Working Differently in Extension
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Working Differently in Extension
Following cooperative extension's efforts to work differently in the new knowledge landscape
Curated by Bob Bertsch
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Working Differently in Extension - Jeff Reisdorfer

Working Differently in Extension - Jeff Reisdorfer | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
A conversation with Jeff Reisdorfer, Web Communications Coordinator for the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota, about his AgEdu blog, social media, educational online games and more.
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Call for Open Peer Review: Web Writing - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Call for Open Peer Review: Web Writing - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Web Writing is a volume that  ”explores why online writing matters for liberal arts education and illustrates how students and faculty engage in this work, with digital examples and tutorials.”


The public is invited to comment on all parts of Web Writing from16 September until 30 October 2013.

Bob Bertsch's insight:

This is a fantastic opportunity to read a book about web writing, add your comments to improve the book, be part of an experiment in open peer review and start to imagine how open peer review might work for Extension content.

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The Evolution of Work

The Evolution of Work | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Work is clearly evolving which means that we are seeing new technologies and behaviors enter our organizations.  These new behaviors and technologies are largely being fueled by the consumer web and now organizations are struggling to adapt.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Where do you think Cooperative Extension is within this evolution?

 

I fear our organizational culture is firmly rooted in the left-side of the graphic.

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John Dorner's comment, September 11, 2013 7:20 AM
Some people in CE are on the left and others are on the right.
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University-developed apps aid Arizona cotton farmers | AgProfessional

University-developed apps aid Arizona cotton farmers | AgProfessional | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Mobile and Web apps aren't just for tweeting your thoughts or posting your status. The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has created high-tech mobile and Web applications to help cotton farmers manage their crops.

Via College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
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Working Differently in Extension - Nancy Bowen-Ellzey

Working Differently in Extension - Nancy Bowen-Ellzey | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
A conversation with Nancy Bowen-Ellzey about Ohio State University Extension's field specialist model.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

I was really intrigued by the title of a Jounal of Extension article that nancy Bowen-Ellzey co-authored. It is titled, "Change Is Inevitable: How Field Specialist Positions Can Help Meet the Challenge," http://www.joe.org/joe/2013june/comm1.php. A title that included the words "change is inevitable" seemed tailor-made for the "Working Differently" podcast.

 

In our conversation, Nancy was very open  about her experiences as a field specialist, how her role differs from her previous work as a county agent and what she thinks the impact of the field specialist model can be.

 

Please take a listen and let me know what you think. Do you think the field specialist model can help Extension meet it's current and future challenges?

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Authority: the changing nature of authority in social learning

Authority: the changing nature of authority in social learning | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
I need to get the clutch fixed on Herman, my 1964 Land Rover. If i was in any way competent, it probably wouldn't be a huge job, but my level of mechanical ability stops somewhere after changing a ...
Bob Bertsch's insight:

I've been talking about the changing nature of authority and the potential affect on Extension professionals for a couple of years or more.

 

In the article above, Julian Stodd drives the point home with some great lines:

 

"sheer longevity or indeed subject matter expertise are of less value than your ability to use that to good effect"


"...as is the way of agile experts in the Social Age, he is generous with his knowledge."


"We can’t rest on our laurels: we have to take ownership and control."


More and more Extension "experts" are finding the people they expect to serve are going to other sources for answers. Instead of bemoaning the collapse of the system that defined experts by longevity and position, we should be working to build our reputation and show our expertise in places where people are actually going to see us.


What do you think?

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Glenn Muske's comment, August 28, 2013 1:03 PM
Agree. Extension has knowledge and on-the-ground experience. We need to be and participate in where our audience is.
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Education Everywhere: Tablets Reach Everyone in Wisconsin

Education Everywhere: Tablets Reach Everyone in Wisconsin | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Cooperative Extension Google Nexus 7 tablet deployment means service can stay true to its mission of delivering education everywhere
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Thanks to Steve Judd for sharing this on Twitter.

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Working Differently in Extension - Jerry Thomas

Working Differently in Extension - Jerry Thomas | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Jerry Thomas, leader for innovation and change for Ohio State University Extension, talks about creating networks Extension professionals.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

I hope you can find some time to listen to my conversation with Jerry thomas. Jerry has a lot to share about networking, leadership, complexity, and how we plan and do our work.

 

If you do get a chance to listen, please let me know what you think.

 

Thanks!

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John Dorner's comment, August 19, 2013 4:18 PM
great interview as always!
John Dorner's comment, August 19, 2013 4:21 PM
I'd change this graphic to have a much larger portion of Colleagues in my "Full Professional Network" and overlap have Friends and Family overlapping both of those. I know many of my friends are in my professional network and I know they call on me for 'professional' help. I think most Extension Agents friends are in their professional network - if not as teachers, then as learners.
Bob Bertsch's comment, August 20, 2013 4:08 PM
Thanks for the comments, John.
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Forward Looking Concepts in Extension (with tweets) · ndbob

Originally was created with resources for the "Forward Looking Concepts in Cooperative Extension Outreach" for the 2013 University of California, Ag and Natural Resources Statewide Conference.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Anne Adrian, Jim Langcuster and I began to curate resources related to a talk we did in April 2013 at the University of California, Ag and Natural resources Statewide Conference.

 

Since then Anne has added resources for a talk she did for the Iowa State University Extension Virtual Conference.

 

I think the site is a pretty good overview of the conversation about how networks, connectedness, complexity, platforms and other concepts might play a role in cooperative extension's future.

 

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Working Differently in Extension - Stan Skrabut

Working Differently in Extension - Stan Skrabut | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
A conversation with Stan Skrabut, Instructional Technology Educational Specialist with University of Wyoming Extension, about training in the military, informal learning, tech tools, gaming and more.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

I had been looking forward to talking with Stan for a long time. I really liked his work on his blog, his wiki and Twitter. He's got great insights into teaching and learning. Hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

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John Dorner's comment, March 21, 2013 11:53 AM
Thanks for a great interview! Looking forward to talking to you both at ACE/NETC!
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Working Differently in Extension - Kelly Pritchett

Working Differently in Extension - Kelly Pritchett | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
A conversation with Kelly Pritchett, marketing specialist with DMA Solutions, about the paper she co-authored, "Expressions of Social Presence in Agricultural Conversations on Twitter." The paper appeared in the Journal of Applied Communications, ...
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Here's the latest podcast. Kelly's research into social presence in computer-mediated communication, like Twitter, is really interesting. It reinforces what many people have been saying about the importance of the informal and social in high-quality online conversation.

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Working Differently in Extension Podcast — Best of 2012, Part 1

Working Differently in Extension Podcast — Best of 2012, Part 1 | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

In this special, "best of" podcast, we take a look back at some of our favorite interviews of the past year, including comments from Anne Adrian, Dan Cotton, Jenny Rees, Jim Langcuster and more.

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Anne Mims Adrian's comment, January 4, 2013 11:06 AM
Nice job Bob of summarizing and synthesizing these podcasts. Looking forward to Part 2.
Bob Bertsch's comment, January 4, 2013 12:34 PM
Thanks, Anne. It was fun to listen to all the interviews again.
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Working Differently in Extension Podcast - Lynette Flage

Working Differently in Extension Podcast - Lynette Flage | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Lynette Flage, NDSU Extension Service District Director, talks about Ripple Effect Mapping as a way to capture program impacts. Lynette is co-author of a recent Journal of Extension article on this new approach to evaluation.
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Working Differently in Extension - Greg Johll

Working Differently in Extension - Greg Johll | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Greg Johll, director of Technology Services for University of Wisconsin Extension, talks about how UWEX distributed Google Nexus tablets to nearly 3/4 of its employees.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Imagine a stack of 725+ Google Nexus tablets. Imagine having to set up each one individually. Imagine not only deplying those tools throughout your organization, but providing the training and support faculty and staff need to effectively use the tablets.

 

Greg Johll didn't have to imagine it, he lived it. From the difficulty of simply buying that many devices to how the deployment is expected to effect Extension education in Wisconsin, Greg discussed the entire project on the podcast.

 

Check out the audio above or watch our Hangout On-Air at http://youtu.be/u5RDuDtlJpQ

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Working Differently in Extension - Jamie Seger

Working Differently in Extension - Jamie Seger | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Jamie Seger, Extension educator and education technology specialist with Ohio State University Extension, talks about her effort getting Extension educators comfortable with social media through the Back to the Kitchen project.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

It's always exciting to talk with Extension educators who are using online networking to reach the public. Jamie is doing an outstanding job leveraging social media to deliver Extension information. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

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Working Differently in Extension - Barbara O'Neill

Working Differently in Extension - Barbara O'Neill | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Barbara O'Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, talks about assessing programs using Critical Incident Technique, a qualitative research method based on personal stories and descriptive data.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

I am always interested in talking about alternative forms of program planning and evaluation. Barb O'Neill's article in the Journal of Extension, "Assessing Program Impact with the Critical Incident Technique," (http://www.joe.org/joe/2013june/tt2.php) gave me a reason to invite her to the podcast.

 

I've been familiar with the great work Barb has been doing on Twitter, @moneytalk1, so we talked about that as well.

 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions for the podcast.

 

Thanks!

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Is Expertise the Problem?

Is Expertise the Problem? | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

"The biggest problem in learning is called premature closure. That’s when our minds believe we know everything and close to new lessons or experiences."

Bob Bertsch's insight:

I don't agree with everything in this post, but I do like the 3 "simple steps to check your expertise and expand your knowledge."

 

Prove you’re wrong.  We’re all programmed to seek the evidence that proves we’re right about our expert assumptions. Instead, look for evidence to prove yourself wrong.

 

Start with a Blank Whiteboard.  Instead of going back to last year’s expertise, plan or process, begin with a blank whiteboard.

 

Question new sources. ...it’s important to find new sources of information and expertise, within and outside of your industry. Fresh perspectives can and will expand and update your expertise.

 

Do you think we suffer from "premature closure" in Extension?

 

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Steve Judd's comment, August 30, 2013 1:23 PM
I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the effect of lacking curiosity. I think this post aligns with my thoughts somewhat. The difference for me is that we can lose our curiosity because of our expertise, but also through complacency, business, and a "good enough" attitude.
Bob Bertsch's comment, August 30, 2013 1:35 PM
I agree with the lack of curiosity. When I talk with people who are not interested in using social media, I often think, "Aren't you the slightest bit curious what goes on there or why some of your colleagues are using it?" Maybe I need to start saying that to them.
Steve Judd's comment, August 30, 2013 1:45 PM
I love when my kids ask me how something works or why something is the way that it is. I proceed to bore them with interminable explanations, and if I don't know the answer, we seek it out online. Somewhere along the line we lose that curiosity (probably all of us to some degree) - curiosity is what drives learning beyond the task-at-hand mode.
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How Much Science Can You Fit Into 6 Seconds?

How Much Science Can You Fit Into 6 Seconds? | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Great video collection of Vine video submissions to General Electric's 6-second Science fair.

Bob Bertsch's insight:

Earlier this year, I asked readers of the NDSU Ag Comm Web Services blog if it was possible to create useful instructional content in a 6-second video, http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/roller/agcommwebservices/entry/the_short_and_shorter_of

 

The question was sparked by Twitter's introduction of Vine, a mobile service that lets people capture and share short, looping videos.

 

As I said in reply to an email commenter who said it was impossible to do any education in 6 seconds, "I know it is hard to imagine teaching someone something in 6 seconds, but 10 years ago I worked with people who were convinced there was no way to teach anything in a 2 minute video or a 200 word blog post. The communication goal posts are moving as media saturation increases and attention span decreases. I think communicators and educators need to think about how we need to adjust."


I think the Vines in the video above provide a least some support for my case. If we set aside preconceptions, think creatively and start giving our audience the credit they deserve, I think we can create very short content that, even if it falls short of actual learning, can (like the video above) inspire people to learn more.

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Steve Judd's comment, August 28, 2013 3:57 PM
Bob, I think Vines could be a great way to demonstrate a concept or technique, and then provide folks with additional detail. My early thoughts for Vines are things like tree pruning, handpicking insects off plants, dead heading flowers, sprayer calibration, etc. I don't think you can teach everything in 6 seconds, but you could use the visuals as an entry into more in depth content and explanations...
Bob Bertsch's comment, August 28, 2013 4:28 PM
Great suggestions on possible uses for Vine in Extension, Steve. Thanks.
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Working Differently in Extension - Tom Coon

Working Differently in Extension - Tom Coon | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Michigan State University Extension director Tom Coon discusses how, in the wake of budget cuts, MSU Extension restructured to become more adaptable and responsive to emerging issues.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Four years ago, Michigan State University Extension faced continued reduction in state funding, and there was speculation that then governor Jennifer Granholm might veto the line item for Extension in the state budget.

 

In our conversation for the podcast, Tom Coon talked about how MSU Extension got from that situation to a more stable funding outlook and how a restructuring of MSU Extension is making them a more adaptable and rsponsive organization.

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The social imperative | Harold Jarche

The social imperative | Harold Jarche | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Better social relationships (non-hierarchical and not based on dominance of others) can make for healthier populations. In addition, they are the only way our collective intelligence can adapt to increasing complexity. Becoming more social is not just a new business driver but also a societal imperative.

Bob Bertsch's insight:

This is a really good explanation of why we need "stronger networks and looser hierarchies" to address complex issues in Extension.

 

This is the line of thought that Kevin Gamble, Jerry Thomas and others have been trying to lead us down, connecting the Cynefin framework to the need for strong networks.

 

Online tools have given us new opportunities to build stronger, more diverse networks within Extension. Now we need to take advantage of those tools to build the networks that will help us address the complex issues all of us face today and will face in the future. 

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Working Differently in Extension - Jeff Hino

Working Differently in Extension - Jeff Hino | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Jeff Hino, Learning Technology Leader with Oregon State University Extension, talks about a "New Media Platform for Extension."
Bob Bertsch's insight:

I really enjoyed this conversation with Jeff. He is taking the idea of platforms (an idea that Anne Adrian and Jim Langcuster have been sharing with Extension audiences) and applying it directly to the conception and production of Extension educational materials.

 

Jeff and Anne Adrian shared their work in their presentation, "A New Media Platform for Extension: Embracing Disruptors" (http://prezi.com/yxnkklndziii/osu-new-media-platform/) at the 2014 ACE/NETC conference. It was great to talk with Jeff in more detail on the podcast.

 

Take a listen and let me know what you think.

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Educating the Public about Bed Bugs | Public Works Group Blog

Educating the Public about Bed Bugs | Public Works Group Blog | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
Bob Bertsch's insight:

LuAnn Phillips and the eXtension virtual world team continue to do incredible work in SecondLife. Here's an article about their new bed bug project.

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Anne's Spot: Working for Cooperative Extension's Future

Anne's Spot: Working for Cooperative Extension's Future | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it

Below is statement (adapted slightly from its original purpose) of some of my views on how Extension should be approaching marketing, communications, and educational efforts. In the spirit of transparency, I am sharing these thoughts and would love to hear from you on these concepts and other ways that we can do a better job of convening education, communications, and marketing in Cooperative Extension.

Bob Bertsch's insight:

Anne Adrian does a great job of bringing together a number of the challenges Cooperative Extension faces and outlining a broad-based approach to working differently.

 

Anne writes:

 

"...Extension needs to find ways to reach and scale the effectiveness of our programs and meeting new expectations of the public. This different way of working includes communications, marketing and educational efforts that are merged and building relationships with people who don’t come to our meetings or into our local offices."


"Working differently to connect with others includes being open and transparent, learning and sharing simultaneously, and embracing co-learning and contributions outside of land-grant universities."


Anne also lists some elements of a converged educational and marketing effort, including:


"Make a habit of listening (like any good marketing plan)--listening in communities we are not active in and in communities where we already have relationships.

 

Think of building online relationshps like we think of building relationships locally.

 

Think about how to share while we are learning. We don't have to wait until published results are available to start discussing what we already know."

 

Please checkout Anne's full post and join the conversation in the comments section. It's well worth your time.

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Anne Mims Adrian's comment, February 14, 2013 9:42 AM
Thanks for sharing the post here.
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Working Differently in Extension - Best of 2012, Part 2

Working Differently in Extension - Best of 2012, Part 2 | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
We take a look back at some of our favorite interviews of the past year, including comments from Eli Sagor, Maggie Lawrence, Amy Hays, Jill Heemstra and more.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Here is part 2 of our 2-part "Best of 2012" podcast. I had a great time putting together.It's amazing how the many common threads there were to be found in the 22 interviews we had in 2012.

 

"Best of 2012, Part 2" includes the words and voices of Anne Adrian, Kevin Gamble, Amy Hays, Jill Heemstra, Karen Jeanette, Chris Labelle, Maggie Lawrence, Jenny Rees and Eli Sagor.

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Working Differently in Extension Podcast - Nancy Franz

Working Differently in Extension Podcast - Nancy Franz | Working Differently in Extension | Scoop.it
A talk with Nancy Franz, Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach for Families and 4-H Youth and Director, Iowa State University Extension to Families at Iowa State University about the importance of storytelling in Extension work.
Bob Bertsch's insight:

Nancy is co-author of the article "Stories and Storytelling in Extension Work," which appeared in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Extension, http://www.joe.org/joe/2012august/a1.php.

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