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Groundbreaking website holds answers to life’s questions

Posted 2/12/2008

eXtension.org Experts in 16 Areas Offer Free Personal Insight to Knowledge-Seekers

RENO, Nev. - A groundbreaking new website, eXtension.org will launch Feb. 21 and promises to be a gateway to answering all of life’s little questions - from parenting to saving and investing, entrepreneurship and vegetable gardens.

eXtension experts, including several from University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), are the brains behind eXtension.org, a sort of "next-gen Google," where curious minds can find a range of information, including how to calculate their retirement readiness score, tips to easing credit card debt, how to grow the best tomatoes on the block and ways to set a schedule for a new born baby. Even better, if the consumer can’t find the information he or she is looking for, real-live authorities in their area of interest monitor and answer questions through the website. And all of eXtension’s resources are available to knowledge-seekers at no cost.

With 16 resource areas, called "Communities of Practice," consumers can easily navigate the site to find exactly the answers they need. A Community of Practice is typically multi-institutional, multi-state and multi-disciplinary bringing the "best of the best" educational resources to the public. In addition to providing credible eXtension experts to answer knowledge-seekers’ questions, eXtension.org also offers opportunities for consumers to interact with each other to grow their knowledge in a particular field. Drawing on the popularity of online social networking, individuals interested in a specific topic or subject matter area can "gather" to form a Community of Interest. As that Community of Interest grows, professional educators with expertise in that topic or subject matter area join together and form a Community of Practice.

Not only does eXtension.org bring consumers the best knowledge from the sharpest minds in higher education, it also uses the most innovative and advanced features available on the Web to enhance the learning experience. Users can rate eXtension.org articles based on their usefulness, with the "most useful" articles ranking the highest on searches. If an article does not answer a user’s question, he or she has the option to "Ask an Expert."

Further, articles receive tags showing what users are searching for most often. For example, as can be expected with the state of today’s economy, the Personal Finance Community of Practice shows that most users are searching for topics relating to financial security. In the Consumer Horticulture Community of Practice, it appears most searchers are looking for the right way to groom their vegetable gardens. Users can also subscribe to RSS feeds, and eXtension will automatically send updates on topics of interest.

eXtension is affiliated with Cooperative Extension, a nationwide, non-credit educational network. Each U.S. state and territory has a state office at its land-grant university and a network of local or regional offices. Due to its relationship with Cooperative Extension, eXtension.org is able to pull the best, most researched knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America, connecting knowledge consumers with knowledge providers. eXtension offers:

  • Credible expertise
  • Reliable answers based upon sound research
  • Connections to the best minds in American universities
  • Creative solutions to today’s complex challenges
  • Customized answers to your specific needs
  • Trustworthy, field-tested data
  • Dynamic, relevant and timely answers

UNCE faculty and staff have worked in the eXtension Communities of Practice from the very beginning to gather and create the various resources. In addition to other UNCE faculty and staff who have been involved, the following have taken a leadership role:

  • Buddy Borden
  • Thomas Harris
  • Jeanne Hilton
  • Sally Martin
  • Angela O’Callaghan
  • Jackie Reilly

To see the public launch on Feb. 21 at 12:15 p.m. go to:

  • Lander County, 815 N. Second St., Battle Mountain, NV 89820
  • Lincoln County, 360 Lincoln St., Caliente, NV 89008
  • Carson City/Storey County, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15, Carson City, NV 89706
  • Elko County, 701 Walnut St., Elko, NV 89801
  • Churchill County, 111 Sheckler Rd., Fallon, NV 89406
  • Clark County, 8050 S. Maryland Pkwy., Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89123
  • Washoe County, 5305 Mill St., Reno, NV 89520

For more information, click on www.extension.org or Fact Sheet.



eXtension.org At-a-Glance

  • Site provides contact to more than 3,000 local Cooperative Extension offices with professionals who can help you in your own neighborhood
  • Searchable knowledge base and "Ask the Experts" options
  • Site has 36,000 frequently asked questions in its knowledge base; 4,500 of those are "public" and more are going public every day
  • Boasts 16 Communities of Practice:
    • Diversity in Higher Education
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Gardens, Lawns and Landscapes
    • Wildlife Damage Management
    • Parenting
    • Personal Finance
    • Cotton
    • Dairy Cattle
    • Horses
    • Imported Fire Ants
    • Livestock and Poultry
    • Family Caregiving
    • Disaster Education Network
    • Geospatial Technologies
    • Beef
    • Youth Science, Engineering and Technology

Affiliated with Cooperative Extension, a land-grant university network

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