DAN00209 - eXtensionAUS Crop Nutrition Learning Network
The eXtensionAUS 2014/2015 pilot project tested the US model for delivering online extension in the Australian context using the US-based online model and has demonstrated proof of concept. With a three-year continuation the grains industry is set to further benefit from the integrated online extension model for sharing agronomic research and information. The two learning networks on crop nutrition and field crop diseases will continue delivering the latest research based information to advisers and growers, in response to seasonal conditions.The focus for the next three years will be on consolidating and expanding the community of practice and on increasing the engagement with the grains sector.
eXtensionAUS, being led by GRDC, is based on the US model for delivering online extension. The two learning networks are being led by NSW Department of Primary Industries (Crop nutrition) and Victorian Department of Environment, Economic Development, Jobs Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) (Field Crop Diseases) and brings together researchers, extension practitioners, agronomists and growers from across Australia.
Online technology is an innovative and rapidly expanding frontier for Australian agriculture. eXtensionAUS harnesses this innovation and delivers proven methodologies to establish and expand industry and research collaborations, creating key communication channels that foster innovation and contribute to the growth of Australian agriculture.
The platform delivers a range of products and services using a mix of custom applications plus existing and freely available technologies such as Youtube, Twitter, Google and other social media services. Features include collaborative publishing through “create”, tools to manage the CoP through “people”, educational tools through “learn” and question and answer through “Ask an Expert”. Two-way interaction is facilitated and encouraged through social media, the Ask an Expert tool that allows people to discuss their specific issues with an expert in the field, and through the ability to post questions and comments against published content.
Specifically, the focus on field crop diseases and crop nutrition provides a platform and central communication hub to house and promote an existing portfolio of GRDC and other stakeholder-funded research in this area. It will encourage a cross-fertilisation of research and innovation through both public and private sector specialists and industry organisations.
eXtensionAUS will also offer participants professional development in electronic communication tools and techniques. These tools have the potential to allow better interaction and collaboration across Australia and with international experts.
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