Technology Resources for CYFAR Community Technology Liaisons

Technology Guiding Principle

A CYFAR program has adequate information and communication technology infrastructure, and it models effective and innovative applications for professional development, educational programming, online collaboration, and scholarship.

Guiding Principle Examples

  • Provide all staff with access to electronic devices and the Internet to ensure full benefit of information and communication technology resources
  • Utilize the Internet’s anytime/anywhere/just-in-time availability to provide high-quality professional development and collaboration opportunities (e.g., take an online course, participate in a virtual project work group)
  • Offer programming for participants that teaches technology and network literacy skills, which are critical to success in school, work, and life
  • Integrate technology into the educational activities and curricula by focusing on what participants want to do, and teach technology skills through that passion (e.g., new grandparents will often learn computer skills to interact with their grandchildren)
  • Couple online and educational software activities with related noncomputer-based activities that emphasize socialization, physical activity, and real-world experiences
  • Take advantage of technology’s ability to teach science, social studies, arts, engineering, languages, problem solving, and other skill sets through online communities, simulations, and augmented reality
  • Secure time in a computer lab (mobile or site-based) to provide effective access for participants and permit teaching of computer-based collaboration and communication skills
  • Recognize the role of mobile devices and social media in today’s family and community life, and use it to connect and communicate


Presentation and Planning Materials

  • CYFAR Orientation Technology Presentation
  • Technology Utilization Planning Worksheet
  • Technology Utilization Plan Requirements
  • Roles for the State Technology Liaison and Community Technology Contact

Technology Strategies


  • Internet access for all computers, preferably broadband and/or wireless; preferably one computer per staff person; and an adequate number of computers (or access to adequate number) to support program participant use in your educational programming
  • Computers: minimum two for program participants and one for staff, preferably one or more are laptops or mobile
  • Office and communication applications (word processing, spreadsheets, database, presentation software, email, web browser)
  • Peripherals, equipment, applications and software to support use by program participants and staff (e.g., printer, digital still and video camera, mobile phone, LCD projector, GPS receiver, portable lab, instant messaging application and texting service plan, graphics and video development and editing software, GIS mapping software, educational games, tutorials, etc.). Note that many devices serve more than one function and that apps are replacing software for specific functions
  • See Hardware Specifications for more detail
  • Other resources include Technology Literacy Benchmarks for Nonprofit Organizations and N Power


  • Participate in at least one online interactive session for professional development each month (e.g., Connect, LiveMeeting, or other training using a webinar tool; online course; online tutorial; virtual work groups such as an eXtension Community of Practice or "birds of a feather" (online communities around task/subject matter))
  • Access online journals and reports related to work or discipline, employ effective search techniques to locate these
  • See Online Professional Development Resources for live and archived online professional development opportunities


  • Use collaborative tools or participate in at least one online community around a task to develop a product or model multi-state cooperation to share what they know/learn regarding working with nontraditional audiences
  • Use technology in ways that model effective and innovative work (e.g., mobile wireless lab to work with participants on-site—wherever that is; broadband to incorporate streaming media and more intensive science programming into youth curriculum)
  • Submit to CYFERnet Editors substantive evidence of their CYFAR work, including program activities (lesson plans), tip sheets, research briefs, and other resources that support CYFAR as a model on how to work with nontraditional audiences
  • Use technology to create and publish/disseminate presentations, articles, and reports that showcase CYFAR work
  • Entries in the CYFAR online program reporting database and professionals database are current


Suggestions for Youth (Possibly Family) Modules

  • Teams using tech in community service and leadership: youth focus is on demonstrating the effective use of technology, doing community service projects (rebuild computer, create an online presentation for the state conference, producing video, teach how to use social media and protect privacy, create an app) and training/leadership (advising others in creation of websites, help staff plan and mentor 4-H technology programs, sit on committees/boards representing youth, write state tech program plan, write grants to fund tech programming)
  • Citizen journalism, civic engagement, and community documentation
  • Community mapping, data collection using tablets or probes
  • Tech Club or Computer Club - indepth focus on one or a limited set of technologies (e.g., video, creating online games, building a computer, etc.)
  • Educational computer and online games - for school age children, integrating educational software/Internet-based/other technology-based activities into basic nonformal educational program that includes some non-tech-based activities as well, including augmented reality games
  • An online community or club for youth
  • In all models: incorporate online communication, citizenship, science, health & safety, media literacy and network literacy skills
  • Resource: Just for Kids
  • Resource: Citizens in CyberSpace (online citizen science opportunities)
  • Resource: 4-H GIS - GPS Resources

Suggestions for Family/Adult Modules

  • Living in the Online Society: effective use of technology especially the Internet and social media tools to communicate with family and friends; online banking; obtaining health information; consumer goods research; services such as transportation; online shopping including selling on auction sites; government services such as parks and camping permits, candidate information and voting, taxes, permits and zoning issues; community forums and meetings
  • Family Time: genealogy search, holiday or annual family newsletter, family photo album, family budgets or spreadsheets, online games or educational games that appeal to adults and youth and multiple players, planning the family vacation or other trip, researching colleges and educational options, setting up family social media sites, family computer night, intergenerational work
  • Teaching Basic Tech Literacy: basic technology skills and use for employability/job skills. Remediation to ready adults for vocational training
Author(s), Presenter(s): 
CYFERnet Technology Team
Year published or updated: