Exploring the Use of Information Communication Technologies by Selected Caribbean Extension Officers
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe selected Caribbean extension officers' technology preferences and examine factors that may affect their technology preferences.Design/methodology/approach: The sample consisted of extension officers (N = 119) participating in professional development training sessions in Grenada, Belize and Saint Lucia. A 29-item instrument with a four-point scale was used to gather data on technology preferences. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data.Findings: Extension officers used Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) for personal benefits and increased professional productivity but then would use traditional interaction methods with farmers. Education levels of extension officers played a part in technology acceptance; higher levels of education earned led to an increase in technology use.Practical Implications: An increase in awareness is important for the further adoption of ICTs for extension purposes. Organisations in both the public and private sector must work to increase knowledge of ICTs for the benefit of stakeholders. The use of ICTs can increase productivity for extensions officers and expand educational opportunities for learners.Originality/value: The use of information communication technologies (ICTs) by extension to disseminate educational materials around the world is widespread. While ICTs exist, extension officers' level of acceptance in using technology for their core job functions may prohibit the dissemination of ICTs to farmers. Increasing awareness and use of ICTs can lead to more productive relationships between extension officers and agricultural stakeholders. © 2014 © 2014 Wageningen University.
author list (cited authors)
Strong, R., Ganpat, W., Harder, A., Irby, T. L., & Lindner, J. R.