Best Practices For Hosting a Hybrid Meeting

During this pandemic, in-person and face-to-face meetings can be especially challenging to host and it can be difficult to generate participation. Online meetings have become more accepted and hosting these meetings has become less challenging (hopefully), but still not without potential pitfalls. “Hybrid meetings,” with participants both in person and at a distance, may be a good compromise – assuming acceptable social distancing, face coverings, and appropriate equipment and room sanitizing is practiced and enforced for local, in-person participants. This overview provides a few guidelines that should be considered when hosting a hybrid meeting. 

Good etiquette should be followed: make sure all participants can hear you, they can see you and all participants can see the presentation materials. Avoid distractions such as side conversations, bad lighting, bad camera angles and unmuted microphones. 

As with all meetings having an online audience of several participants it is important to have recognized leadership roles with at least one co-host who can help the host monitor for questions and feedback from participants and can assist with technology-related issues. 

Where possible, record your session either as a video recording or with a note taker, then plan to distribute the link to the recording or to the notes. Plan to follow up with participants either with a formal survey or with an informal message. 

Be aware of the risk of isolating or alienating a participant or group of participants because of their geography. Extra focus may be needed to keep all locations fully engaged in the conversation and discussion.  

Realize that meetings with an online audience might take longer to generate discussion while in-person participants may be quicker to respond. When this happens, don’t lose your online participants.  

Long agendas with several topics and conversations that are expected to generate a lot of discussion may require that you split your meeting into several sessions or plan to have a follow up session. When it is not possible to split up a session, plan breaks and group similar material. Participants may choose to join the session mid-way through the meeting. 

Watch for raised hands and non-verbal communication to indicate when participants cannot participate due to either technology issues or they get pre-empted by other participants.  

Acknowledge your online audience participants. Purposefully include online participants into conversations and social interaction as you would with in-person participants.  

All meeting materials and content should be equally viewable by all participants. If you plan to use specialized classroom equipment or demonstrate a technique to the class, plan so the online audience can watch too. 

If it’s needed, use collaborative tools such as shared documents in OneDrive to generate input from participants. 

Before your meeting ends, review action items and those assigned follow up with these items.  

If you are interested, a separate blog post was written as a ‘best practices’ guide for online meetings:

Links for more information:

Microsoft Teams Activity and Notifications

This document provides information about activity and notifications in Teams.  For more information, see 

Getting Someone’s Attention 

To get someone’s attention in a channel conversation or a chat, @mention them. Just type @ before their name and then select them from the menu that appears. 

Note: You can also mention someone simply by typing their name. Start by capitalizing the first letter and as you continue to type the name, a list of people will show for you to choose from. 

They receive a notification, which they can click to go directly into the point in the conversation where they were mentioned. 

Activity feed basics 

Select Activity to view your Activity feed, a summary of everything that’s happened in the channels that are in your teams list.

Select Filter at the top right corner of the feed to show specific types of messages such as unread messages, @mentions, replies, and likes. 

When a red circle appears next to Activity, you have a notification—such as an @mention or a reply—in your feed. These notifications remain in your feed for 14 days. After that they expire and no longer show in your feed. 

Notes: Another way to check your notifications is to use the command box at the top of Teams. 

  • Type /unread to view your unread channel notifications. 
  • Type /mentions to view all your @mentions. 

For a more specific feed, go to the Feed menu and select My activity. You’ll get a list of everything you’ve been up to lately in Teams. 

Activity feed symbols 

Teams attaches unique symbols to different types of notifications in your feed. That way, you can look through your feed and prioritize based on the following. This includes @mentions of you specifically, replies to your posts, posts you liked, and suggested posts.


Six things to know about notifications: 

1. Notification settings are under your profile 

Access notification settings by selecting your profile picture in the top right corner of Teams, then Settings > Notifications

2. Notification sounds can be on or off 

To choose if a sound plays with each new notification, select your profile picture at the top right corner of Teams, then Settings > Notifications > toggle off/on. 

In this state, notification sounds are on

Note: Currently, only Android mobile devices are able to choose what type of sound plays for notifications. 

3. There are default settings 

If you change nothing about your Teams notifications, you’ll receive both desktop notifications and activity feed alerts for @mentions, direct messages (chat), and all new conversations and @mentions in the channels and teams that show in your teams list. 

4. There are four ways to get notified:

  • The activity feed You’ll find this in the top left corner of Teams. This is where we’ll let you know what’s happening across your teams and channels. Check out the different kinds of activity you’ll get in Teams.  
  • Then there’s chat This is where your group and one-on-one conversations happen. As you receive multiple messages, we’ll keep a count of them for you. 
  • Desktop—aka “Banner”—notifications On Windows, these will show in the bottom right corner of your screen, then move to the Action Center. On Mac OS, these show up in the top right corner of your screen, then move to the Control Center. Note: If using Teams on the web, some browsers will only show notifications in the browser tab where you’re running Teams.
  • Email If you want to use email to stay on top of Teams conversations as they happen, use the missed activity email. You choose how often you get them. If you want a summary of the day’s activity, use the digest email. You’ll get this email at the beginning of each day. 

5. Things are slightly different on mobile. One of the first things you’ll want to do is choose whether to send notifications to your phone Always, or only When I’m not active on desktop. (You’re considered inactive after 3 minutes of inactivity.)  The other thing you’ll want to make sure to set are your quiet hours. To do this, go to More in the top left corner of the mobile app > Notifications > Quiet hours. Then set a specific time of day when you want Teams to hold your notifications—or choose entire days. 

6. You can set notifications per channel, too. When you get added to a team, we’ll automatically show the three most active channels in that team. These channels will send you notifications when someone @mentions the channel. To also get notified for all new conversations and replies, select More options … > Channel notifications, or go to notification settings, and under Shown channels select Edit


There are multiple ways to access and manage notifications. To further customize your notification settings, select your profile picture at the top, right corner of Teams, then select Settings > Notifications. From there you can fine-tune what notifications you receive and where those notifications show up.  

In Activity on the left side of Teams, select More options on a notification. From the menu, you can mark a notification as read or unread. You can also turn on or off notifications for a specific channel if you want. 

  • Stop email notifications Click on your profile picture in the top right of the app, then select    Settings > Notifications. Now you can set type of notifications you want for each type of activity on Teams. If you don’t want any emails, just make sure all activity types are set otherwise. 
  • Keep notifications in the app Select Only show in feed. This means all notifications will be sent to your activity feed, which you can find at the top left corner of Teams. The app will still show notifications on your desktop taskbar, but no pop-up will show. 
  • Get notified in app and on desktop Select Banner and feed and you’ll receive notifications as both a desktop notification and as an alert in your activity feed. On Windows, notification banners will show in the bottom right of your screen. On macOS, they show in the top right. 
  • Turn off notifications for specific conversations Go to the beginning of a conversation in a channel, then go to the top right corner of the message and select More options  > Turn off notifications.  Just like muting a chat, turning off notifications to a channel conversation will stop you from receiving updates for that specific conversation. You’ll still receive notifications if someone directly mentions you. 
  • Choose your channel notifications Go to a channel that shows in your teams list and select More options > Channel notifications. From there, you can choose what activity you get notifications for, and where they show up. By default, channel mentions are turned off and all new posts will only show in Activity. 

Notification tips and tricks 

How to get all notifications for all activity 

By default, you’ll only receive notifications for teams and channels that you haven’t hidden from your teams list. To make sure you have all the channels showing that you care about, follow the directions at Show or hide teams and channels

Once you’ve got all your channels where you want them, you’ll start receiving notifications in Activity. If you’d also like to get these notifications on your desktop, select Settings > Notifications > and select Edit under Shown channels and select Banner and feed.  

And how to turn down the noise 

Some simple ways to keep your focus on the activity that’s most important to you: 

  • Turn off desktop notifications for activity you don’t need to respond to right away. Select either Feed only or Off
  • Hide a channel to turn off activity and desktop notifications. Hidden channels will show in your list if a message is marked important or when someone @mentions you or the channel. 
  • Set your presence to Do not disturb to get some quiet time. This won’t change your notification settings, but it will mute notifications until you change your presence back. 


From your activity feed, tap Filter to show only certain types of messages such as unread messages, @mentions, replies, and likes. Use the feed options to select team or individual activity. To customize your notifications, tap More > Settings > Notifications. From there tap Open settings to access your iOS settings for Teams. Then tap Notifications > Allow notifications to determine how you want to view Teams notifications. 


From your activity feed, tap Filter to show only certain types of messages such as unread messages, @mentions, replies, and likes. Use the feed options to select team or individual activity. To customize your notifications, tap More > Settings > Notifications

Opening EPUB files on a mobile device

Application Developers in DASNR IT are actively working with State Specialists to produce “pocket guides” – booklet forms of decision support systems – in EPUB formats. These formats can be opened and viewed on mobile devices similar to a book. This blog post provides information on how to open the EPUB file on both the iOS and Android device.

Open EPUB files in iPhone/iPad:

1. Download Apple Books from AppStore

2. Open the link (Ex: to reach the ePub document.

3. Click on ePub file

4. When asked: “Do you want to download ‘filename. Pub’?”, click the “Download” button

5. In the upper right, download appears as:

Click on it and it will open the book in the Apple Books app and be added to your books collection. When you next open the ePub document from the iBooks app on your iPad, this app will be used.

Open EPUB files on Android using Google Play Books

Download the Google Play Books app on your Android device, if already not already installed. The Play Books app allows you to open EPUB files and read all your favorite books with ease. Google Play Store has an easy to browse books section that lets you download all the e-books that you want. You can also upload you own eBooks from anywhere using the Google Play Books website. It is easy and allows you to read all your eBooks on your phone using the app. If you haven’t already downloaded the app, then we recommend that you head over to the Play Store and download the Google Play Books app on your phone.

1. Install Google Play Books app (if not installed by default)

2. Open the link in browser to reach the ePub document.

3. Click on ePub Document and it will download the document.

4. After Download a Dialog appears “By uploading your file to Play Books, you can read it anytime, anywhere. Uploading may take a few minutes”, just click “GOT IT”

5. It will ask the permission “Allow Google Play Books to access photos, media and files on your device?”, Press “ALLOW” button.

6. The downloaded ePub document will appear in “Your books” category in Library of Play Books.

Cyber Security Awareness in 2019: Acronyms and Their Uses

Often, IT professionals get (unfairly!) accused of excessive use of acronyms. FYI: DYK that in DASNR @ OSU we love aconyms too, IMHO. LOL! But cyber security is something we all should take seriously. In this article, we define several phrases or terms you may have seen – maybe some are new to you – and provide a short explanation of their intended harm. In our summary we provide advice on how to guard against the problems. 

Botnets – a vicious network of infected computers that act under the control of the hacker to spread spam email messages, malware, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.  

Cryptomining – a legitimate looking app is installed to the computer then allows a hacker to remotely harness the computer’s processing power to mine cryptocurrencies. 

DDoS – a botnet army causes a web server to fail due to an overload of requests thereby effectively shutting down the web service. 

Hacking – the act of someone or something gaining unauthorized access to your computer or device through exploits on the computer or device.  

Malvertising – advertising infected with malware

Malware – hackers gain control over your computer or device through infected software downloaded and installed on the device.  

Pharming – visiting a malicious and illegitimate website posing as a legitimate one. When the site visitor clicks on the page, they are redirected to a scam.  

Phishing – similar to pharming, phishing is a method to lure unsuspecting visitors to divulge confidential information such as passwords and banking details, often being presented in a manner that looks official or intimidating to elicit an immediate action.  

Ransomware – a type of malware that infects the computer or device and restricts access to files, demanding payment to regain access.  

Spam – mass distribution of unsolicited messages and advertisements. 

Spyware – software installed on a device that allows personal information to be collected and sent to a remote site; normally uncontrollable pop-up messages are indicative of spyware or malware.  

Viruses – similar to malware, infected email attachments and software downloaded then installed from the internet can infect the device. Once infected, the device can display unwanted ads, scan for personal information, hijack your web browser, and cause other problems.  

Whaling – a specific type of phishing attack that targets high-profile employees in order to steal sensitive information from a company or organization.

Wifi Eavesdropping – a hacker can ‘listen’ on insecure WiFi networks, thereby accessing personal information sent over the network and possibly accessing your device.  

Worms – worms can be spread through the network and attack vulnerable computers and devices that are not updated, effectively shutting down parts of the network.  

How can you protect your computer and device? In nearly every situation described above, the solution is straightforward: 

  • Keep your computer and device updated. When Microsoft, Apple, or Google release updates, make sure your computer or device is being updated. 
  • Install, activate, and keep updated an anti-malware software application.  
  • Use adblock extensions with your browser. 
  • Use a spam filter with your email application. 
  • Before clicking on links in email messages, notice their address and confirm the link is consistent with the sender; look for inconsistencies in the message that would be characteristic of a scammer’s message. 
  • Use good passwords. 

For more information or if you have questions about information presented in this article, feel free to contact Dwayne Hunter or others in DASNR Information Technology.

Additional material and links:

Online Meeting and Webinar Best Practices

Using web-based technology to hold meetings, distribute information, and deliver presentations can free up time and energy otherwise spent on traveling. However, online events require planning to minimize the possibility of problems and to meet the expectations of both the presenter and the attendee. This article will provide guidance for using Zoom as a DASNR presenter to both internal and external audiences.

About DASNR’s Zoom License

Basic Zoom licenses are free and allow you to host an online meeting for up to 40 minutes with 100 people. DASNR’s Pro Zoom licenses allow licensed individuals to host meetings up to 24 hours in length and up to 300 people. DASNR IT manages a limited number of Zoom Pro licenses. We maintain one license for Zoom Webinar that extends the Pro license to up to 500 people. For both Meetings and Webinars, the host can stream their session to YouTube Live or Facebook Live. If you are interested in obtaining a license, please contact Dwayne Hunter at If you are interested in Zoom’s comparison between Meetings vs Webinars, see this link.

When the host chooses to record their session, Zoom will ask if the recording is being stored locally or to the cloud. DASNR has a small amount of cloud-based storage use to hold recordings. Because of the limited storage, you will have two weeks to move your recordings off the Zoom cloud storage then the recordings will be removed. You can make your recordings available to others using your OneDrive (as as shared file), through YouTube or with Microsoft Stream. If you are interested in using YouTube, please contact Craig Woods in Ag Communications Services who can make your recording available either as unlisted (private) or public. With OSU’s license to Microsoft’s Office 365 Stream, uploaded recordings can be restricted to OSU employees.

Best Practices and Guidelines

Rehearse your session with at least one other person and with the equipment and presentation material you plan to use during your actual online meeting. Talk through your main objectives with the individual or focus group. Ask for feedback and attempt to address issues during your rehearsal.

Plan to use at least two display monitors. This allows you to host the presentation on one monitor while the second monitor can show the chat, Q&A and participants list. A laptop computer may be useful if two monitors are not available.

Consider the length of your session. Be aware that an attention span can wane with longer meetings. Typical online events will be no more than one hour.

Plan to have at least one other person who can be your behind-the-scenes co-host. They can manage your session recording, assist participants, watch for questions and provide answers (when applicable), or alert you about questions that require an answer. You may want to use an Extension Technology Specialist to help with technical support issues.

During your webinar ask questions that require feedback. With larger audiences, you may want to avoid enabling participants’ microphones for feedback and input but, rather, use the chat and Q&A windows. Realize your audience may have distractions while on their computer so use a discussion-based presentation that encourages active and frequent participation.

Explore the annotation and screen sharing tools offered in Zoom. The annotations tools can highlight areas of your presentation and personalize the content to your audience. Zoom’s screen sharing option gives you the ability to make live demonstrations of software, web tools, etc.

Take advantage of Zoom’s video capabilities by activating your camera. But, be aware of your camera’s placement: notice your background and eliminate possible distractions, evaluate your lighting and make adjustments if necessary, keep the camera level with your eyes so you can maintain eye contact as much as possible, and use your primary display monitor so you are facing the camera during the presentation.

After the meeting, use Zoom’s presenter’s tools to download your recorded video and audio, view the chat, and generate a participant listing.

Live Meetings

While this article was primarily focused on web-based meetings and webinars, you may be interested in helpful resources for conducting in-person meetings:

Helpful Links

Mobile Device Security When Traveling Abroad – Cyber Security Awareness Month 2018

This blog post is intended to provide a follow up to a previous post. You are encouraged to read the previous post because it, too, contains relevant information about this important topic.

Travelers face an ever-increasing variety of cyber threats. Vulnerabilities, including unsecured devices and data and over-sharing information, can be minimized if we understand these threats and take appropriate precautions. Recommendations to help protect your data, devices, and professional and personal identity include:

  • Store data on a USB thumb drive or other removable media that can be destroyed after use and do not accept USB thumb drives or other removable media from any other sources. When possible, travel with a new or re-imaged device so that no data is stored on it. Do not plug USB-powered devices into public charging stations – only connect USB-powered devices to the power adapter with which they were intended to be used.
  • Keep electronic devices with you at all times. When not in use, devices, network connections and services should be turned or powered off.
  • Before traveling, change all passwords that you will use while traveling abroad and clear browsing histories and other stored information that could be abused by foreign entities. Upon your return change the passwords of any accounts that were accessed while abroad.
  • Delete unnecessary applications, plugins, and software.
  • Ensure your computer and mobile device has the most recent patches, software updates, and anti-virus software installed.
  • Where possible use a one-time web-mail account.

Other recommendations:

  • Do not access sensitive accounts or conduct sensitive transactions over public networks, including hotel business centers and Internet cafés. If a connection to sensitive accounts or systems is required, use a virtual private network (VPN) connection, if it is legal in the country to which you are traveling. Note that it is not legal to use OSU’s VPN in all countries outside the U.S. You should consult with your local contacts before using a VPN.
  • Know the local laws regarding online behavior as some online sites are illegal in certain countries, including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Consult the State Department website for information about particular destinations.
  • Assume that all online activity is subject to government and/or other monitoring techniques, including OSU’s Outlook Web Access (
  • Use of mobile apps that contain encrypted communication may be illegal. Consult your local contacts before using the app.

Note about OSU’s VPN: the VPN offered by OSU encrypts and secures data only when accessing domains. When connected to the VPN, data transmitted to/from domains will be sent across the public network (unencrypted).



Adding Forms To Your Website Using Plone Forms and Office 365 Forms

Forms allow your website visitors to submit request for more information, provide feedback or register for an event. Web forms may be simple, for example to allow your visitor to contact you and provide information about a relevant topic or ask a question about an important subject. Web forms may be have a number of form fields such as an event registration form.

In general, best practices for designing a web form are:

  • Keep the form simple. Only ask pertinent information and make clear your expectations in asking for information.
  • Use examples with your forms to demonstrate the type of data your form requires. If possible, use default values.
  • Highlight required fields.
  • Offer clear instructions on the form page and provide clear feedback after the user has submitted the form.
  • When possible use your form to engage with the visitor by providing meaningful responses.

DASNR IT has provided instructional documents to assist DASNR personnel in creating forms for their websites. We have a number of units using forms and encourage all website maintainers to explore this functionality. Feel free to provide feedback using the form at the website or contact a member of DASNR IT!

Cybersecurity Awareness Month, October 2016 – Potentially Dangerous Apps

Have you considered how the internet is a worldwide playground where kids of all ages – 3 to 103 – can play, mostly unsupervised? On this playground, we can interact through real-time message apps or through post and respond methods. We keep in constant contact with friends and provide updates on our latest travels. While in this virtual playground strangers can initiate conversations. This article provides an overview of some popular social media apps used by teens and how parents can more closely supervise their kids while on the “playground”.

All users, especially kids and teens, should be aware of oversharing information – providing too much personal information that can lead to unintended consequences. But some social media apps encourage this behavior and facilitate a dangerous level of secrecy and anonymity for kids and teens. These apps have two basic troubling characteristics:

* Users can meet and connect with strangers outside their parents knowledge.
* The anonymity allows users to act with impunity and without fear of being identified.

Unfortunately the list of apps that fit into this category grows quickly; the following are some of the more popular apps used by teens:

* Kik
* Tinder
* YikYak
* Omegle
* MeetMe
* Whisper
* Blendr & Grindr

Some apps allow the teen to hide information that may have been collected (photos, screenshots, etc):

* KeepSafe
* AppLock

Parents should also be aware that many of the different gaming apps have in-game chatting or messaging. While these games can be harmless in the short term, players can be lulled into a false sense of security and give out personal information and even contact information.

How can parents stay engaged in the conversation with their teen?

* Talk to your child about the apps, not just the ones installed on their phone.
* Enable parental controls on the phone.
* Monitor their phone. Educate yourself about the installed apps.
* Install monitoring apps such Phone Sheriff or Secure Teen.

In general (kids, teens, and adults), when working with social media sites be aware of:

* Oversharing information. Providing too much online information can easily lead to identity theft.
* Friending strangers who pretend to be someone they are not.
* Location-based services that expose the user’s location and whereabouts.

Dwayne Hunter
Manager, DASNR Information Technology

Reference links:

App and Website Review – August 2016

The following reviews are provided as an FYI. Our desire is to provide our DASNR clientele with information about mobile/tablet apps and websites that assist in their professional (and personal) lives. Should you have questions about a particular app being mentioned, please feel free to contact the individual listed in each review. If you use an app that may be beneficial to others, let us know and we’ll help spread the word!


Remind is a great tool for sending text messages to groups without sharing your personal phone number. It is a popular tool in education to send reminders to students and parents about upcoming events, deadlines and trips. And the best part, it’s free to create an account. Apps are available on both Apple and Android devices. If you are looking for a great tool for reaching groups of people, check out Remind!



OpenTable (Android / iOS) is a great app for making a reservation for restaurants. You can search for places near you or by name. It allows you to search via how many people you have, date, times, price, type of cuisine, and even special offers. Once you book your reservation it will allow you to add it to your calendar on your device so you can receive reminders. You can also cancel, change, or modify your reservation in the app. A few other perks of OpenTable is that it shows reviews, ratings, the menu, and usually pictures of the restaurant.  I have used it for over a year, and the only downfall is that not all restaurants are in the app, but they are growing. Its a great app for convenience and finding new places to dine.



Lookout is a security app that regularly updates and scans your device and its apps for malware. Lookout has free and paid for versions that run on both iOS and android devices. The free version of Lookout also backs up your contacts and helps you to find your device even if the battery is dead. I highly recommend it and have it installed on multiple personal devices.



Parkmobile is a handy app for paying for parking in controlled (metered) locations. The company has locations across the US; in Oklahoma, Tulsa and OSU-Stillwater are included in their services. You register your vehicle with the app and make payments for parking through it, rather than at the parking meter. The app will notify you when your time is about to expire and allow you to extend it without having to return to your vehicle. The app is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Amazon Fire and Blackberry.



Office Lens (iOS/Android) is an app developed by Microsoft that uses your mobile device’s camera to capture whiteboards and documents and save them as PDF’s, import them to OneNote, or create editable Word documents or PowerPoint files. With built in OCR (Optical Character Recognition), you can scan printed or handwritten documents and edit them on your computer later. In Business Card Mode, it can even extract the contact information and save it to your address book. Save images to your device, OneNote, or upload them to your OneDrive for Business account.



During her July “Social Media Updates” webinar, Lindsey Davidson provided information about two useful tools for graphic image development:

  • Landscape” from Sprout Social is an image resizing tool.
  • is a site that allows you to create gifs.

If you are interested in an image resizing or image compression tool and feel overwhelmed by Photoshop, look at which provides free image resizing, compression, and conversion tools.




Extension Celebrates 100 Years!


On May 8, Cooperative Extension Service celebrated its 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 which officially created the Extension. Oklahoma is participating in the activities throughout 2014. For more information, see the OCES website.