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.




2016 Virtual Summer School

Join The National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) this week for their virtual summer school to learn about social media use in Extension!

The Virtual Summer School starts TODAY at 2pm with a session on Using Social Media to Extend the Learning Process.

Virtual Summer School

Monday, August 15 at 2:00 EST
Topic: Using Social Media to Extend the Learning Process
Presenters: Drs. Karen Jeanette & Brigitte Scott, Virginia Tech, Military Families Learning Network

Tuesday, August 16 at 2:00 EST
Topic: Social Media Conduct
Presenter: Mark Hagemeier, J.D., Associate General Counsel University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR

Wednesday, August 17 at 2:00 EST
Topic: Social Media Analytics & Impact
Presenters: David G. Allen & Josh Paine, Communications and Marketing, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia

Thursday, August 18 at 3:00 EST
Topic: Accessibility for All: Digital Media Accessibility
Presenter: Richard Petty, Director, National Center for Aging and Disability, The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, TX

For more information and to register, visit the NAEPSDP website.

Content Cheat Sheet: Best times to post

Figuring out the best times to post content on social media can be puzzling. Research shows that businesses and organizations post most of their content during normal work hours (9am-5pm, Monday through Friday). However research also shows that the best times to post on social media for maximum engagement is actually outside normal business hours. Take a peek at the cheat sheet below (courtesy of TrackMaven) to gauge when may be the most appropriate times of day and days of week to post on your social media channels. Pay close attention to the “most effective” column on the far right. (Click the image for a larger view or to print).

Social media cheat sheet

While the most popular times to post on social media are well within the normal work hours, the best times to post content for engagement (likes, comments, shares) are before or after work hours during the week or on weekends. Interestingly, the best time to send an email newsletter is Thursday afternoon.

Keep in mind that Facebook page insights offers information about when your specific page followers are active online. To find out when your followers are on Facebook, go to your page and click on “Insights” along the top navigation menu. From there, click “posts” on the left hand navigation menu and you’ll see “When your fans are online” at the very top of the page. Here’s what it looks like:

When your fans are online

Use this information to decide when to post content on your social media channels. If posting on Facebook outside of normal work hours seems daunting, consider scheduling your posts. Simply click the drop-down arrow next to “post” when crafting your next post and choose “schedule” to decide on a future time/day for the content to be published.

Schedule post

Happy posting!

Questions or commnets? Contact Danae or Jamie.

Innovate Extension May 11th & 12th: How Do We Participate?

This is the fourth post in our series detailing the upcoming innovateExtension event May 12th. You can view other posts in the series here

How Do We Participate?

Registration for innovateOSU is now OPEN. Go here to register. This conference will most likely sell out, so we highly suggest you register as soon as possible!

Registration for innovateExtension will be available very soon – keep an eye out for updates!

Participants will be required to register in teams, so start thinking now about who will be on your team and what your team name will be (have some fun with it!) Some examples of groups that may be interested in participating as a team:

  • Program Area or Design Team (i.e. 4-H STEM Pathways Design Team or FCS Healthy Relationships Team)
  • Curriculum or Signature Program Team (Dining with Diabetes, Local Food)
  • County Team
  • Team made up for the event itself (collaboration across program areas is encouraged, as more diverse groups lead to the most creative ideas)
  • Individuals who do not have a team, but want to participate (we’ll do the leg-work to match you up with others who need team members)

Will Our Team Have to Do Any Work Before the Event?

In a word, no. We’ll have a pre-event training on Creative and Innovative Thinking available to all event participants on April 28th, and provide some information about the event at that time. However, there is no commitment necessary in regard to your team needing to come to the event with topics or issues in mind. Teams can simply show up and see where the event takes them!

How Much Will This Cost Me?

Nothing! That’s right, it’s free! Our Ed Tech unit has been working hard to make sure this is a cost-free event available to all Extension staff. innovateOSU is also free.

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 Extension staff an opportunity to present new ideas and solutions to colleagues and administration.

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.

Alright, I’m In! But I Still Have Questions…

Leave us a comment below with any questions you may have. Or, feel free to send questions directly to Jamie or Danae.

2016 OSU Extension Tech Use & Skills Survey

The time has come for our annual organizational tech use and skills survey! Your responses to this brief survey provide the Ed Tech unit, as well as the entire organization, with valuable information. Last year, your responses helped us tailor workshop, training, and coaching professional development opportunities to your needs. The survey is mobile friendly, so you can easily complete it from your tablet or smartphone!


Click here to complete the 2016 Tech Use & Skills Survey



Questions? Contact Jamie or Danae.

Ed Tech Learning Opportunities at OSUE Annual Conference

This year’s OSUE Annual Conference theme, “Innovation in Action”, provides the opportunity to showcase the creative, innovative programming taking place across Ohio in Extension! The Ed Tech unit is excited to offer several breakout sessions this year, alongside our annual Tech Faire (formerly the “Tech Zoo”). We’ll also be announcing a few new Ed Tech initiatives for 2016.

Ed Tech – Led Focus Sessions:

Tuesday, December 8th

Wednesday, December 9th

Tech Faire

8:00am – 6:00pm: (Ohio Stater’s Room, 2nd Floor)

Marty McFly’s 2015 hat + other BTTF props await you at the Tech Faire photo booth!



What Focus Sessions are you presenting that showcase how you’re utilizing technology in your work? Add them in the comments below and we’ll see you at #OSUE2015!

10 Ways to Repurpose Content

Be Creative Image

Why Recreate When You Can Repurpose?

Repurposing content allows you to take your best content and make it available to multiple audiences in a variety of formats.

1. Expand Individual Ideas From Previous Content

Take an existing blog post or factsheet and expand on individual ideas presented. A listicle (an article presented in the form of a numbered or bulleted list) lends itself especially well to expansion.

2. Develop an Electronic Slide Set

Use a service like SlideShare to create visually stunning slide sets from PowerPoints, Word documents, PDFs, or infographics. Slide sets can be embedded on websites and blogs and shared on social media for maximum impact.

3. Create an Infographic

Blog posts, factsheets, or journal articles that are particularly data heavy can be repurposed into infographics and shared on social media or websites. Use online tools like Canva or Piktochart to create your infographics.


4. Share Content on Social Media

Share your best content on social media including Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Since people use different social media platforms for different purposes, it’s important to compose unique messages for each platform. Find high quality and interesting images to accompany your posts and use online services like Canva to create content specific to each platform. Visit our blog post on royalty free images for image inspiration.

5. Send Electronic Newsletters

Use an online service like MailChimp to manage newsletter subscriptions and send your audience interesting content directly to their inbox. Be sure to include links to your most popular recent posts as well as content from other relevant sources and information about upcoming programs.

6. Create a Video Factsheet

Use a service like Camtasia Relay (free for all CFAES employees) to capture your voice and what’s happening on your screen to easily create video presentations that can be shared on social media and YouTube. You can also create short animated video clips with online services like Wideo (free and paid plans available). Check out the short Wideo I made about repurposing content!

7. Host a Webinar

Use a program like Carmen Connect to hose a webinar. Webinars allow you to expand on a topic and interact directly with your audience.

8. Host a Twitter Chat

­Create a unique and relevant #hashtag and host a Twitter chat with your audience. Choose a time and topic and invite people to participate in your Twitter chat by using your #hashtag. Encourage your audience to use a service like Twubs to curate content.

9. Repackage Content into an eBook or Guide

If you have multiple blog posts or factsheets revolving around a similar topic (e.g. sustainable gardening practices; canning vegetables; tips and tricks on managing finances), consider repackaging that similar content into a comprehensive peer-reviewed eBook or electronic guide.

10. Update and Republish Old Content

Consider updating and republishing your most popular content. This method of repurposing content works particularly well with topics that come up every year (e.g. maintaining a healthy weight around the holidays).

Be creative with how you repurpose and recycle your content!

Questions or comments? Email Danae or Jamie.

Digital Communications Strategy: Your Input Wanted!

Basecraft recently created TV and radio ads for the 2015 Ohio State Fair. The company is based out of Columbus and New York City.

Basecraft recently created TV and radio ads for the 2015 Ohio State Fair. The company is based out of Columbus and New York City.

CFAES College Communications has engaged with the Basecraft agency to help us improve and/or develop strategy around digital communications.  As part of the process, the agency is seeking input from a large group of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, media, and industry professionals.  This is where OSU Extension professionals like you come in, your input matters! To assist with this effort and provide Basecraft with sufficient input, we are asking two things:

(1)  Please complete this short questionnaire.

(2)  Share this opportunity, widely, with your colleagues, peers and stakeholder groups.

Only aggregate data will be seen and individual responses will be compiled by the staff at Basecraft as they utilize the data to formulate recommendations.

Why would I fill out this questionnaire? 

Digital communication strategy is incredibly important. It better connects us with our clients and encompasses much more than just web design (mobile strategy, user experience, content strategy, trend analysis, to name a few.) Your input helps Basecraft understand who we are, what we do, and what possibilities lie in our future. It’s a critical piece to completing the digital communication strategy puzzle. Once completed, this strategy has the potential to impact many facets of OSU Extension.

Questions? Contact Jamie Seger or Ryan Schmiesing.

How Different Generations Consume Online Content

Do Baby Boomers prefer to use internet browsers instead of their smartphones to look up information? Do Millennials want to receive more information via Twitter than any other source? Social Media Today recently published an article that lays out the answers to these and other questions about how different generations consume online content – down to the difference in time of day usage. The infographics in the post help to visually describe some of the gaps that exist between the different generations. However, with all of the differences that do indeed exist, one thing was constant: the “sweet spot” for word length looked to be 300 words… not a word more. Click the image below to go to the full post and view the entire infographic.

Source: Social Media Today

Source: Social Media Today

The PEW Research Center recently updated their social media use survey results, which are very useful in determining which social media platforms to use depending on your audience and topic. Despite assumptions that youth aren’t using Facebook, the study proved that to be wrong. Facebook is still way ahead of all other social media platforms in terms of usage. Other insights and info are in the full report.

How might this information change how you currently use social media to reach online audiences?