NDSU Extension Innovation


NDSU Extension Innovation

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Tech Coffee Break - February 1, 2016


Bob Bertsch, Facilitator
~ 22 participants

Bob reminded that these coffee breaks are for sharing ideas, throwing out problems, etc.

To post your photo in Office 365, including Skype for Business, review https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/lets-communicate/personalize-microsoft-office-with-a-profile-picture.


Brenda Vertin has completed about a dozen surveys, mostly personnel or program evaluations, rather than registrations. Brenda said it’s pretty easy to learn. It’s linked from the Group Decision Center website. She said the tutorials are really good. She recommends having the tutorial on one screen and work on your evaluation/survey on another. See https://ndsu.me/qualtrics.

Joe Zeleznik also has used it for program assessment – very straightforward and useful. Todd Weinmann found it to be fairly easy to use. Kari Presler and Cami Bauman in Morton County have used it for pesticide registration, parenting classes and archery tournaments. Bob said it works well if not collecting an online fee. If collecting money, we must use NDSU eMarketplace. Morton County says where to send their check separately.

Lori Lymburner has used it since Fall 2014 for candidate evaluations, conference evaluations and more. She found it extremely simple and useful, and agreed the tutorials are great.

Esther McGinnis uses it for Master Gardener course evaluations. The summary statistics are clear.

Bob said Qualtrics allowed Nourishing Boomers to import a list of emails so reminders were sent only to those who hadn’t completed it.

Mary Berg used it for program evaluations. Results are easy to share and go through data.

Steve Judd from New Hampshire and Brigitte Scott from Virginia Tech are leading a learning community in Google+. (Can’t use your NDSU Google account.) Will have some training and sharing. Can still sign up at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K24R549U4DmMkwnmoOPZJa_KLwALg_F-Kp5Pu-5X1J4

Google Forms

Bob and Sonja also use Google Forms for registrations. Google Forms is simpler but not as robust. Others have used Google Forms for 4-H event registration, parenting classes, etc. Example: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/potatoextension/scout-school-registration

Bob said for faculty and staff awards, he used JotForm that allowed people to upload resumes’, letters of recommendation, etc. JotForm worked with Google Drive, but Janelle Quam has had to do quite a bit of cleanup.

In Qualtrics, Sonja found a File Upload option. She said Qualtrics has many more question option types than Google Forms.

In the second phase of Extension orientation, Bob shares Qualtrics and Google Forms, but also PollEverywhere, Mentimeter and Plickers, which are smartphone and Web response programs similar to TurningPoint clickers. These probably can’t do robust evaluation, but at least pre- and post. Stacy Wang shared Plickers at fall conference. See her slides and others at www.slideshare.net/tag/ndsuconf15.


Bob and Sonja are looking for feedback on how sustainably they support Ag CMS training/learning. They’ll have intro and advanced preconferences at Support Staff Conference. The how-to guide is at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/training/agcms/ag-cms-how-to-guide.

Ag Comm Training Webinars

The Ag Comm webinar series just started in January on Skype for Business. The Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. Central Time one will be cloud storage and collaboration: Google Drive and OneDrive/SharePoint. Webinars are the third Wednesday at 3 p.m. Central.


Instagram accounts:




Kelli Armbruster is developing infographics for Extension social media. January was slow-cooker month, so it included a brief tip and link to a publication. February will include infographics on heart health and potato production. Bob encouraged others to share the NDSU Extension Service Facebook post. Should the infographics be posted somewhere so staff can get to them for posting elsewhere?

Dena suggested an Ag Comm webinar on infographics so counties can create their own, and Kelli agreed.

Next Tech Coffee Break

3 p.m. Central Time, Monday, March 7

Notes from Becky Koch


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Tech Coffee Break - January 11, 2016

Bob Bertsch, Facilitator
24 participants

Bob reminded that these coffee breaks are for sharing ideas, throwing out problems, etc.

To post your photo in Office 365, including Skype for Business, review https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/lets-communicate/personalize-microsoft-office-with-a-profile-picture.

Tech Christmas Presents

Bob bought his son a Pebble Round smartwatch for Christmas. It’s very thin and lightweight but does most of what other smart watches do.

Others got FitBit, iPhone 5, FitBit Charge HR, Jawbone UP3.

Dena said she needs to review the tutorials for her FitBit. Newer models vibrate when the phone rings, but older ones don’t. It even has caller ID.

Samantha has fallen in love with her Jawbone, which does what the FitBit Charge HR does but doesn’t have a screen. It comes in different colors, and the screen shines through so looks more like a bracelet. Samantha got her Jawbone for $40 off with Target’s Cartwheel app.

Rachel asked how to get used to an Android tablet after using an iPad. Bob said the Android has more buttons, so it often just takes playing with it and getting used to it. Carole also has an iPhone and Samsung tablet. She downloaded the iPhone manual and felt more comfortable after reading information.

Dena said a 3-year-old got a snowman wireless Bluetooth speaker.

Bob got a View-Master Virtual Reality, which is similar to the Google Cardboard, for about $40 that can work with virtual reality apps and videos. http://www.view-master.com/en-us

Julie said they got her folks NixPlay that runs off the Internet to share photos. She can get into their profile so she can email photos to their device. They just plug it in connected to the Internet, and when they walk by, it plays photos. https://www.nixplay.com/

Bob said his wife set up a generic email address to a Shutterfly account so Grandma can easily see everybody’s photos. Carole uses https://cluster.co/.

Julie asked if anyone had used Yapp App to build events, such as class reunions, family reunions, etc. https://www.yapp.us/ Mike said the N.D. Association of Counties used Yapp for their conference, and Julie said they used it at National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

Bob said eXtension uses Lanyard to organize conferences and conversations, so it sounds similar to Yapp. Bob also has seen a similar Sched app.

An app should be developed for fall and support staff conferences. Any volunteers to work on it?

Carole suggested the conference committee give attendees an external battery USB charger, and Linda Schuster said they’d already thought of that.

2016 Goals

Bob is participating in a Working Out Loud circle, and the idea is for 12 weeks to team up with a group of five or six to set a personal or work or learning goal and use your online network to achieve that goal. Kevin Gamble offered to lead about six groups, which meet weekly. Bob said he hasn’t learned a lot new, but he’s accountable to accomplish something each week. He’s reading John Stepper’s “Working Out Loud.” http://workingoutloud.com/the-book/

Maybe have a small group on website editing and design (Rachel, Calla, Samantha and others).

Other participants said their goals included to learn to use the Canon ES Rebel and use OneDrive more.

Ag Comm is starting a webinar series – 3 p.m. Central Time each third Wednesday:

  • Jan. 20 – Skype for Business
  • Feb. 17 – cloud storage and collaborative documents (OneDrive, SharePoint, Google Drive)

Becky explained that Ag Comm is trying to get photos from publications filed into ZenPhoto, which is the site that was used for State Fair awards. By using the consistent keywords that also are used for news releases and publications as they're transitioned to Ag CMS, photos will be able to be more easily found. Staff still may upload photos to Flickr -- https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/lets-communicate/flick-your-photos-onto-flickr-4 and https://www.flickr.com/groups/ndsuagcomm/. However, for agent-in-action shots, email directly to Becky to put into ZenPhoto.

Kelli shared that Ag Comm is trying to use more infographics, especially to tie into National Whatever Month or Day and to use on social media to bring people back to our more-detailed information. She suggested easel.ly http://www.easel.ly/, Canva www.canva.com and Piktochart www.piktochart.com and https://www.youtube.com/user/Piktochart. Stacy is doing 15-20 infographics on the various crops in their grant project and is loving Canva.

Impact reports could be more like infographics with fewer words. Deb said program leaders are discussing new impact report ideas, but photos, charts, etc. can be included now. Deb said an infographic might be used to tell part of the story, especially in the feedback section.

Samantha has subscribed to the Texture service/app for about $14 per month, and she has access to hundreds of magazines that she can read online for a month. https://www.texture.com Can we get our Extension publications into something similar rather than having to search on the Web? Ag Comm is working on getting our 750+ PDF publications into Ag CMS so they’re viewable on smartphones and tablets, but Bob said he has discussed the app idea with a few people, and Ag Comm also is exploring that.

If anyone wants to join the NDSU Extension Innovation Facebook group, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/NDSUExtInnovation/. It’s a closed group, but Bob OKs any Extension staff. Also, the recordings and notes of these Tech Coffee Breaks will be added to www.ag.ndsu.edu/innovation.

Notes by Becky Koch


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Tech Coffee Break – June 1, 2015

Here are the highlights from the Tech Coffee Break from June 1, 2015.

Lori Scharmer said she read in Let’s Communicate about how Bob helped Amelia Doll use Skype to record a screencast. Skype for Business is a tool that many staff are used to and simple to use. http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/lets-communicate/screencasting-with-skype-for-business

Molly Soeby is using Prezi (presentation software) and Canva (graphic creation).

Becky mentioned you can use Skype for Business with people outside of NDSU.

Dena wants small equipment to haul, so she explained how she got an adapter to connect her iPad with a projector. Here's an adapter for newer iPads/iPhones, http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD825ZM/A/lightning-to-vga-adapter. Here is one for older iPads/iPhones, http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC552ZM/B/apple-vga-adapter. You can connect some Android phones/tablets to some projectors using this adapter, http://www.amazon.com/Adapter-integrated-Charging-Samsung-MHL-enabled/dp/B00SRJF5TM.

For those of you who have to haul equipment.  Our office just purchased a portable/compact tabletop projector screen that weighs 6.40 lbs  Recordex-USA.  On sale right now for about $130.  Ordered online from Schoolsin.com.   https://www.schoolsin.com/REC-803050.html

We talked about portable projectors. In a large, dark room, you will probably need a projector with 2,500 lumens, but in a lighter room you may need 3,000 lumens. Many smaller "Pico" projectors have 100-300 lumens and are designed for use in small,dark rooms, often in a home setting. Here is an example, http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-S1-LED-Projector-Lumens/dp/B00I3UTUNW

Linda Schuster needs to learn the TurningPoint clickers. PollEverywhere and Mentimeter can do similar work with texting for just a few questions. Glenn used PollEverywhere at an out-of-town meeting when he didn’t want to haul the clickers. There were a few glitches, but overall it worked.

Sonja shared how Skype for Business offers polling. Go to the screen icon and click on More and choose Polling.

Glenn encouraged participants to share the tip or two they learned today with their colleagues.


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