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Hayden-Smith publishes eFieldbook on using digital technology for extension

Rose Hayden-Smith is curator/editor of the Using Digital Technology in Extension Education eFieldbook.
The COVID-19 crisis has compelled Cooperative Extension professionals to quickly pivot to respond to changing needs. Many are working out of their homes and exploring new ways to use technology to serve their communities.

The Using Digital Technology in Extension Education eFieldbook is now available from eXtension. As part of eXtension's New Technologies for Agricultural Extension Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA, Rose Hayden-Smith, UCCE advisor emeritus, has been serving as the Technology in Extension Education Fellow to help extension colleagues leverage technology for outreach. She created the first in a series of eFieldbooks. 

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

"It was wonderful to be able to work with valued ANR colleagues to share expertise in social media with Cooperative Extension colleagues across the nation,” Hayden-Smith said. “I am so grateful for all those who contributed content and ideas. Cynthia Kintigh and Liz Sizensky contributed, as did Dan Macon! Cal Nat is featured. Dave Krause wrote a piece and so did Mark Lubell! Jim Downing was a peer reviewer!"

This eFieldbook 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 eFieldbook provides both food for thought and practical information that will enable people to apply what they've learned and to take action.

“One of my favorite historians referred to the Progressive Era as ‘prophetic and particular,'" Hayden-Smith said. “That's how I feel about this eFieldbook. There are these soaring, forward-looking perspective essays by CE colleagues, including Dave Krause, and yet there are also highly actionable pieces, including the leveraging content checklist I worked on with Cynthia Kintigh and Liz Sizensky. I think it's a useful piece of work. The eXtension Foundation also has loads of social media webinars and blog posts that partner with this eFieldbook to create a real guide to social media use in extension."

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.

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

A LinkedIn login is required to access the eFieldbooks, 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 personal information. To receive notice updates from eXtension, you are invited to opt-in the first time you log in to an eFieldbook by providing your email address.

On Sept. 16 at 11 a.m., Hayden-Smith will host a panel discussion about the eFieldbook. To register, visit



Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 2:24 PM

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