COVID-19 Update: Town Hall and Professional Development

March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020, 4:00 p.m. -- email  message to staff, faculty and councils

Thank you for your outstanding work responding to COVID-19 and the changes it has caused in our extension programming and personal lives. We have come a long way very quickly. In the span of one week, we converted to a virtual Annual Conference; canceled, postponed or virtualized extension meetings across the state; and began working remotely and closing offices to the public. In addition, ISU announced spring classes would be online for the rest of the semester and canceled commencement ceremonies and all face-to-face meetings through May 9.

President Wintersteen’s letter speaks to the tremendous effort to move classes online in the short timeline so students can stay on track. This morning when classes resumed after Spring Break, over 99.9% of classes were online and open for business. Since March 18, counties have reported changing nearly 600 events and meetings and most of these are in March. Please continue to record your information in the CyBox spreadsheet.

We did get clarification on P-CIC today, granting an extension to private applicators who have not recertified. You should have received an email from Kristine Schaefer with information. There will be an announcement addressing private applicators who have not yet recertified for the 2019-2020 program year. There will be a date set for them to attend the 2019-2020 P-CIC before the 2020-2021 program year. IDALS is going to issue a guidance document and we are currently working on details. I will let you know additional information as soon as things are confirmed.

Town Hall on Wednesday

I am planning another Town Hall meeting for Wednesday, March 25, starting at 11:00 a.m. Please join the Adobe Connect meeting. If you have questions that you would like addressed, please submit them in the Virtual Suggestion Box. Let us know how the leadership team and I can help you do your work most effectively.

Professional development series on virtual spaces

We have all been scrambling the past 10 days to cancel meetings and learn to work remotely or at least a safe distance apart. This week our Professional Development team is offering a series on virtual spaces for meetings, program delivery, events, etc. No registration is necessary, and all webinars offered through ISU Extension and Outreach will be recorded, archived, and shared.

An Introduction to Three Virtual Meeting/Program Delivery Technologies: Wednesday, March 25, 1:30–2:00 p.m.
Robin Ertz, Korine Spengler and Jeanne Wiebke will provide an introduction to Connect, Zoom and Webex. You will learn which technology is best suited for what purpose. For each technology, participants will also learn: what it is, if there is a cost, examples of how it might best be used in ISU Extension and Outreach, how to log in, what learning resources are available, and who to contact with questions. A handout with all of the information will be available. Go to

Getting Started with Connect: Wednesday, March 25, 3:00–3:45 p.m.
Jeanne Wiebke will discuss the basics of Adobe Connect. ISU Extension and Outreach has been using this technology for over 10 years. Each county and several extension departments have access to an account. Learn how to login, create a meeting room, use existing meeting rooms, and conduct a webinar or meeting. Go to and login as a Guest using your name to join the webinar.

Getting Started with Zoom Pro: Wednesday, March 25, 4:00–4:40 p.m.
Robin Ertz will discuss topics including joining, navigating, scheduling, inviting others, host controls, recordings, and Q&A. Go to

Getting Started with Webex – Central Campus IT Services will offer this webinar three times. Mike Lohrbach or Korine Spengler will discuss topics including joining, scheduling, and hosting a Webex meeting, navigating the meeting window, Canvas LTI integration overview. Links can also be found at

 Connect: Beyond the Basics and Advanced Features: Thursday, March 26, 3:00–3:50 p.m.
Jeanne Wiebke will discuss how Adobe Connect is a feature-rich web conferencing solution. Learn about polling, downloadable file options, recording, layering and much more. Go to and login as Guest using your name to join the webinar.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach