Wow, we’ve come a long way. Nearly two years ago, OSU Extension administration approved an Educational Technology pilot project and gave four of us the opportunity to do what few in Extension get to do… try something bold, innovative, and untested. Since then we set out to fill the gap that existed between program staff and technology. We’ve had great success with project collaborations, coaching, training, and mentoring our colleagues and I want to thank each and every one of you for believing in the importance of the Ed Tech pilot. Not everything we’ve tried has worked, and that’s okay. And we may not be moving as quickly forward in regard to technology integration as we would like to be, but we are moving forward and that’s what matters!
To my new colleagues who just joined OSU Extension sometime during the past year, let me provide a brief description of the Ed Techs’ role in the organization: we’re here to inform, to coach, to train, to collaborate, and to mentor. We strive to be the missing link between technology and the people who use it in their work.
This week, I began my new position as Program Director for OSU Extension Educational Technology. To
say that I’m excited to be able to devote time and effort to items that I couldn’t address in previous years is a gross understatement! This year, I’ll be working hard alongside our other Ed Tech(s) and the Ed Tech Transition Team construct an Ed Tech strategic plan that includes items such as appropriate reporting and evaluation of technology use (also for P&T purposes) as well as appropriate onboarding of new employees with regard to technology.
What are the other next steps?
It’s been two years since the last organization-wide technology survey was sent out. That particular survey mostly gauged social media use and knowledge. Now, we’re surveying everyone to get a pulse on general technology knowledge and skills (informal and formal learning, tools, social media, apps, etc). We’ve had many new employees join the organization since 2012. This survey will assist myself and other Ed Techs in prioritizing needs over the next year or so. Please take a few minutes of your time to complete the survey.
I am working with an Ed Tech transition team (Jerry Thomas, Ryan Schmiesing, Carmen Irving, Vickie Snyder, Brian Raison, Stephen Heppe, Mitch Moser, and Ken Martin) moving forward over the next year or two.
Who do I contact with technology-related questions?
Heather Gottke and myself are currently the sole Ed Techs until we fill the new permanent positions (which will hopefully be completed sometime this Spring). You may contact either one of us with questions. If we can’t help you, we have the connections to get you in touch with the right person.
If you are interested in collaborating, sharing, and/or learning from Extension colleagues nationwide, I am giving co-leadership to the newly formed eXtension Educational Technology Learning Network. This Learning Network was created as a direct result of the innovative Ed Tech efforts we’ve been working toward here in Ohio. The “EdTechLN” hosts popular TweetUps on various tech-related topics on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 2:00pmEST. You can follow the #EdTechLN hashtag or Twubs.com/edtechln feed to view and participate in the discussion.
If you have any comments, feedback, suggestions, ideas, etc. as we move ahead with our educational technology efforts, please let me know in the comments below or send me an email.