ITChatter Series

The ITChatter Series, hosted by the Ag IT team and invited speakers, was a monthly lunch conversation about different technologies and their uses. Each session is about 45 minutes in length.

Below are a list of the recorded sessions. Click on the Read More link to view the recording.

Slides for previous IT Chatters are available on our Training Handouts page. If prompted, you will need to log in with your AG\userid (ie. AG\jxs138) and your AG password.

Future ITChatter sessions will be offered on as needed basis and will be posted on the Scheduled Training page.


There is a new breed of attacks being used by hackers today and it is important that you are aware of the risks. Vince Verbeke from Ag IT will look at how hacked Facebook accounts and phishing attacks are being used in 2013. You may be prepared for "Spear" phishing emails, but are you also ready for "watering hole" attacks. Vince will take you through the security basics to ensure that you don't fall victim to an out of the ordinary request from a friend.

Jacki Weikert from Ag IT will be discussing and demonstrating the changes you will see when using Adobe Connect. Penn State's ITS updated their servers over the holiday break to version 9. Presenters and Hosts will see significant changes in the interface and some new features that were added.

We start the new year off with a session on Windows 7 and Least User Privilege. We will talk about the history, benefits and the policies related to computer security and keeping your computer and the data it holds as secure as possible. Ryan Wellar, Support Coordinator for Ag IT will be our presenter.

Join the AgIT staff for an open Q&A session.

Bob Conn from Ag IT will provide information on Tivoli Endpoint Manager or TEM. TEM is part of AG IT's system management approach to keeping our computers patched and updated, to push out software applications and to help Penn State (and your county office) save energy costs by enabling power-management features.

Jacki Weikert from Ag IT will reveal several time saving tips when using Outlook 2010 to process mail, create meetings and find items in not only your inbox. She will discuss and demonstrate: How to use Quick Steps, How to use the Meeting button from within a message, How to use the Conversation view, and How to use some handy search tools.

Vince Verbeke from Ag IT will present a smorgasbord of tips and features found in the Office 2010 applications. You may use Outlook, Word and Excel everyday but too often we never go outside our comfort zone on these apps. Increase your productivity!

This month's session will be sharing how Ag IT has been reorganized to better suit the needs of the College. These changes integrate with college reorganization and changes across the university IT landscape. Come and listen to how our Help Desk model has changed and how the academic departments, Extension program teams and support units will be able to utilize the college IT staff as a college-wide resource.

Never heard of Evernote? Well, do you need a tool to help you organize your lists, notes, and various work scraps? Evernote may be your solution. This free tools allows you to access notes and lists (and much more) between various computing devices (cell phone, tablet, laptop, desktop) and share notes with friends, relatives or co-workers. Join us to get a brief overview of Evernote, some ideas for using it with Extension work, and sources for more directions. Jerry Thomas from The Ohio State University and National eXtension will be our presenter.

Maybe you have heard about Prezi or maybe you have seen one and didn't even know it. Prezi is a cloud-based presentation and storytelling tool to share your thoughts and ideas on a virtual campus. It's almost like an animated black board discussion that you can zoom in and out and move from one idea to the next. It can be a new twist on your PowerPoint presentation and you can incorporate pictures, video and even PDFs. Jacki Weikert, Educational Technologist will give you an intro of Prezi and how you can get started building a Prezi.

In our April 17th session, our topic will be looking at Using Social Media as a Team. Have you been wondering how Social Media tools may be used for Extension programming? The Ag Entrepreneurship group and some of its members have been using a blog, Facebook, and Twitter for several years. More recently, they has started to use YouTube, Pinterest, and Google Plus. Sarah Cornelisse and Jeff Hyde will describe what has happened to date and what the team plans to do in the future.

We decided to lighten things up this month and use our ITChatter time to help you get to know the IT Staff better. Join us to see if you can guess the face behind the IT voice and learn more about the folks you talk to on the phone or that work behind the scenes to keep our networks and computers running smoothly. Put your listening ears on and see how many you can guess correctly!

This month's session will be looking at eNewsletters in Plone. The web team has created a new template that will automatically convert your Plone News Items into a formatted email Newsletter. The email newsletter will include article titles, descriptions, links to the website, and custom portlets where you can list upcoming events or other related information. During this ITChatter session, Greg Angle, Associate Director of Web Communications will be joining us to discuss the new process and the advantages of eNewsletters versus using PDFs or email attachments. This will be a great session for you to attend if you have news to be included on your website.

Penn State's Adobe Connect team recently negotiated a new licensing agreement with Adobe that now allows all College faculty and staff to better manage their Adobe Connect experience. Join us for this month's ITChatter and we will show you how to take advantage of these new changes. During the session, we will teach you to create and secure your own Adobe Connect meeting rooms, how to make other users permanent hosts or presenters, how to access previous session recordings, talk about the use of Guest Logins and lots more…as time permits.

With us today are Cindy Kunes, Darlene Jury and Becky Freeman who will demonstrate the process for entering a registration and posting a check or cash payment into the Cvent system. They will also show you several Cvent reports which will assist in managing registrations including obtaining financial details associated with event registrations.

This month's session will be looking at Mobile Device Security. Are our smartphones too 'smart'? Vince Verbeke, Support Specialist with the college will share what he knows about protecting you and your device. Smartphones store your personal data and sensitive information. In this ITChatter sessions we will explore what are the vulnerabilities and risks associated with these devices. We'll also look at twelve ways to help protect your smartphone.

Pete Kauffman and Amanda Kirsten from Ag Communications and Marketing will present information on extension branding, statements, and editing style. Pete will provide answers to the top-ten branding questions and show examples of how to use the branding elements effectively. Amanda will explain when to use which statements and help answer questions about college and University style.

Pete Kauffman and Greg Angle from the Ag Communications and Marketing team will be joining us. Since the extension branding effort began last spring, there have been updates and additions to the resources website to help make your extension materials more consistent and easier to produce. We will provide an overview of the current resources and bring you up to date with what is new in print and the Web.

This month's session will offer an update on the County & Extension Plone sites with Tim Simkins, the college’s programmer. He will cover information on PDFs, Events/Cvent, traffic to county/extension sites and answer your questions. Slides are available via Training Handouts page.

Have an interest in learning a technology related topic that AgIT does not currently teach? Not sure where to find materials to learn on your own? You can access over 1200 free tutorials from like Microsoft Access, Adobe Photoshop, Social Networking and lots and lots more. We'll review searching for that topic you've always wanted to learn about and show you the interface on how these videos work.

All of these will be on your new EN computer. Albert Nakpil, Educational Technologist and member of the Windows 7 team, will give an overview of what things you will find on your new EN computer.

The College of Ag Sciences and Cooperative Extension is committed to an aggressive pursuance of a Social Media presence. We seek to unite and empower individual social media resources under a comprehensive strategy for implementation at the college, undergraduate recruiting and cooperative extension levels in order to build a strong voice and engage with our stakeholders. This session will be an overview of the College's implementations and what you can do to participate and form your own Social Media Strategy. Presenter is Max Spiegel, the college's social media strategist.

Spring is well underway so let's clean some items on your computer, your inbox and perhaps some other places too. Join us at this ITChatter and we will show you some items that you should clean up before the summer gets into full swing! Jacki and Albert will give you lots of information on getting your Outlook and computer ready for the busy summer.

We look at and discuss the new interface of Adobe Connect ver8. We also discuss the changes of being a Presenter or Host and give you time to see the Presenter and Host view.

April is Security Month so we will be sharing information from the Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report. The report looks at social networking threats, how criminals exploit these "trusted" relationship, the use of money mules to launder illegal profits, and expansion to new targets to 2011.

ITChatter Special Edition: Have existing PowerPoint presentations that you need to convert over to the NEW templates recently released by Communications and Marketing? Not sure the best way to get the presentations converted? During this ITChatter session, we will show you a way to convert all of your presentations to use these templates.

Chris More and Tim Simkins, from the College's Web Services team, answered your questions about county websites in Plone.

This month's ITChatter session our topic is Taking your Extension Program Online. Karen Vines, the College's Extension eLearning Coordinator will discuss where we are and where we are going. We will have an open forum to discuss possibilities and brainstorm for ideas on programs and topics most suitable for online delivery.

Are you involved with many committees, teams, and projects? Is email the primary method of communication with those groups? Are you overwhelmed with email and find it difficult to follow a conversation? If so, Teambox can help keep conversations, ideas, and projects, neatly organized and available all through a simple web interface. Teambox is a online collaborative environment for people in and outside of Penn State's walls. During this session, Chris More, the College's Associate Director of Web Communications discusses and demonstrates Teambox.

Eric Mailloux, the College's Network Security Analyst, will answer your questions about Identity Finder that you have or will soon have installed on your computer. He will also discuss passwords and scheduling a scan. More information about scanning here:

Our panel will discuss why they got started using a Facebook page and what they post along with other tidbits that will give you some ideas on how you may want to use a Facebook page for your office or group.

Our guest, Chris Raines (@ITweetMeat) is an Assistant Professor in Dairy & Animal Science here at Penn State. For some of us, he is widely known as ITweetMeat. Chris is a tweep and a blogger who will share information about some of the tools he uses to analyze - how many people he has reached - via Twitter.

On September 21, from 12 to 1, we had our ITChatter session for September. Our topic is Info Security Day Follow-up. On April 29, 2010 Ag IT hosted a day long Information Security Day. Throughout the day various topics related to information security and security awareness were discussed via short, "bite-sized" Adobe Connect sessions. Come with your follow-up questions to help keep you, your data and your computer safe!

Google Analytics allows for comprehensive Web reports to be generated along with drill-down capabilities to specific Web sites. We will get you started to decipher what those numbers mean.

Sharing a PowerPoint presentations in an Adobe Connect meeting can be an effective tool to provide information. Join us for some tips on how to create a presentation that will display correctly.

Join us for an overview of new features in the Windows 7 Operating System. Learn about Windows explorer, and some of the new Windows 7 features, like libraries and desktop themes. Learn how to use the Preview Panel to get a quick preview of all sorts of file types. See how Searching has changed to allow you to search for certain information and files. We will also look at gadgets, including Sticky Notes, and the best ways to customize the Taskbar to get it to appear and operate the way you want it to.

Come and listen about your PSU account and your AG account, what each ones does for you, how to keep them safe and more!

Come listen to what others are doing with Twitter and find out what the @ and # and RT all mean. Listen to some reasons why you should start tweeting! We will have a panel of tweeps (people who tweet) from NC State, Auburn and PSU.

Find out how a Start Page can help you stay organized with your feeds, news, the weather and much more.

Tour your network closet and network equipment. Come ready to label your equipment so you don't have to remember what each piece is! Slides available on our Training Handouts page (see above for link).

Learn a few tips and tricks to build a better blog to get more viewers and how to become more a part of Penn State and Cooperative Extension.

Not sure what a wiki is? Hear from Lee Young, Horticulture Educator in Washington County, how she is using wikis to collaborate with her Extension Board and Master Gardeners. Talk to the Ed Techs and others about ways you might be able to use a wiki. Then, you can take our Create a Wiki class to get started with your own wiki!