How to use the POST method to determine which technologies and social media tools to include in your programmatic efforts.

I went through several different versions of a title for this blog post, and that was the best I could come up with. At any rate, we Ed Techs have been very busy working with program teams and curriculum development committees to assist in helping them determine which technology tools or social media sites would be most beneficial to include in their programmatic efforts. This is a bit of a switch from our usual “mode of operation” when it comes to tech inclusion in Extension programming. Our way of thinking for many years has been to grab a hold of the technology first, and then figure out how we’re going to actually use it… or if it’s worth using at all. One of our goals as Ed Techs over the next year is to work with Extension folks to rework and rethink this trend. By thinking strategically about how tech can be most effectively integrated into Extension programming, we will achieve much greater results. The POST method is a great tool for such planning. It’s broken down below:

  • P – “People”: assess your customer or audience’s social activities. What are they using? Are they on Facebook? Or are they on Instagram? Would they appreciate the
    inclusion of a Wordle on your promo items for a program, or not really?
  • O – “Objectives”: decide what you want to accomplish. What are your goals for the curriculum, program, activity, etc? What do you want to accomplish by using technology as a part of your efforts?
  • S – “Strategy”: plan for relationship-building. Currently, relationships can be created online and then enriched in-person. What tech or social media tools would help you build relationships in an online or hybrid environment.
  • T – “Technology”: this is your end point after working through the above steps. End with the technology piece; try not to be tempted to start with it! (Even though that can be difficult sometimes!)

For those interested, there is a more in-depth explanation of POST here. (It’s an interesting read if you have 5 minutes to spare.)

As we continue our work over the next few months, you’ll continue to hear about this method. Have you used the POST method before in program planning? What has been your experience with it? What benefits could you see from Extension professionals using this method as part of their program planning?



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