Various Collections of Agriculture Applications

Mobile and Web Ag ApplicationsA recent question was asked about lists of applications developed within Cooperative Extension. Not only are there Cooperative Extension apps but there are many other applications well suited for agriculture work. Here is what has been shared so far:

Naturally, you must test and vet any of these applications. Are there any inventories that I have missed?

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Articles that struck a chord in August 2014

Just a little behind schedule but I still wanted to share. Here are articles or videos I have view and collected this past month. These are articles I found interesting or practical. I hope you also find them useful.

  1. Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead by Jeffrey R. Young.
    People now buy songs, not albums. They read articles, not newspapers. So why not mix and match learning “modules” rather than lock into 12-week university courses?
  2. An Infographic That Maps 2,000 Years of Cultural History in 5 Minutes by Liz Stinson.
    It’s also a novel lens through which to view our more general history, as those migration trends likely illuminate bigger historical happenings like wars and the building of cross-country infrastructure.
  3. Shouldn’t Education and Learning Be the Same Thing? by Jackie Gerstein.
    Humans have been learning since the beginning of time with major discoveries and innovations historically and currently emerging in spite of school.
  4. 10 reasons not to ban social media in organisations by Jane Hart.
  5. Fitness Trackers Show How Many People Woke Up During the Bay Area Quake by Marcus Wohlsen.
    The earthquake that struck Northern California early Sunday morning sent many local residents stumbling from their beds and scrambling for steady ground.
  6. 2018 Beloit College Mindlist.
  7. How Many People See Your Tweets? Twitter Opens Its Nifty Analytics Dashboard To Everyone by Greg Kumparak.
  8. Flipped Classroom May Help Weaker STEM Students by Allie Bidwell.
    They hypothesized that the model could bring higher learning gains – particularly for underprepared students – increase students’ ability to apply learned materials, boost interest and attitudes toward STEM fields and increase students’ own awareness of how they learn.
  9. How We Use Social Media for Informal Learning by Steven Boller.
    We’ve found our own niche in the social media solar system… and it takes our team 30ish minutes a week to fully participate.
  10. 10 Lessons from 4 Years Working Remotely at Automattic by Sara Rosso.
    But knowing when someone is working or not is even easier when you’re working remotely.
  11. New paper: wiki users get higher exam scores by Tom Stafford.
    People who made more edits to the wiki scored more highly on the exam.
  12. The Key To Better Work? E-mail Less, Flow More by Andrea Ayres.
    For those of us who work in a job where e-mail isn’t our main responsibility, checking and responding to e-mails each day can take us away from our primary work, which results in less productivity.
  13. Shadow Syllabus by Sonya Huber.
    Those who aim for A’s don’t get as many A’s as those who abandon the quest for A’s and seek knowledge or at least curiosity.
  14. Why I’m Asking You Not to Use Laptops by Anne Curzan.
  15. Why you should take notes by hand — not on a laptop by Joseph Stromberg.
    The act of taking notes on a computer actually seems to interfere with their ability to remember information.
  16. A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop by Cindi May.
    Because students can type significantly faster than they can write, those who use laptops in the classroom tend to take more notes than those who write out their notes by hand.
  17. Why I ditched my servers for the Cloud by Jason Perlow.
    How much money should I spend per year on maintaining server equipment and my PCs? $2000? $5000? I made a very good living, but it was hard to justify the expense.

Well, that is my list for the month. What are you reading that is getting your attention?

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Save time and energy with autotext

Save time and energy with autotextEarly on in my working career, I began using the autotext feature in Microsoft Word to automate the addition of signature blocks, repetitive phrases, and other phrases when I was regularly repeating myself. By typing a unique phrase like worksig, Word would then include my entire signature block such as

Have a great day,
Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.
Instructional Technology Educational Specialist
University of Wyoming Extension
Twitter: uwcesedtech
This has been a huge time saver. Because I also am involved in many different activities, I have different signature blocks, for example:
  • capsig – Wyoming Wing Professional Development Officer
  • sqdnsig – Laramie Valley Composite Squadron Commander
  • pscsig – Planning Section Chief
  • rmsig – Rocky Mountain Region Chief of Staff

In other programs like Microsoft Outlook, I use the signatures feature to manage my many different signatures as well as email templates for common responses. A feature from Google email labs also allows for canned text responses. Each of these features has helped to make responding faster and more accurate. However, there are some other tools that help make the process even better and they are program independent.

Auto textexpanders

For the past year, I have been using a program called Phrase Express. This program will expand a unique text combination into a presaved text block. Because Phrase Express can be used across programs, I have basically abandoned the autotext features in Word, Outlook, and other programs.  I briefly wrote about Phrase Express in a previous post.

Recently, I have learned about another program that may replace Phrase Express. The program is called Texter and it was created by Lifehacker. Texter does everything Phrase Express has done for me, but it can be stored and launched from a Dropbox folder. This allows me to have the same saved phrases across computers. This is a tip I picked up in a book called Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better.

There are also other applications which do similar things:

Ideas for use

I have already introduced the idea of using these tools for automating your signature blocks. Here are some additional ideas:

  • data for online forms
  • templates for common information requests
  • phrases that you regularly use
  • header, footer, or other document information such as eeo information.

Here is what Lifehacker has to say about autotext: How to Use Text Expansion to Save Yourself Hours of Typing Every Week

As I noted, these tools have saved me thousands of keystrokes. What tools are you using to get things done a little more quickly?

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Book Review: Lifehacker – The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better

Lifehacker: The guide to working smarter, faster, and betterA few weeks ago, I was roaming through a book store looking for something new to read. I picked up a copy of Lifehacker – The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better written by Adam Pash and Gina Trapani. I am not sure I would have picked up the book if I was not already familiar with the Lifehacker Website. I also regularly listen to Gina Trapani on TWIG and All About Android. The book I picked up is a gem. I have already implemented a number of ideas and plan to implement a number of others in the coming days. Continue reading

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Tubarks Tales, Episode #7

This is another episode of Tubarks Tales; I will be talking about the cool things that Steve Dotto introduced my to, my migration to Google Calendar, and a program to help find your Android phone . Continue reading

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