If you've been around here a while, you know that Extension fell for the Turning Point "clickers" back in 2007, and we fell hard. We bought sets for all the regional offices, for our loaner program, even some teams had their own. Now those sets are getting a little old (but still truckin'!), and we are starting to look around to see what options we might have!

Extension Technology is looking forward to seeing you on Thursday at the 2016 Staff Conference. We hope you are planning to attend one or more of our technology workshops. This year we have a good mix of topics, hopefully something for everyone!


Excel for beginners or pros! Back by popular demand, Jay Nelsen from University Training will be presenting two workshops on Excel:

Up and running with Excel
 9:30 a.m. in Snyder Classroom 1

Quickly summarize data using pivot table
10:45 a.m. in Snyder Classroom 1


In our QuickBytes roundtable workshops, a few of us on the Extension Technology team will be demonstrating Slack, UMU, PowerPoint to Video, Office Mix, Screencast-o-matic and a whole bunch of new Google tools and features. Our format will be small group demos so you can freely ask questions! You choose what technologies want to see or see them all! 

QuickBytes Roundtable Demos
9:30 a.m. in Snyder Classroom 2

QuickBytes Roundtable Demos
10:45 a.m. in Snyder Classroom 2


If you manage registrations for programs, you won’t want to miss the Easy-peasy Registration session. Here you will learn ways to make this process easier, more efficient and consistent with what others are doing.

Easy-peasy registration for your Extension program
2:30 p.m. in Snyder Classrom 2


WebEx is widely used in Extension and if you want to learn how to use it for meetings, trainings or even support others, this is a session for you! Bring your questions. 

Using WebEx
2:30 p.m. in Azalea Classroom

See you at the Arboretum!

Me and podcasts. Our love is true. Podcasts have something special about them. Whenever I meet another podcast lover, I know I have found a kindred spirit. 
Here are some reasons for you to become a podcast lover yourself!
  1. Podcasts help you learn tons and tons of stuff.
  2. They are frequently released.
  3. They make you feel part of a community around a topic.
  4. They are portable--all you need is your smartphone, no cellular/wifi required!
  5. You can listen while you do other "mindless" things. Like weeding the garden or folding the laundry. And podcasts make commuting fun! (well fun-ish anyway.)

What is a podcast anyway?

Podcasts are simply an audio format that is syndicated--and is typically a talk program. You can listen to a show here and there, or you can use an app (there are several) to organize and sync the shows you select. Without this syndication, Podcasts are really just audio files. In fact, they are just MP3 files varying from a few minutes to over an hour. 

How to find and listen to podcasts

You can always just Google for podcasts in your interest area. But in my opinion, it is much easier to sort through the iTunes Podcast tab (you need iTunes on your computer, or phone). You can listen to the podcasts right from iTunes, or, with your mobile device you can use the listening app of your choice.

3 Podcast listening tips

  1. Download a good app--this kind of app is called a "podcatcher"-- for listening on your mobile device.
    Good podcatchers include: 
    1. Pocket Casts
    2. Stitcher
    3. Overcast (iphone only)
    4. Podcast Addict (android only) 
  2. Get a connector cord thing for your car stereo, something like this (not an affiliate link), unless you have Bluetooth in your car or something. The car is the perfect place to listen to podcasts!
  3. Speed them up! You can go 2x ("Karen Matthes Style," as I like to call it) or a more reasonable 1.25x, and save yourself some time! This setting is found in most podcatchers.

Recommended podcasts

To get you started, here are some top-shelf podcasts to try. Your interests may vary, of course! Do you have favorite podcasts you could share?? Please do!

Coming up in a future Quick Byte

A behind the scenes look at our team recording our new Quick Bytes podcast, including a How To for starting a podcast!
Did you know you can watch videos at double speed, in theater mode or adjust your settings for a slow connection? Let's explore the viewing settings in YouTube.

Adjust your speed

My favorite way to watch videos is at double speed, unless of course I'm watching a step-by-step tutorial where I might want to slow it down to follow along. To change speeds, click the Gear button and select Speed. Choose from several speeds from 0.25 to 2.

Player size

The default size of your video player automatically adapts to the space in your browser window. If you want to manually change the size of your video player, you can resize your browser window. Other options for viewing your video include:
  • Full Screen: fills the entire screen with your video. Press ESC to exit full screen
  • Theater Mode: adds a black background around the player without going full screen
  • Download the Floating YouTube Chrome extension that keeps a floating mini player on top of all windows for YouTube. It includes an ad blocker!

Slow Connection Tips

If you have a slow internet connection, there are some things you can try to optimize your viewing experience:
  • Choose lower video quality settings (240p or 360p). Click the gear button and select quality
  • Start the video and then click Pause right away. Wait for the gray video progress bar to load before clicking Play.

Right-click to share a video at a specific time:

Keyboard Shortcuts:

Try these keyboard shortcuts when watching videos:

k or spacebar = pause or play
j = rewind 10 seconds
l = fast-forward 10 seconds
m = mute
Number 0 = go to the beginning of the video
Numbers 1 to 9 = jump to 10% to 90% of the video

Feel free to share any tips you have for YouTube in the comments below!