Creative Commons is a copyright tool that allows content creators (artists, educators, writers, you, me, etc) to signal that they are ok with certain types of use of their work.
If you had a copyright spectrum with "all rights reserved" on one end, and public domain on the other, Creative Commons licensed items would be all over the middle, depending on which of the many types of Creative Commons licenses is used.


For many of us regarding our more casual works, "All rights reserved" is a teensy bit overkill. For example: If I take a picture of campus and post it to Flickr, there is really no reason for me to reserve all rights. I'm not going to get rich off that picture. Someone taking it and putting it in their PowerPoint is not exploiting me. In fact, it makes me happy that I helped someone out. And when I need a photo to jazz up my next slideset, I'm going to be super glad that someone else felt the same way about their picture. Pay it forward, right?
Creative Commons is another tool in the same toolbox as open education, participatory culture, open source, and open access. Which is my favorite toolbox!

How to Use Creative Commons Stuff 

This is where you will fall in love with Creative Commons! Search around and you will see there is tons of music and photos and images that you can use for your educational purposes with no hassle whatsoever.
Below is a very informative video made by my lovely classmate Chandra, a teacher in Nebraska, that will show you how to find Creative Commons images easy as pie. I thought I would give you a break this month from my usual video craziness!

For other non-image Creative Commons Stuff, like music or video, try starting at the CC Search page. 

How to CC License YOUR Stuff

All of us are free to select to Creative Commons license (some/most/perhaps all of) our stuff. Yay! We can do this by visiting creativecommons.org and selecting a license image to embed along side or on our work. 

As you'll hear in this month's Quick Bytes podcast, Alison and I are hilariously confused on whether we hold our own copyright, or whether the University of Minnesota holds it. (We are planning a part 2 of that podcast with an interview with Nancy Sims, the University's copyright librarian, which should be super great). But in the meantime, Nancy clarified for us with this excellent emailed explanation:

"Whether something is owned by the Regents or owned by the individual UMN author is basically determined by whether it is an academic work (as opposed to an administrative work), and whether it's produced by someone who is a faculty member or is "faculty-like" in the relevant parts of their job duties. Faculty, and faculty-like individuals, own their own academic works. (http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Research/COPYRIGHT.html)"

(I imagine other Universities may be different, this policy and quote only apply to our readers from UMN.)

Nancy also says it is not contradictory to have the Regents copyright and a CC license on the same page, like we do here on Quick Bytes. We'll have to ask her about that in the interview, I am still confused how that works! ;)

Try it!

Share it!

  • In the comments below, post a link to the image you found.
  • Include the license icon code or info that you generated for a real/pretend item of yours.
  • Also leave any thoughts you have about Creative Commons!

Field Report: Brainerd Regional Office from Extension Quick Bytes on Vimeo.

Karen Matthes and I visited the Brainerd Regional Office a couple months ago, and here's our report from the field! We had so much fun, met so many people, and took so much video!

Destination: Brainerd Regional Office
Miles Traveled: 260 mi, round-trip
Time on road: 4 hours 25 minutes, round-trip
Tech Team Members: Amy and Karen
Weather: glorious
Number of times Karen's camera work will make you sick: probably twice

I gotta tell you, Brainerd knows how to hostess with the mostess! We were treated like visiting royalty! Thank you Brainerd!  We did a grab-bag tech training based on some topics they had identified, plus a technology Q/A, and an informal listening session on what the tech team could do better. And we had a blast doing it! Things you may not know about Brainerd Regional Office: they have an office Cantina, they have a food truck (or at least one they can visit), they are located adjacent to the county jail, they have a secret tunnel, and their office windows have astounding views.  Watch the 4-minute video above to catch up on all our antics and adventures as we report from the field!
Google Hangouts! How much do we love Hangouts? So. Much. Hangouts are Google's video call technology and because it's all integrated with gmail, they are a cinch to use. If you don't already agree, this article is for you!

When you are looking for a super easy way to have a video call, this is your answer. A Hangout can host 15 people on one call. It is useful for all kinds of things... team meetings, one-on-ones, project check-ins, presenting, training, trip planning, seeing the grandkids, seeing the granddogs, it slices, it dices, er, sorry. Got carried away!
Also there is a new(ish) feature of Hangouts called, "Hangouts On Air." With this type of Hangout, you can have unlimited people watch (not participate via video but they can chat) AND they get automatically put on YouTube after you're done. Neat, right?

I have made a handy video that shows basic hangout stuff, troubleshooting tips, the mobile app, and Google Hangouts on Air! Sorry it is 10 minutes but I promise to make you laugh.


Here's me and Alison Link recording a Hangout On Air for demonstration purposes. I think I did everything right on this one. Let's see...natural light, check.... rule of thirds, check... interesting background, check... eloquent content coming out of my mouth, d'OH! Did I actually tell people to use an overhead projector?! GAH!

If you haven't tried a Hangout or a Hangout on Air, I hope this module inspires you to add one to your week. If you want a safe place to try one out, just ask any member of Extension Technology to hangout with you or better yet, leave a comment to connect with another Quick Byter!

We here in Extension Technology have been working on a way to make video simpler for faculty and staff to embrace. We decided that to help with that, we'd put together some modern, simple, video kits for our Equipment Loan service offering.

Video is a great medium for quickly demonstrating or sharing some info in a very digestible way! We should be making videos as a channel for communicating our Extension education. Quick and easy video. Nothing too produced, just on the fly. 

Alison, our academic technologist, put a lot of thought into a video kit that is EASY and, as we call it, a way to "just do it." She calls it the Video Kit to End All Video Kits

Here is a sneak peek!

In the Video Kit to End all Video Kits:
  • Tripod (Ravelli)
  • iPad tripod stand (iStabilizer)
  • Wireless Bluetooth mic (Sony)
  • wired lapel mic (Audio-Technica ATR 3350)
  • iPad Mini case (Timbuk2)
  • iPad Mini (32GB, refurbished)
  • iPhone/iPad 1/8" microphone adapter
We spent some time researching video cameras, and kept returning to the iPhone as a great, simple video camera. (Remember, we're keeping it simple!) But what's better than an iPhone? A mini iPad! It has a simple video interface, you can edit and upload right on it, and it has a mic input for using an external microphone (in the kit). You can tell I am stoked about the mini iPads because I SQUEEEE really loud when she pulls it out of the case. It's just so exciting!

Our total cost per kit is about $1,000 [CORRECTION: This was for both kits!! per kit is approximately $500]. Let's make it a good investment for taking Extension education into the video age!

If you will be at Extension Program Conference in Duluth, be sure to check out our session, "Low Impact Video for High Impact Learning," Tuesday, October 8, 10:15 - 11:45 a.m. The title I suggested was "Lower the Bar on Your Videos" but Alison and Karen souped it up a bit for us.

Here is a glimpse of the planning for that session! Is that Prezi? Yes! We'll link to it after the session! HERE IS THE PREZI

Also, Alison frequently posts good examples and tips for low impact video on our YouTube channel.

After the Program Conference session, two video kits will be available for short-term loan to UM Extension staff via the Equipment Loan service offering.

Moodle is the e-learning platform that has been officially adopted by the University of Minnesota. It is open-source, meaning we get it fo' free. But the University has recently realized that free doesn't really mean FREE. You still need to invest in it to keep it updated and tailored to our environment. In the last year, the U has made an effort and a plan to keep Moodle updated to more modern versions. And this is great news for us, the course creators. Because we love us some features!!


Moodle is one piece in the e-learning tool box. If you are thinking of an online learning environment where you are actively instructing a group of learners, releasing modules and resources on a schedule, tracking progress, communicating en mass, and wanting student interaction, Moodle does exactly that. It is flexible, so you can do some of those things and not do some of them. And by you, I mean you. Yes, I'm talking to you! This is not a tool that you need a professional to set up for you.

As well as being quite functional, Moodle is fully supported by OIT, meaning there is training available for you, your students can direct technical questions to 1-HELP, and enrollment/payment can be done through automated processes. 

Trust me these are all outrageously GREAT reasons to give Moodle a try!


Getting started with Moodle is a piece of cake. 
First, request a course to play around with. (specify "Development or non-academic course" on the request form). This is a manual request, you'll get an email when it is set up. Then, dive in! Don't think too hard about it--just play!

  • Check out this very cool Moodle "Learning Map" from OIT, a step-by-step resource guide to creating and teaching in Moodle
  • This 4-week Moodle MOOC is inspiring and lucky for you, it just started September 1st!
  • I interviewed Alison Link, Extension's new academic technologist, on the topic of Moodle 2.4 in our latest Quick Bytes Podcast
  • Alison has created on a growing series of Moodle tip videos. Here's just one for an example:


  1. Go watch some of the videos Alison Link has created on our new YouTube channel. There are many Moodle tip videos to chose from! Even if the exact tutorial isn't of use, watch anyway to get exposure to an expert navigating Moodle.
  2. Leave a comment here about how you have used Moodle and found it useful... or lacking!

Scotch eggs

As part of a new initiative to connect technology more closely will the field work of Extension throughout Minnesota, representatives from our team are visiting Extension offices and events throughout the state. Please join us on our adventure!

Our latest adventure was the Minnesota State Fair, a haven of Extension programming!

Rah rah rah for ski-u-mah goooooo gophers!

Did you see CFANS gopher hats? AWESOME!

Destination: Minnesota State Fair

Miles Traveled: IT'S RIGHT HERE 

Trips made by Tech Team Members: 55+

Bags of mini donuts eaten by the team: 55+

Extension Technology was proud to support our Extension programming at the State Fair with hands-on assistance, as well as supplying over 100 pieces of equipment, ranging from laptops to netbooks to printers. We are quick to lend a helping hand to ANY team but especially if they are located in the midst of corndogs and butterheads. Or, as I like to think of it, HEAVEN.

From Master Gardeners accessing Extension info on Google Chromebooks to 4-H Livestreaming their 3 most popular events, technology opportunities abound at the State Fair. We had a blast seeing it, talking about it, and being a part of some of it! Here's a little video from the field so you can be a part of it too!

As part of a new initiative to connect technology more closely will the field work of Extension throughout Minnesota, representatives from our team are visiting Extension offices and events throughout the state. Please join us on our adventure!

Our latest adventure was to Farmington!

Destination: Farmington Regional Office 
Miles Traveled: 40 mi, one way 
Time on road: 1 hour 50minutes, round-trip 
Tech Team Members: Amy and Billie 
Number of cameras brought: 3
Number of cameras brought that actually had dead batteries: 2

Our trip was pretty spur of the moment... Farmington's server went belly-up and Billie needed to make the trip to deliver a replacement, so I tagged along! I was so impressed with Farmington's swanky office space--just wait until you see their HUGE name in HUGE letters on the wall! Also watch to the end to hear another segment in the raging "most fun regional office" debate! Which is apparently my favorite interview question to ask. 

I will need to plan another trip to Farmington soon, because HELLO! it is so close and also because the office was pretty deserted that morning. Maybe because the server was down. That probably had something to do with it. Although Larisa figured out you can plug your computer in to the back of your VOIP phone and get internet which is total GENIUS. 

Field Report: Farmington Regional Office from Extension Quick Bytes on Vimeo.

Join us for our next Extension Quick Bytes Field Report after we visit the Brainerd Regional Office in June!

This Quick Byte is a little different, it is a video demo! Watch it, check out the advanced tips below, do the "Try it!" activity, and let us know what you think!

Quick Byte: Google Drive from Extension Quick Bytes on Vimeo.

Some further Google Drive tips:
More Resources:
The Google Drive FAQ
A Google Drive Quick Guide

Try it!
Here is a google doc that is set to "anyone with the link" can edit. Go ahead and try it out--be sure to practice checking the revision history.

Share what you know! or don't know!
Please comment with interesting uses you've found for Drive, or with any challenges or questions you've run into.

As part of a new initiative to connect technology more closely will the field work of Extension throughout Minnesota, representatives from our team are visiting Extension offices and events throughout the state. Please join us on our adventure!

We kicked off this adventure in Andover in April!

Destination: Andover Regional Office
Miles Traveled: 20 mi, one way
Time on road: 1 hour, round-trip
Tech Team Members: Amy and Karen
Number of swears I had to remove from this video: 3 (ALL MINE)

I learned all kinds of things in my first Field Trip to a Regional Office! For example, did you know there is such a thing as the "Coffey Hall Bubble," or that Andover is the self-proclaimed Most Fun Regional Office? I also see my first Regional Office server and attempt to find the root of their internet connection.

Field Report: Andover Regional Office from Extension Quick Bytes on Vimeo.

InterCall is a new audio and web conferencing service for the University of Minnesota. This service replaces Gopher Conferencing which will no longer be available after February 28, 2013. Gopher Conferencing is widely used on campus by Extension employees.


The InterCall audio and web conferencing options include:

Reservationless-Plus (Audio Conferencing)

Reservationless-Plus gives you the power to host audio conference calls whenever you want. Just pick up any phone, dial the dedicated phone number, and initiate a call using your conference ID and Leader PIN (provided via email after you request an account). The cost for Reservationless-Plus is .02/min multiplied by the number of participants, multiplied by the length of conference call. For instance, a meeting with 10 participants that lasts 60 minutes will cost $12 (.02 x 10 x 60 = $12). 

Operator Assisted (Audio Conferencing)

The Operator Assisted service provides expert operators to manage all the details so you can concentrate on delivering your message. The cost for Operator Assisted calls is .17/min multiplied by the number of participants, multiplied by the length of conference call. For instance, a meeting with 10 participants that lasts 60 minutes will cost $102 (.17 x 10 x 60 = $102).

InterCall Unified Meeting (Web Conferencing)

InterCall Unified Meeting enables you to:

  • present PowerPoint slides;

  • share applications, documents, spreadsheets;

  • quiz and survey participants; and

  • show websites to others that are not able to attend a meeting in person.

  • The cost for Unified Meeting (Web) conferencing is .02/min, multiplied by the number of participants, multiplied by the length of conference call. For instance, a meeting with 10 participants that lasts 60 minutes will cost $12 (.02 x 10 x 60 = $12).

    Note: While this service does not replace UMConnect, it does provide another web conferencing service for us to use. UMConnect is free unless you are using an audio provider with your web meeting (e.g. Premiere Global, SimpleTollFree). InterCall is not free.


    Request an Account

    To request an account, go to InterCall's University of Minnesota website and click Sign Up Now. Note that a credit card number is required. You will need to enter the University's InterCall username UnivMinnUser1 and password UnivMinnUser_1. Once the request has been submitted, you'll receive a confirmation email within 48 hours from InterCall with your account information and then you will be ready to make conference calls. Full sign-up instructions are available.


    If you plan on using the Unified Meeting Web Conferencing service, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for one of the free instructor-led or self-paced classes available. Sign up for training on the InterCall website.

    Conferencing Support

    InterCall provides support for this service. If you have questions about the service in general, feel free to call the University of Minnesota technology help service desk at (612) 301-4357 (or 1-HELP on campus). 

    For technical and billing questions, please contact InterCall directly.

    For contact information and to learn more about the service, tools, or available training, etc., visit InterCall's University of Minnesota website.


    1. Take a look at what tool(s)  you are currently using for audio conferencing and see how InterCall's pricing and features compare. 
    2. Watch an online demo of InterCall's Unified Meeting. If you currently use Premiere Global with UMConnect, you might want to give this a try.
    3. Please leave a comment on the blog or a social media channel letting us know how you liked this QuickByte!