Declining university budgets and loss of critical Extension faculty have led to investment in a national Extension web-based information system known as eXtension. eXtension provides a rapid means of internal and client based dissemination of information without a loss of University affiliation and identity. The eXtension network is organized by Communities of Practices (faculty workgroups) that develop needs-based subjective programming. eXtension is an additional resource that allows Cooperative Extension to maintain and even grow by providing an Internet framework for faculty, from around the nation, to collaborate on information development. eXtension compounds the impact of Georgia’s specialists and agents.
The Center has worked closely with a UGA Institutional Team and increased UGA participation in eXtension from 94 registered users to 362, making UGA the 4th most involved institution in the nation. There are registered faculty members in 96 Georgia counties. UGA faculty have published over 200 wiki information pages and made almost 400 communities of practice edits. UGA has faculty on 28 communities of practice and provides direct leadership on 11. Feedback from the Ask an Expert pilot counties were compiled and shared with the national extension faculty to improve the system. UGA faculty responds vigorously to Ask an Expert Questions. UGA has a presence (portal) on the eXtension Second Life Morrill Island, an important first step, bringing the UGA Extension website into the virtual education community.
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