Educational technology tools used by extension professionals: a North Central Region survey
This research project focuses on the use of educational technology tools (ETt) within the Extension Service and its professional staff in the 12-state North Central Region of the United States. ETt are those pieces of equipment, software, and hardware used by Extension staff members to support program delivery management;The objectives of this study were to investigate the kinds of ETt available, assess the current and future use of these technologies, and identify barriers that prevent their use in Extension programs;The systems and communication theory and behaviorism and cognitive theory are the environment and the framework that support the use of educational technology. The versatility of these educational devices has provided educators with innovative equipment that facilitates their teaching methods;Over 90% of Extension professional had access to traditional technology, such as a carousel slide projector, an overhead projector, and their use is not limited by any barriers. Word processing is the most popular software program currently being used by them;Computer technology is widely used and is rapidly becoming a traditional technology in the Extension Service. However, most of the emerging technologies are limited in their use in Extension because of the lack of funds, lack of experience, lack of training, lack of time, and being unaware of the technology;A same trend on the current and anticipated use of educational technology tools is observed in the 12-state North Central Region. Likewise, there are significant differences in the barriers which may have prevented Extension personnel, among different states, from utilizing the several educational technologies;A couple of recommendations from the study were that similar inservice training programs could be designed and implemented within the North Central Region and that a similar study should be conducted on the use of ETt in undergraduate teaching programs at land-grant universities.