NGE Extension Hacks Webinar

Next Generation Extension is planning on hosting a creative new webinar….one focused on life hacks (quick tips) for Extension employees.  Here’s how it will work….every five minutes a different presenter will present one life hack that they have found useful within Extension.

The webinar will take place on December 12th at 10:00 AM CT.  If you have a life hack you are willing to share with Extension, please shoot me a title for your 5 minute presentation.  To avoid unnecessary technology issues, all documents (PowerPoints, Videos, Websites, etc.) should be emailed to Deb Weitzenkamp by December 1st.  We’ll have a practice run on December 5th at 10:00 AM CT (Open to presenters only).

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9 Resources for Infographics

If you are looking for a few free resources to help you create a great infographic, here’s a few that I’ve used.  I can’t say that there is one that I like better than all others…only that each has it’s value, depending upon what you want to accomplish.

Venngage – Allows you to create a dashboard of multiple infographics on one page.  Has a variety of graphics templates, color themes and charts.

Piktochart – Piktochart & Venngage or very similar.  Each has it’s own set of graphs, color themes and templates.

Canva Infographic Maker


Google Developers

Dipity – Helps you develop visually engaging timelines

Get About – Helps you visualize your social media impact.




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Okay…that was sort of a blunt title….but hopefully it got your attention. This week I’ve been on the blunt end of some sexist comments….so thought hey, I’ll make lemonade from those lemons and use the occurrences as a teachable moment and to jump start a conversation.  After all, I have discussed both of them with my trusted advisors (my family), and well, the perception of whether what happened was sexist or not was divided based upon gender….so…..I’m asking for you all to weigh-in on the discussion.

Incident 1:
In my area of Nebraska, Saturday was a beautiful day.  My daughter, husband, and I decided that it was a perfect day for a long walk.  We walked from our house to a state park.  Toward the end of our four mile walk, a pickup pulled up alongside of us.  The older gentleman (admittedly an ageist comment) rolled down the passenger side window and said to my husband…..”You know if you got your woman a job, you would be able to afford a vehicle and then you could drive wherever you were going.”

My response was total disgust.  First of all, my husband would never be so presumptuous as to assume that he called the shots on any decisions with regard to my career.  Secondly, the decades are long since over when there was a hierarchy within a marriage….and admittedly, my perception of the comment influenced my perception of how old this guy was.  My husbands response was that it wasn’t that big of a deal.  My daughters response to my husband was that “so it’s okay if my fiance wants to make my career choices once we are married in the fall.”  …And, well the conversation fueled us getting home much quicker.  At the time, I had a lot of sarcastic responses…of which none were actually said.  What really happened though was that my husband just nodded his head acknowledging he had heard the guy, and my daughter and I memorized the license plate!  I don’t know what that is going to do for us….but still four days later I could tell you the license plate number of that pickup.

Incident 2:

This incident was much more subtle….and in my opinion, no real sexism was intended.  You see for many years the whole Miss/Mrs has bugged me.  I basically thought, and still think, it isn’t anyone’s business at work whether I am married or not married…..but yet the Ms. designation seemed like I was on a mission to prove something…and I can’t say that I’m that willing to pick up that banner and protest.  It just seems like women are being asked to share a lot more about their personal lives than their male counterparts.  For men….they will be Mr. _________ their entire lives, no matter what personal decisions they make.

I was however very excited when I earned my Ph.D., because now I could be Dr. instead of Miss or Mrs or Ms. because a Ph.D. is gender neutral!!!  Finally, an honorific that is based upon my academic/career achievements rather than on my personal decisions.  But, then, a career choice to hold a position where those with a Dr. aren’t introduced in their posts as Dr. __  ….but rather Mrs./Mr. ___.  There are lots of “reasons” that this is the practice in my profession….but it still makes my skin crawl when at academic conferences or presentations, the men in the group are introduced as Dr. ____ and the women as well either Miss/Mrs. or by first and last name.  My workaround for this used to be to just avoid the honorific and use first and last names for everyone.  Then the decision to move to an office where the only other full time woman stationed there has the same first name.  Now I typically go by Dr. first name because my last name is hard for kids to pronounce/write/remember.  This decision drives my daughter nuts….she thinks that my using my first name instead of my last name, and allowing others to call me Dr. first name, I’m not requiring the same respect as my male counterparts which use Dr. last name.

Men see being introduced as Mr. ___ as a sign of respect.  My perspective is that if you introduce me as Mrs. ____ …..well why don’t you hand out my social media passwords while your at it.  From my perspective, it’s not respectful…it’s just invasive.  And, if you introduce me as Mrs. _____, I’m probably immediately thinking about ways to work into my public presentation a question for you to reveal personal facts about you.  Thank goodness my professionalism usually curtails my instinct to point out your sexism in public.  I’ve seen my female colleagues responses to this type of situation, and they usually try to “laugh it off”….but in conversations afterwards, I can tell you that the last thing that a woman is doing while “laughing it off” is laughing it off….there is a different laugh in response to these situations.

Today I was asked to sign some certificates as Mrs. _______.  At a glance it didn’t bother me….but I can tell you that it’s been a long time, perhaps ever, that I’ve signed anything as Mrs. ______ .  It reminds me of my parents signing checks.  My dad always just signed with his first and last name….my mom with Mrs. _______.  It took me longer to decide whether I would just sign the certificates with my first and last name, or to put the Mrs. on there, or to disregard what name was typed on there and sign it with Dr. ____, than it did for me to actually sign the pile of certificates. After all…some of these certificates are being awarded to female children whom I’m trying to show that they have equitable access to STEM careers. My actions however were to just sign Mrs. ____ and return the pile of certificates to my workshop partner….I said nothing….but now, here I am writing this post.

Wow….can we just get rid of all the sexist honorifics already….we (almost) got rid of checks!!!!  Both of which, if you ask me, are changes that should have occurred decades ago!!!!  And, let’s face it, if someone earns a doctorate it’s the North Central Coordinating Commission that determines the rigors of the program and whether it’s candidates have earned a doctorate, not whether upon completion the graduate is a male or female.  In my opinion, all earned doctorates should be able to use the honorific of Dr. and should be addressed accordingly.

Your thoughts?????

Posted in Communication | 2 Comments

Smartphone Photography and Editing with Snapseed Webinar Video and Handout


These photos were taken on a recent trip with a smartphone and edited with Snapseed

Learn how to take photos with your smartphone and edit them with Snapseed (works on iPhones and Android phones) with the following video, download the handout and view class samples from the May 9, 2017 Next Generation Extension Webinar on Smartphone Photography.

Continue reading

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Data Visualization Webinar

Laura Thompson_DataVisualizationWebinarPicLaura Thompson is an Ag Technologies Extension Educator and a Coordinator for the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. In her eXtension Fellowship she has been exploring methods of effective data visualization using case studies from the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network.

In this discussed:

  • principles and hindrances of effective data visualization
  • Tableau as a tool for creating interactive data visualizations
  • Adobe Spark as a tool for creating video “data stories”

Tuesday, May 30th at 10:00 CT

Link to recording:
Link to PDF of slides: (has active links)
Link to PowerPoint Presentation: (Will need to download PowerPoint.  This version may move components within the file, however maintains the full functionality of playing the interactive graphs.)

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Recording of Nebraska Consumer Beliefs about Our Food Supply Webinar


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Smartphone Photography Webinar

apple on a fence with a talk bubble that says Hi There

Created with PicsArt

Smartphone Photography Webinar

  • Tuesday, May 9, 10:00 to 11:00 am
  • Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: (Sound will be through your speakers)
  •  For audio via telephone:
    •  Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)
    •  Meeting ID: 583 999 580

Have fun and learn some cool things too, at this “Hands-on” webinar. You’ll learn:

  • How photos help provide for effective communication
  • Composition techniques for photos
  • How to use the FREE SnapSeed app (works on iPhones, iPad and Android) to edit photos  (Please download SnapSeed BEFORE the webinar) and do such things as
    • Improve the white balance / lighting with just one adjustment.
    • Turn a blah photo into brilliant, including suggested settings for tuning the photo
    • Add text to photos
    • Create a vignette to blot out extraneous outer material
    • Use filters to change the mood of your photo.
    • Literally “rub” someone or something out of a photo.
  • How to have fun with your photos using the FREE PicsArt app (works on both iPhones and Android) Please download PicsArt BEFORE the webinar.

Here are some  “before” and “after” photos edited with SnapSeed:

After the webinar, you are likely to become addicted to PicsArt and turn ordinary photos into such abstract art creations as this photo of a baby goat by my friend Laura.



Photo of Alice “enhanced” in PicsArt

The webinar is presented by Extension Educator Alice Henneman who uses photos to help promote Extension programming and would like to help you do the same.




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