Save the Date: OSU’s INNOVATE Conference + Extension Post-Conference Event

Save the Date for the 2016 Innovate conference + special Post-Conference Event for OSU Extension professionals!

May 11th & 12th 


From the Innovate Community blogWith Excellence as our theme for 2016, we’re sharing innovations that let educators re-imagine their instruction without sacrificing pedagogical quality and rigor. It’s fun to experiment and enjoy the novelty of cutting edge technologies, but a focus on excellence is what drives meaningful implementation.

Innovate is a time for bringing people together across disciplines and across adoption barriers. The conference is built with the educator in mind: you don’t have to be tech savvy to fully participate in this day of presentations, demonstrations and valuable dialog.

Innovate is The Ohio State University’s annual conference exploring teaching and learning with technology. The highly engaging one-day event is built upon six years of successful conferences: 95% of 2014 participants learned something that could change the way they think about or do their job, 96% reported they would like to attend a similar event in the future, and the repeat attendees every year support this number. Innovate is hosted by Ohio State’s Office of Distance Education and eLearning.

While geared toward OSU faculty, with participation numbers growing each year of the conference, so too have professional development sessions relevant to outreach education and Extension initiatives. And in 2016, the OSUE Ed Tech Unit will be hosting a post-conference event for OSU Extension on May 12th. Innovate will be held at the Ohio Union, while our Extension event will be hosted at the 4-H Center. More details can be found here.

To be updated when registration and other details for Innovate become available, you can sign up to receive email updates or follow @InnovateOSU on Twitter. We’ll also share updates here on the Ed Tech blog!

We hope to see many of our Extension colleagues this year at Innovate in May!


2015 Ed Tech Year in Review

Last week, the Ed Tech Unit shared a snapshot of data and other information from August – December 2015 with Administrative Cabinet members. Browse through the brief slide deck below to see how 2015 Tech Use and Skills Survey data was used to address the needs of the organization, how many OSUE professionals received assistance during this time period from an Ed Tech and the type of assistance they received, as well as Ed Tech initiatives for 2016.

The 2016 Organizational Tech Use & Skills Survey will be emailed January 29th!

How Do You Want Your Ed Tech Info? [Survey]

We’re in the process of expanding our communication methods and want to hear from you! Use the one-question survey below to let us know how you would prefer to get Ed Tech related updates and information. Your feedback strengthens the Ed Tech unit, and makes it work better for you. Please provide your answer by September 18th. Thank you in advance for your help!

Meet Your New Ed Tech, Danae Wolfe!

Please help me in welcoming our new full-time Educational Technology Specialist Danae Wolfe! Danae began her new position in the OSU Extension Ed Tech Unit August 3rd. Below is a brief Q&A with Danae. You can also learn more about her and her new role on her bio page.


Extension Background

Despite participating in 4-H as a youth, it wasn’t until much later in life that I discovered Extension. I started working as Summit County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator in 2012. Prior to that, I donned the iconic Smokey Bear uniform while working as an Interpretive Park Ranger for Cuyahoga Valley National Park where I taught park visitors about water quality issues and invasive plants.

I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to teach informal education, but I was never quite sure in what capacity. With opportunities to reach a statewide audience (and beyond), I knew Extension was the right fit for me when I discovered all the organization had to offer.


How did you get to be so interested in Educational Technology?

With a background in environmental education, it seems odd that I’ve become so interested in Educational Technology (especially considering many environmentalists feel society needs to disconnect to become more in tune with the natural world). Throughout the last three years working as a county-based Extension Educator, I’ve had the opportunity to teach a variety of classes and workshops about Educational Technology and I’ve learned how critical digital media is to the work that we do in Extension.

I’m particularly interested in how Extension can become more adaptable to meet the changing needs of our clients. People are accessing their information differently than they have in the past. The Internet is often the first (and sometimes only) resource people look to for information and it’s our responsibility to ensure that our clients are finding the most up-to-date and reliable information possible. I’m looking forward to exploring the many ways we can stay at the forefront of creating innovative educational experiences that empower people with knowledge.


What has been your favorite project or program that you’ve worked on that involved tech?

My favorite tech-related programs have been the Garden and Insect Photography workshops I’ve offered over the last two years. I’m a macro insect photographer and sharing my expertise with others has been a thrill. Seeing insects up close allows people to appreciate their beauty and intricacy and provides an avenue for learning about and valuing species that often get overlooked. I believe we can use photography not only to educate our clients about a variety of topics, but also to tell the story of Extension.


What are you excited to learn more about or work on during the next year?

One of the things I’m most excited about is the opportunity to meet with faculty and staff in each region and start drafting a comprehensive social media marketing campaign for Extension. I’ve heard countless times from clients that Extension doesn’t market itself well enough and I’d like that to change. I have ideas for viral videos, hashtag campaigns, and a 365 photo project that highlights stories of Extension. Other than a social media marketing campaign, I’m also excited to explore how we can improve search engine optimization to ensure people can find our web content and fact sheets. We want our information to rise above the junk floating around on the Internet!


Ed Tech Philosophy

Technology allows us to break free from geographic constraints. It allows us to connect with people and organizations that share similar interests and face similar issues. Education technology, when used appropriately and well, will move us forward into a future of Extension that globalizes unbiased, research-based information. The mission of Ohio State University Extension is to strengthen the lives of Ohioans through research-based educational programming, but why stop at Ohio?

As I think about how we can use technology in the work we do in Extension, I’m excited for the opportunity to engage my creative side. The possibilities are boundless and I encourage each of us to think innovatively as we move into the future.


Contact Danae with educational technology-related questions, meetings requests, and training information. You can also utilize our Ask an Ed Tech comment thread for tech-related questions 24/7.

Heather Gottke will remain involved in the Educational Technology unit via special projects and assignments.