Tinkerers’ in Cooperative Extension

The Thinker Sculpture

This months Journal of Extension has a really good article on A Call to Embrace Program Innovation (July 2015).  There are some great tips and processes identified by which Cooperative Extension can really fulfill its primary mission of leading by innovative programming.  One of the things that really jumped out to me is that innovation comes about at many different stages in the process of program development.  It can come out in the planning, the undertaking, and the evaluation.  I tend to think of the program itself as the “innovation”… Read More →

Southeast Regions Spring Faculty Conference 2015

sense making as an Texas A&M AgriLife Agent

Looking for ways to improve your programs through social media?  This presentation was part of the Southeast Extension Region Spring Faculty Conference in Rosenburg.  This slide set is a recap of the presentation “Using Social Media to Provide Information and Promote Programs” The premise of this training is on becoming “sense-makers” in CES.  Four basic suggestions follow the Jarche – Seek-Sense-Share Work on the quality of your county website – content matters! Use Facebook better.  Learn what makes great posts, use picture, find and follow good examples. Playfully… Read More →

Emerging Technologies and Innovation – What might this mean in Cooperative Extension?

Biosurveillance Field Entry System: IIAD Epidemiologist

I recently returned from the Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium where one of the Keynote speakers talked about the word “emerging technologies.” Gardner Campbell (Virginia Commonwealth University) spoke on his perceptions and strategies at looking at emerging technologies.  He had great insight into the concept of using emerging technologies versus technologies that EMERGE us to a new concept in time and space (you can read more on the VCU Alt Lab experiment).  It’s typical to use new technologies to do the same things we’ve done in the… Read More →

Defining Customer Service in Cooperative Extension

Is the term “customer service” relevant to Cooperative Extension? The term customer service is often associated with a department, or a task that you excel at or fail at.  In most businesses, and in both the private and public sector, generally speaking, customer service is getting someone to the right solution in the easiest way.  Consultants you hire can help you train staff, find bottlenecks in your systems, assess your response time, and help you develop patterns for not just meeting people’s needs, but exceeding their expectations.   If… Read More →

Fall 2014 Open Classes – Content, Conversations & Discoverability-Quality Social Media Outreach for Natural Resource Professionals

Two fall training’s are now open for registration.  This 1.5 day class is open to all participants.  Content, Conversations & Discoverability-Quality Social Media Outreach for Natural Resource Professionals includes a 1/2 day class that is specific to using FaceBook and Twitter, while the second day will focus on strategies, techniques, and advanced uses of popular social media tools.  You can register for any day, or both days.   Day 1 :  1pm – 4pm Facebook and Twitter This half-day is designed to help you get onboard with these… Read More →

San Angelo Training Recap May 7th, 2014 – Understanding Twitter and Writing of the Web

sense making as an Texas A&M AgriLife Agent

The West region San Angelo training by request of Marvin Ensor, Regional Program Director for the West Region of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service was a great step in developing 18 agents and 2 specialists in understanding some of the techniques that can help do our jobs in different ways considering the audiences we serve as an agency.  We started off by looking at some of the changing demographics of clients both nationally and also specifically to Texas.  Some of the high points we discussed were: Reviewed… Read More →

San Angelo – The 21st Century Agent training on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

For this shortened training, I’ve chosen to focus on two things that I think can help agents and specialists find some success with meeting their own information needs, as well as expanding their reach into their communities.  We will focus on Twitter from the aspect of how it can help us not just communicate, but to sort information, find relevant and timely information, build capacity in a region, and discover helpful information our clients need.  The second part of the training is going to focus on how we… Read More →