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Extension Technology in the City Cities have been known as centers for innovation and progress for as long as they have existed. This is especially true in the technology sector, as cities often produce new methods of communicating and living with technology. Technology has become a very integral part of society, having something to do with virtually every aspect of our lives, in urban, suburban, and rural regions. As technology becomes more and more prevalent, the need to keep up with the technological changes grows as well. There are already many ways that Extension uses technology to disseminate information and knowledge, reach a larger audience, facilitate professional development, and communicate more efficiently with their local community (Typhinia 2015). Technology as a Form of Communication Urban Extension programs have the most to gain from maximizing technology use for their various programs due to their large population base (Schneider 2011). There are many innovative ways of using technology to better communicate with residents, and distribute knowledge on a larger scale, boosting Extension’s presence. There is also an opportunity to become more relevant with a younger generation who otherwise would not use Extension’s services (Typhinia 2015). These connections can be made through social media and educational programs that integrate technology. In addition to reaching new audiences, Extension could connect with other programs/partners who are interested in the tech side of youth development (Typhinia 2015). The Digital Divide  

 Mapping digital divide_nofig

According to the Whitehouse Brief, Mapping the Digital Divide (2015), factors influencing those who are often disproportionately limited by the digital divide include age, income, educational attainment levels, community type, people with disabilities, and language. The number of people living in Ohio's largest cities who reflect these demographic characteristics presents an opportunity for OSU Extension in the City. Potential Impact Technology innovations give Extension the opportunity to impact the people, programs, partners, and presence of Extension in urban areas. Technology increases the ability to communicate with socially and ethnically diverse populations, assists in the accessibility of our programs, expands the variety of partners that we are able to work with, and increases the presence of Extension, both by name recognition, and physical locations. Maintaining a strong connection to technological changes will assist OSU Extension in the City to continue to be locally relevant, responsive statewide, and recognized nationally. Using this to improve marketing, programming, personnel through professional development, and new partnerships is necessary to have the collective impact that we are aiming for, while also laying the framework for years of Extension excellence in Ohio’s urban areas. Interact - Respond to this blog post Without a doubt, you use technology in numerous facets every day. In what ways have you seen technology have a positive impact on your programming? What areas in your programming would you like to see technology use increased?  What do you think is Extension’s role in bridging the digital divide?       Sources
  1. Kudryavtsev, Alexey, Marianne Krasny, Gretchen Ferenz, and Lisa Babcock. "Use of Computer Technologies by Educators in Urban Community Science Education Programs." Journal of Extension5 (2007): n. pag. Extension Journal, Oct. 2007. Web. Sept. 2015.
  2. Mapping the Digital Divide
  3. Schneider, Sandra, Donna-Jean Brock, Crystal Lane, Peggy Meszaros, and Barbara Lockee. "Using Information Technology to Forge Connections in an Extension Service Project." Journal of Extension6 (2011): n. pag. Extension Journal, Dec. 2011. Web. Sept. 2015.
  4. Typhinia, Eli, Robert Bardon, and Laurie Gharis. "Collaborating with Your Clients Using Social Media & Mobile Communications." Journal of Extension1 (2015): n. pag. Extension Journal, Feb. 2015. Web. Sept. 2015.