Agriculture Communication


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Payments Due to Ag Comm When Work Completed

Ag Communication cannot accept payments for work that has not been performed. If a large project crosses fiscal years, a progress billing can be requested for work completed in the fiscal year that is ending. This especially applies to graphics, video and printing.

In preparation for the end of the fiscal year, Print and Copy Services jobs submitted after June 13 will be billed in FY15.

Please contact me if you have questions.

Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, (701) 231-7875

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Blackboard Collaborate Includes Phone Option

If you have scheduled a Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing meeting that someone now can’t attend or if you are having difficulty scheduling one because someone won't be in the office, don’t worry. Blackboard Collaborate now has a phone option that allows people to call in and have their phone work like a computer headset.

When a session is created, the organizer can click on the phone option to get a phone number and PIN. The same phone number and PIN (in addition to same URL) can be used for multiple meetings in a "session." For example, a conference planning committee doesn't have to change URLs and phone numbers each meeting.

Contact me if you need help setting up a Blackboard Collaborate web conference.

Lync has similar tools as Blackboard Collaborate, but the N.D. University System has not purchased the phone option for Lync web conferencing.

Scott Swanson, Electronic Media Specialist, (701) 231-7086

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Computer Support Moving Back to Ag

Effective July 1, 2014, the memorandum of understanding that Agriculture has had with ITS to provide desktop support for NDSU Agriculture will end.

Jon Fry, Blair Johnson and Jerry Ranum will return to Ag Communication to focus on the diverse needs of Agriculture faculty and staff, including desktop support, training, support for mobile tablets and smartphones, and other needs and projects that arise.

A project team is being pulled together to work through the details of the transition. Information about what services Jon, Blair and Jerry will provide and how to reach them will be shared closer to July 1. For now, please continue to call the help desk at (701) 231-8685.

Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, (701) 231-7875

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Disability Accommodation Statement is Required

Remember to add a disability accommodation statement to your event materials and publications. This is required by federal law and NDSU Policy. NDSU events and publications must reasonably accommodate those who have diminished access.  

Look on the back of NDSU Extension publications and you should see:
This publication will be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities upon request, (701) 231-7881.

For example, to comply with this alternative format accommodation, Ag Comm once made a publication in larger print so the requester with diminished vision could view it. Another time, a meeting attendee with diminished hearing requested a sign-language interpreter, which was provided.

When promoting your event, include a phrase like this in your print and online materials:
Individuals with disabilities are invited to request reasonable ac­commodations to participate in NDSU-sponsored programs and events. To request an accommodation(s), please contact (office) at (xxx) by (deadline) to make arrangements.

If you have a sign-up form (online or hard copy) for events, include a space for attendees to request accommodation.

If you receive a request for accommodation, you may work with NDSU Disability Services to ensure reasonable accommodations are met.

For more information about accommodating people with disabilities, refer to Ag Comm's Required Statements on Printed Materials.

Image credit:

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

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Write the Right Word: Forego vs. Forgo

“Forego” and “forgo” are not different spellings of the same word. They have different meanings, so they can’t be used interchangeably.

“Forgo” means to do without something or pass up something voluntarily. For example: “I will forgo a trip to the mall to go to the movie with my friends.”

“Forego” means to go before or precede something. However, it’s not used much in this form. The more common form is “foregone.” For example: “That Suzie Smith would win the race was a foregone conclusion.” The “foregone conclusion” phrase refers to an outcome that is assured in advance.

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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Write the Right Word: Up and Down

“Up” and “down” generally indicate direction, so avoid the temptation to attach them to action words such as “slow,” “call,” “make, “ warm,” “cool” and “clean” unless a direction is necessary.

Here are some examples:

* “I’ll make the bed” instead of “I’ll make up the bed”

* “Warm the stew in the microwave” instead of “Warm up the stew in the microwave”

* “Slow before you get to the next intersection” instead of “Slow down (or up) before you get to the next intersection”

* “Let the soup cool a little before serving it” instead of “Let the soup cool down a little before serving it”

* “Clean the table” instead of “Clean up the table”

Tip: When in doubt, read the sentence without “up” or “down” in it. If the sentence makes sense without “up” or “down,” leave it out.

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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How To Watch a Video Without an Internet Connection

no internet connectionWant to use video in your presentation but won't have internet access at your location? You can download videos from YouTube and Vimeo right to your computer to play later, using Keepvid to download. See the 1:53 video how to Download Online Video

Not All YouTube Videos Can Be Used in Presentations Due to Copyright Restrictions

Here's the kind of YouTube videos you can use in your presentation:

- videos that are not copyrighted all rights reserved (like NDSU Extension videos)
- videos that fall under the classroom use exception to copyright- when the performance of the video/audio is for a non-profit educational use and held in a face-to-face setting in a classroom (a place devoted to instruction), you can use a copyrighted work.

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

Image from Ben Dalton on Flickr

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Getty Images Allows Free Embedding

Getty Images, the world's largest photo service, is allowing embedding of some of their images (more than 12 million as of this writing) on websites, blogs and social media for free, as long as you do not use them for commercial purposes.

The embedded images, like the one below, link back to the Getty Images website and include a footer crediting Getty Images.

I had trouble finding images I could embed until I went to which included a link to all embeddable images.

Using the embed code for the images can be a little tricky in Ag CMS, as you will have to navigate the HTML view of the content item you are editing. Resizing the embedded image is a manual process as well. You will need to change the "width" and "height" settings in the HTML code, making sure you maintain the image's aspect ratio.

There are many free and some right reserved images that you can use more easily and flexibly than Getty's embeddable images, but if you are looking for an image of a specific person, place or event they are a great option.

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

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Write the Right Word: Forward, Backward, Toward

Words such as “forward,” “backward” and “toward” that indicate direction do not need an “s” at the end.

For example, you would say: “The cars inched forward slowly.” Or this: “We moved toward the front of the theater.”

However, words such as “beside” may take an “s,” depending on usage.

“Beside” means at the side of or next to something or someone. For instance: “We stood beside the man wearing a cowboy hat.”

“Besides” means in addition to or furthermore. For example: “What are you studying besides algebra?” Or this: “I don’t want to take vacation now because I’m too busy; besides, I can’t afford it.”

Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391

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Copy and paste when you have long lists in Google Forms

Long list imageWhen you ask a question on a Google Form that has many response options, you don't need to enter each one manually.

For instance, if you ask the question "Which ND county do you live in?" you don't have to type in each of the county names for the response options. You can just copy and paste from a list online or in a document right into your form.

See YouTube video (3:48) about long lists in Google Forms.

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

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