Tech Tips For Purdue Extension Staff

Make time to learn technology and new ideas. There’s a lot of technology out there. The only way we can learn to use technology to make an impact is if we intentionally make time to learn it. It’s ok to set aside time on your calendar to explore, learn and experiment with technology. Why not organize your office to take one hour a month and have a tech share time?

Pick a “no tech time.” Technology is great, but too much can have negative side effects physically, socially, and emotionally. Don’t be afraid to say no to answering e-mails during certain times or setting aside time to step back from technology and “unplug.”

Get creative. Don’t be afraid to use technology where it hasn’t been used before, to work differently, or in new ways. But, don’t use technology just to use technology. Decide if the investment in the tech will pay off for your learners and yourself. Sometimes the only way to find this out is to try. If it doesn’t work out, that’s ok! Great innovations come from lots of bad ideas.
Be curious about all fields; the future belongs to those who can connect creativity to technology. - Walter Isaacson

Find a tribe. Find other Extension professionals who you relate to, whether at Purdue or across the nation. Find your tribe for support and idea sharing throughout your Extension career. You might find value in Purdue Extension Slack. This is open to all Purdue Extension professionals to collaborate, share ideas, and ask questions. Join specific channels about topics like technology, urban ag, or food insecurity.

Get to know Qualtrics. Qualtrics is a powerful survey tool with lots of features. It can do everything from handle a simple registration form for an event to an in-depth needs assessment. All Purdue staff have access to Qualtrics.

Say hello on Skype for Business. Skype for Business is standard on Purdue-leased computers. You can use Skype for Business to chat with coworkers and ask and answer quick questions (or just vent!), share files, and, probably the best feature, share your screen and take control of others’ screens which is helpful when demonstrating tasks and tools on your computer.

Free/affordable software available to you. Visit communityhub.purdue.edu and check out “Software Downloads” for lots of free or very affordable software such as antivirus software and Camtasia for your personal computers.

Try your hand at movie creation. Purdue-leased computers have Camtasia which is a great program to create a variety of videos. It can create a professional looking video for program promotion and recorded presentations. Try out Camtasia by making an introduction video of yourself for your county and share it on social media!

Use all the tools from Office365. Visit office.com and log in with your Purdue career account and password. This will unlock a variety of useful tools including the standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. but also lots of unique tools such as Sway, OneNote, and Yammer. The best feature to check out is OneDrive which provides you 1 Terabyte of storage. 1 TB is enough to store 85,899,345 pages of text, so that should be plenty. (This is in addition to your shared drives available through Purdue.)

Free professional development anytime, anywhere. Check out Lynda.com and log in with your Purdue career account. Lynda.com provides hundreds of hours of free training on everything from leadership to marketing to specific tools like Camtasia. You can even download the app and watch trainings from your phone or tablet.

Technology is a balance of tools and practices. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all of it. Be sure to visit the Purdue Extension Ed Tech Blog and don't be afraid to reach out to the Extension IT Specialists. We're here to help!
Created By
Ryan Wynkoop


Created with images by Skitterphoto - "computer laptop work place" • Julián Santacruz - "I have an idea @ home" • JESHOOTS - "technology camera sport" • FirmBee - "apple imac ipad"

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