We Think, Therefore We Can

Okay…that might not quite be Descartes philosophical saying….but I think in today’s age of globalization and the scientific process it might be just as applicable.  More to the point Descartes line was in Latin….but the translation is “I Think, Therefore I Am”.  To a fuller extent, he meant, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt”.

I believe that in today’s global society, We Think Therefore We Can, is a succinct phrase meaning if you can think through the process, product or activity, chances are you can also use research & collaborate to use that process, product, or activity to innovate, make and create something great!

Yesterday I read an article that was talking about careers and why STEM Careers were so important.  The author suggested that when thinking about a STEM career to pursue you ask yourself three questions: 1) Can that task be performed overseas cheaper? 2) Is that task highly repetitive and can it be performed by a computer (or robot) faster (than I can)? and 3) Is that task something that will be in demand during economies of plenty? All three are great questions…and more to the point, I realized that what the author was really talking about was the brains amazing ability to think through the scientific process quickly…determining at lightening speed the nuances that effect every decision….and taking those nuances into account when making decisions.

Yesterday, when I spoke with the LEAD group, I mentioned the importance that we teach our kids that the “big” hairy, audacious questions in life have multiple “right” answers.  My point is that if there is only one answer, one process, one formula etc, let a computer or robot do it!  Our forte as human beings is in the ability to evaluate multiple answers to determine what the right one is in the specific circumstance, and to be cognizant of the reality that two people in the same circumstance might analyze the nuances differently and come up with different “right” answers….but as collaborators we have the ability to collectively analyze a situation to determine where “Win-Win” exists.

That ability to recognize the nuances effecting a situation is not something easily programmed into a computer or robot.  I have participated in more than one computer programming class that talked about how housekeeping would likely never be something we could program a robot to perform….why?….well because while we could program a robot to vacuum, or do dishes, or sweep, it becomes incredibly hard when you are programming a robot to do all of those tasks and to determine what needs done first or most immediately, and how to adapt the same task, such as dusting, quickly to different surfaces in your home.  ….This whole thought process had me mind mapping the nuances that effect positive youth development..and the interplay between nuances…the map got more than a little messy with all of those nuances.  A great thing for a long career in positive youth development!

All this leaves me thinking that we have a lot of brain power in Nebraska!  And, within Nebraska Extension.  The ability to recognize the issues that are at the top of the list with Nebraskans.  The ability to put together dynamic multidisciplinary teams to actually start thinking through the process of how to address these issues, and where the “Win-Win” exists.  And the multidisciplinary nature that allows us to network and collaborate with those individuals outside of Nebraska Extension that can help us really make a difference for Nebraskans. And, as sentient beings, we have the ability to make subtle course corrections thousands/millions of time a day.

Come on Nebraska Extension….be enablers and collaborators!  Help Nebraskans create something great!!!!

We Think, Therefore, We Can!

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Bringing the Maker Movement to Extension

Our speaker for the February 14th at 10:00 CT Next Generation Extension Webinar will be Paul Hill from Utah State University Extension. Paul is a leader in developing and delivering maker-based programming in Washington County, Utah.  Since 2012, hundreds of youth across Utah have participated in summer camp and after school programs in photography and filmmaking, geology, cooking, upcycling, robotics, sewing, rocketry, coding and entrepreneurship. Paul often uses pop culture media as themes on which to base maker programming including recent Ghostbusters and Pokemon-themed classes.

After participating in these maker opportunities, youth have reported an increase in belonging, confidence, and problem solving ability. Making is gaining traction as a strategy to engage young people in building science abilities. Joining the Maker Movement has accelerated their ability to meet 4-H’s national STEM goals and initiatives while enhancing the abilities of youth as they make innovative breakthroughs.


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Building Apps Using AppMkr

“Building Apps Using AppMkr” February 22nd, 9:00 a.m., at UNL East Campus Union, Columbine Room

Next Generation Extension will be hosting Jacie Milius in a hands-on boot camp for building an app using AppMkr.  We will be in the Columbine room in the East Campus Union from 9:00 to 3:30 on Wednesday, February 22nd.

Jaci will begin with a brief overview of AppMkr, then lead a discussion around how you might develop an app that would enhance your Extension programming, then we will begin our individual app development.  To be successful BYOD (bring your own device), pre-register your laptop for use with campus WiFi (http://its.unl.edu/services/wi-fi), and bring your calendar/stuff for your app.  If you aren’t entirely sure what app you want to build, jump on a team and help someone else, or just experiment with the AppMkr interface.

There is no fee to attend, however, please send an email to Deb Weitzenkamp if you plan on attending so we can make sure we have adequate space.  Lunch will be on your own.  You can choose to eat downstairs, or we’ll order Valentino’s and have it delivered!

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Number 1 Way to Write Blog Title to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog

image of the word blog on a highway

Do you agree with this following article on the number one way to drive more traffic to your blog? Have you tried it?

Check the charts and information in this article and see if it works for you …

Continue reading

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Writing Work Day

Interested in improving your Activity Insight, NAE4-HA proposal, or NAE4-HA award submissions? Please join us for a Writing Work Day. This will be hosted at Kimmel Education and Research Center on December 19 beginning at 9 a.m.

Unable to make it to Kimmel ? You can zoom in using the following link:


We will begin the day with tips to improve your writing, then spend the majority of the day giving and receiving feedback. Come with questions, writing pieces, or suggestions for colleagues! This opportunity is not limited to Southeast or Metro 4-H districts. Feel free to share this professional development opportunity. You are asked to provide your own lunch for this event.

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Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Social Media Training Site

So sometimes things come from different angles….and that is awesome!  It helps us to triangulate the best path for us as individuals.

This resource came from Terri JamesExtension Master Gardener (EMG) Social Media Training Site If you have questions, please email Terri James…on the meantime, read and enjoy!

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Social Media for Beginners Webinar

Recording link http://unoconnect.adobeconnect.com/p2y1aij71lg/

Join us on December 13th at 10:00 CT online at http://unoconnect.adobeconnect.com/unlunosocialmedia/ for this informative webinar hosted by Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, Isaacson Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Marc A. Smith from Connected Action Consulting Group.  Here’s the agenda for the webinar:

  • Why use and measure social media
    • Developing a social media audit and plan
  • Twitter Analytics
  • Facebook Insights
  • Paid, sponsored and promoted posts
  • Tools for Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and other social sites
  • Dashboards, budgets and ROI
  • NodeXL and social network analysis (SNA)
  • The future of social measurement and management
    • — Facebook Live, augmented reality and mobile data
  • Q & A

More information about our speakers.


Jeremy Harris Lipschultz is a professor in the UNO Social Media Lab, School of Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is author of Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (2015). https://www.amazon.com/Social-Media-Communication-Concepts-Practices/dp/1138776459 Dr. Lipschultz has published books and scholarly articles on media, law, new communication technologies, social media and education. He has been a frequent media source for outlets, such as WGN, NPR, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Omaha World-Herald, KFAB, and others. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremyharrislipschultz


Marc A. Smith is a sociologist specializing in the social organization of online communities and computer-mediated interaction. Smith leads the Connected Action consulting group and lives and works in Silicon Valley, California. Connected Action (www.connectedaction.net) applies social science methods in general and social network analysis techniques in particular to enterprise and Internet social media usage. He is the co-editor, with Peter Kollock, of Communities in Cyberspace (Routledge), a collection of essays exploring the ways identity, interaction, and social order develop in online groups. Smith received a B.S. in International Area Studies from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1988, an M. Phil. in social theory from Cambridge University in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA in 2001. He is an affiliate faculty at the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington and the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Smith is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Stanford University Media-X program.

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