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.

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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.

Video


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. 


BONUS!

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.

Customize:
  • 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.












banner: Podcast episode 9

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 9: Super Simple Overhead Cam Setup.

(recorded November 22, 2016)
Karen, Amy, and Tom talk through the overhead camera setup that is now available for check-out, and why you might want to use it. We also do an App Roundup and Listener Questions.
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If you work in a big organization like Extension people do, you're going to need to use the branding templates in your Office software once in a while. The video below walks you through some tips to make these custom templates easier to access and use. Plus a bonus tip--how to use templates in Google Drive!




I made this Quick Byte in response to a reader question. Be sure to ask us your questions on the blog or on our Twitter @UMNExtIT!

Note: Several readers pointed out that the "From Template" document type in Google Drive is not there by default. Thank you Karen for answering this question!

In Drive, click NEW > MORE > CONNECT MORE APPS and search for TEMPLATES. It's the Drive Template Gallery. Also available directly from https://from-template.appspot.com
banner: episode 8.


Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 8: That's not what President Kaler sounds like.

(recorded November 10, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Tom, and Danny tell some horror stories to entice everyone to sign up for two-factor authentication. Amy does a more-or-less spot on impression of President Kaler. We also do a great App Roundup.

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photo: recording the podcast


You've probably seen quite a few videos shot from an overhead perspective featuring a pair of hands assembling and cooking a delicious dish, or performing a complex task.

Here's an example we made using the setup from this module:



The overhead perspective can help task comprehension in ways a low-level, or straight-on, shot can't.  In this post, we'll cover how to create a flexible horizontal smartphone holder that will allow you to create high-quality overhead videos for $22 (or less if you already own a smartphone tripod mount!!).

Parts

We'll be modifying an adjustable desktop microphone holder to become the base of the smartphone camera rig.  The bolt specifications are the diameter in inches, the thread pitch, and the length.  These types of bolts and nuts are extremely common and you should be able to find them in any hardware store.

The parts list is as follows:


 Steps...The nuts and the bolts of it.


  1. Mount the microphone stand to a table or desk using the hardware supplied in the kit.
  2. Remove the microphone bolt that came with the kit by loosening the clamp.
  3. Replace the microphone bolt with the 1/4"-20 bolt.  Tighten the clamp, but don't over-tighten it.  You'll need to adjust the clamp as needed for final positioning.
  4. Thread on the 1/4"-20 nut leaving about a quarter-inch of thread exposed at the end of the bolt.  The nut is used to tighten the tripod mount on the bolt.  You'll need to do some minor adjusting of the nut to get the tripod mount remain horizontal.
  5. Thread on the smartphone tripod mount so it is secure and horizontal with the clamp facing up so the smartphone rests on the clamp.  Tighten the nut against the tripod mount to hold it in place.
  6. Insert the smartphone into the clamp so that the camera is unobstructed.  If you've done everything correctly, you should be able to raise, lower, and extend the overhead smartphone mount while the smartphone remains mostly horizontal.  Some minor adjustments are usually required.  Once you have established your shooting position, lock down all the clamps.
That's it!  You're done!  The added bonus of using the adjustable microphone stand means you have a lot of positioning flexibility for your videos.


We have two kits available for use in our loaner pool! Contact us at extloan@umn.edu to check one out.  We look forward to seeing what you create with your new overhead video smartphone holder!



This week's Quick Byte is about how an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Prevention's not glamorous, so we don't usually waste your blogging time on it. But this time, trust me!

Phishing attacks have doubled in the past year at University of Minnesota.

Keeping your identity safe is a worry for everyone. If you haven’t been a victim of a phishing scam or another form of password theft, you likely know someone who has. These attacks are increasingly sophisticated, difficult to recognize, and hard to guard against!

The University of Minnesota is now offering Duo Two-Factor Protection to help you keep your W2 and Direct Deposit information more secure should your password get stolen.

And guess what--some of those attacks have resulted in bank accounts being changed for direct deposit, and tax information used to file tax returns. This actually happens. I know Halloween is over, but that's still some scary stuff!!

Opt in 

There are a number of steps in the Duo Two Factor Protection opt-in process, but step-by-step instructions will guide you through and it will take less than 10 minutes. The small inconvenience of opting in becomes worth it when you consider the incredible headache of having your W2 and Direct Deposit information stolen. If you like, you can also review how Duo Two Factor Protection works after you’ve opted in.

I have opted into this service, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. If you have any questions, please reach out to the friendly staff at the Technology Help service desk. They would be pleased to help you.

Google Apps is now called G Suite. Google recently announced a new name and new branding for Google Apps. The Google applications have not changed, just the name. The University uses G Suite for Education.

This weeks blog post is about a new training resource for G Suite. It is a Chrome extension called G Suite Training that gives you in-app training so you don’t need to leave the application to learn how to do something. The extension adds a Training menu to Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Drive, Forms, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Groups, Google+.

Install
  1. Sign into Chrome
  2. Open the G Suite Training extension
  3. Click Add to Chrome. A training menu appears at the top of the screen
View Lessons
Click the Training menu in any application to view relevant lessons or search to find a specific lesson.

Browse What’s New
G Suite Training will highlight features that are new to the application.

View training videos
You can view all the training videos at the G Suite Training portal

Let me know what you think about the extension! If you are looking for more Google training resources, check out the G Suite Learning Center or Lynda.

banner image: Quick Bytes Live Episode 7.

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 7: Live at Program Conference

(recorded October 4, 2016)
This podcast is a bit different! We have a special illustrious guest, Mark Seeley, Extension Climatologist. We mostly talk to him about his WebEx experiences, but also a little about podcasting in general. We had a great live audience for this show! At the conference breakout session, we concluded the recording and then edited and uploaded the episode live. This is it, the real recording exactly as seen from start to finish live!

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photo: our podcast setup at program conference

Find us at Program Conference 2016!


Four breakout sessions, seven tech team members, a Deep Dive workshop, and a Mobile App... we'll be hard to miss!

Print this handy Quick Reference of Tech Sessions today and bring it along! 

And be sure to get the schedule and session descriptions on your device! Download Guidebook here, then enter passphrase "2016duluth"
Episode 6. Tom Ups our Podcast Game

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 6: Tom Ups Our Podcast Game

(recorded September 23, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Alison, and Danny have a new mic setup, thanks to Producer Tom. We talk about Google Voice typing, our upcoming trainings we're working on for Program Conference, and we also do an App Roundup.

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screenshot: accessibility.umn.edu


Check out the completely redesigned digital accessibility website, Accessible U! 

http://accessibility.umn.edu/

When I first clicked on this new site in my email, I have to admit I was expecting pages of policies and cautions and lots of scolding. SNORE!

But trust me on this, you will love this resource! It is a concise treasure trove of practical resources. It was developed for and by members of the University of Minnesota community (including our very own Alison Holland!).

Why Accessibility?

As the designers, creators, and implementers of technology, we can positively or negatively impact the ability of individuals to access and use what we create. Why put up unnecessary barriers, when they are easy to remove? Also, increased accessibility helps everyone use our digital materials better! Who hasn't used closed captioning? Or struggled to see low-contrast text?

Core Skills

The site is based around SIX CORE SKILLS of accessibility. These rules come in handy for Google docs, web pages, presentations, Moodle courses, videos, all kinds of things Extension does every day. And in fact, there are pages on the site for each of those things! But first, the six skills.

The six core skills of accessibility:

  1. Headings and document structure
  2. Hyperlinks
  3. Bullets and numbered lists
  4. Video captions
  5. Color and contrast
  6. Alternative text for images

These skills will improve your communications for everyone who reads them. Check out the site and let us know what you found interesting by leaving a comment! I personally have gotten a bit lazy with accessibility and found the Advocacy page to be just the re-motivation I needed!



Last February, Google introduced voice recognition into Google Docs. You can dictate your documents without having to install any additional software or plug-ins, and it’s actually pretty good! I don’t normally use dictation software myself so I can’t compare Google Voice typing with Dragon or other dictation software, but I can focus on how to use Google Voice typing and share some useful tips.

Note: Google Voice Typing only works in Chrome browsers and on mobile devices

Getting Started

Your microphone needs to be on and working. I used the onboard microphone on my laptop but if you work in a noisy office or open area, your best option is to use a headset mic.
  1. Open a Google document 
  2. Click Tools and select Voice Typing
  3. Click the microphone when you are ready to dictate. If you are prompted to give Google permission to use your microphone, click Allow.
  4.  The microphone will change to red with a circle around it. Speak clearly at a normal pace and volume.  
  5. Click the microphone again when you are done.

How to handle mistakes

If you make a mistake while you are dictating, no worries. Just move your cursor to the mistake and fix it without turning off the microphone. After you fix your mistake, move your cursor back to where you want to continue.

Adding Punctuation

You can use the following phrases to add punctuation:
  • Period
  • Comma
  • Exclamation point
  • Question mark
  • New line
  • New paragraph

Getting Fancy with Formatting

You can use commands to edit and format your document. Using words like “Select last word”, “Bold” or “Insert table [5] rows by [3] columns”.

There are multiple commands for selecting text, formatting, editing, tables, and moving around the document. Here are a few of the common ones:

Selecting Text:
  • Select [word or phrase]
  • Select all
  • Select paragraph
  • Select word
  • Select next word
  • Select next [#] words
  • Deselect
Formatting:
  • Align center/left/right
  • Apply heading [1–6]
  • Apply normal text
  • Apply subtitle
  • Bold
  • Italics
  • Font size [6-400]
  • Decrease indent
  • Increase indent
  • Line spacing double
  • Create bulleted list
  • Create numbered list
  • Insert bullet
  • Insert number
  • Clear formatting
Editing:
  • Copy
  • Cut
  • Paste
  • Copy link
  • Delete
  • Insert table
  • Insert row
  • Insert column
To open a list of voice commands in your document, say:
  • Voice typing help
  • Voice commands list
  • See all voice commands

Google Voice Typing Example



I would love to hear what you think about Google Docs voice typing. If you already use Dragon or other dictation software, I'd like to know how Google voice typing compares! Post your comments or questions on the blog. 

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 5: We'll see you at the Fair!

(recorded August 26, 2016)
Stephanie, Amy, Alison, and Danny talk about Google Forms. We also do an App Roundup and answer listener questions!



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In recent years, Google Drive has increasingly provided intuitive, collaborative, and functional alternatives to more familiar software programs, including Google Forms, their answer to research-inquiry tools like SurveyMonkey. If you’re reluctant to make the switch, here are some tips that may just make you a convert!

Customizations
When you’re editing a form, the icons on the top right hand side of the screen allow you to adjust and personalize the form to meet your needs:
  • Click the Color Palette to change the general color scheme. Selecting the last palette option (an image icon) will give you more choices as well as the option to upload your own header. Whether you upload something from the Extension Image Gallery or select an applicable Google-generated theme, glamming up your questionnaire can improve the user experience and even add some sophisticated flair to an otherwise run-of-the-mill survey!
  • Clicking the eye symbol will open a new tab to give you a sneak peek of the form from the perspective of a prospective respondent. Definitely take advantage of this tool throughout the process of building your form to avoid mistakes that might jeopardize your results.
  • The gear symbol opens up a variety of unique adjustable options, some of which are crucial depending on the purpose of your form. For example, if it is not meant to be a blind survey but rather the answers must match up with the name of the respondent, be sure to select “Collect email address” under the “General” tab. The “Quizzes” tab will also allow you to treat the form as a test. These are great options to use in situations where you are evaluating student progress as you are able to collect responses, monitor when submissions are made, and have Google Forms automatically assign grades.

Progressive Questioning
A great feature that can be utilized when generating definitive responses using “Dropdown” or “Multiple Choice” questions is exemplified on the Extension Technology Purchasing Program form you receive when your work computer warranty expires. The first question of that form prompts you to select a “Laptop” or a “Desktop,” and your response signals the form to move to a section specifically asking follow-up questions based on your original selection. Rather than having you figure out which accessories apply to a laptop versus a desktop, you are presented only with relevant options. This feature allows you to design your questionnaire with a progressive flow, with the potential to generate more comprehensive evaluation and create a more personalized user experience. While SurveyMonkey also offers this feature, it is only available in the paid versions. Google Form, however, offers this feature for free!


To create progressive questioning, you must first separate questions into sections by selecting the last question box before you would like a page jump, then pushing the icon that resembles a thick equal sign (“Add section”) at the bottom of the vertical menu to the right of the box. When “Go to section based on answer” is selected, drop down menus will appear beside the different answers and you may select which section should follow each selection.

Response/Data Collection
Once you've previewed your form and feel confident that everything is ready to send, there's a massive "SEND" button in the top right corner that will bring up plenty of self-explanatory options. One great feature here is the ability to select "Include form in email." If you have separate sections, only the first section question(s) will appear in the body of the email. Submitting responses from the first section will open another tab to continue the questionnaire.

At the top of the form body, you will see "Questions" and "Responses." The "Responses" view allows you to visualize data derived from responses, send reminders to those that have not submitted responses, and download responses into an organized spreadsheet. While creating a spreadsheet using Google Sheets will allow answers to continue to populate, be aware that downloading the responses to an Excel spreadsheet will only capture a snapshot of the responses at the time of downloading.

More Information
In case you’re still unconvinced, or perhaps you’re intimidated by the idea of learning a new tool, Google has some great information and a Help Center to ease the transition!

Have you used Google Forms, and if so - how? Any tips for making more dynamic questionnaires? Any requests for future, more in-depth Google Forms posts? Leave a comment and let us know!
Podcast Episode 4. Where my dogs at?

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 4: Where my dogs at?

(recorded August 12, 2016)
Karen, Amy, Alison, and Danny talk about Office Mix and using it for recording PowerPoint. We also do an App Roundup and answer listener questions.

Links from this episode:


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Office Mix is a free PowerPoint add-in that allows you to record audio or video of yourself presenting, write on your slides as you speak and even do a screen recording if you want to demonstrate something. In an April Quick Bytes post, I shared how you can record audio right in PowerPoint (2013 or later) and save it as an MP4 video. Office Mix makes recording easier with a toolbar that contains the needed tools for recording.

Office Mix software

Office Mix is a free download from  https://mix.office.com/en-us/Home. After installation, Office Mix has its own tab on the ribbon in PowerPoint.

Office Mix ribbon
The buttons you will likely use on the Office Mix ribbon are Slide Recording, Screen Recording, Export to Video and Preview. While Mix is great for narration and screen recording, it includes some additional interactive features such as adding quizzes, web pages and apps that do not convert to MP4 video and are not recommended. MP4 is the best option for sharing video and uploading to YouTube.

Slide Recording

With your presentation open in PowerPoint, on the Mix tab, click the Slide Recording button. This opens the recording mode.

In recording mode, you will see your slide presentation in the main body of the screen. To the right you will see the audio and video panel where you can select audio and video inputs and check your volume. If you want to draw on your slides, you can choose a pen size and ink color.


At the top you will see your slide notes and when you are ready, click Record. During your recording, you can draw on your slides, trigger slide animations and advance to the next slide.
 
Record one slide at a time. If you mess up your recording, click Stop and preview your recording or delete and re-record your slide. When you are done, click the close button. You are now back in PowerPoint’s normal slide view.

Re-recording a single slide

Your audio recording is saved with your file so you can re-record or edit your presentation at any time.

Screen Recording

You can use screen recording to record anything on your computer. The recording can be included as part of a narrated PowerPoint video or can be saved as its own video. To record your computer screen, open the application or webpage that you want to show. You will be prompted to define the area/window you want to record. Click Record when you are ready to demonstrate. Audio is optional but it makes for a better recording. To pause or stop recording, hover your mouse over the top of the screen and press stop or pause.

Export to Video

To create an MP4 video, click Export to Video from the Mix tab. If you plan to upload to YouTube, choose Full HD. It may take some time to create your video. 

Here is a Mix I created that explains this whole process:


Over the past year, I’ve heard from a variety of people across the organization that they’d love to hear how others are using technology in their Extension education work. So we’ve created a space to do just that!

Extension T.E.C.C., Technology in Education Coffee with Colleagues, is a new, informal network of U of MN Extension professionals working in technology-enhanced education, online learning, and hybrid/blended teaching. The goal is to build cross-center connections that allow for the sharing of information and ideas. It’s a safe place to share your interests and frustrations. Get inspired, or offer a suggestion.

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy an informal check-in with your colleagues exploring Ed Tech opportunities during our six gatherings a year beginning August 1, 2016. Volunteer to share about your work (the successes AND challenges) and suggest topics you’re interested in learning more about. Attend in-person when you’re on campus or remotely when you’re not. Between meetings, post an update or question in the Google+ community. Learn more at z.umn.edu/exttecc.
Podcast Episode 3. Weber Kettles are Really Big

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 3: Weber Kettles are Really Big

(recorded July 15, 2016)
Amy and Alison talk about the new Extension Guide to Podcasting, Two-factor authentication, and do a quick App Roundup of good roadtripping apps.

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graphic: How to podcast a guide for Extension

As you may have read in a previous post, I love podcasts. But getting started can be a bit confusing!

That's why we wrote the How to Podcast Guide for Extension with very detailed, step-by-step instructions and tips, including pictures!

Click for how to guide google doc

Call to Action: Podcasting for Extension

If Extension wants to be heard among social learning networks, we need to breathe life into our content delivery.
 This may all seem a bit complicated (five pages of instructions!), so why should you bother?

Podcasts are a unique and special opportunity to connect us, content creators, with our audiences. Podcasts add a human voice and authenticity to our education that is absolutely essential in today’s content marketplace. A white paper, publication, or even blog post cannot compete with many of the ways audiences are receiving information in today’s connected world. If Extension wants to be heard among the social network learning that is preferred by today’s content consumers, we need to breathe life into our content delivery.

Additionally, podcasting reaches our audiences during times when they are interested and open to being educated, entertained, and connected with. Podcasts connect for longer and more often than almost any other delivery format, including videos, online courses, newsletters, and Twitter.

For these reasons, podcasting should be a critical component of any Extension program’s outreach strategy. The setup described here may seem lengthy due to its detail, but the recurring task of recording, editing, and uploading can be as minimal as you’d like to make it. Twenty-one percent of Americans are inviting you to have a conversation with them by listening to podcasts. We need to be ready to join that conversation!

What do you think, is podcasting for you? Or could it be in the future?