Technology outlook projected for Extension education

A first-of-its-kind “Horizon Report” focuses on the technologies, topics and trends predicted to affect our work. Extension educators and organizational leaders are already turning to the report for direction in planning professional development and technology investments. Here’s the October 13, 2016, announcement:

The eXtension Foundation announced today the public release of the NMC Technology Outlook for Cooperative Extension 2016-2021. This report, also referred to as the Horizon Report, will join the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) family of Horizon Reports on learning-focused organizations and sectors that examine trends and challenges expected to impact their immediate future.

Developed by a panel of 56 Extension peer experts, this report identifies nine key trends, nine significant challenges, and twelve important developments in educational technology that will emerge to demand Cooperative Extension’s attention across three adoption horizons in the next one to five years. The report’s well-researched evidence of these forces presents Extension directors and administrators; land-grant university leaders and faculty; federal, state, and local government; and both public and private funding organizations with guidance for strategic technology planning.

The report was created by eXtension in partnership with the NMC and the ECOP Innovation Task Force. Said Keith L. Smith, chair of the Innovation Task Force in announcing report’s completion and release, “This first-ever Horizon Report on Cooperative Extension helps unify our understanding of the technologies, topics and trends predicted to affect Extension’s national mission and the local communities our professionals serve in the immediate future. With this knowledge, we can work together to focus our efforts and resources on creating innovations in programming that will deliver the greatest impact in meeting future community needs.”

In the months ahead, eXtension will be presenting a series of learning events on the Horizon Report led by Jerry Thomas, Director of eXtension’s Innovation Lab. These events will focus on discussing the findings and receiving Extension professionals’ insights on their professional development needs for responding to the recommended adoption horizons. Says Christine Geith, CEO of the eXtension Foundation, “The Horizon Report and learning event series will inform eXtension’s planning. We must prepare the Extension workforce with the professional development and competencies it needs to translate these foresights into action and impact in local communities.”

Additional information:

Learning event series:

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