Cooperative Extension has created many decision support tools in spreadsheet, websites and apps, but are people actually using these tools?
Wendy Johnson and Brian McCornack from Kansas State University looked into the acceptance of these kind of applications and shared their findings in their Journal of Extension article, "Getting Growers to Go Digital: The Power of a Positive User Experience."
We talked about technology adoptions, especially among crop producers, in the conversation below.
We've been flirting with Snapchat at NDSU Extension Service. We've created some on-demand geofilters for events, but we don't have ant NDSU Extension Snapchat accounts.
Dr. Chelsey A. Ahrens, Specialty Livestock/Youth Education Specialist with University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, has fully embraced Snapchat for her Arkansas 4-H Livestock program. I talked about how she is using Snapchat and other social media to reach 4-H participants and their families.
A few weeks ago on the podcast, I talked with Jamie Seger and Paul Hill about their experience on the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy's (ECOP) Innovation Task Force. On the latest episode, spoke with Dr. Keith Smith, who chaired that task force.
Dr. Smith is Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University. He served as the director of Ohio State University Extension for more than 20 years.
It was great to get a former director's perspective on innovation in Cooperative Extension. Dr. Smith is frank about Extension's need to innovate. He referenced the Innovation: An American Imperative, the call by industry leaders for policies and investments to ensure the U.S. remains a global innovation leader, in asking if its imperative that the nation innovate, why should it not be imperatve for Extension?
Dr. Smith is a respected leader in Cooperative Extension. Here's hoping the system hears his call for innovation.
The increasing public distrust of science is one of the indirect threats to the future of Cooperative Extension. Obviously, an organization founded to diffuse research-based information and innovation would have an extremely hard time functioning in a country that had stopped trusting science.
Citizen science has the potential to rebuild trust in science by engaging people in the scientific process. It could also engage people in improving their own lives and communities, sharing in the work Extension often aims to do. Citizen science benefits Extension, and so Extension should be working to encourage it.
Katie Stofer, a research assistant professor at the University of Florida in the Agricultural Education and Communication department, has spent a year researching the state of citizen science in Cooperative Extension as part of an eXtension Fellowship. She shared some of what she learned on the latest episode of the podcast.