Ed Tech in Action: Apply NOW to Test Google Glass!

Infographic from TechNorms.com

Infographic from TechNorms.com

Are you interested in testing out Google Glass as a programming tool? The Ed Techs are now recruiting interested individuals to participate in a Google Glass pilot project. Those who are selected will be able to “check out” a pair of Glass from one of the Ed Techs and use them over a 3-4 week period. When you pick up your Glass, an Ed Tech will walk you through set up and what their capabilities are for every day use. You will also receive a handy tip sheet to use as a reference guide. You then have the loaner period to test out Glass for yourself, see what the possibilities could be for their use in Extension programming, and even utilize them in your own programming and educational methods.

We (the Ed Techs) have tested out Glass ourselves for several weeks and see the following potential uses for them in Extension:

  • Point-of-View (POV) out in the field, during demonstrations, etc.
  • Hands-Free navigation of social media, Google Hangouts, and other online programming tools
  • The increasing takeover of wearable devices over mobile devices (think iWatch becoming more popular than iPhone… because it will eventually happen).

Ready to test Glass out for yourself?

Click here to submit your request and information!

Want more info? Watch this video demonstrating how Google Glass is being used as an educational tool.

Using Webinars to Teach: Training Slidedeck, Recap, and An Opportunity for Staff!

Last week, the Ed Techs hosted an online training about utilizing webinars as a teaching tool. The PPT is below, as well as a summary of the main points. A recording link to the webinar itself will be included as soon as we receive it.

Are you interested in presenting an educational webinar?

We know how busy you are, and so the Ed Techs are offering to provide preparation training, hosting, and “back-end” support for program and support staff who wish to present educational webinars in 2015!  These will not be professional development webinars we are all used to, but rather webinars intended to educate our online clientele (How to Respond to Temper Tantrums, 3 Simple Ways to Stick to Your Budget, How to Diagnose Pest Disease – as examples). We are requesting that individuals interested comment on this post, or contact us directly with the following information:

  • Webinar Topic
  • Title and Category (if you would like to call it a “Webinar” or “Lunch & Learn” or something similar)
  • Target Audience
  • Requested Date & Time to Present Webinar

Send the above information to any of the Ed Techs-

Jamie Seger: seger.23

Kim Roush: roush.143

Heather Gottke: gottke.4

Training Slidedeck



7 Tools for Using Webinars to Teach


  1. Basic Plan: timing, marketing, brief content

Design:Webinars screenshot

2. Visual Appeal: large images, one key point on each slide

3. Layout/ Structure: divide content into 10 minute segments or less, set up webinar session to promote interaction with different pods, discussions, polls, and activities

Interactive Elements (demonstrated in CarmenConnect):

4. Polling / Quiz / Questions

5. Chat Box

6. Whiteboard

7. Online Search

Link to Recording: TBA

Ed Tech in Action: FCS Talking Points Web App

Two weeks ago, FCS Specialist Betsy DeMatteo and I had a phone conversation about a request the FCS Marketing Team had for the creation of a “Talking Points Pocket Card”. We both knew a handheld pocket card would be time consuming to create and easy to lose. So a digital version was what was needed. A couple ideas were thrown out about the creation of an app. But a standalone app wasn’t ideal either… and a webpage would be easier to create and to access. I suggested to Betsy that our EHE web developers should offer their input. Within two days – go.osu.edu/talkpoints was created.

The homescreen

The home screen

This beautiful webpage they created is ultra-responsive, meaning it’s formatting will change depending on the screen size of the device it’s viewed on. This allows it to function like a web app.

So what was the purpose of creating this “digital pocket card”? FCS staff, as well as County Directors, can create a shortcut or app button on their mobile devices home screen that links to this webpage. They will then have quick, convenient access to FCS talking points for different audiences (shown below).

FCS Talking Points WebApp 2

Not bad for a handful of conversations and one week! This example is the very definition of Ed Tech in Action. An Ed Tech may not be able to create a web app, but we know what concept/technology is needed and how to get people in touch with the IT staff who can make it a reality.

If you are FCS staff, or a County Director, you can save the go.osu.edu/talkpoints link on your smartphone or other mobile device as a quick link by following the instructions in these two videos:

For iPhone & iPad:

For Android devices:


Quickly Create Modern Looking Graphics for Anything with Canva

Allergic to Photoshop but still want pretty looking images to share on a blog or social media page? Canva is a cool (and very new) web tool that lets you easily and quickly create images that you can save and/or share online. The best news of all? It’s free to sign up and Canva has thousands of images and graphics that you can use for free. The real kicker is that the extra cool photo that you might want to use will only $1. That’s right, if it’s not free, it’s only going to cost you a buck. Good news for those of us in Extension.

Getting Started

You’ll need to sign up for a free account to use Canva. Then, you get to choose a template based upon what you will use the image/graphic for – which I think is a great feature that makes Canva super easy to use.

By selecting what you'll be using your image for, Canva will automatically select the best formatting and size.

By selecting what you’ll be using your image for, Canva will automatically select the best formatting and size.

After you choose a design to get started, you’ll come to what looks like a “dashboard of sorts”. Honestly, if you take just a few minutes browsing the tools on the left side of the screen, you can get acquainted with Canva’s features rather quickly.


Here are a few images I created in Canva to show everyone the possibilities of how those of us in Extension could use it:

COOKING Eat & Move-O-Matic (2)carrots

All of the above images and graphics could be shared on social media sites. You can also create PowerPoint presentations, posters, and marketing materials within Canva. 

How to Brand Your Images and Grahics

As for proper branding protocol when it comes to using Canva, you probably noticed that all of the above images use our scarlet color – one of the University’s primary branding colors. Anything that is created within Canva should include at least ONE of the primary branding colors, shown below. Scarlet is the preferred primary color, since it is the most recognizable color associated with OSU.

Canva branding colors


What do the numbers below the colors mean? This is where we’ll do a little walk-through in Canva to show you how to change color using the HEX color code (last line of text under each color above). We’ll use one of the graphics I included above as an example. When I first clicked on the template to edit it, the original color of the ribbon was teal. I needed to change this to a branded color. First, click anywhere on the color in your graphic or text that you need to change. Then, click on the “+” sign to open up the color wheel (circled in red below).

Canva changing colors

This will pull up a color wheel, with an option box to enter an exact color code. This is where the HEX color code is entered. The color code for our branded scarlet color is bb0000 (entered in the box circled in red).

Canva changing colors 2

This changes the color of the ribbon. To change text or any other graphic, simply go through the same process. Other logos such as the block “O” or our Extension strip at the top do not have to be included if you utilize any of the primary branding colors, as well as a branded font. In Canva, we’ll need to use Helvetica as the only font… which limits creativity I know. But it is required to be brand compliant.


Want more info about Canva? The site features a great support blog that gives advice on how to create different layouts, work with color in your graphics, how to create infographics, and much more.

Still have questions or want advice on how to create something specific? Leave a comment and we’ll help!



Key Take-aways from the NMSU Learning Games Lab

Our Ed Tech group recently traveled to the New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab in February. For those not familiar with NMSU’s Game Lab, they are 1654092_10100780964318436_94694068_naffiliated with NMSU’s Media Productions department and specialize in designing and evaluating educational tools with technology. You can see some of their work here which includes the “Eat-and-Move-O-Matic” National 4-H mobile app and “Don’t Wash Your Chicken!” video. While in Las Cruces, we toured their Game Lab and video production facilities, collaborated on how we can best work together on tech projects, and even created a decision tree to use when helping colleagues decide if they really “need” an app or they just “want” an app.

We’ve each listed below our top 5 take-aways from our short time visiting with the Game Lab director, Barbara Chamberlain (those in FCS have heard this name many times!), Jeanne Gleason, and the rest of the Game Lab’s staff.


  1. Processing Requests for App Development: Through this opportunity I was able to see the detailed process of app development from idea, to product. Coming to the table with a complete idea in hand is a nice starting point, but in turn we all must be willing to collaborate and build off of that idea to make it even better suited for Extension audiences.
  2. “The brain can only absorb what the butt will tolerate”: I found this to be a beautifully said direct quote from our collaboration sessions. The time we have as professionals to share information has grown smaller and smaller, while the need for sharing the message digitally has grown larger and larger. Making what we have to say compact, and creative is a task that the NMSU gaming lab has taken seriously, and done beautifully! There is a lot to be said for building animation, games, and apps that keep the attention of our audiences. In the past it was as long as 20 minutes, but today our viewers may only give us 2-3 minutes before we lose them.
  3. Atmosphere: The gaming lab is a good example of a creative, unique, and positive work environment. The spaces were open, the layouts blended from one person to the next, and the people were friendly, open, and constantly working together. While something we often do not think about, how we work together is as important as working together itself.
  4. Revisiting Objectives & Expectations: There is a constant need in any technology-based project to revisit the objectives, and the expectations of the client, or group. The reality is that we need to ask this question more often, and ensure that we are meeting both to the best ability we can. The NMSU gaming lab showed us how they communicate as teams, and work to give their best abilities to the group.


1970872_4016825997114_2063155192_n (1)

1. If you say “we need an app”, chances are, you really don’t. We spent hours one day mapping out and discussing the various steps to deciding and developing a mobile app. It’s quite a process. That’s not to say it’s worth throwing your hands up and giving up on the chances of ever creating something worth going mobile, because there are needs out there that can be filled by an app. Just know that there are many questions that have to be answered before need can even be assessed, layers of background information that has to be prepped, and months (if not years) of development plus testing that goes into every app. We’ll be sharing Dr. Chamberlain’s decision tree here on the blog soon, as well as information on how to work with an Ed Tech to go through the app development process. 

2. App development at the Learning Games Lab is different… in a very good way. They know Extension because they’re an integral part of the NMSU Extension system, so there’s little to no learning curve involved in trying to explain what we do and what it is we may want to accomplish by creating a digital product or tool. They also understand how imperative research and evaluation can be. So they do research to find missing pieces and information to make the app have the most impact. They also operate as a non-profit.

3. Fact sheets should be posted in an HTML format online instead of as a PDF. This was one of those light-bulb moments for me… as simple as this concept is, I hadn’t thought of posting them in an HTML format (similar to recent ChowLine and Family Fundamentals articles) before. But it makes perfect sense.

4. Even though we see them as leading the way in Extension technology, they say the same about us. They truly admire all of the strides OSUE has taken in regard to integrating and creating tech tools into our work here in Ohio. We spent quite a bit of time talking to them about our Ed Tech project, sharing examples of what we’ve done with social media around the state, and discussing projects that are in the works. We’ve agreed to help train them on social media strategy as part of our collaborative efforts together.

5. You won’t find a nicer group of people to work with. Seriously. Dr. Chamberlain and her staff were such wonderful hosts! So not only did we accomplish and learn a lot during the two short days we were in Las Cruces, but we had a lot of fun while doing it!



1. The NMSU Media Production Department structure was quite impressive. The back offices had key personnel responsible for navigating issues to effectively produce quality products by the most efficient methods available in areas of video production, social media, game development, and others.

2. The physical work environment even lends credence to promoting creative thinking using modern color schemes and treadmill desks as a physical activity outlet. When the treadmill desk is not enough to overcome stalled creativity, the team makes a trip to White Sands National Monument for sand sledding.

3. The group has a distinctive ability to problem solve. Sharing, they described how a room with a one-way viewing mirror was used for evaluating pilot games. They discovered that the mirror was not effective. The NMSU team mentioned that once the pilot game players became comfortable with the staff mingling, observing, and the team could get closer, more immediate feedback without the mirror. They even created a video recording booth so participants could record responses to their gaming experience. The group also shared that one project had an unexpected twist. A client wanted an educational learning game to address a weakness that needed to be resolved. In the process of assessing the project direction, NMSU found an underlying knowledge deficiency that directly related to the problem and focused on creating a platform to address all of the needs.

4. The NMSU Media Production Department leadership has an obvious appreciation and commitment to their staff. They maintain top-of-the-line equipment across focus areas for staff use in creating the innovative educational products clients request. If organizations with educational media requests want help, NMSU is very accommodating and will help clients with grant-writing needs and other task specific details if needed.

5. NMSU was very welcoming to our Ohio State University Extension Educational Technology team. They are very open to meeting groups that are interested in working with the NMSU team to produce educational media products. They invite potential collaborators and clients in for a tour of their facility–offering a warm welcome and real interaction with their inspiring group as well as a taste of the local Las Cruces culture.


1.  Attention Span:
When I started in Extension, I worked hard to create a solid 25-30 minute presentation for a youth audience so that I might get my topic across.


Times have changed and so must we as educators and be more creative in getting our topic across.  Today –  you may have at the most a 10 minute window to reach your audience. The NMSU’s Game Lab excels in researching who their target audience is and creating the best possible media source to reach their audience.

2.  Products of the NMSU’s Media Production Team:  The team shares knowledge through the  following types of products: Educational Videos, Educational Games, Web Sites and Mobile Apps.  I was particularly interested in learning more about their process for developing mobile apps and educational videos.

3.  Desktop Video Production:  Educators can create their own simple videos by starting out small.
Simple Video Studio:  lighting, sound, mics, there are simple methods that can be used for additional sound proofing, tripod, set furniture – go for solid colors that blend. Video Editing: The Ed Techs are putting together a basic Video Editing class and will share resources available to edit your video clips into a final product.

4.  Fun:  NMSU has a large team of people working together and we noticed that it’s in such a relaxed atmosphere.  Team members work well together and get along.  They incorporate “what’s new” into their work environment through the use of ergonomic equipment, exercise equipment and comfortable furniture.

5.  Grants and Partners:  The NMSU Media Production Department specializes in working with partners in grant writing and media projects.


More information and resources will be shared here on the blog and in-person as we work with individuals and teams as we begin to utilize this new, exciting partnership with NMSU! Contact one of the Ed Techs if you have an idea for an app, or just want to talk about what an app or gaming experience is. We’re here to help and to keep moving OSUE forward!


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


Webinars as a Teaching Tool = A Top Priority for 2014

Last Fall when we asked everyone in the organization to tell us what they needed to know about social media via an online survey, an additional need was heard loud and clear. Many are ready (and waiting) for training on how to best use webinars as a teaching tool. We’ve used webinars as a self-ed and professional development tool, but now this informal learning format is also offering our clients a convenient way to educate themselves as well – and we all need to be providing them information with this method. Many businesses and even government agencies (the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative for example, are already using Google Hangouts to inform and educate the public.)

One of the focuses for our Ed Tech group for 2014 will be developing training opportunities on how to best teach via webinars. But first some decisions need to be made, including which webinar tools we should focus on for training. Initial thoughts from our group include:

  • Carmen Connect (we realize many are not comfortable using CC as a teaching tool yet)
  • Google Hangouts On Air
  • Adobe Connect via eXtension

We need to hear from you! If you’ve used or participated in educational webinars (think = for our audiences: farmers, parents, youth, etc.) what tools seemed to work best? Which didn’t? Which tools would you prefer to learn how to use? What suggestions do you have for how we can best use these tools? An online discussion here will help drive our decisions and planning as we move forward with this year’s trainings.

~The Ed Tech Team

Reporting Your Good [Tech] Work: Facebook Impact

One of the most commonly asked questions during this time of the year the past several years has been: “How do I report my social media and/or tech use in my work?” While we still do not have official step-by-step guidelines on how to do this in RiV, there is helpful information on where to report most tech-related work in RiV, as well as suggestions on what should be reported. This information is below:

  1. Where in RiV to report your Facebook efforts:
  • If Facebook presence is part of a program, then impact data should be included under that Program.
  • If Facebook presence is separate from any program or project, then it should be reported under “Multi-media, Databases, and Websites” as a website

3.  What data to report:

  • Reach
  • Engagement (post clicks, likes, comments & shares). This can be reported as general “engagement” or you can separate out post clicks, likes, comments, and shares and report those separately.
  • Audience demographics (optional)
  • Detailed information from posts that had the most reach and/or engagement (optional)

4.  Where to find the data to report:

  • Facebook fan page Insights (find the link on the admin panel of your page) ***see yellow arrows in the image below***
  • The handy visual graphs of your Insights only go back about 3 months. To retrieve a year’s worth of data, you will need to download your data by clicking on “Export Data” up on the right-hand corner of the Insight page. Choose the dates you need (1/01/2013 – 12/30/2013 if you are exporting for the entire year). You will want to choose “Page Level Data”. Then click on “Download”.
  • This will download your data in an Excel spreadsheet format. Highlighted below are columns – “Daily Page Engaged Users” and “Daily Total Reach” – you will want to total (“Sum” tool in Excel) and report in RiV. Both of these columns are included in the “Key Metrics” tab (1st Tab in the Spreadsheet). Don’t forget to also report your total number of page “likes”.

  • You may also wish to report demographic information regarding your Facebook audience. This information can be found in an easier-to-use and view format in your Facebook page insights. On your Insights page, click on “People” (under yellow arrow in the image below). This tab will show you who your page fans are – who “likes” your page. You can view gender, age, and location demographics from this tab. I would suggest adding the percentages of each of these to your RiV report.

  • One final piece of data available to you that you may want to include in RiV is the impact of Facebook posts that did particularly well. The image below is of a post from the FCS Facebook page on Thanksgiving that reached a large amount of people (when compared to normal posts on that page).  I would suggest reporting the topic, type of post (text, photo, etc.), reach, post clicks, and engagement level for one or two of the posts over the last year that had the most impact/engagement.

After you’ve gone through the above steps for your Facebook data, your RiV report description may look something like this:

“The OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Facebook page had a total of 591 fans by December, 2013. Eighty-five percent of page fans were female, with 13% being male. Most page fans live in the city of Columbus, Ohio. Seventy five updates were posted to the Facebook page in 2013 and reached over 121,000 people. More than 25,000 people engaged with the page’s posts. One post that was particularly well received, wished followers a Happy Thanksgiving and was posted during National Family Week. It provided tips on how to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with family and reached nearly 375 people, had 6 click-throughs, and engaged 23 users who liked, commented, or shared the post.” 

Of course, the amount of impact data you can garner from the Facebook Insight Excel sheet is mind-boggling, so the sky is the limit on how much additional data you could report in RiV… but the above “template” will provide the basic impact information needed to show your efforts and impact in an online environment. I really hope this “how-to” is helpful!

If you’ve already been reporting your technology-related work in RiV, how have you reported it? Share your insights so that others can benefit! Comment also if you have questions about how to report your Facebook work in RiV that this post may not have answered. I’m happy to help!

We’ll post two more “how-to’s” for your blogging efforts and Twitter efforts soon.

Happy RiV reporting! 😉




Ed Tech in Action with the Live Healthy, Live Well Team

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a Live Healthy, Live Well program team meeting. This FCS group has done a wonderful job of including technology and social
media into their program – and it’s now an OSUE Signature Program. Live Healthy, Live Well is a nutrition challenge during which participants receive e-mail newsletters, and follow the program’s blog and Facebook page. Both the blog and Facebook page are updated regularly, even outside of the program’s challenge dates, which helps to drive more potential participants to the program’s information.

During this meeting I shared and discussed the following resources with the team:

Time was also spent discussing their current format for the Live Healthy, Live Well e-mail newsletters, which they felt were in need of an upgrade. I shared a couple examples with the team (see the OSU Buckeyes image below – screen captured from their Facebook page).

Of course, Live Healthy, Live Well digital newsletters won’t be sharing the same information as the OSU football Facebook page. So we chatted about how we could transform the e-newsletters become a bit more visual and not as information-dense while still getting needed info to participants. The key here can be links, links, and more links – all complimented by a very visual template. This also will drive more traffic to their blog and Facebook page, which is a goal they’ve decided needs to be part of their overall social media strategy. E-newsletters are beginning to look more and more like a page in a magazine as the appeal of seeing information in visual form and in short snippets crosses over from Facebook (see other examples below).

As a result of the meeting, the Live Healthy, Live Well team is considering experimenting with paid promotions on their Facebook page to reach more potential program participants. I’ll also be working closely with them to communicate how they can best show and report their impact via the technological components of the program (in RiV in particular) – which is an issue we’ve been struggling with in Extension for years. This will be a major focus of our next Ed Tech meeting this Wednesday and we hope to have this information posted and ready for the organization in December – just in time for all the RiV procrastinators out there! (I can say this because I’m one of them.)

In the meantime, please consider inviting an Ed Tech (or more than one…) to an upcoming project or program team meeting to help your group think through some of the issues, concerns, ideas, and aspirations of technology use in Extension. We are here to help. I feel that in just the past few short months, we’ve already gained a lot of ground.