Working Differently in Extension
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Working Differently in Extension
Following cooperative extension's efforts to work differently in the new knowledge landscape
Curated by Bob Bertsch
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Working Differently in Extension Podcast - Jennifer Smith, K-State Extension

Working Differently in Extension Podcast - Jennifer Smith, K-State Extension | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Jennifer Smith, K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Douglas County, KS, talks about her use of Twitter, Facebook and blog to reach the people she serves.
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Learning Networks: source, filter and flow

Learning Networks: source, filter and flow | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Here's the latest Web Services blog post. It features a visualization of a learning network, complete with sources, tools, filters and CRAAP detection.

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Working Differently Podcast - Joanne Kinsey, Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Working Differently Podcast - Joanne Kinsey, Rutgers Cooperative Extension | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Joanne Kinsey, Family & Community Health Sciences Educator with Rutgers University Cooperative Extension, talks about her use of Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo and other new media in delivering nutrition and fitness messages.
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Working on the Go

Working on the Go | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Stephanie Hedge, writing for GradHacker and ProfHacker, has some excellent recommendations for working on the go.

 

Some of the tools she recommends are favorites of mine.

 

"In my opinion, Dropbox is unbeatable as the best place for data storage. It creates a local file on your desktop, and auto-syncs everything you do to the cloud. Your files can be accessed through the Dropbox website or through the Dropbox app, which is available for iOS and Android."


"My pick for best bookmarking (and notetaking!) application is Evernote, which allows you to save webpages as well as images and notes, and is the best way to sync your notes across devices. Evernote is supported on nearly every computer, tablet, and phone, and is a must-have for working on the go."


She also mentions some tools I haven't used, but now want to try.


"Wunderlist is my pick for best To Do list app; it is simple, easy to navigate, auto-syncs between my devices, and sends me emails when tasks are overdue. It also allows me to see tasks that I have completed, which helps to keep me motivated, and Wunderlist is available for Windows, OSX, Linux and Android."


Finally, she's got hardware recommendations for tablet users.


"Targus Keyboard and Case: Although your tablet will have an on screen keyboard, typing is much easier and faster when using a bluetooth keyboard. I prefer the Targus all in one keyboard and case for iPad; although pricey, it allows you to rotate the iPad in the stand for maximum workflow customization, and the case is durable but elegant. Targus also has a number of cases for all tablet and e-reader brands.
 

Jot Classic Stylus: A stylus is always useful for navigation, note taking, and annotating, and the Jot is a precision stylus that mimics the feel of a pen. The Jot uses a precision disc for ballpoint accuracy, and using one on your tablet is like using a pen to write. There are fancier Jot brands with far more features to explore, but for the money, the Jot Classic is my pick for best stylus. Targusalso makes a stylus that works across any device with a touch screen, although it does not have the precision tip."

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Are you creative? You might be better off in the private sector

Are you creative? You might be better off in the private sector | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

"Federal agencies continue to trail the private sector in fostering innovation and creativity, a new Partnership for Public Service survey finds.

 

The study, released Monday, draws data from the Office of Personnel Management’s 2011 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey of 266,000 government employees from 33 large agencies, 35 small agencies and 240 agency subcomponents, and from another OPM study of the private sector workforce. It found that the federal government lags the private sector particularly on the question of encouragement to innovate: 71 percent of respondents in the private sector responded positively to that question compared to 59 percent of federal employees."

 

Thanks to Jim Langcuster for originally sharing this on Facebook.

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Agnerds Ep 14 - Twitter vs the Armyworm

In this episode of AgNerds on http://www.realagriculture.com Shaun and Pete talk about the practicality of Twitter in recent army worm infestations in Ontario.
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eXtension Food, Families & Fitness Educators Using Pinterest To Promote Healthy Living

eXtension Food, Families & Fitness Educators Using Pinterest To Promote Healthy Living | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it


See ideas and tips for staying healthy on the eXtension families, food and fitness Pinterest page,http://pinterest.com/fffcop/.

 

From the article:

 

“We are trying to reach parents using Pinterest, specifically moms,” said Ashley Fondren, a nutrition education coordinator at Mississippi State University. “According to a Pinterest Infographic by iQuarius media, 83 percent of American Pinterest users are female with the bulk of them 25 to 54 years old. Recipes and motivational quotes are frequent Pinterest topics so we are reaching out to an audience that wants information to make the healthy behavior changes we promote.”

Donna Shanklin, a regional Extension agent for health from Cullman, Alabama, explains the pinning boards provide ideas to adopt healthier behaviors to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The six key behaviors on Pinterest are also the focus on the web site http://www.extension.org/families_food_fitness which has additional recipes and tips, frequently asked questions and learning lessons.

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What Does "Professional" Look Like Today?

What Does "Professional" Look Like Today? | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

This is an excellent post by Allison Fine on what is means to be a professional today. I think this has direct application to what it means to be an Extension professional today. Check out the excerpt below. - Bob

 

"Since 2005, I have spoken to thousands of executives from corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations about their discomfort using social media for business purposes. The problem for them isn't learning which button to push; if that were difficult seniors wouldn't be the fastest growing segment on Facebook. The real problem is that using social media challenges their basic assumptions of what it means to be "professional." The definition of professional behavior is an immutable set of behaviors developed early in one's career."

 

"A new definition of professional behavior is developing in this social world. Here is the transition:

 

Old professional = I am closed to the world
New professional = I am open and accessible to the world, strengthening my realtionships with people

 

Old professional = I can't make mistakes in public
New professional = I am human, when I inevitably make mistakes, I apologize quickly and sincerely

 

Old professional = I don't reveal my personal interests to the world

New professional = My interests, hobbies, passions make me interesting and attractive

 

Old professional = I am expected to have the answers to questions 

New professional = I am searching for answers with my network of colleagues and supporters

 

Old professional = Power is taken and held

New professional = Power is shared and grown

 

Social media enable people to be their best selves: honest, open, fallible, funny, and connected, but too many people and organizations are still trying their best to imitate automatons. Your organization, reputation, logo and staff are living, breathing entities that need to be out in the world to be effective."

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We need to start thinking more creatively about texting (and other technologies)

We need to start thinking more creatively about texting (and other technologies) | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Scott McLeod at http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org shared a TED video about "Texting That Saves Lives," and challenged educators to start "thinking more creatively about texting (and other technologies)."

 

After watching Nancy Lublin's inspiring TED Talk, http://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_lublin_texting_that_saves_lives.html, I' m motivated to thnk how Extension can use texting more creatively.

 

Is your organization using texting to reach people? What are your ideas for ways to use texting in Extension?

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Curation tools to help you cope with info-overload

Curation tools to help you cope with info-overload | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

This is a very useful post if you are trying to deal with information overload or just trying to find tools to help you organize your learning network.

 

Debra Askanase explains how she uses Twitter, Scoop.it, Google+, Delicious and Pinterest to find and consume curated information. Substitute Diigo for Delicious and this would be my list of favorite curation tools.

 

What tools do you use to find and consume curated information?

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Creating your own Learning Network - Getting information to come to you

Creating your own Learning Network - Getting information to come to you | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

The recording of the "Getting online information to come to you" webinar is now available at  http://learn.extension.org/events/471.

 

 

The webinar is the first in a series of three sessions to help you create your own learning network.

 

The webinar focuses on mapping out your own objectives and introducing tools to get you started. The main tool highlighted is Google alerts for search and news. You’ll learn how to customize alerts for your particular topical, geographical, and individual interests.

 

Other webinars in the series:

- RSS feeds and feedreaders (http://learn.extension.org/events/472) - April 11, 2012 11AM EST

- Finding and following on online networks (http://learn.extension.org/events/473) - April 18, 2012 11 AM EST

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Best Practices For Writing For an Online Audience

Best Practices For Writing For an Online Audience | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Great advice for writing for an online audience.

 

I especially like the following:

 

"For every 1,000 or so words that you write in an online article or blog post, be sure to include:

 

Three subheads: Subheads are bold, one-line headlines that break up long chunks of text and organize information. Keep the same headline-writing rules in mind when you write subheads.

 

Two links: Links offer additional information for readers who want to go deeper, and they also give your post authenticity and transparency about where you information came from without getting into long, narrative attributions.

 

One graphical element: A photo, a chart or anything else visual helps readers. Whatever you use, make sure it advances the story: don't just put a photo in the post for the sake of posting a photo."

 

With content being shared on Pinterest, Facebook and even here on Scoop.it, that graphical element in a size and format that can be shared is really important.

 

Thanks to Kevin gamble for originally sharing this article on Google+, https://plus.google.com/114296506386465886516/posts/2gkWScP7A4a

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Winter Safety Game: "Grandma's Birthday Blizzard" in Second Life

Winter Safety Game: "Grandma's Birthday Blizzard" in Second Life | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

"The Winter Safety Game is a 3D immersive role-play teaching the basics of winter safety preparedness.This proof- of concept demonstrates how a typical consumer information lesson in printed form can become a rich and engaging learning experience when recreated in a virtual world simulation.

 

The Winter Safety Game is accessed with a free Second Life account via this link. If you do not have a Second Life account yet, you will be prompted to create one. Orientation is available at the start of the Winter Safety Game. More information about Second Life is available on the eXtension website by searching with keywords "second life."

 

The challenge of the Winter Safety Game is to prepare for a winter blizzard and then to travel safely through it to your grandmother's 75th birthday party."

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Home workers or home shirkers?

Home workers or home shirkers? | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Tim Harford, author of Adapt - Why Success Always Starts With Failure, wrote this post about a telecommuting study by Stanford economists and the Chinese travel company, CTrip.

 

CTrip randomly chose part of its call center workforce and allowed them to work from home for 9 months. The Stanford economists helped design the trial amd monitor the results. Here's what they found.

 

The home workers worked more minutes, took fewer sick days, took more calls per hour, reported better job satisfaction and were less likely to quit.


Extension work is not the same as call center work, but it is clear to me we need to change our attitude toward work, especially for reginal and county educators. In North Dakota, Extension specialists enjoy quite a bit of flexibility in their work, but many at the county level work late into the evenings but are still expected to keep the 8 to 5 office hours expected of county government workers.


How can we begin to change Extension work to attract and retain quality educators?

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Please tell me about your PKM

Please tell me about your PKM | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Another great post from Harold Jarche.

 

Harold wonders if the the job interview of the future might be less about what you have done and more about what you are prepared to do (feel free to read that last part in your head in the voice of Sean Connery).

 

Harold points out, "One problem with a resumé is that it only looks backwards, on past achievements. Even behavioural interviews look at how we have dealt with past problems. What about how we prepare for new problems?"

 

Here are some of the questions (along with "Please tell me about your PKM.") he suggests might soon me included in job interviews:

 

How do you keep your learning up to date?
With whom do you learn?
How do you capture your learning?
How do you narrate your work?
Please show us an example … How do you stay current in your field?
How diverse is your network?
Could you give us some examples?
How would you begin to look at the following problem, which is out of your normal scope of work …

 

Are you prepared to answer these questions?

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How to Use Social Listening to Track Clients, Competitors & More

How to Use Social Listening to Track Clients, Competitors & More | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

>>> "Listening" is one of the 5 activities we defined in our "Working Differently in Extension" framework, http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/workingdifferently - Bob

 

Shelly Kramer has written a great article for her blog on using social channels to listen to keep track of clients and competitors and a whole lot more.....

 

There's a wealth of information online beyond just managing your clients if you know what you're looking for.

 

Here's what caught my attention:

 

**find content

 

**inspiration

 

**competitive research 

 

**what people are saying about your brand

 

For example, she suggests you go to Facebook without logging in or openstatussearch.com you never know what you might discover here, but always have a purpose so you don't get lost in a sea of information.

 

Advanced Twitter Search

 

**veritable font of real-time information–think of it as an instant focus group that immediately dials you in to what’s trending all over the world .   

 

**I mean follow, your competitors and others important to your brand or your clients and prospects and put the information you can gather  there to good use as you work to develop and craft your integrated marketing strategies.

 

Selected by Jan Gordon covering "Curation, Social Business and Beyond"

 

See full article here: [http://bit.ly/RzKBoB]


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7 smart techniques for content curation from Beth Kanter

7 smart techniques for content curation from Beth Kanter | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

1.Manage your attention, not just your time: Don’t just create a to-do list; lay it out on daily and weekly schedules, breaking down key tasks of the project into chunks. Consider the level of concentration and focus that each type of task or chunk requires and schedule accordingly. For example, if I have to do some writing that requires a higher level of attention for me than does scanning Twitter or reading and responding to email, I schedule my writing time during peak concentration hours in the day. I also use a timer when I’m scanning my networks and limit those activities to 15-20 minute bursts.

 

2. Visualize on paper: Over the past 10 months, I’ve made a return to paper and markers and using mind maps or visualization techniques to reflect and to plan my week or day. I use this as a pre-writing exercise as well as a reflection exercise. It’s a way to cope with getting “content fried."

 

3. Establish rituals: Rituals in your work life are valuable. A mind map offers a lot of good suggestions for rituals, from decluttering your workspace to healthy habits like sleep and exercise.

 

4. Reflection: Reflection doesn’t have to take up a large amount of time to be effective. I take 10 minutes every morning to practice some visual recording skills like drawing to create my “3 Most Important Things for Today List.” At the end of the day, I look at it, reflect on what I did and plan for tomorrow.

 

5. Managing email and other distractions: I try to avoid email first thing in the morning. And I’ve turned off notifications that pop up on my computer screen or send me a text message to my mobile phone.

 

6. Managing physical space: When I see clutter in my physical work spaces, I try to take that as a sign that I need to hit a pause button. Usually it is because I’m doing too much.

 

7. Just say no: Maybe you are going to say no to social media for a day and go to meet with people, take a class, read a book or take a walk. When I’m feeling most overwhelmed, I take a break. At least get up from your desk!

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Working socially: four steps to success

Working socially: four steps to success | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Nice article on working openly and socially. Here are the four tips:

 

- Become inclusive – map your interests online

- Don't conform – exist in amorphous communities

- Open up – understand the nature of conversation online

- Think ahead – be aware of your goal

 

Check out the full article for more, http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture-professionals-network/culture-professionals-blog/2012/jun/20/social-media-arts-top-tips

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Why Trees? - A Lecture Doodle from Alabama Cooperative Extension

This lecture doodle from Alabama Cooperative Extension urban forestry is a great example of working differently in Extension.

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To Bring Out The Best In Millennials, Put On Your Coaching Hat

To Bring Out The Best In Millennials, Put On Your Coaching Hat | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

I have mixed feelings about articles, like this one, that make generalizations about generations, in this case "millennials." I'd prefer to think that the changes in what motivates workers and what they expect from their employers are not limited to a particular generation, but indicative of a broad, cross-generational change in how and why we work. Still this article from Fast Company does point out some important ways in which organizations need to change. - Bob

 

From the article:

 

"Perhaps the greatest challenge for many companies, though, is breaking down hierarchies and creating far more two-way communication. Tom Kelley is a senior executive at one of the most innovative companies in the world, IDEO. He has also consulted extensively to corporations who want to become more innovative and so has a unique vantage point from which to view the kinds of changes that are required.

 

"At the senior management level in far too many companies," Kelley said, "there is this top-down attitude--the belief that all the worthwhile ideas are created at the top of the organization, and everyone else is just an implementer. The CEOs believe that they are better at everything than anyone else, and if only they had enough arms and legs, then everything would be more successful.

 

"The free flow of information up and down the organization is critical for innovation, but a top-down management style tends to severely restrict the emergence of any new ideas and inhibits the development of the 'collective wisdom' of the company."

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Create Infographics with easel.ly

Create Infographics with easel.ly | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

This is a great free tool for creating sophisticated looking infographics. The tool uses well designed templates which you can edit and add your own information to. 


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Aris P. Louvris's comment, May 5, 2012 7:55 AM
Crashes when loading themes, still in beta. Needs more time perhaps...
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Four Great Curators To Draw Inspiration From

Four Great Curators To Draw Inspiration From | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

From the article: "Whether they are posting to a standalone site that brings together the best content of the Web, or constantly tweeting links to the information that you want to see, these curators spend their time as the Internet’s funnel and educate you as to what’s happening in the areas you care about most."

 

If the names of Maria Popova, Josh Rubin and Evan Orenstein, and the one of Jean Aw all sound new to you, maybe it is time for you to learn a bit more about them.

 

To find out who they are and where you can see their curation at work, check out the full article here: http://socialmediatoday.com/thomas-samph/496946/rise-social-media-curator

 

(Image credit: Firetongue81 on Paganspace.net)

 

 

 

 


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Rhonda Lowry - Literacy in a Networked Society

This TedxAtlanta talk by Rhonda Lowry is promoted as an explanation of identity in the digital age through Rhonda's own avatar, Grace McDunnough, who is a well-known musical performer in Second Life. 

 

Although Rhonda does spend some time on identity and virtual world, she talks a lot more about the power of the network and about the need for a new literacy (network literacy, maybe).

 

The powerful takeaway for me is the way she expresses the "need to shift our perceptions from containers to connections" in a networked society. 

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Working Differently in Extension Podcast — Sarah Baugman, eXtension Military Families Project

Working Differently in Extension Podcast — Sarah Baugman, eXtension Military Families Project | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

A conversation about evaluating cooperative extension programs in the age of social media with Sarah Baughman, evaluation and research specialist with the eXtension Military Familes Project.

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Own Personally the task of becoming proficient with today's digital tools - Extension Quick Bytes

Own Personally the task of becoming proficient with today's digital tools - Extension Quick Bytes | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

The University of Minnesota Extension IT group has launched their QuickBytes series with a technology pledge. They produced a short video to inspire people to take the pledge.

 

Here's an excerpt from their blog post,http://blog.lib.umn.edu/umnext/quickbytes/2012/03/own-personally-the-task-of-becoming-proficient-with-todays-digital-tools.php, where you can see the video and take the pledge.

 

"It's time to get serious about using technology.

It's not about technology and whether we like it or not (or whether we're good at it or not), it's about staying up-to-date and literate in the tools of today's educators.

Through 'Quick Bytes,' we will together explore the digital learning tools that may be useful to you. We'll do it as a group, helping each other along. But the motivation to participate, engage, and try out new ideas is yours."

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Jerry Buchko's comment, April 13, 2012 8:08 PM
Hey Bob. Looks like the blog has been moved in the meantime. The new location for that particular post is here: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/umnext/quickbytes/2012/03/own-personally-the-task-of-becoming-proficient-with-todays-digital-tools.php
Bob Bertsch's comment, April 16, 2012 9:43 AM
Jerry, thanks for letting me know. I have updated the link in the scoop.
Jerry Buchko's comment, April 16, 2012 4:36 PM
You're most welcome, Bob! Happy to help :)