NEW Social Media Workshop Schedule for 2014!

We’ve experienced a lower-than-anticipated number of registrants per EERA so far this year with the social media workshops. So the Ed Tech team has decided to switch to a regional schedule for the remainder of 2014. This will come with the added benefit of reaching all 5 regions (central, north, south, east, west) by June! Plus, we have included a “2nd Chance” workshop on each topic in September for those who may not have had (or will have) a chance to attend one of the other workshops.

We’ve received great feedback from workshop participants so far this year. These are hands-on workshops and participants work through various steps/processes during the workshop with the Ed Techs, as well as assistance from CommTech specialists!

Please “save the date” for the workshop you plan to attend and let one of us know if you have any questions. (Click the image below to pull up a larger version.)

2014 SM workshops flyer_Final


Beyond Facebook: Apps to Know (Part 2 of 2)

Here is the second part of the Beyond Facebook: Apps to Know. Below I will highlight more social media platforms that you can explore and get to know. To read up on the first 6 applications explored visit here:

7. Vine:

Vine is a mobile app owned by Twitter that enables its users to create and post short video clips. The service was introduced with a maximum clip length of six seconds

Uses: Similar to youtube in the fact that it is a video, but more information to show fun moments, or share things that people couldn’t be at.

Watch out for: Appropriateness of videos shared should be monitored.

8. Tumblr:

Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website founded by David Karp and owned by Yahoo! Inc. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users’ blogs, as well as make their blogs private.

Uses: Microblogging pictures and short content, similar to wordpress, and blogger.

Watch out for: Privacy settings should be reviewed to ensure that content is not being shared with unwanted parties.

9. Google+:

Google+ is a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google Inc. Google has described Google+ as a “social layer” that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author.

Uses: They are aiming to give a complete package of good products with google + Often used more with businesses, or professionals, young adults have not adopted this platform as much yet.

Watch out for: Privacy settings should be set up to protect information about location, or identifiable traits.

10. Google+ Hangouts:

Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat platform developed by Google. It allows users to chat, share their desktop, share documents, and chat!

Uses: Works to allows multiple users to participate in a web conference format with voice, and optional video. Gives many options for productivity.

Watch out for: Without video the experience isn’t quite as fun. Worth buying a web cam for!

11. LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. It is mainly used for professional networking.

Uses: Primarily the professionals’ version of facebook networking. Allows users to post portfolio and resume.

Watch out for: Your own appropriateness of content that you share, and what kind of information you share.

12. GroupMe:

GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app owned by Microsoft.

Uses: Allows users to connect to one another in a group format and have a conversation.

Watch out for: Users without a smartphone will be charged for each text sent – or standard messaging rates do apply.

13. EverNote:

Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for note taking and archiving. A “note” can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook.

Uses: Notetaking and collecting of documents in a way that is similar to a box, but allows for the creation of notebooks instead of documents and folders. Users can share information with anyone, including non EverNote users.

Watch out for: Free version is usually enough for the regular user, but sometimes you need the paid version to get what you need.
Please note that we do not endorse any of these applications on behalf of the university. The purpose of this post is to give informative information about applications you may come across in the work environment. All opinions stated above are my own (Watch out for..)

As you can tell, there are a lot of applications out there. If you have suggestions for other apps that you use for work, fun, or otherwise, please let me know at



Video Creation Workshop

What is something that can engage your clientele, and add some pizazz to your presentations, marketing, or reporting? Easily added are pictures that help to tell a story, but even more exciting is the possibility of making a movie that literally can speak volumes to anyone who sees it – even when you are not there. Videos allow the viewer to be transported to the kitchen, the field, or 4-H Camp without leaving their couch.

The Ed Tech team is working to design a workshop for Extension professionals to develop their skills in making videos for these purposes. Part of the goal in explaining our ideas is that you will collaborate and we can build to make this a great experience!

Through this workshop we will explore five major areas: brainstorming, pre-production, production, post-production, and other topics. These areas will lead professionals through types of videos, suggested software (both paid and free), planning a video, lighting, location, equipment needed, how to edit, and how to publish your video.

As we plan this workshop, we would love your feedback! Have you done video before? What kind of things are you most curious about? How can videos help you in your position? Leave a comment below or feel free to email me at

Beyond Facebook: Apps to Know (Part 1 of 2)

The art of keeping up to date with social media, and knowing what the next best thing might be is nearly impossible. But I hope to highlight some of the social media apps that I have seen with increasing popularity with youth and adults alike. While these apps may never peak your own interest, understanding how they work can help all of us to have positive conversations with others (especially youth) about how we leave a digital footprint, and how our actions now may haunt us later. Social media applications (apps) are simply a tool – how we decide to use them can make them “good” or “evil”.

1. Twitter: 

Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.

Uses: Personal Learning Networks, news updates, learning about a hobby, trade, or skill, interact with like minded professionals from around the globe

Watch out for: Some content can be inappropriate for youth, constantly changing so hard to find things from even an hour before if you do not re-tweet it, lots of new language and terms to learn (tweet, re-tweet, mention, etc)

2. Pinterest: 

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos.

Uses: Useful for finding information about activities for programming (recipes, gardening, crafts, games), visual learners will find content more appealing, suitable for those who like to sort and organize information in notebook format.

Watch out for: Can easily spend too much time looking, or get distracted easily. Also need to verify information with a reliable source if not provided.

3. Snap Chat: 

Snapchat is a photo messaging application (“app”). Using the app, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps 1-10 seconds after which they will be hidden from the recipient’s device and deleted from Snapchat’s servers..

Uses: Take pictures of events as they happen to share with only a group of people who share the application on their phone.

Watch out for: Gives a false sense of security, users often forget that it disappears but still can be captured with other cameras or software. No way to archive pictures for printing or later use.

4. Kik: 

Kik Messenger is an instant messaging application for mobile devices. Kik offers swift text messaging service and also allows users to share photos, sketches, voice messages, and other content. Kik Messenger requires users to register a username as form of identification.

Uses: Notify a specific group of people of an upcoming meeting or gathering. Usually used for more informal groups, or non-business.

Watch out for: Is only rated for users who are 17+. Works in the same way as Snap Chat, but also allows to share more multimedia.

5. Whisper: 

Whisper is a free iOS and Android mobile app, which allow users to send messages anonymously and receive replies. Users post messages which are displayed as text superimposed over an image, similar to greeting cards.

Uses: Share information in a “meme” format  that you wish to remain anonymous.

Watch out for: Is only rated for 17+. Content can be sexually explicit at times, and not appropriate.

6. Instagram:

Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio now typically used by mobile device cameras. Users are also able to record and share short videos lasting for up to 15 seconds.

Uses: Post pictures to show information to people about where you are, or what you are doing, without “clogging” up your facebook newsfeed.

Watch out for: Check privacy settings, and be careful about what kind of pictures are shared and if their information helps to locate someone (or stalk).
Please note that we do not endorse any of these applications on behalf of the university. The purpose of this post is to give informative information about applications you may come across in the work environment. All opinions stated above are my own (Watch out for..)

As you can tell, there are a lot of applications out there. If you have suggestions for other apps that you use for work, fun, or otherwise, please let me know at



Effectively Using Social Media with Facebook Groups

Frequently the question comes along that many Extension professionals wish to build an online presence or gathering place for their clientele. The good news is, if you follow the outlined steps below, it is possible to build a positive page that will connect interested parties together. Once connected, following a number of steps can lead your group in the right direction to being a frequently visited social hub, versus being a tumbleweed in social media. The following directions start with you already having a personal facebook profile to begin with. If you do not have one, please contact an Ed Tech and we can help get you started – or attend one of our fantastic Social Media Workshops listed at this website –

The steps listed below are taken from screenshots of my facebook as of the last week of January 2014. Remember, Facebook changes often so this will soon be a rough outline.




The first thing you will want to do is to look at the main home page. This is the page that will show the news feed to the right, and then on the left a list of links including your pages, and groups that you currently follow or are a part of. At the bottom of the group section there is a link that says “Add Group”. Click that link, and then click on the Create new group button on the following page in the upper right hand corner.





After clicking to create a new group, you will see a box pop up with fill in the blank information. You will then be able to name your group, add members, and determine your privacy settings. The three options for privacy are open, closed, and secret. If you want the group to be open to the public (ie: Van Wert County 4-H) you could make it a page, or make it an open group. However, if you are working with youth, or people who may not wish for their information about meetings to be public (ie 4-H club Facebook groups) I often suggest that the group be secret. That means that only members of the group can see posts, or find the group. If the group is closed, it can be found, but only members can post to it. This setting can be changed if you decide differently later.





The next decision you make is a fun one! A window should pop up and ask you what kind of icon you wish to have for your group. This is also a feature that can be changed if you wish to at a later time. The screen will refresh and then show you the group homepage. You can see an example of that to the right of the icon screenshot. As a member you have a number of options – including posting messages, pictures, asking a question, or uploading a file.








One of the special features of the group option is that you can ask a question. Members can reply with comments, but if you wanted to find out what kind of pizza to order for your next meeting, you could list options and ask all the participants to vote. It is a fun and different way to grab the attention of those in the group.








Another special feature is the add file button. From here you can post documents for members to review, or remind them of meetings with a listing, or contact information. The ability to communicate and provide access to this information is very important to those who may have a different schedule than 9-5pm.




The best advice that I can give people using groups is to explore the options, and test the waters! Not all groups need a Facebook groups page, but there are many groups that could benefit from the added communication. Below are the top ten things you can do to use your new Facebook Group effectively! This list has been generated for volunteers, especially those who interact with 4-H clubs, but can be adapted for almost any organization.

1.Explore other counties, states, or groups ideas for community service, fund raising, projects, or craft ideas.
2.Promote & show off your club to the community & public relations
3.Reminders about county or club deadlines.
4.Resources for 4-H projects
5.Parent communications
6.Information is accessible 24/7
7.Announcement changes about venue, time, or weather related.
8.Share pictures, or new released – using photo albums and notes on Facebook.
9.Group project help or steps to take before the next meeting.
10.Share County posts and updates so members see them again!
I hope you have the opportunity to dive into Facebook Groups! If you have questions, or concerns please feel free to contact me at