Entering the Digital Age with 4-H Online Record Books – $750
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was honored to award this grant to the Teton County Idaho 4-H in support of upgrading the organization’s technology to support programming. The 4-H program has had a long-standing tradition of providing valuable and important life skills to Teton Valley youth and the Community Foundation strongly supports that tradition.
Teton County 4-H is a youth development program of the University of Idaho Extension in Teton County. For over 100 years, the 4-H program has delivered research-based enrichment opportunities for youth ages 8-18. Part of the program includes a “Record Book” for participants to record their goals, club experiences, and project budgeting and expenses. This is a significant learning tool and a requirement for youth who showcase their projects at the county and/or state fair. Although written reports are easier for some youth more than others, in order to adapt to all learning styles and abilities, the Idaho state 4-H office has implemented a system for youth to complete their record book online. New this year, 4-H members will register at www.4h.zsuites.com to complete their record book. Some club members have explored the site and began documenting their club meetings. 4-H staff noticed that members that had personal iPads had great ease in recording their activities online. The iPads are very mobile, have voice capability, and can be shared with other members. There is also the ability to insert a picture of their project with just a snap of the camera on the iPad. Volunteers have been amazed at the ease of the new system, commenting that it appears to be the wave of the future. The speech function has been particularly helpful for special needs participants who struggle with writing. Not all members have their own iPads and others do not have reliable internet at home.
This grant will fund the purchase of two Apple iPad devices for the Extension office to be used by 4-H members to complete their 4-H Record Book, take required pictures, and complete other relevant tasks for 4-H. The iPads will also be invaluable technological tools for youth, volunteers, and staff to complete research for specific clubs and to conduct STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming. The Idaho 4-H program will continue to strongly encourage all 4-H participants to utilize the new ZSuite 4-H Record Book system for keeping records and printing completed copies to include with their exhibits during the evaluation process. However, for those who genuinely have serious technological accessibility issues, reasonable accommodation exists. In those cases, the 4-Hers can work on their online record books at the Extension office during 4-H club meetings or other arranged times, as needed. Per the direction of the state 4-H office, Teton 4-H youth must transition from paper record books to digital record books in order to present at county and state fairs. The Community Foundation understands the importance of technology and supports Teton County Idaho 4-H with the purchase of two iPads to be used by 4-H members to complete their required record books, other relevant tasks and research.