Reducing the Impact of Disasters Through Education
State Information

EDEN and eXtension

EDEN and eXtension: Complimentary Systems Providing Disaster Education Resources

The EDEN Web site's primary audience is Extension professionals; eXtension's primary audience is the general public. As both entities continue to evolve in terms of available resources and delivery mechanisms, EDEN and the Disaster Issues CoP will ensure that there is a fluidity of sharing and transferring information. As both entities, together, continually build upon and use the preferred technology, Extension professionals will be equipped with necessary updates and materials (EDEN) and the public will be educated and well informed (eXtension).


EDEN: The Network

EDEN's goal is to provide county-based educators with tools they need to help communities and individuals prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. EDEN member institutions in every state and territory are represented by more than 200 EDEN delegates who have expertise in more than 75 different disciplines. One strength of the network is the ability of delegates to share ideas and resources with one another and with colleagues at the state and local level.

The EDEN Web site is primarily a resource for Extension educators. The public side of the site includes state pages, institution-produced resources, learning opportunities, news, annual meeting information and more. The Intranet provides a collaborative workspace for EDEN committees and project teams to hold discussions and develop material.

EDEN Topic Pages provide Extension professionals with information about specific topics from Extension's point of view and serve as a direct portal to credible outside resources such as USDA, the American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to equip Extension professionals with the information they need to address particular questions and concerns within their communities. Examples of topic pages include Agrosecurity, Children and Disasters, StormReady, and Food Safety and Defense.

EDEN also produces learning opportunities with the Extension professional in mind. These provide an in-depth overview of a particular topic to educators, and then equip them with the materials needed to teach local target audiences. Materials can be used for self-learning or class instruction. The modules, produced by member institutions on behalf of EDEN, typically include PowerPoint sets, participant handbook files, and facilitator guide files. Some learning opportunities are being converted to a more interactive format using Moodle.

eXtension Disaster Issues CoP: The Virtual Community

EDEN provides structure and support for the Disaster Issues CoP, which was established in 2006. eXtension provides a platform for EDEN delegates and others with disaster-related expertise to work together to deliver educational information directly to the public. According to December 2008 eXtension data, the Agrosecurity and Flooding work teams have published 209 pages and 152 FAQs.

Disaster Issues work teams are:

  • Agrosecurity -- launched February 2008
  • Flooding -- launched February 2008
  • Avian Influenza -- work team formed in 2007, writing and reviewing content
  • Disaster-resilient Communities -- work team formed in 2009
  • Family Preparedness -- work team formed in 2009

The Disaster Issues CoP, like other communities within eXtension, is dynamic and changes to reflect current needs and priority topics. Although CoP members may not be EDEN delegates, the collaborative relationship between the CoP and the network enhances both entities.

Content in the CoP is further enriched through cross references to information developed by other CoPs. Examples include "Family Caregiving Disaster Preparedness" content produced through the Family Caregiving CoP and "Money Management in Times of Disaster" content from the Personal Finance CoP.

Working Together for Disaster-resilient Communities

EDEN delegates are encouraged to contribute to network discussions on disaster needs/issues from their institutions' perspectives. In turn, they are asked to serve as liaisons, not only between the network and their institutions, but also between their institutions and other local, state, and federal agencies - adding depth and breadth to Extension's overall capacity to serve in a disaster-related role.

eXtension provides a platform for EDEN delegates and others with disaster-related expertise to work together to develop a comprehensive set of issue-specific resources that are ready to use by individuals in need. The content is enhanced because Disaster Issues CoP members come from diverse program areas. A number of the members also have cross-affiliations with other CoPs which provide a broader perspective to pertinent issues.

EDEN and the CoP collaborated to host four interactive events in 2008, including two just-in-time chat sessions to answer questions on mold and flood recovery following floods in the Midwest. The network and the CoP will continue offering Web-based and interactive resources targeting specific audiences.

The EDEN Web site's primary audience is Extension professionals; eXtension's primary audience is the general public. As both entities continue to evolve in terms of available resources and delivery mechanisms, EDEN and the Disaster Issues CoP will ensure that there is a fluidity of sharing and transferring information. As both entities, together, continually build upon and use the preferred technology, Extension professionals will be equipped with necessary updates and materials (EDEN) and the public will be educated and well informed (eXtension).

Whereas the EDEN Web site is primarily a resource for Extension educators, and the eXtension Disaster Issue Web pages are for the general public, EDEN will pursue opportunities, in partnership with eXtension leadership and CoPs, to better serve target audiences by:

  • Adding new content to the CoP for the public
  • Sharing EDEN Web site topic page information with eXtension
  • Creating new learning opportunities in eXtension's Moodle learning management system
  • Migrating learning opportunities from the EDEN Web site to Moodle
  • Utilizing eXtension collaboration tools
  • Continuing development of the EDEN network and Web site

EDEN and eXtension are complimentary entities. Each offers distinct capabilities to enhance Extension's ability to provide information to both its educators and public audiences that will help them prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

 


This paper was written by Abigail Borron (IN), Becky Koch (ND), Virginia Morgan (AL) and Linda Williams (MT). It was reviewed and approved by the EDEN Executive Committee May 20, 2009.

 


Last Updated:6/28/2010 3:48 PM
 


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