Information Technology Committee
Conference Call
November 18, 2004

Chair: Fred Piazza, Louisiana State University
Vice-Chair: Howard Beck, University of Florida
Secretary: Rhonda Conlon, North Carolina State University

Anne Adrian, Auburn University
Nina Boston, University of Arkansas
Don Hamilton, University of Georgia
Dewayne Hunter, Oklahoma State University
Larry Lippke, Texas A&M University
Kappie Mumphrey, Louisiana State University Report from PLC Representatives of last PLC conference call -- Nina Boston
Nina reported that the conference call primarily consisted of an eXtension update and reports from committees. About 80% of the committees have submitted their plans of work. The group is going to be going to Charleston, SC in late November to visit the site of upcoming PLN meeting. Nina encouraged all of us to attend what promises to be a very interesting PLN meeting in 2005. Review of Plan of Work -- Fred Piazza
Currently our POW consists of the following items:

a. CECP Module - Security, Craig Woods, January 1, 2005
b. CECP Module - Office 2003, Craig Woods, January 1, 2005
c. CECP Module - Web Design, Craig Woods, January 1, 2005

Craig Woods sent an email update on this topic to Fred because he could not participate in the teleconference. Fred reports that Craig is moving forward rapidly on these projects. Craig estimates completing the projects by early December. Update on recommendation to ASRED concerning web conferencing system -- Larry Lippke
Larry emailed an update on this topic to the IT committee on November 17. Ron Brown had shared with Larry that ASRED discussed the recommendation to purchase Centra Symposium at their recent NASULGC meetings. Ron will be scheduling another Centra demo at the request of the extension directors. The directors would also like information about what is available in their own states before they make this decision. Larry will be gathering that information. He is also pulling together information on impacts seen in states where Centra or similar tools have been used. Fred asked about next steps after the demo takes place and information is shared. Larry stated that most likely the directors will need to decide if and how to pool funds to acquire the software. Larry will work with Ron Brown on this. Larry estimates that this will not happen until next calendar year. The question arose as to whether eXtension might purchase this type of application. Larry stated that it might be a good time to discuss informally with eXtension group about this possibility. Larry and Rhonda will follow up as they will likely have opportunities to speak informally with Dan Cotton and Kevin Gamble. Report on recruiting reviewers from PSD Committee to evaluate distance education module to recommend continuation or removal -- Nina Boston
Nina is working on recruiting reviewers and will have details shortly. Report on review and revision of content exchange collaboration standards for e-Extension ( -- Howard Beck
Howard reported that there was a lot happening in this field, but not in a coordinated fashion. The question is how will these efforts be standardized? Howard stated that fostering and developing standards may be a role of eXtension, and if not tackled by eXtension, then this IT committee may want to address this for the region. The eXtension Intranet website mentions xml and web services as being looked at. Howard noted anecdotally that at a recent meeting of southern region plant diagnosticians, a North Carolina group proposed developing XML standards specifically for documents on pest management. He feels that these efforts are proliferating and he is looking for groups developing standards as well. Fred summarized work being done at LSU and Howard summarized work being done in Florida. Howard advises discussing the need for coordination of these efforts with eXtension staff. Reminder to regularly update the Video Conference Inventory Site ( -- Larry Lippke
Larry reminded the group to keep this site up to date. Update on CECP -- Don Hamilton
Don shared that the CECP Steering Committee will be meeting in Charleston on Dec 1-2 with eXtension group to see how CECP will integrate with eXtension. Don said that CECP had extremely preliminary talks at the recent PLN meeting. They hope to explore integration issues more fully in Charleston. The committee also plans to discuss review procedures in more detail at that meeting. Nomination and election of IT representative to CECP
Larry Lippke was unanimously elected to be the IT representative to CECP. Update on eXtension (formerly known as e-Extension) -- Larry Lippke and Fred Piazza
An eXtension update was emailed throughout our system on 11/17/04. Most IT people would have received this through the extech-mg list if not by other means. Larry has been involved with eXtension administration on the development of a prototype. He shared that the new eXtension Intranet site looks good and provides several useful tools. Additional Items