That was fun!

It’s been a busy year, to say the least. No doubt our training center is not alone in saying this. Perhaps the entire ATI network can honestly say that it has been a year of work, work, work.

Relevance in the midst of all the drudgery – therein lies the challenge.

Sometimes (or too often?) our work becomes too exacting, demanding, or mandatory, that we forget we should look not just on the numbers, but also particularly on the results – what people really need, not just report indicators.

But try we did, with a lot of help from friends and co-workers. And in the process, we had a memorable year.

2012 was not run-of-the-mill. It was a year with a lot of groundbreaking in the region – extension service provider accreditation (an ESP hurdled the criteria this year), technically and financially capacitating local government units’ agricultural extension arms (middle of this year, we put our heads together with LGUs to put into effect a new program implementation strategy for next year), capability building (3 season-long trainings and 164 short-term activities or a total of 167 this year, as opposed to 129 in 2011 and 105 in 2010), going organic (58 of our trainings with LGUs focused on that), climate change adaptation (trainings focused on “climate-smart” or “climate-change ready” technologies), video production as neophytes (we were blindsided by the work target but managed to come out with our firsts this year), Nutrient Manager for Rice Mobile (some regions launched it last year but in Bicol the service became available this year with the holding of an info caravan), Techno Gabay Program (we took our first step into unfamiliar territory with a TGP consultation workshop with ATI-RTC5 as newbie program coordinator)…

The list goes on, probably with a lot of personal firsts too from the people behind the feats, nationally and locally.

In 2012 we celebrated ATI’s 25th year and e-Extension’s fifth year after takeoff. ATI and the e-Extension program have been rolling stones all these years, but both showed even more remarkable changes in 2012.

Take this year’s e-Extension activity held November 12-16, 2012, themed “6th SENSE: Season’s End, New Scenes Emerge.” It was the first assessment workshop, it seemed to me, that ATI’s regular functions in Knowledge Management was put side by side with e-Extension. The theme somehow hints at a paradigm shift or at the very least a streamlining of objectives, a welcome development

An aside: trust ATI Central Office’s Knowledge Products and Services Division to come up with forward-looking themes for its yearly e-Extension activity. Previously, ATI-CO produced equally impish and relevant themes for its yearly assessment e-Extension activities.

e-Extension came to life in December 2007 with the creation of the e-Extension Portal and launch of the e-Learning which had five online courses initially. It’s been five years since. The rest is trailblazing history.

In March 2008, the first e-Learning Assessment Workshop was titled “Sum-It” with seven ATI Training Centers initially involved in e-Learning course development. In 2009, ATI-CO dubbed the second assessment workshop as “e-Learning Reloaded” where the first seven ATI Training Centers plus seven more new ones took part.

In 2010 the third assessment workshop was called “e-Extension CoMotion.” It planned for the integration of the Techno Gabay Program and the initial operation of the Farmers’ Contact Center. The emerging e-Extension components took on more defined shape during the fourth assessment workshop in 2011 which was titled “e-Extension FourPlay” where School-on-Air was formally recognized as part of e-Extension.

Finally, it was “Hi-5 for 2012” during the fifth e-Extension Program Review and Planning Workshop. The activity identified the e-Extension channels, namely e-Learning, Techno Gabay Program, School-on-Air, Farmers’ Contact Center, and the ATI Interactive website.

Overall, it’s been a lot of work, a lot of learning, a lot of fun. Thank you ATI directorate and managers. May we bring the needed services to our clients. To God be the glory.