Engaging Audiences Online: Webinar Best Practices and Tips from the Field

With the announcement of OSU Extension gaining access to Zoom hosted meetings and webinars, Jamie Seger, Morgan Domokos, and Brian Raison offered a “Webinar Best Practices and Online Teaching Tips from the Field” during the 2016 OSUE Annual Conference. Further training on recommended Zoom equipment, use, and teaching via webinar will be offered by the Ed Tech Unit and CFAES IT Services in 2017.

Questions about Zoom and teaching via webinar in the meantime can be sent to Jamie or Danae.

Extension and the Maker Movement: Events Ideas and Collaborative Partnerships for Every Impact Area

During OSU Extension Annual Conference last week, our Tech Faire transformed into a Maker Fest, featuring sessions from #Adulting to homebrewing and Ohio makerspaces to home gardening.

Click the images to access a PDF of each flyer. Questions about how you can help OSU Extension become more involved in the Maker Movement? Contact Jamie or Danae.




Your Complete Guide to the 2016 OSUE Annual Conference Tech Faire

This year, the OSU Extension Educational Technology Unit is proud to present an expanded two-day Tech Faire featuring a line-up of talks, workshops, and demonstrations focused on upcoming tech opportunities for our organization (Zoom) and Extension’s involvement in the Maker Movement

What is the Maker Movement?

The Maker Movement is inspiring communities of entrepreneurs, builders, and inventors to come together and share ideas and innovations. The movement, and makerspaces in particular, have been named as a top opportunity for Cooperative Extension by eXtension’s Horizon Report.

“Involvement in the Maker Movement is growing across the nation. Extension has an opportunity to engage with new audiences by applying the existing skills and knowledge found in the Cooperative Extension System.” – Paul Hill, eXtension Maker Fellow and Utah State University Extension Assistant Professor

Stop by the Tech Faire to learn more about the Maker Movement and how you can adapt current programs to tap into this new and exciting audience and way of working. Featured sessions during the Tech Faire include homebrewing, #Adulting, and even a visit from the largest makerspace on the planet, the Columbus Idea Foundry!


“Maker Fest at the Tech Faire” Schedule of Events

OSUE Annual Conference 2016


Tuesday  (December 6) 11:00am – 6:30pm

11:00am – 6:30pm: Zoom Information Station, Maker Movement Information, Q&A with SysTechs and Ed Techs


Demonstrations & Hands-on Learning Opportunities:

11:00am – 1:00pm: Zoom Station: Software, Equipment and Studio Demonstrations Randy Nemitz

Zoom is coming for virtual meetings and webinars! Are you ready? Drop in to see Zoom in action, test it out for yourself, check out recommended equipment, and experience OSU backgrounds and studio space ideas.


1:00pm – 2:30pm: Maker Fest Feature: #Adulting: Life Skills Workshops for Millennials Morgan Domokos, Melissa Welker, Katie LaPlant

Need a fresh way to get participants to your programs? Learn how to host a series of life skills workshops with an #Adulting theme to engage new audiences. Conceptualized by North Dakota State University Extension, #Adulting offers creative marketing and hands-on maker inspired events that utilize FCS and 4-H educational content. Learn how to make a no-sew hem and take your creation with you!


4:00pm – 5:00pm: Maker Fest Feature: Makerspaces as Entrepreneurial Hubs Columbus Idea Foundry

Makerspaces are one of the top opportunities for Extension within the next year, and we have the largest on the planet right here in Ohio! Learn about the Columbus Idea Foundry, dubbed a community workshop, learning center, and creative space, and how you can collaborate with them and other makerspaces around the state to engage with entrepreneurs and small businesses. Speak with local entrepreneurs who started their businesses at CIF and see their prototypes. You can even test out the HTC Vive, a virtual reality system that lets you sculpt and create 3D images.


5:00pm – 6:30pm: Maker Fest Feature: Homebrewing & Winemaking + Ohio Beer and Wine Tasting Brad Bergefurd, Todd Steiner, Brian Raison, Land Grant Brewing Company

Looking for creative engagement opportunities with local farmers, small-scale growers, and entrepreneurs? Ohio is home to a large homebrewing and winemaking population that is waiting to engage with Extension. In fact, our state is 9th largest in grape production and 7th largest in wine production. Speak with OSUE specialists and hear examples from Educators already working with this audience. Don’t forget to sample Ohio-made wines and beer from Land Grant Brewing Company before you leave!


Wednesday (December 7) 8:00am –  4:30pm

8:00am – 4:30pm: Zoom Information Station, Maker Movement Information, Q&A with SysTechs and Ed Techs


 Demonstrations & Hands-On Learning Opportunities:

8:00am – 10:00am: Zoom Station: Software, Equipment, and Studio Demonstrations Randy Nemitz

Drop in to see Zoom in action, test it out for yourself, check out recommended equipment, and experience OSU backgrounds and studio space ideas.


10:00am – 11:30am: Maker Fest Feature: 4-H Maker Fest Events Carolyn Belczyk, Mark Light

Did you know that making is linked to the 4-H “Learning by Doing” motto and is already part of nearly every 4-H project? Extension involvement in the Maker Movement is providing an opportunity to rebrand 4-H and maintain its relevancy in the 21st century, while continuing to provide authentic, hands-on STEM experiences for youth. Learn how OSUE Educators have hosted Maker Fests in their communities through collaborative, local partnerships and how you can get involved.  


1:30pm – 2:30pm: Maker Fest Feature: Gardeners as Makers Danae Wolfe, Ashley Kulhanek

Gardening is big business! The Green Industry in Ohio generates $4.9 billion in sales and $3.15 billion in payroll each year. Explore the many ways to incorporate the Maker Movement into your gardening and horticulture programming. Learn how to host hands-on workshops to make bee houses, insect hotels, and learn how to cultivate ideas for involving Master Gardener Volunteers in maker events in your community. Make and take your very own seed bombs!


3:30pm – 4:30pm: #EdTechLN MeetUp & Annual Conference After-Party

Come for the networking and prizes, stay for the fun! Before heading home, drop by the Tech Faire one last time to network with innovators and other “rogue” colleagues. The first 20 attendees will receive #EdTechLN Bluetooth beanie hats, and one lucky person will be chosen to win a Yeti Blue professional microphone package – perfect for webinars and podcasting!


Questions about this year’s Tech Faire? Contact Jamie or Danae.

innovate Extension May 11th & 12th: Who should attend?

Have you ever wanted a day to plan new and innovative programs for Extension with no hidden agenda… and have fun networking with colleagues in the process?

We in Extension too often neglect innovative program planning because it’s difficult, it makes us uncomfortable, and because we simply have not devoted time to it. But we all need to be innovators. We all need to be change agents. It’s the backbone of Extension work.  Our Ed Tech unit is busy planning a great day for you. Over the next few weeks, we will roll out information about THE event you do not want to miss!

Attend innovateOSU on May 11th to be inspired and learn how others in academia are creatively solving age-old dilemmas and finding new tools to strengthen their work. 

Attend our post-innovate event just for OSU Extension on May 12th to put these ideas and inspiration into practice.


Who Should Attend?


The short answer: Anyone! Our post-innovate event will welcome program teams and individuals interested in learning about new ways of teaching and working at innovateOSU, and then thinking creatively to apply what they learned to their Extension work. Whether it be updating a program, developing a strategy, or just applying a new tool to their professional toolbox. Teams may even develop a breakthrough solution to one of our organizational challenges! This event will encourage you to get your creative juices flowing and “think outside the box”.

Event Objectives:

  • To provide a day-long work session for innovative program planning.
  • To provide a fun environment conducive to creative thinking.
  • To inspire teams and individuals to update programs, change the way they work, or develop solutions to organizational challenges.
  • To provide all Extension staff an opportunity to present new ideas and solutions to colleagues and administration.

Next up: Event Format Details!


Want to know more? Have questions? Leave us a comment below. Or, feel free to send questions directly to Jamie or Danae.

CFAES Online Course Design Workshop

A while back, those in Extension received an invitation to register for a CFAES Online Course Design Workshop. The workshop is being held simultaneously in Wooster, Columbus, and virtually NEXT Wednesday, May 13th. But there is still time to register! The day will consist of walking through hands-on learning to design online curriculum and/or trainings via Moodle or Carmen. (Note that only those with name.# accounts can access Carmen courses, so it may not be an appropriate tool for Extension online programming. Moodle, however, is still appropriate tool for any course or training that requires or offers a certificate upon completion.) This workshop has been a collaborative project between our new CFAES Director of Online Learning and Engagement (Deana Namuth-Covert), Instructional Development Specialists at ATI, myself, and many others.

  Click here to register to attend in-person or virtually.

I will be attending a portion of the workshop in Columbus and will be available for any questions Extension colleagues in attendance might have. I will also send out a follow-up announcement to Extension participants after the workshop. Look for a blog post in the coming days on the differences between formal and informal learning environments, and when which is most appropriate to utilize.


More information on the Online Course Design Workshop:


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:


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.