E-extension; what does it mean?

Technology is omnipresent - around the globe. From televisions and digital music players, to the systems used for weighing cattle, technology is aimed at simplifying our lives. Or so every says.

The terminolgy  e-extension may be one of those technological terms that requires the asking “what does that even mean?”  E-extension is a term for the digital delivery (by way of the internet to computers and mobile devices)  of information that was formerly delivered by way of  seminars, workshops, field days, fact sheets and other traditional delivery methods.

E-extension offers access to this information at a time convenient to the user.  This digital method usually saves you money as well as a long drive!  Used for many years, e-extension remains a relatively new concept to many people, which means there are some great established online activities that you might like to try out.

The internet

The majority of the population has an internet connection.  Ask youself if you are using your connection for the best advantage.  The internet is a mammoth storehouse of information, available at the click of a keyboard key.   Use your favourite search engines (Google is the most common) to help to initially sort through various informative sites, relevant to your query. Simply type a question in the search box, using words that are connected to the information sought.

For beef information, try the FutureBeef page, www.futurebeef.com.au, that contains a wide range of industry information for beef producers in northern Australia (Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia).

Webinars:

A webinar is a seminar delivered online. To participate, you connect to a given link and view a PowerPoint presentation on your computer screen while listening to the audio on your phone (oftne a free call) or computer.  

Signing up for a webinar is easy done, usually including a pre-registration with the organisation holding the seminar, by clicking a link to the host platform a few weeks in advance.  Prior to the start of the webinar a web-link, and a date and time will be sent to your email address.  By clicking this link, you will be immediately be linked to the webinar delivery.

The phone number to dial is shown on the screen and once dialed participants are linked via audio to the webinar.    These online session don't require high internet speed and participation is possible on slower internet connections without too much trouble.

Try it out and sign up for the next webinar that interests you.

YouTube and videos:

YouTube is often misunderstood as a platform for non-serious videos.  No so and there is a wealth of informative videos online that are very useful in describing processes, demonstrating practices and showing results of trials in relation to beef business and industry. YouTube is a useful platform for catching up on information, when you've missed that important field day, workshop or farm walk.

Slideshow video presentations deliver information in through a slideshow with a voice over. These are often created after a webinar has been presented, allowing the webinar presentation to be viewed at a later date for those who were unable to participate in the original presentation.

 YouTube channels allow for quick sourcing of videos loaded by the same person. Searching by way of a presenters name, or the description of the information you seek will allow you to source a specific channel on YouTube.  

FutureBeef has a channel at www.youtube.com/user/futurebeefau.  This channel supplies excellent informative videos for northern beef producers, created by beef extension staff.

E-extension tools are out there, with numbers increasing daily, allowing for easily accessed quality information any time. While the access process may seem initially overwhelming, practice makes perfect.  Make an online start today.

By Kim Broad - Extension Officer Agri-Science Queesland

For more information or assistance in using online video access tools, please contact the Far North FutureBeef team: Kiri Broad on 0428 102 841, Joe Rolfe on 0427 378 412 or Bernie English on 0427 146 063