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Resources Help You Continue Working

Here are a few handy resources you can use to continue working while out of the office:shared_drives

NDSU Departmental Drives

NDSU has implemented a way to access on-campus departmental and shared drives (sorry – no county or REC shares) from MOST Internet service providers.Follow these step-by-step instructions.

Note that the folder location (also known as he drive path) you need to enter will look the same as a secure website address (starts with https://). Entering it in a web browser will not work.

Cloud Storage

NDSU has contracted with both Google and Microsoft to provide additional storage (30GB and 25GB respectively) for each employee. However, while the services are currently available for use, they are not yet fully supported by NDSU IT. At this time, we strongly advise against storing any export-controlled data or data protected under HIPAA or FERPA on these drives as some servers may be located outside of the United States. Visit the U.S. Department of Commerce information on export restrictions.

Information about NDSU's SkyDrive and Google Drive are on the ITS collaboration and storage page.


You can access a Web version of Outlook from a computer or tablet connected to the Internet by visiting or clicking on Webmail under Online Services on the NDSU home page. All stored email, folders, contacts and calendar appointments are accessible. To log in, use your full email address and email password.

Setup of these resources can sometimes be a challenge. If you find yourself stuck, contact the Help Desk.

Jerry Ranum, Desktop Support Specialist; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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Write the Right Word: Compared to or Compared With

How to word comparisons can be confusing. Use “compared with” when indicating the differences in two or more items by placing them together. For example: “North Dakota producers harvested 3.46 million acres of corn in 2012, compared with a little more than 2 million in 2011.” Use “compared to” when you are indicating that two or more items are similar and your comparison is understandable without elaboration. For example: “The speaker compared her work for women’s rights to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign for women’s suffrage.” Or “The author said he wouldn’t compare his work to that of a writer such as Hemingway.” You’ll find you need to use “compared with” most often because when we make comparisons, we generally point out the differences in items. Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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Easier to Categorize Content in Ag CMS

With the recent 4.1 upgrade in Ag CMS, it’s easier for you categorize or “tag” items, making it easier for your readers to get the content they’re looking for.

Why Tag Your Content?

Categorization/tags are useful in grouping entries by topic, author or date. Tag searches can get you better results than if you’re just searching for words in the title or body of an entry.

Example: a story from Food Wise magazine about the food safety of canned food is excerpted on a page on Ag CMS. Note that at the bottom of the story (whether on mobile or desktop/tablets) the “food safety” tag appears.

 Food Wise tag

When you click on the food safety tag more than 2 pages of results are displayed, so readers can get all content (videos, publications, news items, events, etc.) associated  with “food safety”.

Easy  to add tag/categories

Perhaps the hardest part of adding tags/categories is that you may forget to do it! But it’s easy to do, and you start right from the Edit menu.

Under the Edit menu is a gray banner where you can choose “Categorization”.  Just mark the box to the left of tag you want.

tags in Ag CMS
Some notes:

  • Choose as many as many as are relevant.
  • The list is compiled numerically first, alphabetically with first word capitalized, and then alphabetically with lower case.  Nine are displayed at a time.
  • There are some duplicate or similar tags. For instance, there’s “Dairy” and “dairy”. Or “Flea Beetle” and Flea Beetles”. Choose all that are relevant.
  • Your tag(s) will display to the right of the list. To remove a tag, just uncheck the box next to the tag.

If you don’t see the tag you’re looking for, you can add one in the paragraph box below the list. You can enter one tag per line. Multiple words are allowed.

Easier to add tag/categories

Before the recent 4.1 upgrade, marking categories was more tricky, having to use Ctrl + Shift keys to select multiple tags. Now you just have to check a box!

Another improvement in choosing categories is that you can jump to a selection without having to page down. Just hover over any  tag and then type the first letter you’re looking for (so “a” if you’re looking for “aphids”), and it will get you to the top of that list, starting with that letter. The new design decreases the amount of scrolling.

If you have any questions about tags/categories in Ag CMS, please contact me or Bob Bertsch/(701) 231-7381. 

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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2 Options for Sharing & Collaboration

NDSU ITS has announced a couple of new options for saving, sharing and collaborating in the cloud.

NDSU faculty, staff and students now have access to Google Drive and Google Sites through NDSU Google Apps for Education.

Google DriveGoogle Drive provides 30 GB of space and can be used to create, share and store documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It can also be used for collaborative content authoring in real time.

To access Google Drive, set up your Google Apps account and go to to log in.

NDSU faculty and staff can also store, organize and share documents and other files in Microsoft's SkyDrive Pro with 25 GB storage space. You have the option to give others permission to review and edit content.

To access SkyDrive Pro, just log in to Office 365.

Both tools allow you to synchronize files and folders with your computer or mobile device to access content offline.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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Qualtrics Survey Tool Available at NDSU

You may have received the email announcement that NDSU Distance and Continuing Education’s Group Decision Center, in cooperation with the NDSU Information Technology Services Department, is offering Qualtrics, a data collection and analysis software, to the NDSU community.

You can get a Qualtrics overview, login information, and a how to get started guide, at

I also wanted to draw your attention to the Online Surveys community in Google+. This community has been discussing the use of surveys in research and Extension with special attention to Qualtrics.

You might be particularly interested in the archived webinar that kicked off the Online Surveys community, Use of surveys in Extension for program development and evaluation.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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Ag Comm Slides from Fall Conference

slideshows on slideshareAgriculture Communication staff presented several sessions at the 2013 NDSU Extension/REC Conference in Fargo. The slides from 6 of those presentations are available with other slideshows from the conference on Slideshare.

Check out the slides to learn more about:

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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Beware of Latest Facebook Hoax

Disregard the following false, recycled post from June 2012 shared on Facebook, which goes something like this:

"As of October 14, 2013 at 5:50pm Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future...”

Users of Facebook agree to their Terms of Service, and posting a “public statement” cannot override this fact.

Get more information on the latest Facebook hoax

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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Free Music from YouTube!

Music signYouTube now offers 150 royalty-free instrumental soundtracks to use in any creative effort, not just YouTube videos.

Check out the tunes on YouTube Audio Library where you can sample the tracks based on Genre, Mood, Instrument and Duration.

Get more information from the YouTube Audio Library blog post.

Image by jcolman on Flickr


Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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Three Survey Options Detailed

There are many good reasons to use online surveys for registration and evaluation. Although there a lot of survey options out there, this blog post focuses on Google Forms, Survey Monkey and Ag CMS.

Using Surveys to Plan, Organize and Evaluate Programs and Events

If you'd like to learn more about surveys or how to set one up, please contact Bob Bertsch or myself.

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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Learning Opportunity: Twitter Cohort

Twitter logoThe Twitter Cohort is a free learning experience presented by the eXtension network Literacy Community of Practice, beginning October 21, 2013.

It is designed to help you adapt to the culture of Twitter by building a sense of social comfort,creating a community of learners to learn with and providing “guides” to help you find your way.

In the Twitter Cohort, you will learn by doing. Over the course of 4 weeks:

  • You’ll build your Twitter personal learning network centered around your interests.
  • You’ll engage in conversations with a Twitter community that starts with your fellow cohort members and reaches across the world.
  • You’ll start online relationships that will last into the future.
  • You’ll begin to see how Twitter can be used for teaching, learning, and connecting.

To find out more and register. go to

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381
Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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