I am an extension agent working in specialty crops. I am not an IT specialist. These are tools that I have found helpful and make me more efficient and engaged. There are many technologies available, but it is always important to match the technology with the needs of your clientele.
Underlined area is the only part I have control of.
With most of these you can share documents online and multiple people can edit them simultaneously. You will be able to access your documents anywhere you have an internet connection.
Almost any search engine will have a cheat sheet if you just search for their name + cheat sheet (ex. Google cheat sheet)
Flickr is a site to share and organize photographs. There is a free version or an expanded version for ~$25/yr. While anyone can post pictures on Flickr, it has a high concentration of semi-professional photographers. Many book and magazine publishers look for photographs here. Flickr also acts as a social networking site. By sharing your photos you are passively engaging with the world. People interested in the same subject are able to find you through search engines and collaborations can easily form. Slide Share is obviously a place to share documents and presentations. You can also upload powerpoints with audio. Again it will also act as a social networking tool.
Evite is great if you do not have to accept any registration fees, but need to keep track of special needs, lunch requests, etc. Attendees simply reply and answer a few questions. Doodle and Meet-o-matic eliminate the need to duplicate multiple emails about when is a good time to meet. It is MUCH more efficient.
Audacity is the software to record and edit your voice, but it does not have the capability to export as an MP3. Download the Lame MP3 encoder and Audacity will easily recognize it for MP3 exports.
A filing system should never be organized based on the knowledge of one person. Too often there is one office assistant who knows how to find materials in the cabinets, but everyone else is lost! These software keep an electronic filing system that everyone can search and add too, much like a library. You can organize items in a theme based format, for example, everything dealing with 4H will receive a number in the 100’s and everything with Master Gardeners will be numbered in the 200’s. You can also simply number everything sequentially, regardless of topic. The software will allow you to search keywords and titles irrespective of a ‘theme’.
If you have online registration, you can ask a 1-3 questions before they register and at the end of the survey, redirect them to the registration site. Surveyor is an online survey tool offered to members of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. It is free to use, but you must sign in with your user name and password.
Google groups or SharePoint sites are great to use when you are working on a collaborative project. Post your documents and meeting notes here. Never email back and forth wondering who has the latest version. Also, everyone in your group can edit the document, so you know longer spend time combining everyone’s comments into one document. They edit and post on one document.
Wiki’s can be public or private. Try using one when you are brainstorming on a topic within a group. Everyone can add their thoughts and feed off other comments.
MS Picture Manager is free with newer versions of MS Office. It is simple to use, but the best feature is the ability to compress multiple images simultaneously by highlighting them all at once. Picasa is a popular editing software from Google. Any Adobe software with the word ‘Elements’ denotes a beginner version of that software. This is usually adequate for the standard user.
Post your videos on YouTube and just create a link on your site to the video.
If you are collaborating with a WSU employee, they have access to a registration system. Other Universities may offer similar services.
MS Office 2007 has the capability to record voice over your presentation. Click “Slide Show”> “Record Narration”. I obviously should have done that for this presentation! Adobe Presenter is more robust but creates a product that only needs Flash to play on any other computer. It is a great way to post talks to a website or create visual extension publications instead of the standard fact sheet.
I can not stress enough how useful these have been in our programs. We use them to start discussions and administer tests as often as we use them for evaluating programs. The USB receiver is ~$100 and the cards are ~$30-45.
This is the background to Adobe meeting room. I use this every week. Almost all collaborative work can be done through web conferencing. If I share my computer screen, I can type a document and everyone else can see. If our working group is presenting progress reports, we share our powerpoint for all to see. This is good to use if you have a group of collaborators with diverse comfort levels of technology. I prefer to use google docs (#18) for simultaneous editing, but some people are not comfortable using newer technologies. They are usually willing to click on a link and allow me to run the web conference. All they have to do is talk on the phone and watch their computer screen. We have also starting using this a way to deliver extension programs to mulitple regions of the state and US. We upload our powerpoints and they are broadcast to multiple locations. We also have a tv with a video conferencing system that focuses on the presenter and panel discussions. We have found that web conferencing produces the sharpest image of the powerpoints. We meet in groups around the state so that travel/hotel costs are minimized. Our producers have accepted this enthusiastically and we actually reach more people because of decreased travel costs and time commitment.
NETC is a great conference for extension agents to attend every few years to learn the newest technologies that are available. This conference is geared primarily for IT professionals that work in the extension realm, but I found it very useful for learning new tools that I can implement. Many of the tools talked about in this presentation were brought to my attention through talks at NETC.
Top 20 Tech Tools for Extension Agents
Top 20 Tech Tools for Extension Agents<br />David Letterman Style<br />Gwen-Alyn Hoheisel<br />Tree Fruit, Grapes, Berries<br />
20. Send Large Files<br />www.pando.com<br />www.yousendit.com<br />www.sendthisfile.com<br />Create your own “hidden site”<br />
19. Shorten URL<br />Permanent solutions<br />www.Tinyurl.com<br />www.elfurl.com<br />Purchase a separate URL <br />$5-$15/year <br />then redirect<br />
18. Free Office Software<br />www.Openoffice.org<br />Looks, uses and feels like MS office<br />Google suite<br />Gmail, docs, calendar, RSS reader, website creator<br />www.zoho.com<br />Very similar features to Google, but possibly more. <br />
17. Web Statistics<br />Tips<br />Don’t track hits, track visits<br />Look at trends, not numbers<br />Numbers can be off, not a perfect system<br />Google Analytics measures<br />Free!<br />Direct traffic<br />Links<br />Search Engines<br />Keyword Stats<br />Site Overlay stats<br />Webmaster needs to help set-up<br />
16. Search Engine Tips<br />Minus (-) = Takes out words not to include in searchPlus (+) = has to include wordsQuotes (“ ”) = must be exact phraseTilda (~) = like items (ex. Auto loans, returns truck loans, car loans, etc.).edu & .pdf = only education and pdf’sDownload Google cheat sheets for more…..<br />
15. Sharing & Getting Material<br />FlickrSlide ShareGreat resource for materialCan get stats on information you are sharing<br />
14. Invitations and Meetings<br />www.evite.com<br />www.socialize.com<br />Create, customize, and track invitations, responses, and needs<br />www.doodle.com<br />www.meetomatic.com<br />In a chart, look at availability for all participants and easily schedule a meeting<br />
13. PDF Creator<br /><ul><li> 1st choice for online posting
NEVER post a pdf w/o security</li></ul> Save file>click on file name>properties>security tab<br />MS office 2007 add-in<br />PDFcreator.com<br />Use it like a printer, just choose pdf<br />
12. PodCasts<br />Audacity and Lame MP3 encoder<br /><ul><li> Free, easy to use and edit.
Buy high quality noise reduction headset w/ microphone</li></li></ul><li>11. Organization<br />Endnote, Biblioscape, Citeit!, <br />Mediawiki & Bibwiki (open source)<br /><ul><li> Easiest filing system for any type of media.
Good Keywords are crucial</li></li></ul><li>10. Online Surveys<br />PollDaddy.com<br />Zoomerang.com<br />SurveyMonkey.com<br />Surveyor (NACAA only)<br />Ask a few ‘pre’ questions before registration<br />
9. Collaboration Tools<br />Delicious.com<br />Social Bookmark; mix between Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook. Find good resources that others have already bookmarked<br />Google groups, Sharepoint sites<br />Post documents and create wikis <br />
8. Wikis<br /><ul><li> Editable websites with collective knowledge
Use as a collaboration tool</li></ul>Google groups, www.pbwiki.com, www.Zoho.com, openoffice.org<br />
7. Web Development<br />Adobe Contribute – very user friendly<br />CoffeeCup – Menu based or html<br />Google Docs “Sites” – public or private, very easy, free<br />
6. Image Editing<br />Microsoft Office Picture Manager<br />Highlight multiple pictures, edit, compress<br />Use for web, email, or pp. <br />Picasa<br />picasa.google.com, Free editing software with tags<br />Adobe Photoshop ELEMENTS<br />More user friendly than normal photoshop<br />
5. Video Editing<br />Windows Movie Maker<br />Free, easy to use, add transitions, captions. <br />Adobe Premier ELEMENTS<br />More robust, but still learnable. <br />YouTube<br />
4. Online Registration<br />www.regonline.com<br />$4 or $5 per person<br />Secure payment<br />Tracks participants for emails, name badges, etc. <br />(WSU online conference registration system)<br />
3. Presentations<br />Power Point – MS 2007<br /> Adobe Presenter<br /><ul><li> Record voice over power point