Did you know that you can set an expiration date to your shared Google files and folders? This feature is great when your team is working on a project and you need to give people an access which expires automatically after a specific date, or when you share files with external partners.

The expiration dates can be set for users with Comment or View access only. Expiration dates can not be set for users with Edit access or for file owners. Setting an expiration date will automatically change the user access to Can Comment.

How to set an expiration date?

  1. Right-click on a file or folder, click Share and enter the email address of the person you want to share the file with.
  2. Click Advanced
  3. Click Send to send invitation to the person
  4. After the file or folder is shared, click the clock icon and set an expiration date under Access expires. Use a preset or custom date.
  5. Click Save changes
If the person tries to access a file after expiration, they will be denied access.

Set Expiration Date.gif
Demo: set expiration date to Google files

Extension's video kits have been wildly popular. After three years, they are still checked out frequently. Because of this constant use, they were in need of some TLC!

We put a lot of thought and research into updating our kits. We talked to frequent users in Extension and video experts at the University. Here is what we came up with!



We stuck with the iPad Mini as the "camera" since that has been so easily usable by anyone who borrows the kit. Also, by not having to replace this we saved money to use on other new items!

We bought a new tripod mount for the iPad. It is magnetic and very sturdy. For ease of use, we just leave the tripod foot screwed onto it all the time.

We kept the Sony bluetooth microphones, but made some changes to make them easier to use. We are leaving the (necessary) adapter dongle attached to the receiver, rather than putting it in separately. This is to avoid confusion on forgetting to use it. We are also putting the transmitter inside the "caterpillar" windshield all of the time, to make it more obvious that it is the one you clip on the subject. (The transmitter and receiver look identical except for the label).

 We are using rechargeable batteries, necessary for the bluetooth mic.

The wired mic is a Rode lavalier "smartphone" mic with the 20' extension cord attached. This mic requires no batteries or adapter. It will probably work the better of the two mics if you are able to be tethered to the iPad with a 20' leash!

We included headphones in the kit, to allow for easy checking of your footage's audio. You'll need to unplug the mic and plug these in to check, but it is worth it to be confident your audio is working!

We packed up the new video kit in a camera backpack, with a side loop for the new fluid head tripod.

The backpack is labeled inside each compartment what should be where, to allow for quick and easy packing up and checking in/out!

We also boiled down the "Quick Start Guide" to a small, laminated card. This might be too simple, but we'll see. I don't think anyone read the 2-page one before anyway!


A completely new kit like this will cost approximately $793. See the google doc for the full spec sheet and prices. We already had some of the components (the iPad and Sony bluetooth mic) so were able to refresh our existing kits for less than $300 each.


So far the new video kit is receiving positive reviews. If you have any feedback on things we could improve or add to it, please leave us a comment! 

banner: Podcast episode 11

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 11: The improved video kit to end all previous video kits

(recorded December 20, 2016)
Tom, Amy, and Karen give the rundown on the new and improved video kits to end all previous video kits. Karen gives a pro tip on setting up an alternate host in WebEx, Tom shares about how he manages to never miss a birthday on Facebook, and the whole crew goes nuts for the Windows Calculator.

Links from this episode:

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When creating a brand new learning experience there is a lot to consider. Who is your audience? What is their comfort level with online learning? What types of teaching content will be most useful to them? Who are the content experts? What are your resources? Who will help create, review, and finalize teaching content like videos, text, images, and more? There was a lot to consider during the development of the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Detector Core Course, and the team worked very thoughtfully through it all.

Diversifying content delivery

The program team planned to utilize web-based, classroom, and field teaching methods for a flipped classroom approach. For sustainability and scalability, the team decided the online portion of the instruction needed to be designed to be self-paced and not require intervention from an instructor. Still, they wanted to provide a framework that would support a variety of learners. So we took a multimodal approach, delivering the same content through a variety of methods.


Narrated presentations are embedded in Moodle pages to teach the content through videos hosted on YouTube, which allows for the use of captions, and various playback speeds. This is a pretty traditional approach. But the team didn’t want to stop there. Due to the complexity of the subject matter, we also tried Moodle’s book and glossary resources. 

Interactive online books

The books, which can be printed, utilized the scripts and images from the videos. Important terms were defined in the glossary, and automatically hyperlinked when found elsewhere in the course, such as in the books. 


We also had the opportunity to assist with videos being created for in-person training sessions. Our video kit, which is loanable for any Extension project, was utilized for the filming AND editing. The mini iPad’s iMovie app made it possible to create a great picture-in-picture mock phone call example to illustrate how AIS Detectors should and shouldn’t respond to press inquiries!

This project was selected through the Extension e-Learning Proposal Process. We work with Extension Educators, Program Staff, and Faculty who offer training or education, like the Turf and Ground Field Day, Equine Demonstrations, the Local Foods College, the Serve it Up Safely Course, and the Master Gardener Core Course. They are ready to expand their reach, make education more accessible, and/or collaborate with colleagues and community members at a distance. If this is you and you’re ready for help, contact us for a consultation or propose a project!

Episode 10

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 10: A new space for recording in St. Paul.

(recorded December 6, 2016)
Tom, Amy, Karen, and Alison give some pro tips for the new 1:Button recording studio in St. Paul. Like don't forget a spare mustache. We also discuss the Pomodoro Technique, Google Explore, and Canva.
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There's a new 1:Button Studio on St. Paul Campus! It is in Magrath Library.

Our team got the VIP tour from Extension Librarian, Kristen Mastel. It only took about 10 minutes to orient us to the studio, it's THAT easy! (after that we just stood around eating Kristen's cookies).
If you need to do simple but professional video, voiceover Powerpoint, screen recording, live interviews, presentation rehearsals, etc.--this space is for YOU. 
I made a little video about it so you too can come along on the tour!

You literally push ONE BUTTON and badaboom badabing, the videos show up in your email inbox. My email with videos showed up before I'd even finished my cookie.

Here is the Library's page about their studio spaces: https://www.lib.umn.edu/1button and you can reserve it up to two weeks in advance here, http://umn.libcal.com/booking/1ButtonStudio

Pro Tips for using the 1:Button Studio

  • The videos come to you in 4 different views; you can choose which one you like (see video above for real footage of the 4 views)
  • The videos are ready to upload and use as-is, or you can edit using any video editing software.
  • Download the videos that are emailed to you--they only stay on the 1:Button server for about 2 weeks.
  • I'd dress in a solid color that is not grey next time. Maybe bring a couple shirts to try.
  • Don't change shirts in front of the camera. OIT live monitors the rooms! 
  • Bring a laptop to plug in for the PowerPoint (or screenshare) part of the recording, if you want that.
  • There are "apple boxes" you can stand on if you are short like me, so that you are framed nicely in the video (the camera is NOT adjustable up or down). 

NOTE: I made this video using WeVideo.com, a tool we were evaluating in Extension Technology for purchase for use within Extension. The watermark on the video has nothing to do with using the 1:Button Studio! :)

Your WebEx Personal Meeting Room is your own virtual conference space. It is always available, you don’t need to schedule it and the URL never changes. Last summer, the WebEx Personal Meeting Room (PMR) became usable for all UMN accounts.

Why use your PMR?

  • You can meet in the same virtual location because the location (URL) stays the same
  • You can lock your Personal Room and control who joins the meeting
  • You can stay in the room and let attendees come to you when you have back-to-back meetings
  • You can start a meeting from a mobile device when you’re not at your computer
  • You can start a meeting without having to use the scheduler
  • Use all of the WebEx functionality (share content & video, recording, etc)

Your Personal Meeting Room Web Address

The web address to your PMR includes your University of Minnesota Internet ID: https://umn.webex.com/meet/yourinternetID. For example, my PMR is: umn.webex.com/meet/klm

Starting your Personal Meeting Room

Use your PMR web address:
  1. Enter your personal meeting room URL in your web browser. If you are not logged in, click the Log In button in the upper right corner.
  2. Click the start meeting button.
  3. Start the audio connection (Call using computer or phone)
  4. If guests are waiting to join your PMR, they will join as soon as the meeting is started
Start your PMR after logging into WebEx:
  1. Under Meeting Center, click My Personal Room
  2. Click Start Meeting

Inviting people to your Personal Room

  • Share your unique Personal Room URL (e.g. umn.webex.com/meet/klm) through email or other communication method 
  • Start your PMR and select the Invite & Remind button

Personal Meeting Room Options

Customize your Personal Room view

In WebEx under Meeting Center, select My Personal Room. Select the Personal Room full view icon in the upper right corner. Or go to your Personal Room URL.

  • Select Change on your avatar to upload a photo
  • Click on the drink image to select a different image
  • Click on the desk to select a different image
  • Select the arrow on the left of the room to view the wall images. You can replace these images by uploading your own images.
Assign Alternate Hosts
You can assign alternate hosts for your PMR meetings. This means if you are not available to start your meeting, the alternate host can start it for you. NOTE: Alternate hosts must have a UMN account.

Set alternate host:

  1. In WebEx, click My WebEx
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Click My Personal Room
  4. Under Alternate host, enter the email address of the alternate host(s)
Lock or unlock your Personal Room
If you have back-to-back meetings or need privacy in your Personal Room, you can click the Lock Room button in your meeting. The lock room button is under the Quick Start tab. When the room is locked, no one can enter your room until you unlock it. If the room is locked, the host sees a list of all attendees waiting. The host can choose who to allow into the meeting.

Join a Personal Room Meeting

Attendees can join a personal meeting room by one of the following ways:
  1. Email invitation with the link
  2. Type the URL in a web browser
  3. Go to umn.webex.com and enter the host Internet ID

I hope you find your PMR as useful as I do. It is a meeting place I use several times a week. Leave a comment if you have any questions or if you have suggestions to share about using the PMR.