Hero Image

California 4-H Technology Leadership Team

The Issue

Young people today consume a vast amount of media delivered by hi-tech computer technology. Over two-thirds of youth own a cell phone while 84 percent of youth have Internet access at home. However, the mere use of technological devices will not fully prepare our young people for the future. Youth need a basic level of technological literacy to make decisions, engage in civic debates, and be successful in the workplace.

What Has ANR Done?

Over the past 12 years, the California State 4-H Office has supported a group of 4-H volunteers and teens in efforts to increase technology skills and confidence of 4-H volunteers and teens. Started in 1998 as the California 4-H Computer Corps, the group's original objectives were to offer technology workshops, maintain the state 4-H website, and help 4-H clubs develop websites. In 2009, the group was renamed to the California 4-H Technology Leadership Team (TLT), and provided with new objectives: producing 4-H films, integrating technology into 4-H events, and continuing to offer technology workshops. 4-H adult volunteers and teens apply to the TLT for a two-year term. Team members present workshops at statewide and regional 4-H conferences, provide IT support at statewide events, produce 4-H films, and coordinate a photograph and film festival.

The Payoff

The Technology Leadership Team improves technology use in 4-H

In the last 12 years, 62 4-H volunteers and teens from around California have served on the team. These youth and adults consistently report improvements in their own understanding of technology, expanded leadership skills, and enhanced abilities to present technical concepts to beginners. In that time, the team has:
  1. Reached more than 4,000 4-H youth and adults in workshops, ranging from one to five hours, on topics including digital photography, website design, digital presentations, online tools, gps/gis, film making, computer hardware, and many others. At the 2010 4-H State Leadership Conference, from the 12 workshops where 265 youth were trained by the TLT, more than 93 percent responded that the information they learned is useful while 88 percent said that they would recommend the workshop to a friend.
  2. Started to integrate technology into statewide 4-H events, allowing for broader participation. This includes innovative uses of mobile technologies: mobile-optimized agendas for smartphones and SMS text message polls, in which participants respond using their cell phones.
  3. Produced a dozen 4-H films using footage captured at 4-H events. These films are used for 4-H marketing. View the 4-H films at ca4h.org/News/Videos


Supporting Unit: California State 4-H Office

Steven Worker,(530) 754-8519, smworker@ucdavis.edu