Before You Blog Best Practices Checklist

Danae and I recently walked the Live Smart Ohio blog authors through an updated version of our blogging best practices tip sheet. It includes the useful rules of thumb below to check before you hit “publish” on your next blog post, especially if you submit your blog content for peer review.

Does your post…

  • Have a good title that includes keywords?
  • Have less than 300 words in the body of your post?
  • Have a quality photo, image, infographic, or video included?
  • Have a few embedded links that readers would find helpful?
  • Have a call to action at the end? (information included that directs readers to local or statewide Extension / OSU resources)?
  • Include content that can easily be repurposed?
  • Cite your hyperlinked sources in the endnotes below the content?

More in-depth information and resource links for each tip in the list can be found in the slidedeck below.


We suggest bookmarking this post, or download and print the PDF to always have a copy in front of you.

Do you currently blog? Add your blog links in the comments below and tell us what you’ve been using your blog for!

Barnes & Noble Mini-Maker Faire Opportunity for OSUE Educators

All Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide will be hosting Mini-Maker Faires November 6th-8th in partnership with Make Magazine. This event provides a unique opportunity for OSU Extension Educators to learn more about the Maker Movement or even host their own booth at the Faire to share STEM-focused project ideas or provide 4-H program information. Have a drone or 3D printer? Set them up at the Faire and let kids see them in action – then discuss how you use them in your Extension work. Or, bring your Lego League project information and share how they can get involved!

To further put Extension’s involvement in context, I interviewed Paul Hill, eXtension Maker Fellow and 4-H Assistant Professor at Utah State University, to gain some insight into the potential benefits of participating in the Mini Maker Faire:

Why should Extension participate?

It’s all about engaging a new audience that already aligns with the STEM goals of 4-H. Doing so will position 4-H to be more relevant in the 21st century. Makers need the structure of a 4-H club and the essential elements to truly create an environment of positive youth development. Making is considered cool now and it’s the perfect way to help youth gain STEM abilities. 4-H joining the Maker Movement would create a symbiotic relationship for both audiences. 

In your opinion, what potential exists if Extension gets involved in the Maker Movement?

By joining forces with B&N to support the Maker Movement in your county, 4-H can reach a new audience of clients and volunteers eager to learn by doing.

OSU Extension Educators are beginning to get involved in the Maker Community. Mark Light, 4-H Educator in Hardin County, received an eXtension innovation grant to create a maker space within the Hardin County OSU Extension office.  Dubbed the Spark Lab, this project will instill that inspiration or “spark” youth and adults need to learn, discover, and grow in a creative environment. It will be an overall center of innovation framed through the educational lens of a land grant university system. It will further have the potential to transform the Extension office beyond the traditional use into an innovative space by bringing entrepreneurship, university education opportunities, and a technology and maker space together in a dynamic and still to be explored relationship. The Spark Lab will create a physical space model that can be reproduced by Extension nationwide.  It will open in Hardin County in November 2015. If you have questions about the Hardin County Spark Lab, please contact Mark.

Interested Extension program staff are encouraged to contact their local Barnes & Noble store by submitting a information to participate at the B&N Maker Faire website.


Comment below with questions, or contact Jamie.

Share Your Innovative Programming and Ideas at this Year’s “Innovation in Action” OSUE Annual Conference

There are just SIX days left to submit your session and poster proposals for the 2015 OSU Extension Annual Conference! This year’s “Innovation in Action” theme seeks to highlight the creative and innovative programming that takes place in Extension across Ohio every day.

Did you try out Instagram or Pinterest this year and want to share the results? Have you started communicating with your clientele in different ways? Did you learn a new innovative skill through trial and error? Did you replace traditional content with digital? What innovative methods of teaching are you using to plan, promote, and/or facilitate face-to-face events?

Ohio State University proudly boasts one of the largest groups of innovative Extension professionals nationwide.

Please share the great work you’re doing with your colleagues by submitting a proposal! If you would like assistance from an Ed Tech to brainstorm ideas or even help facilitate a breakout session or poster – we’re happy to help! Contact Jamie or Danae via email. While we do have several hands-on Ed Tech session proposals submitted, we’re also still open to suggestions for topics to cover during AC! Comment below with your ideas of what information you need from us this year.

We’re happy to announce that we will once again host a Tech Faire (formerly the “Tech Zoo”) during Annual Conference, complete with technology that inspires and the opportunity to connect with the Ed Techs, IT Support, and Communications staff. More details about the Tech Faire will be posted soon.

More information about the conference and proposal submission form can be found on the Annual Conference website.