, which was very good. Fun Fun

Web Conferencing

Since I began working for the University, I've been a guest at several web conferences, but this is the first time I walked through the steps to actually set up my own web conferencing. This is a helpful tool in our region, because there are PC's working throughout central Minnesota, and web conferencing lets us "meet" without having to drive. BUT, in practise, we do have problems with the audio and with lag time (is that the right term?) We have Legitech cameras for our use, but in the conferences, the cameras don't always keep up to our movements. Those are bugs that need to be worked out.

September 30, 2008

Communication

It was probably a mistake on my part by starting this lesson with the "Tweets" between McCain and Obama. The whole concept seems disjointed--like a dream that skips around without reason. Since that was my first impression of Twitter, it isn't going to be an easy sell to me.

About a year and a half ago, I took an online class (not at the University)of MN) where our professor tried to set us up into small chat groups. Apparently our class was not technologically savvy, because we just couldn't make connection with one another. At first I thought it was just me, but then I started to see postings from other students. In the end, the professor just had us post comments--similar to this blog. I think most everyone was frustrated. BUT I can see where it would lead to great possibilities. We were students from all over the country, and could have had a lot to say and share with each other. The idea of creating a classroom community (when the students are never going to meet face-to-face) is grand. But as an older student, one of my reservations is "Do we WANT to be "on" all the time? At times, it's awfully nice to get away from the classroom and books and computers. Now it's following us via celll phones and Text messages. Am I the only one who wants to escape from time to time?

September 25, 2008

Social networking

Having two teenagers with MySpace accounts, I know that social networking would be a good way to communicate with 4-H youth. The key would be to get as many kids tuned into the same network. I wonder if there is talk of setting up a MySpace type of account on the 4h4me site? The article on educational benefits of social networking had a very good point. Low-income students DO go online an awful lot. In our school district, which has a pretty high poverty rate, over 80% of the families have internet access at their homes. Not to mention that the local library has many computers available for public use, and they are used a lot! I think as a 4-H PC, my worry wouldn't be so much as how to help the kids be technologically proficient, as much as how do I stay up-to-date with their proficiency!

BTW, after doing this week's assignment, I asked my kids if they would invite me to be their friend on MySpace. They both said sure, and offered to help me sit up an account. This could be fun.

September 23, 2008

PodCasts

Well, I added the NPR Story of the Day to my blogline account. I look forward to listening to the story from my computer at work.

The first couple of times I did a search with PodNova, my searches ended with a "Item not Found" message. I finally found the NPR Story using the "Top Podcast" Button. It was a little frustrating, and I still don't know what I was doing wrong, but I'm happy with the end result.

Wikis

The idea of a Wiki is exciting, but a little intimidating. It's a great way to circulate information, but also a way to spread some misinformation, too.
I can see a lot of uses for this site within Extension. It's a great way to share the wealth of knowledge of staff. My frustration as a new employee is knowing where to go to find information. I'll be looking for certain articles or information at the Extension Site, and my supervisor might way "Oh, you have to go to the Wiki site to get that information." The University search doesn't seem to connect with the Wiki information.
For fun today, I went to the Thomas Jefferson Wiki site. It seems important to me to keep in the back of the mind that this information isn't necessary the truth, but when the Historical Society is providing the information, it seems safe to assume it is accurate info.

Productivity Tools

I have visited the GoogleDoc site; signed up for TaDa List; and checked out the Zamzar site. These are my observations:
GoogleDoc: I am located in a satellite office away from the county seat. There are six other cubbys here where people come and go from the county seat. GoogleDoc could be the answer as to how to access documents when you aren't at the county seat. It would seem the county technology department might like this, because then each computer would not have to be linked to the county system in order for employees to have access to their documents. Hmmm--do you suppose they know about this site?
The comments were interesting to read. I especially liked the comment from a son-in-law who was preparing reports for his mother-in-law in a different city. How do you find a son-in-law like that?

Ta-Da List: Great reminder program! I've already had my grocery list Emailed to me. It could mean a lot less sticky notes going back and forth between the office and home! The only problem is, this means one more user name and password to remember. I already have a pretty big file full of that kind of information. If I loose the hard copies, I'm in trouble. . . Maybe I could post a reminder of all my User Names and Passwords on the Ta Da list?
Zamzar: I am going to have my teenage kids try this site between home and school. It has been frustrating for them to take homework back and forth between our computer and the school's computer. At first the problem was with Works/Word documents and one computer not recognizing the other's documents. Now the school has updated thier office program, and so now even though both computers have Word documents, the school and home computer are not compatible. I am curious to see if this site will take care of that problem.

August 20, 2008

Flickr

Well, I've been busy playing at the Flickr site. This could be addicting! I've been invited to see other sites, but never considered downloading pictures for myself. Last time I tried to download pictures, I had dial up internet services, and it took way to long to consider doing more than one or two uploads. Now I made myself stop, because I wouldn't get anything else done this afternoon. FUN FUN.

Bloglines

I've subscribed to a cooking site using Bloglines. I was suprised to read that it doesn't send you an Email message, but you need to go into the site to receive updates. I'm not sure how often I will use that feature, but I realize it is like any other technology--it doesn't do any good if you don't use it!

August 8, 2008

New to Extension and 4-H

It is exciting to be blogging! I am fairly new to Extension and enjoying the learning opportunities. This is not the first online class I've taken, so this isn't all new. However, I am hoping to learn more and become more comfortable with this technology.