Image Design for Teaching Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

For OSU Extension program staff or anyone else interested in learning how to edit and create images for teaching purposes, OSU’s Office of Distance Education and e-Learning is offering a Photoshop bootcamp on August 19th. You have the option of registering separately for each topic covered during the bootcamp if you are already proficient in Photoshop basics, or you can feel free to register for each topic! More information on what will be covered during the bootcamp is included on their blog where you can also register for each topic during the bootcamp.

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Questions? Leave a comment or send Jamie an email!

So You Want to Make an App? Decision Chart!

A collaboration between OSU Extension’s Ed Techs and professionals from New Mexico State University’s Learning Games Lab and Media Productions over the past year has produced a handy decision chart for Extension professionals who are interested in developing mobile apps. NMSU’s Barbara Chamberlin, who directs the Learning Games Lab, developed the large majority of this flowchart which walks individuals and teams through the (very involved) decision-making process that may or may not lead to the creation of an app.

PDF version for printing: so-you-want-to-make-an-app-flow-chart-with-color-v6-ugrxmt.pdf

If you or your program / project team are interested in creating a mobile app, walk through the various steps of the flowchart. If you feel an app is still appropriate and worth the time / monetary commitments, contact Jamie or Heather to discuss how to move forward.

Questions or comments about mobile apps or the decision chart? Let us know in the comments!

How to Use Google Trends to Identify Local Interests

Google Trends, a Google tool utilized to aggregate search engine and news trend data, recently got an upgrade that allows data to boil down to a regional level per state. This is great news for Extension – it allows us to take a look at timely topics that matter most to people on a semi-local level. Here is are a couple examples of how we can use Google Trends in Extension programming:

I searched for three terms in Google Trends: 1) Food Safety, 2) Listeria, 3)Botulism. I was interested to see how many people used which term around the time of the listeria and botulism scares in Ohio. I limited the term search to just Ohio.

As you can see from the graph, the term “Food Safety” was searched for far less over the past 12 months than the terms “Listeria” and “Botulism”, even during the height of the news cycles for these topics. By including the terms that are most often searched for when blogging or posting on social media about timely information, we can make sure that Extension produced content is found by the people who need it.

Another example of how to use Google Trends to track a topic that has a growing interest: Kids and Screen Time. After plugging in “Screen Time” as a search topic over the past few years, here were the results:

 

According to the graph, this topic has increased in popularity since 2009. The dotted lines at the end of the graph represent Google’s “forecast” of how often Screen Time will be searched for in the near future. The letters on this graph represent when top news stories on Screen Time were posted. If you hover over each letter, information about who posted the story and the title will appear.

Here’s a look at how the topic of Screen Time compares between Ohioans and people who live in Michigan:

Ohioans search for "Screen Time" more often than people living in Michigan.

Ohioans search for “Screen Time” more often than people living in Michigan.

When “Screen Time” is broken down by region:

After plugging in search terms, locations, or simply exploring what topics people are most interested in, you can generate a shareable link to share the information or you can download as an Excel file. You can also embed individual charts and graphs into a blog post or website, like this graph showing all searches related to “Crops & Seed” in Ohio (hover over the line on the graph to see information):

 

Other Google Trend applications for Extension:

  • Put together an interactive informal “needs assessment” on specific topics to share with your County Commissioners.
  • Compare different topics in your region of the state to find topics of interest.
  • Share local interests on social media and ask for feedback from residents.

What are your ideas? How would you utilize Google Trends?