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New eFieldbook Available! Using Digital Technology in Extension Education


As part of eXtension’s New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA, the eXtension Foundation selected Dr. @Rose Hayden-Smith as the Technology in Extension Education Fellow for year one (2019-2020). Part of her fellowship was the creation of the first version of the Using Digital Technology in Extension Education eFieldbook. 

The eXtension eFieldbook series provides a digital platform for aggregating content, tools, and engagement, and is available to all professionals in Cooperative Extension.

The emergence of COVID-19 has required Cooperative Extension professionals to respond quickly to changing needs. Many are working out of their homes and working hard to find ways to use technology to serve their communities. Cooperative Extension is facing unprecedented challenges and we are learning.

This edition of the Using Digital Technology in Extension Education eFieldbook provides timely content that aims to help Cooperative Extension professionals consider the role of technology in their work, and perhaps increase the adoption of technology, particularly social media. The information in the eFieldbook provides both food for thought and practical information that will enable you to apply what you’ve learned and to take action. Topics include:

  • A series of perspective essays that explore the nature of technology in Cooperative Extension work and what the future may hold; 
  • An exploration of two featured technologies with case studies, including a newly created social intranet/audience engagement platform designed for Cooperative Extension, and a popular social media platform (Instagram); 
  • A section on leveraging the digital information - content - we already produce using technology, including resources about search engine optimization;
  • Suggested resources that will support your work; and
  • An ongoing series of blog posts to provide additional information to help you stay abreast of technology topics.

This eFieldbook is closely connected to visioning work underway at the eXtension Foundation. To help determine developing technologies that may impact Cooperative Extension through 2025, the eXtension Foundation has developed a futuring panel to explore future options. The panel is led by Jerry Thomas at The Ohio State University. The project's goals are to:

  • Identify key emerging technologies that may impact Cooperative Extension;
  • Provide a context about how they may impact Cooperative Extension; and
  • Recommend policy and professional development options for Cooperative Extension.

The Using Digital Technology in Extension Education eFieldbook is available on the eFieldbook bookshelf at, or can be found on the main navigation in Connect Extension at


  • Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith, eXtension Foundation Technology in Extension Education Fellow. Emeritus, Cooperative Extension, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). 

Perspectives Contributors:

  • Greg Aronoff, Oregon State University
  • John Buzzard, Oregon State University
  • David J. Krause, Driscoll’s Berries
  • Dr. Mark Lubell, University of California, Davis
  • Dr. Lindsey Shirley, Oregon State University

Case Study Contributors

  • Dan Macon, M.A., UC ANR
  • Aaron Weibe, M.A., eXtension Foundation

Leveraging Content Contributors

  • ChaNaè Bradley, M.P.A., Fort Valley State University
  • Cynthia Kintigh, UC ANR
  • Liz Sizensky, UC ANR
  • Victor Villegas, Oregon State University

LinkedIn login is required to access the eFieldbooks. This is similar to using Google or Facebook to log in instead of setting up an account via email. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, you can register for one free here. The purpose of the LinkedIn login is to provide an encrypted ID to the eFieldbook so users can securely interact with that eFieldbook, take notes, and make contributions. The eXtension Foundation is not collecting your personal information. In order to receive notice updates from eXtension, we invite you to opt-in the first time you login to an eFieldbook by providing your desired email address.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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