UW-Extension continues to promote innovation even in tight financial times. Rather than dialing back on new projects, UW-Extension stimulates innovation sharply focused on UW System goals to grow well-paying jobs, build stronger communities and produce more college-degree holders in Wisconsin.
UW-Extension faces strategic issues including how to better serve constituents and stakeholders in this era of rapidly changing communications technology. They communicate via mobile Internet devices, social networking, tablets, smartphones, apps, broadband, Facebook and Skype. As a result, UW-Extension educators have been adding this technology to their toolkits.
To help educators incorporate the latest technology into programming and operations, Chancellor Ray Cross and Interim Provost Greg Hutchins created a team in December 2011. They charged the team with proposing ways to infuse technology throughout UW-Extension. The team has created a website and has begun engaging employees through polls and forums. The Infusing Technology project is an open effort to collect, share, discuss and study employees' ideas and turn those ideas into innovations that help UW-Extension educators do their jobs.
UW-Extension's new Center for Community Technology Solutions works across all four UW-Extension divisions to bring the potential and economic benefit of broadband (high speed Internet) to communities across Wisconsin.
The Center focuses on helping communities and individuals connect to each other and to the local, regional, national and global economy to successfully compete.
The Center for Community Technology Solutions is an outgrowth from the work done the last two years under the general label of "Broadband Grants." (You can find more information on those grants here: http://broadband.uwex.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/BCCB-Grant-Education.pdf)
The Center is partnering with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC-WI) on their Broadband Planning and Mapping efforts over the next two years to provide evaluation and monitoring of efforts, as well as technical training across the state.
In addition, the Center will focus in 2013 on technology/broadband training and coaching, improving economic development through broadband access, community piloting, and outreach and engagement.
In spring 2010, President Barack Obama announced his goal for the U.S. to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Soon after, UW System President Kevin Reilly set a goal of increasing the number of UW graduates by 30 percent over the next 15 years to create a better educated Wisconsin workforce.
The UW System eCampus, launched in November 2010, is one strategy to help meet that goal. Designed as a gateway to more than 70 online degree and certificate programs offered by the UW System's 26 accredited campuses, the new eCampus portal enables students to search for specialized programs and locate advisors, an application or registration information through a single website, ecampus.wisconsin.edu. The site, building on the UW brand, will be marketed broadly so that place-bound adults have access to degree programs. The UW System eCampus is managed by UW-Extension's continuing education division.
In 2009 more than 300 UW-Extension programs served 1.6 million interactions across our state. Your gift helps to build a strong Wisconsin.
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