Tag Archives: FEC10

FEC10 by the numbers

What do you get when you mix –

  • 22 hosts
  • 120 presenters
  • 33 calls to the library help desk
  • 123 teaching hours
  • 334 people simultaneously online
  • nearly 600 total participants
  • 3834 person hours of education
  • 4294 visits to a Facebook page (last week alone!)?

 That would be Fall Extension Conference 2010 (FEC10), our first major online conference. Not long following fall Extension conference 2009, we began discussing the possibility of an online conference for 2010. Consensus was that we should give it a try, though I’m not sure we knew what we were asking for at the time. We had a great experience last week and want to thank all those who helped make it possible – and that’s all of you!

Michigan State University Extension is leading the way by creating a model for the virtual conference. We’ve been given support and encouragement from Dean Armstrong, Provost Wilcox and President Simon. In fact, Dean Armstrong was moved to adopt Adobe Connect for an important meeting he is holding with the CANR College Advisory Committee tomorrow regarding college restructuring.

 If you’d like to go back and view a session that you missed – and that’s one of the positive aspects of having a virtual conference, go to http://fec.msue.msu.edu/fec/proceedings. Scroll through and click on the presentation of your choice.

 We are conducting a comprehensive evaluation of FEC10, and you can participate by completing the survey available at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BCNAP3KY5. Your feedback will be key not only to future conferences here in Michigan, but to the Extension system as we intend to share what we’ve learned with other Extension professionals across the nation. Please take the time to give us your thoughtful feedback. And I’ll share some of what we learn with you through Spotlight and other outlets.

 The Facebook discussion is ongoing, too, with a couple new questions on technology and FEC 2011 for your input. Please continue to visit there. Meanwhile, if you didn’t take the opportunity to evaluate any of the concurrent sessions you participated in, there’s still time. Please visit the FEC Sessions Survey to provide this important feedback.

 See you next year at Kellogg Center, October 11–13, for FEC 2011!

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ANR Communications multimedia production supervisor played huge role in FEC10’s success

In last week’s Spotlight, I thanked some of the people who made the Michigan State University Extension virtual fall conference 2010 a success. It would be impossible for me to mention everyone that contributed to the event, but there is someone that I’d like to spotlight in this message: Steve Evans, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications multimedia producer, director and supervisor, put in countless hours before and during the conference – even coming in on weekends to get the job done. I’m told he worked somewhere in the range of 12 or 13 days straight leading up to and during FEC10. He pre-produced all of the award winners and that meant searching online for photos of the winners for those that he was not given photos of – and if you watched the awards ceremony you know that this must have taken hours. Steve helped produce just about all of the ANR Communications presentations and the institute directors’ main session. He carried out numerous technical tasks that I and probably the majority of you are clueless as to where to begin. On top of that, he served on the technology committee and found the time to work on and give his own presentation. I think that sometimes when things run so smoothly, it’s easy to forget the people behind the scenes who are making it happen. Steve Evans is one of those people who gets the job done professionally behind the scenes, making the rest of us look good.

Steve Evans on the job

Steven Evans on the job at FEC10

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FEC10 now in progress

As I write this, our Michigan State University Extension first-ever virtual fall conference is still in progress. We have another full day of concurrent sessions waiting for us today. I have received some great feedback about the online format, most of it positive, and all of it constructive. We’ve had record-breaking attendance. We’ve also had some technological glitches, which certainly are frustrating, but also come with the pledge to “learn by doing.” I’ve been overwhelmed by the examples I’ve seen of colleagues simply adapting and moving on with their presentations, just as they would if they were using a slide projector and the bulb blew out during their presentation. We have some pretty cool performers among us!

 Some people have been able to attend who have never before experienced our Fall Extension Conference because they were not able to travel to the conference site.

 There is a wealth of information being shared. I wish I could attend all of the sessions – and fortunately we can attend them “after the fact” by viewing the recorded session. Remember if you watch a recording that you can’t raise your hand or enter a question on the chat. Believe me, I’ve tried.

 District Day gave us a chance to meet and network in person. And the institute directors did a fantastic job yesterday guiding their institute members through some really important discussions about our logic models and their implementation. And don’t forget the fun activities offered up by the Inspiration Committee. Have you shared photos on the Facebook page, looked for Sparty on the Fall Extension Conference site, joined in discussion in the virtual lounge or taken part in the scavenger hunt? I’m still seeking a Twitter coach who specializes in introverts.

 I’m looking forward to Friday when we can view posters and find out who won the fun diversions. Associate director Steve Lovejoy will provide a wrap-up to the week – be prepared to share your reactions during that session AND in the survey that you’ll receive in the days ahead to help us learn what we can improve on as we apply this immersion experience to program planning for stakeholders and for fellow Extension professionals.

 Thanks to the many people who worked behind the scenes to make this virtual conference a success. Earlier this week, Associate director Michelle Rodgers observed that a year ago and even six months ago, we couldn’t have done this. We wouldn’t have had the Information Technology infrastructure nor the skills for so many of our staff to present programs on-line or to participate in on-line sessions. Many have contributed to our preparations, and particularly the FEC10 planning committee, our organizational development team (whom you met in the lead-in to Monday afternoon’s awards session), and particularly our ANR Information Technology staff, led by Erica Ciupak, and represented especially by Luke Reese and our ANR Communications staff, led by Ruth Borger, and represented especially by Megghan Honke, and our professional development staff, Kathy Foerster and Lela Vandenberg. We don’t have our IT infrastructure fully implemented yet, but based on what we’ve experienced so far, I’m really looking forward to what ANR IT has in the plans for us. Thanks to so many for helping to get us ready for this!

 As I said in my opening comments on Monday, borrowing from Jim Collins (Good to Great), we’re not looking for these technological skills and assets to create the changes that we need to implement, but we certainly hope that they can accelerate the changes that we are putting into place!

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Congratulations to our award recipients

Many of our Michigan State University Extension employees and partners were recognized this week at Fall Extension Conference for outstanding work and service. These people honor the mission of Extension by helping people improve their lives through an educational process that applies knowledge to critical issues, needs and opportunities. Here’s your chance to congratulate them if you were not able to do so in person. Click on our Key Partner, Association and Meritorious Service award winner recognition pages at http://fec.msue.msu.edu/fec/awards. Go to the comments section and leave a congratulations or thank-you to these worthy recipients. And next year, I promise I’ll summarize their accomplishments in shorter, 30-second statements!

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Institute Day will be key feature of FEC10

October 20 will be a key day for all Michigan State University Extension personnel. You’ll spend the day working with others assigned to your institute and learn even more about your new workgroups. Julie Chapin, Dawn Contreras, Rick Foster and Wendy Powers are developing plans to ensure that this is a valuable day packed with useful information.

Also, I recommend that you consider preparing for FEC10 by engaging through social media (for example, discussion boards on the FEC10 Facebook fan page) and taking advantage of professional development opportunities available in advance of the conference. You can see a list of suggested trainings and activities at the end of my official FEC10 welcome letter.

 You only have a few more days to register for FEC10. Sign up now!

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Posters are an integral part of FEC10

Education posters are a cornerstone of most academic conferences. That’s why we typically put a big emphasis on them at our Michigan State University Extension conferences, and this will be true at the 2010 MSU Extension Fall Conference (FEC10).

I’ve been curious about how you present a poster at an online conference. It turns out the FEC10 committee took that question seriously, as they planned this year’s conference. On October 18 and throughout the week, you’ll be able to see the results of both the committee’s and the presenters’ efforts by logging in and checking out the 18 posters that will be presented. You can post comments and questions that the presenter will respond to during the week. Then on Friday morning, you’ll have the opportunity to meet each poster presenter “live” in Adobe Connect to ask questions and dialogue about the poster. The posters will also be available for viewing after the conference, too.

 Don’t forget to prepare for FEC10 by becoming more engaged in social media and taking advantage of professional development opportunities available to you. You can see a list of suggested trainings and activities at the end of my official FEC10 welcome letter. And be sure to check out the discussion boards on the official FEC10 Facebook fan page!

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District Day opens the online Fall Extension Conference in a real-world way

The 2010 Michigan State University Fall Extension Conference (FEC10) may be virtual, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a chance to network with your colleagues face to face. District Day on Monday, October 18, is a perfect way for you to get to know your colleagues in your new district. While I’m sure you’re familiar with some of them already, don’t overlook this opportunity to get acquainted with others with whom you may have not worked with in the past. District coordinators are putting together some great programming that will focus on our community-based relationships, your collaborations with your peers and how we will bring it all together.

 Also, I highly encourage you to get prepared for FEC10 by becoming more engaged in social media and taking advantage of professional development opportunities available to you. This may be the first conference you attend for which you need TRAINING to understand how to participate. I’ll be sitting at the front of the classroom trying to understand what to do and when. You can see a list of suggested trainings and activities at the end of my official FEC10 welcome letter. And be sure to check out the discussion boards on the official FEC10 Facebook fan page!

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