This article includes Google calendar tips that will help you configure your calendar for Extension’s new mileage reimbursement policy. Tips for how to share your calendar, make individual meetings private and adding travel time to meetings are all included.

Sharing your U of MN Google calendar 

Default calendar view
By default, anyone at the U of MN (TC Campus) can view your University Google calendar. Note: Extension employee Google accounts are set to TC campus for this purpose.  What can people see on your calendar? Meetings on your calendar will display to others as “busy” but it does not show the details of your meetings. To comply with Extension policy, you should allow some people to see the details of your meetings by sharing your calendar with specific people (e.g. your supervisor, support staff, work team).

Sharing with specific people:

  1. Open your Google Calendar
  2. On the left, under My Calendars, find your calendar and click the arrow next to it
  3. Select Share this Calendar
  4. Under Share with specific people, add the email address of the person you want to share with
  5. For Permission Settings, choose an option in the drop-down menu. Learn more about permissions below.
  6. Click Add person, if they aren't already added
  7. Click Save. Once you click Save, the person you shared your calendar with will get an email invitation to view your calendar. If they click the link in the email, your calendar will be added to their "Other calendars" list.
Permission Settings – control what others can see
When you share your calendar with someone, you can decide how they see your events and whether they can also make changes like adding or editing events. Here's what people can do with each sharing option:

Make changes AND manage sharing
  • Change sharing settings
  • Add and edit events
  • See details for all events, including private ones
  • See the time zone setting for the calendar
  • Restore or permanently delete events from the calendar's Trash
Make changes to events
  • Add and edit events
  • See details for all events, including private ones
  • See the time zone setting for the calendar
  • Restore or permanently delete events from the calendar's Trash
See all event details
  • See details for all events except those marked as private
  • See the time zone setting for the calendar
See free/busy information (no details)
  • See when your calendar is booked and when it has free time, but not the names or other details of your events.

Making individual meetings private

Items marked as "private"
Some things on your calendar should be set as private such as doctor appointments, unless you don't mind if people see them. If you have given someone permission to view details on your calendar, the items marked as private will display as "busy".
  1. Open the meeting you want to mark private
  2. At the bottom of the page, find the Visibility section
  3. Select Private
  4. At the top of the page, click Save

Adding travel time to meetings 

Adding your travel time to and from meetings is an important part of managing your calendar. This will prevent people from scheduling meetings at a time you are traveling. Create a separate “travel time” meeting before and after your meeting. Here’s an example:


Take a moment to explore some other Google calendar settings. Under your Calendar Settings General tab, you can change:

Default event duration: when you click in your calendar to create a meeting, the default time is 30 minutes. You can change this setting to different amounts of time.
Working hours: give people a warning if they try to schedule meetings outside of your regular working hours.
Change how you view your calendar: dim past/future events, show weekends, customize your default view.

Under your Calendar Settings Labs tab, explore some calendar add-ons. The add-on that I have enabled is "Who's my one-on-one with?" If someone has scheduled a meeting with me, it will display their name on my calendar next to the event.

As always, we welcome comments, tips and feedback on the QuickBytes blog.

Happy New Year everyone!

NOTE: There is a newer 1:Button Studio article here.

Recently the University of Minnesota built a "1:Button Studio" on West Bank Campus for use by anyone who needs a quick and easy space for recording. But how quick and easy is it? I had to see for myself!
So the Quick Bytes crew went for a little field trip. Oh Yeah!
Enjoy this video and then I'll get into the details below!

I didn't know Jack McTigue very well before this, and I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm completely nuts after this.

Regardless. The facility is there for nuts and non-nuts alike. Equal nut-protunity. Here's how it works.

Step 1.

Reserve the Studio space. For now while the studio is new, you email to get on the calendar and get a quick orientation. Going forward, you should just be able to request it via Google Calendar. Pick up a studio key at a Tech Stop on campus, or follow the instructions that you have been given for access. Show up looking gorgeous at the Studio.

Step 2. 

In the studio, turn on the light switch to power it all up. Plug in your laptop. Then enter your email and press the giant green "Start Recording" button on the studio's iPad.


Step 3.

Press button again to stop recording.
The recording of the CAMERA, COMPUTER SCREEN, and a COMPOSITE OF THE TWO (3 separate video files) will be emailed to you within about a day. (examples of these are in the video above). They are available for you to download for about 2 weeks so save them down to your computer or Google Drive.

Step 5.

IF you need to edit your video (optional!), you will need to convert it to work in Windows (since it came from an iPad....). Luckily for us, this is ridiculously easy with the U's Media Hub. Like 2 clicks easy. After it's converted (conversion is no longer necessary as of 11/2016), you can edit in Windows Movie Maker (Quick Byte on Movie Maker here) or whatever software you like.

Step 6.

Upload to the video site of your choice (I recommend YouTube).

They are building two more of these 1:Button Studios on East Bank, opening next semester: Diehl Hall and Walter Library. They are also experimenting with adding (optional) platforms for short people, and the Diehl Hall one will be a seated/accessible configuration.

The space is open to anyone at the U and is getting used by students especially frequently, and they are loving it. They record presentations and TED style talks for their classes.

What could you imagine using it for? 

Would one in St. Paul get used by Extension? I'd love to hear your ideas!
I first learned about the Local Foods College last year while working for a short time with the Statewide Health Improvement Program in Mille Lacs County.  Through that work, I met Barb Eller up at the Farm Market Cafe in Onamia, MN -- one of the six public viewing sites across the state.  I love the community-centered approach they took while keeping the "doors" open for individual access and convenience.  Read on to learn more about how Extension Technology worked with the a program team and educators to make it happen.

From face to face to online, while still meeting social objectives

The Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Program and Extension educators in the Northwest region have worked to provide a rich webinar series on local foods, with topics ranging from soil fertility to backyard poultry, basic business planning and beyond. Past series have connected local foods enthusiasts from across the state with the support of both iTV and UMConnect technology. The team worked with Extension Technology to conduct an audience analysis of past participants’ experiences with the Local Foods College, and to identify new avenues for serving participants. Participants surveyed were enthusiastic about the ability to engage on local foods issues in a flexible format they can access from home. Feedback also showed, however, that participants valued the Local Foods College as an opportunity to network and gain valuable contacts. To meet these dual goals of flexibility and community-building, the Local Foods College decided to expand their outreach to support more group discussion and interaction online. Extension Technology supported the production of a Moodle site with space for online discussions, video posts, and engagement with presenters and peers on local foods issues.

Image of Local Foods College website.

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!

Screencast videos are short video recordings of your computer screen with audio narration. You could also call them narrated presentations or video modules. I’m sure you’ve watched dozens of screencast videos but I’m including some of our own examples just in case (Noodling Moodle Intro, County Websites Workbench, Movie Maker Cutaway Shot).

Creating a screencast video is one of the easiest things you can do on your computer. All you need is a microphone (webcam is optional) and some software/web tool. While there are lots of applications available to create screencast videos, one of the best tools I’ve used is Screencast-o-matic. And it’s free! Your videos can be saved to your computer as an mp4 or you can upload them directly to YouTube.

The free version allows you to record up to 15 minutes and it puts a small “Screencast-O-Matic” watermark in the lower left corner of the final published video. The Pro version ($15/year) gives you video editing, drawing tools, longer recordings and removes the watermark.


  • Press ALT P to pause while you are recording 
  • Keep videos short!!! Research shows that the optimal video length is 6 minutes or shorter. The average engagement time of any video maxes out at 6 minutes, regardless of its length. 
  • Don't read a script! Be natural and be yourself -- even if you aren't recording your webcam, your personality comes through in your voice. If you are recording your webcam - smile. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect. If you say "um" or stumble on a few words, no worries! 
  • Google Drive is a great way to share and store mp4 files before publishing them to YouTube. 
So, next time you find yourself typing out instructions, explaining how to find something online or wanting to record your presentation -- consider using screencast-o-matic. When you are ready to give it a try, just go to, watch their 2 minute tutorial and then start recording!

Feel free to share your comments about screencasting!
Qualtrics logo

Why use Qualtrics?

I’m already comfortable with Survey Monkey, Wufoo, or Google Forms... why use Qualtrics?! Okay, okay, I know sometimes it feels like there are TOO MANY tools. If I know how to use one of them, even if I need to “Jimmy rig” it to work like I need it to, or do a lot of manual data sorting on the back end… it’s better than learning ONE MORE TOOL! Right? Well, no.

Qualtrics is such a robust option, and it’s easy to use for research and evaluation, administrative tasks, and teaching and learning! Still unconvinced? You can invite collaborators, collect data offline, and the University of Minnesota is Qualtrics’s largest customer, so if you want to do something unique, there’s help at the ready!

Karen and I recently attended a training day that featured a variety of practical uses from colleagues throughout the University, and we thought you might enjoy seeing what others are doing too.

For research and evaluation

  • Survey panels with participants available world-wide can be facilitated directly by Qualtrics (for a fee). Learn more.
  • Away from campus? You can collect data offline. Learn more.
  • UMN has an agreement related to data security. Contact the Office of Measurement Solutions for details.
  • "Carry Forward" allows you to copy answer choices from one question and bring them into a future question in your survey. For instance, you can first show a question to your participant asking which events or workshops they’ve participated in this year. You can then carry forward the choices they selected into the next question where they can then rate their experiences. Learn more.

For administrative tasks

  • If you love mail merge, you’ll be excited about Piped Text! It allows you to customize question and choice wording for each participant. When you add Piped Text to your survey, it will appear as a line of code, like this: ${m://FirstName}. When participants take the survey, this code will be replaced with unique content. Learn more.
  • Sometimes a response is so important that you need to know about it immediately. For this reason, Qualtrics created a trigger to send you an email notification whenever conditions you specify are met. Learn more.
  • With Qualtrics Salesforce Integration, you can trigger surveys off of Salesforce events and save survey response data into Salesforce. Learn more.

For teaching and learning

  • With over 100 ways to ask a question in Qualtrics, the possibilities are limitless. Click here for an overview of the 18 primary question categories. Hot spot and heat map are two I'm excited to try! 
  • Branching allows you to correct or reinforce student learning with built-in checks for knowledge throughout the module. It’s a bit like a choose your own adventure novel. Learn more.
  • Check data on students’ paths through the branches as early and often as you want. Change the current module, determine the focus of your next lesson, or set the agenda for an in-person meeting.
The College of Education and Human Development’s Digital Education and Innovation office turned a 20-page handout into an interactive module for higher buy-in and better participant preparation. See it in action. Learn more about the department’s use of Qualtrics.

The Med School is also using Qualtrics for Teaching and learning. An interactive learning module replaced a lecture when an instructor needed to be absent, and branching was also useful when they created a way for students to practice diagnosis.

Try it out!

You can log into your free account with your existing U of M login at

To access their training materials, webinars, and support visit

3 reasons to use annotations in YouTube

1. Personalize the experience

Remember choose your own adventure books? You can take the same approach with a "spotlight" annotation. Ask a question and create answer-based paths, or simply provide an opportunity to skip ahead.

2. Correct a statement or emphasize a point

After creating a video about raising chickens, Extension Educator Wayne Martin learned more about how they receive immunizations. It had long bothered him that there was a partial truth in the video, but the idea of doing a major video edit can be daunting. In this case, it was unnecessary. Wayne was able to add what he learned to the existing video in just a few minutes with a "note" annotation.

3. Provide a call to action or add more context

At the end of your video, use the "spotlight" annotation tool to encourage viewers to sign up for a mailing list or learn more by visiting a website. Don't put it too early in your video or you'll lose viewers, but allow plenty of time at the end for someone to find their mouse and click before the video ends.

3 reasons to use VideoAnt instead

1. Use on mobile devices

VideoAnt annotations are mobile-friendly and YouTube's are not.

Annotate web hosted HTML5 video on your desktop or mobile device with VideoAnt's responsive video annotation interface

2. Control who can view and who can annotate

This makes VideoAnt excellent for courses and collaborators.

Your private Ants can only be accessed by the users you share them with. You control who can view and who can annotate.

3. Start a conversation

YouTube's annotations are great for presenting information by way of the video creator while VideoAnt is intended to foster conversation among a group.

Ants are easy to share and each annotation acts as a conversation thread - analyze the finer points of a video with other users.

Have you used YouTube annotations or VideoAnt? 

What has worked well for you, and what challenges are you trying to overcome?
Screen shot of new registration page

Did you know your Extension team can accept registrations with credit card payments online?

You know, I (Amy) have had a lot of jobs at the U: dishwasher, cafeteria worker, museum tour guide, dishwasher (again--the U makes lots of dishes), lab tech, junior assistant to the junior assistant scientist, etc. etc...
There are a lot of things around here I do not take for granted (ahem, clean dishes). One of those things is REGISTRATION. Cuz I've done it the old fashioned way and let me tell you, it is a lot of work, and also let me tell you, YOUR HANDWRITING IS NOT AS CLEAR AS YOU THINK IT IS.

Luckily, we have online options now that can ease any UMN Extension program's registration workload!

And just think of all the stuff that you could be taking for granted. Payment security! Emailing registrants with confirmation! Processing of deposits! Financial reconciling and reporting! You can just be like standing around thinking educator-y thoughts and all that stuff will just happen! WHAAAT!

For Online Courses

Extension's Moodle courses are not-for-credit and so can utilize the brand new University-wide non-credit registration system, Destiny One Registration System (DORS) at no charge. Have you heard of DORS already? We are still getting used to it and have been busy being trained. Check out Achieving the Extension Mission Through Volunteers, one of our first setups in this new system. I think it looks pretty nice! And learners who register/pay will automatically be zooped into the Moodle course. Like MAGIC! (Like magic that is super complicated and took five exhausting years to negotiate and setup. STILL. MAGIC. All that matters.)

One thing every Extension program using Moodle should know is that, after December 30, 2015, all Moodle courses that use paid registration will need to be using both Moodle 2.8 and DORS. We have communicated this to all the instructors of Moodle paid courses that we currently support; if this is news to you, please let us know asap!!
Lots more information on DORS can be found in the Destiny One Registration System Info and FAQs document.

For Events and Workshops

As we are transitioning to the new DORS (opening new doors, if you will) (!!!), we are using two registration systems for Extension's events/workshops. No big deal, our team will help you figure out which one meets your needs best for the time being--that's their job and they're awesome at it! See our Registration Service page for how to get started.

What questions do you have about online registration?

Our next portfolio piece is an example of how we can help make the work you (and/or your contractors) have already done work even better for your audience or students, AND be more update-friendly and sustainable for you!

Serve it Up Safely Online Course: Online curriculum moved from custom system to Moodle

Serve it Up Safely is a curriculum for continuing education of state certified food managers. The Food Safety team came to Extension Technology with a course that had been created by a contractor and requested some feedback on its interactivity. Extension Technology was able to work with the Food Safety team to provide them a Quality Matters-style review. Resulting from this review, Extension Technology worked with the team to create a recorded Introduction Video Tour for students to introduce them to the site. Our team also added some advanced Moodle functionality that allowed their contractor’s objects to function optimally in the University’s current Moodle version.

Image of Serve It Up Safely Online Course website

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!

Whoooo needs free photos and music? I bet you do!

Our team gets asked a lot of questions about free PHOTOS and MUSIC for educational use on Moodle and YouTube and websites. We usually recommend searching Creative Commons. I'm excited to show this additional free resource to you!

The University of Minnesota is piloting offering content on three "Stock" sites for free until December. If feedback is positive, they will continue to offer this service. 

>>>January 2016 Update: The contract has been made permanent<<<

First of all the link:
Second of all the instructions:

  1. You MUST be connected to a University network (wifi or hardwire). (VPN that is configured for full tunnel or "Departmental Pools" also will do the trick.)
  2. You must enter from the link above, you cannot enter the site directly or it won't be free!
  3. Select from the following 3 sites of stock content: 
    1. VideoBlocks (video snippets you can insert into your vids as B roll and intro)
    2. AudioBlocks (music and stuff)
    3. GraphicStock (photos and illustrations)
  4.  No login required. Don't make an account.
  5. NOTE: My experience is that after 20 minutes the site will start asking me for a password. So I just go back to to restart whatever free magic was happening. OIT is aware of this bug, and if they continue to offer this service it would use the UMN login.
I am having so much fun finding things on this site to use for our videos and presentations. I spent a little time looking up stuff that might show you the potential in our Extension programming!

Looks like Minnesota water resources! There are tons of water-y scenic shots.

Health and Nutrition team, I know you like carrots! The GraphicStock site is full of vegetables. And flowers. TONS of flowers.

I found some corn, just for you AFNR. Oh and also, there are 8 pages of results for the word "soil." 

Look at this happy couple planting begonias. PLANTING BEGONIAS FO' FREE!

And if you like homogeneous school children, we've got you covered. This was literally the most diverse school children picture I could find. Well, something for them to improve on hopefully!

Also another weak spot: unhappy families. You want happy families hugging on a couch? JACKPOT! But for families in crisis or divorcing, fuhgettaboutit. I found this:

So with some significant caveats about diversity, I highly recommend spending a few minutes poking around the piloted stock resources. Anything you download before the pilot expires (approx. December 15, 2015) will remain yours to use for free! 

Be sure to fill out this super fast feedback survey to help OIT decide if they should offer this service in the future!

What did you find useful on these sites?

While I can't promise you'll go viral...

I am willing to bet your number of views and shares will increase if you follow these tips:

1. Keep it short

A computer science professor at the University of Rochester found 3 to 5 minutes is optimal, and I always recommend to keep it under 10 minutes when possible. But that doesn’t mean you need to throw out great content -- just chunk it! Break up longer recordings into smaller, standalone videos.

But do boil the content down as much as possible. Here's why:

2. Create suspense or a need to know: pose a question or tease before you tell

3. Keep content fresh

Did you have any teachers growing up that showed the same old videos (or film strips) for decades?  Did dated hairstyles, old slang, or the obsolete equipment used to play it keep you from taking the video's content seriously?  Keep your material fresh to build trust and support engagement.

4. Make a list

Lists help people remember items in a sequence or a group, and successful websites like Buzzfeed use them a lot. They're alluring, reassuring, and can lead to deeper reading. (via Ann Fandrey, Alison Link, and Cristina Lopez's presentation The Cognitive Science of Clickbait.)

(But I don’t mean this kind of list!)

5. Show more than you tell: aim for a 3 to 1 ratio

6. Show up as an authentic person

Be on screen, be human, and use humor.  Amy is great at this!

Dress, speak, and act like you would in a seated class (or in the field) -- which includes remembering to tell stories that usually come out on the fly in-person.  Don’t be more formal than is necessary or natural.  Don’t be a perfectionist; none of us want to be an “on air personality” and it’s not fun to watch your own videos. Remember: small imperfections will humanize you, so try to see them as a positive thing and just don’t take yourself too seriously.

Just because people show up to our webinars, it doesn't mean they are listening, learning or even paying attention. In a recent Intercall study, 65% of people admitted to doing other work during a conference call. 27% of people admitted to falling asleep! Last week at Program Conference, participants in our "How to Host Awesome WebEx Webinars" workshop, came up with some great ideas for keeping people engaged (and awake!).

In the workshop, we showed most of the WebEx Training Center tools that are available for engaging participants and shared creative ways to use them: These include chat, annotate, whiteboard, quick poll, sharing, emoticons, polls, breakout rooms, Q & A and notes.

We demonstrated the annotation text tool in WebEx by inviting webinar participants to write down some common Don'ts and Do's when hosting webinars. Our lists were long but here are a few...

  • Host a WebEx meeting on a wireless connection (use a wired connection!)
  • Forget to record the meeting
  • Read from a script - present your information
  • Ignore your online participants 
  • Learn the WebEx tools
  • Broadcast your video/webcam
  • Engage your participants often 
  • Use pictures vs. text in your PowerPoint
  • Plan your webinar
Some people were surprised to hear they should engage their participants every 4 minutes. According to Becky Pluth, author of Webinars with Wow Factor, the average length of time a learner stays engaged before getting distracted and begins a new task is 4 minutes. Active learning requires thinking and involves the learner and compels them to read, write, type, reflect, problem-solve. laugh, etc.

One thing that riled people up during the workshop was learning that a WebEx Training Center meeting host can tell when participants are no longer paying attention. A red ! appears next to participants who have wandered away from the meeting window. This is a great cue for presenters to re-engage participants or ask if they need a break. For every 60 minutes you should take a 10 minute break.

Workshop participants used a one-hour webinar planning worksheet to walk through the components of a typical webinar and brainstorm activities and ways to interact with webinar participants.

Pre-presentation (when people are joining the webinar): Give people something to look at, listen to, think about or do. It gets them engaged right away. Ideas include puzzles, chat (where are they from, what do they already know about the content, etc), show topic related trivia, introduce them to the tools they will be using in WebEx, greet them verbally. One person in our workshop said they play music and have people chat answers to questions during this time.

Introduction: This can be both an introduction to the WebEx tools you will be using and introduction to presenters and other participants. Ideas include showing a map and have them "point" to where they are from (annotation tools), ask a yes/no question using the quick poll, chat to share one fact about the content

Content: Every 4 minutes, check in with your participants. Have them reflect, review, discuss, write, read, etc. You do not need to plan an activity every 4 minutes, just check in! Mix up your content by using more photos and less text.

Breaks: You should provide a 10 minute break every 60 minutes. Let people know you will be providing a break or they will take one on their own.

Evaluation: You don't have to save this until the end - check in throughout your presentation. Idea: Share a Qualtrics survey from within the WebEx window. If you use the Share > Web Content and drop in the survey URL, participants can fill out the survey right then and there!! Build in time for them to take the survey in your webinar instead of sending it with them at the end.

Wrap Up: Review content and have people share their takeaways in the chat or a shared Google document. Tip: if you use a shared Google document you need to set sharing rights to "public". Then in WebEx use the Share > Web Content option. Create a Wordle using their takeaway text. Or just use a Whiteboard and have people annotate with the text tool their takeaways.

One last tip: people in this workshop liked the that I used during activities. In WebEx, use the Share > Web Content and type It counts down the amount of time you are giving people for the activity. They have some presets you can use (e.g. (for 90 seconds),, or

For fun, check out:

Here is the PowerPoint pesentation from our workshop.

Question for you. What are some ways you could use WebEx tools to engage your participants just before your webinar starts and during a webinar? Please share your ideas in the comments!!!

Join us for Noodling Moodle at Program Conference TODAY!

We'll be in the Cardinal Perch room at 1:30 p.m.

At the conference, we’ll have 60 minutes to dig into:
  • Where to start when designing an online course 
  • How to provide opportunities for hands-on, active, and interactive learning 
  • Exciting methods of content sharing 
  • Awesome ideas for interaction designed to motivate learners and increase learning 
You’ll also come away from our Program Conference session with a user-friendly checklist for great course design and peer review. 

Go deeper: Enroll in our Noodling Moodle online course!

Join a community of Extension staff learning to use Moodle more effectively for learner engagement October 12-28, 2015.  Learn from each other as well as the course content, and keep the conversation going in the Google Group.

Finish Noodling Moodle by the end of October to get premium access to Screencast-O-Matic FREE for one year!

If you participated in the preview session, thank you for sharing your questions, thoughts, experiences, and feedback!  You'll be glad to know I've added a lot of content based on the preview session I think you'll find helpful (like information on blending and flipping courses and making engaging videos).  The course is also more open and flexible so you can access what you're most interested in right away, or step through the course sequentially over time.  I even outlined a couple of different approaches (approx. 15 or 45-minute sessions) that will help you pencil the course into your schedule over a period of about 2.5 weeks.  

There's no wrong way to take the course.  But please do "show up" for it though -- contributing to wikis, forums, etc. along the way.  We can all learn more when we learn together -- ENROLL TODAY!

Please note: This isn’t a ground-up basics of Moodle course -- you can get that from central IT. Instead, this is a course that focuses on how to motivate and engage your non-credit online learners. 

Happy Moodling!

6 Breakout Sessions, a Resource Fair Booth and Mobile App... you can't miss us!

Breakout Sessions

Monday afternoon
1:45-2:45 p.m.

Easy peasy registration for your program 

Speakers: Erik Bremer, Extension e-Commerce & Registration; Patrice Johnson, Extension registration coordinator
Location: Mallard Point
Destiny One Registration System (DORS) is the U's new Non-Credit Registration System that is integrated with Moodle & EFS. See "The Registrator" live and learn if you have what it takes to make it easy for your customers to register and pay for your classes, workshops, Moodle courses, seminars, webinars and more. In this session, you will learn how this new system can make your customer's life and your job easier; identify what you need to get your event registration started, and see the potential of "The Registrator" in the world of integrated customer-focused software.
Make awesome, share-worthy videos
Speakers: Karen Matthes, director, IT Training and Support; Alison Holland, academic technologist
Location: Owl Overlook
Whether you want to flip your workshop or class, or capture standalone video, we’ll share tips, tricks and tools for better mini-lectures, demonstrations, video tours, interviews and welcome messages that will help your research and teaching content reach a larger audience. You’ll learn about research-based best practices in “chunking,” tone, and accessibility, as well as how to more actively engage viewers. We’ll also introduce you to some great tools such as Camtasia Relay, Screencast-O-Matic, and Adobe Presenter, and help you decide which best fit your goals.

Tuesday morning
10:00-11:30 a.m.

How to host awesome WebEx webinars

Speakers: Karen Matthes, Director, IT Training and Support; Amy Baker, Chief Technology Officer
Location: Mallard Point

When hosting a webinar, you only have a few minutes before participants tune you out. Where do they go? All sorts of places: email, water cooler, phone or anyplace but your webinar. Have you ever wondered if web conference training was really worth your time and effort?
Training with webinars is just as effective as traditional classroom training—when it's engaging. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to engage your participants every few minutes, keeping them from countless distractions. Specific topics include: Examine the WebEx classroom, Recognize common webinar mistakes, Learn how to adapt face-to-face activities for webinars, Discuss tips to encourage collaboration during a webinar, Explore and share techniques that engage learners and add variety to a webinar.

Tuesday afternoon
1:30-2:30 p.m.

Noodling Moodle: Motivating and engaging Extension’s online learners

Speakers: Alison Holland, Extension academic technologist; Amy Baker, chief technology officer
Location: Cardinal Perch
We'll explore tips & tools for motivating and engaging Extension's online learners! You will leave having seen doable, modern teaching ideas in action in Moodle. You will know exactly where to begin with designing your online course, and leave with a checklist for continuing or improving your course design. We’ll also invite you to participate in Extension’s “Noodling Moodle” online course and, if you want, to take part in a facilitated peer review if you already have a Moodle course.
Our learning objectives:
o   Where to start when designing an online course
o   How to provide opportunities for hands-on, active, and interactive learning
o   See exciting methods of content sharing
o   See awesome ideas for interaction designed to motivate learners and increase learning
o   Receive a user-friendly checklist for great course design

2:45-3:15 p.m.

Organize your Google drive 

Speaker: Karen Matthes, Director, IT Training and Support
Location: Cardinal Perch
Is your Google Drive a mess? Not sure how to use Google Drive with your team? Wondering what you can store in Google Drive? This workshop will help you organize your Google Drive and learn how Google Drive is a great way to collaborate and share documents. Topics covered: Upload and share files and/or folders for collaboration, Organize your documents and documents shared with you, Learn how to edit documents with others.

3:30-4:00 p.m.

Creating and maintaining customer relationships with CRM software

Speaker: Neil Anderson, Extension Technology, Program Director e-Commerce, Registration, CRM
Location: Owl Overlook
Extension Program Teams needed more functionality than just the "vanilla" Saleforce constituent relationship management tool. Now the U's Salesforce has been upgraded from "Core" to "Enterprise." It has enhanced flavor, functionality and a mass email tool. We'll start with a quick overview of future integrated software that is seamless to the customer and reduces multiple entry of data for the program team. Then we'll demo Salesforce so you'll be able to explain what functionality you need to improve your team's ROI, and we'll have time for questions.

U of M Resource Fair

Tuesday, 4:15-5:00 p.m.

What's new in Extension Technology? Come talk tech with members of your technology team, visit the tech device petting zoo, have your photo made in our hi-tech photo booth, and learn all about how we can help you be innovative and efficient at work!  We hope you'll stop by to say "hello."

Guidebook App

NEW this year!

We've been helping the Program Conference planning team to make the schedule mobile!  Download Guidebook in the app store, then enter code "umnextpc".

How to set Gmail as your default email in Chrome

When you click on an email link does it open in Gmail? If not, you can set Gmail as the default. Since this is a browser setting, detailed instructions for Chrome are below:

1. Open Gmail in Chrome and click the Protocol Handler icon in your address bar. If you don’t see the Protocol Handler Icon, go to step 3.

Protocol Handler Icon

2. When prompted to Allow to open all email links?, select Allow and click Done. Then you're done! Skip steps 3-5.

3. If you were unable to see the Protocol Handler icon click the Chrome menu icon in the top right corner of your browser, and choose Settings.

4. Click the Show Advanced Settings link at the bottom of the screen. Then click the Content Settings button under the Privacy header.

5. In the pop-up window, scroll down to the Handlers section and click the Manage Handlers button. Then select from the mailto dropdown, click Done and you're done!

Tip: You can also make Google calendar your default calendar in Chrome. Open Calendar in Chrome and follow the same instructions.

Undo send feature in Gmail

Google added an undo send feature this summer but it is not enabled by default (unless you had it activated through Google Labs). How it works: if you make a typo or regret sending a message, you can take back a message you just sent (up to 30 seconds).

To enable Undo Send:

  1. In Gmail, click the gear in the top right
  2. Select Settings
  3. Scroll down to “Undo Send” and click Enable
  4. Set the cancellation period (the amount of time you have to decide if you want to unsend an email)
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page

Undo sending a message

After you click Send, a link to Undo or View message appears near the top of your screen

If you don’t select “Undo” within the time limit, your message will be sent. “Undo send” may not work if you experience connection issues.

Sign in to multiple Google accounts at once

If you have more than one Google Account, you can use multiple sign-in to switch between accounts without having to sign out and back in again or use the incognito feature. For example, if you have a departmental Google account or a personal Google account, you can easily switch between your work account and your other accounts within the same browser (like Chrome or Firefox) using multiple sign-in.

Add your Google Accounts

  1. Sign in to Google
  2. Click your profile photo or email address at the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Click Add account from the drop-down menu.
  4. Enter the username and password for another account you want to access, and click Sign in.

Switch between accounts

1. Click your profile photo or email address at the top right of the page
2. Choose the account you’d like to sign in to

View your schedule from your Gmail Inbox

See upcoming events, locations and details from your Google Calendar right in your Gmail inbox!
  1. In Gmail, click the gear in the top right
  2. Select the Labs tab
  3. Scroll to the Google Calendar gadget lab and click Enable
  4. At the bottom, click Save Changes
  5. Click at the bottom of your Inbox list of labels (on the left)

Note: if the displayed calendar is not the right calendar, click Options > Edit visible calendar and choose the calendar you want to see.

If you have Google tips you'd like to share, leave them in a comment! 


It's our second installment of Academic Technology Project "Show and Tell"!  Still being somewhat new here, I'm enjoying sharing these pieces of Extension Technology's portfolio as I learn more about the types of projects our department has worked on and the challenges we get to help solve by finding the right Academic Tech-related opportunities.  I hope you're enjoying it too!

Next up: Extension Equine Program YouTube Channel

The Extension Equine Program has been developing a strong web and social media presence over the years to make information available anytime to horse owners and professionals in Minnesota and across the U.S. while not exhausting travel and faculty resources. The team grew interested in expanding their outreach to include short, educational “how to” videos. The team identified several “how to” topics--including pasture sampling, when to initiate grazing, and a demonstration of the importance of weighing hay and grain. These videos address frequently asked questions that are important to the Equine Team’s outreach and that are well-suited to a short demonstration video format. Extension Technology worked to film videos on-location at the St. Paul campus, edit them in a YouTube-friendly format, and support the launch of an Equine Program YouTube Channel.

Image of U of M Equine Extension Program's YouTube page.

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!

Didn't make it to the fair this year or want to relive the memories? -- No problem!

Last week Amy, Karen, and I created a virtual field trip of the Minnesota State Fair to learn about 360-degree photography and its uses. We created a virtual tour for you and included a 1-minute behind the scenes video to give you an idea of just how easy it is to do.*

*We used Google's Photo Sphere app and (both are free!).

How might you use this technology in your programs?

The Extension technology project process provides a viable pipeline for a broad range of elearning and technology proposals to be prioritized by leadership and supported by Extension Technology

Get by with a little help from your IT friends

When you design technology-enhanced learning, you want it to be effective, efficient, supportable, and have longevity. So we created a document that's intended to help you and your team achieve these goals. This document, Development Guidelines for Extension e-Learning Projects, provides guidelines for some common e-learning use cases within Extension. Please keep it in your back pocket when creating a...
  • Moodle course, 
  • video, 
  • lecture capture, or 
  • other online learning activities. 
You are especially encouraged to use this document as a resource when planning a project and collaborating with project teams both inside and outside of the University.

Apply for Extension Technology project support

Extension Technology will select projects to receive a package of services that includes hands-on experience and a variety of resources to design and develop effective technology-enhanced Extension educational tools and curriculum. Project teams will find inspiration, education, practice and collaboration with proposed tech tools, including videos, lecture captures, podcasts, Moodle modules, apps, e-books and more. The next deadline for proposals is Sept. 1, 2015. Read more about proposal requirements here.  Also check out the new blog post series we started featuring past projects to inspire you and recognize the efforts of innovative Extension teams.

What technology projects are you working on?

Earlier this year, WebEx was introduced as the University's new web conferencing tool, replacing UMConnect.  After September 25, 2015, the Adobe Connect ("UMConnect") server will be no longer available to use for hosting/creating meetings.  

Your Existing Meeting Recordings: 

You will still have access to your existing UMConnect recordings after September 25. The URL's to your recordings will not change.

Adobe Presenter Recordings

Adobe Presenter presentations that are currently published on the UMConnect server will still be available and the URLs will not change. You can also continue to publish new Adobe Presenter 10 presentations to the UMConnect server. 

More information about Adobe Presenter can be found on the Adobe website. Adobe Presenter can be purchased through the University software purchasing site.