Using Technology to Expand the Plant Diagnostic Help Desk

J V Morse


The objective of this project was to expand the county plant
diagnostic help desk. The purpose of the staff at this desk is to
help people by providing solutions for landscape problems, and
identifications of insects and disease from plant and insect samples
brought in. Our central diagnostic help desk location has been in
place for over 20 years. It is very busy, and needs a full-time staff
to manage it when open, Monday through Friday from 8 aMto 5
pM. We were directed to provide a diagnostic help desk at another
education center once a week. We needed to provide staff for this
help desk without losing any at the current center. This additional
education center was at a remote site far away from our central
location. We decided to use Skype, a free program (another free
program that could be used is Tango), which uses the internet via
a web camera on each computer to communicate in video format
with volunteers at this remote education center location. By using
this technology the volunteers could communicate directly with
staff at the central location so staff didn’t have to spend time at
the remote center.


Plant Diagnostic Help Desk

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283