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Ict for ag

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Prepared for the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Agriculture Conference, which is going to be held on the 13th, 14th and 15th June, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

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Ict for ag

  1. 1. ICT for agricultural extension Building global connections, sustaining local communities Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Agriculture, June 2011 Montevideo Uruguay Paul Treadwell, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  2. 2. EDUCATION, EXTENSION AND TECHNOLOGY <ul><li>Framing the Conversation </li></ul>
  3. 3. Technology and Extension <ul><li>From the beginning, Extension has employed current technologies to deliver educational opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>The evolution of technologies has increased opportunities for access, inclusion and collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>The challenges in adopting new technology include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Literacy (for both staff and public) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stability </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Question of Technology <ul><li>Technology is a tool </li></ul><ul><li>The use of technology carries inherent values. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we balance our use of technology with an educational mission that includes, and respects, diversity? </li></ul>
  5. 5. COOPERATIVE EXTENSION IN NEW YORK STATE <ul><li>A century of growth and change at Cornell University </li></ul>
  6. 6. Agriculture in New York State <ul><li>34,000 Farms in New York State </li></ul><ul><li>7.5 Million Acres (3 million hectares) </li></ul><ul><li>90% are small farms </li></ul><ul><li>Milk is New York’s leading agricultural product </li></ul>
  7. 7. Cornell Cooperative Extension <ul><li>The Cornell Cooperative Extension educational system enables people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Work of Extension <ul><li>Diverse approaches to knowledge sharing and education </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded in local presence </li></ul><ul><li>Connected to academic research </li></ul><ul><li>Always evolving </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong learning opportunities for citizens </li></ul>
  9. 9. Extension’s roots at Cornell <ul><li>Established in 1911 </li></ul><ul><li>Strong local presence across New York State </li></ul><ul><li>Transforming research into applied knowledge </li></ul>
  10. 10. Regionalizing Expertise <ul><li>Regional and multi-county agriculture programs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand access to specialized crop expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximize impact of research and implementation by creating “knowledge networks” that transcend traditional geographic boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rely on current technologies to generate and share information </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Agroforestry Research Center <ul><li>A place based response to evolving needs for sustainability education. </li></ul><ul><li>Sited in the heart of a forest dominated region of New York State. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology enabled meeting spaces and classrooms connect the center to educational resources at Cornell University, as well as other locations. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Engaging technology to extend education <ul><li>ICT opens potential avenues of learning and collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthens existing knowledge networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports distributed learning communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides access to new information pathways </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Distance Learning Centers <ul><li>High speed internet enabled locations </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing capable </li></ul><ul><li>Provide increased access for collaboration between campus and community. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Online Learning Center <ul><li>Asynchronous 24/7 access to structured learning </li></ul><ul><li>Many courses are instructor lead – not stand alone modules. </li></ul><ul><li>Courses for both staff development and the public. </li></ul><ul><li>Uses Moodle as LCMS. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Web Conferencing <ul><li>Synchronous web based service connecting remote locations. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated audio, presentation sharing and chat. </li></ul><ul><li>Successfully used to connect geographically distributed audiences using a variety of connection methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Recordings can be used to create structured learning opportunities. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Learning networks, Learning communities <ul><li>ICT is not a replacement for traditional extension work. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can support and enlarge extension programming. </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional and well thought use can lead to the growth of learning networks and to the creation of learning communities. </li></ul>
  17. 17. CASE STUDIES <ul><li>Pesticide Applicator Certification </li></ul><ul><li>Finger Lakes Grapes Classifieds </li></ul><ul><li>HWWFF/Agroforestry Research Center </li></ul><ul><li>Beginning Farmers Program </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Apps/Social Web </li></ul><ul><li>TEEAL </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen Science </li></ul>
  18. 18. E-Learning for e-extension <ul><li>E-Learning opens new pathways for access to educational opportunities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating inclusive learning environments, online, is a challenge that is currently unmet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking online learning to tangible impacts in the real world is essential for extension education. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competent online instructors are essential to the success of e-learning. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Online Pesticide Applicator Certification <ul><li>Online learning modules for pesticide applicator recertification </li></ul><ul><li>Staged progress through a pre-test, learning component and post-test leading to certification. </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors can monitor time spent in each component to verify participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognized by state authorities as a valid method of re-certification. </li></ul>
  20. 20. FLG Exchange <ul><li>Online producer exchange. </li></ul><ul><li>Internet based “classified ads” system facilitating the buying and selling of grapes, juice and equipment. </li></ul><ul><li>Is one aspect of a larger educational program for producers. </li></ul><ul><li>System was “cloned” and used to respond to a forage feed crisis – rapid deployment, low bandwidth requirements and ease of use were primary considerations in this case. </li></ul>
  21. 21. How, When and Why of Forest Farming <ul><li>An emerging agricultural field </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge generation by professionals and practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Distance learning courses to expand accessibility to new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Tied to physical locations – Agroforestry Resource Center, McDaniel's Nut Grove, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of high bandwidth resources to rural participants via CD-ROM </li></ul>
  22. 22. Beginning Farmers Program <ul><li>Uses multiple technologies to engage participants. </li></ul><ul><li>Video case studies </li></ul><ul><li>A series of online courses to assist new farmers covering topics such as farm management, evaluating resources and soil health. </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed community of instructors/ program managers making use of technology for collaborative tools for continued development of the program. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Mobile apps <ul><li>The proliferation of smart phones has lead to the growth of powerful mobile apps. </li></ul><ul><li>The currently prohibitive cost of smartphones, and data subscriber plans, has limited the spread of apps to many. </li></ul><ul><li>If technology trends hold true, however, advances in phone technology should begin to appear in more affordable phones. </li></ul><ul><li>There are some very powerful and useful text based systems which are currently being widely used. </li></ul>
  24. 24. TEAAL – Digital research library on a disk <ul><li>2 million full text articles from agricultural journals. </li></ul><ul><li>Scholar reviewed selection of content for inclusion. </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive search and browse options. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be run standalone or on a network. </li></ul><ul><li>Base cost of $5,000 (U.S. dollars). </li></ul>
  25. 25. Citizen Science <ul><li>Data gathering by broad distributed groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be combined with educational and data analysis opportunities for participants deepen understanding of current and emerging scientific issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Covers a broad range of scientific topics from astrophysics to ornithology to horticulture. </li></ul><ul><li>Can make use of new and emerging mobile technologies for data reporting. </li></ul>
  26. 26. eXtension – connecting educators <ul><li>A nationwide (United States) online extension “system”. </li></ul><ul><li>Both a public facing web presence and backend content development space. </li></ul><ul><li>Extension educators, staff and faculty collaborate in “Communities of Practice” to develop content for public use. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes educator/staff development opportunities to increase digital and information literacy. </li></ul>
  27. 27. LEARNING EXCHANGE <ul><li>Telecenters </li></ul><ul><li>Social Learning for Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>eCommerce </li></ul>
  28. 28. Evolving work in Nicaragua <ul><li>San Ramon, Matagalpa, Nicaragua </li></ul><ul><li>Heart of coffee growing region in Nicaragua. </li></ul><ul><li>Hub of activity for NGO’s working in the surrounding rural regions. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited broadband access via a cyber café in San Ramon. No public broadband in surrounding communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive cell phone usage for voice and text. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Telecenters <ul><li>Provide access to computers and the internet for the otherwise disconnected. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide training opportunities to develop digital literacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Are social spaces. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Social learning for connection and transparency <ul><li>Technology can enable greater transparency along the supply chain for producers and consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>A collaborative discovery process that can reveal commonalities across distance, crop produced and cultural setting. </li></ul><ul><li>The fair trade movement offers some examples of connecting consumers to producers. </li></ul>
  31. 31. E-Commerce ? <ul><li>The challenges of ecommerce for small producers is large. </li></ul><ul><li>To reach a global market issues of import/export must be addressed and for many this is a bar too high. </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining a vital rural community encompasses all aspects of production for survival and sustainability. </li></ul><ul><li>Crafts production and marketing can play a role in supporting families during post harvest lean times. </li></ul><ul><li>How can we innovate around the barriers to provide sustainable pathways for ecommerce is small villages? </li></ul>
  32. 32. Global Connections, Local Impacts <ul><li>Increased opportunities for collaboration across borders </li></ul><ul><li>Greater awareness of commonalities in issues facing citizens (farmers and rural community members, in our context) </li></ul><ul><li>More transparent connections between producers and consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Lead to stronger, more sustainable, local communities. </li></ul>
  33. 33. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES <ul><li>Looking Forward </li></ul>
  34. 34. Disconnected <ul><li>Universal broadband access does not exist. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inclusive online programming must be delivered through multiple channels. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emerging mobile technologies, text and voice based interaction and the potential of social media must be recognized. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creative models for community knowledge workers, telecenters and mobile phones can be used to bridge the gap between connected and disconnected. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Digital Literacy <ul><li>The digital divide is twofold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to the internet and online resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to effectively use the technology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To realize the potential of ICT, issues of access and technical facility have to be addressed. </li></ul><ul><li>While mobile tech may increase access, digital literacy remains an issue. </li></ul>
  36. 36. The Facebook effect <ul><li>Social media are emerging as an important point of access for many. </li></ul><ul><li>The impacts of participation are still being debated. Examples of increased civic participation are balanced by examples of the use of social media for “surveillance”. </li></ul><ul><li>Are the skills learned transferable? Can social media platforms be used to engage in dialog, reflection and learning? </li></ul>
  37. 37. Defining Appropriate ICT <ul><li>In looking at our use of ICT multiple models present themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>The appropriate ICT model is a parallel to participatory development processes. </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive and sustainable (appropriate) ICT presents challenges that can be circumvented by a traditional technology transfer model. </li></ul><ul><li>The question is – how do we want to work? In ICT endeavors this question is not necessarily given high value. </li></ul>
  38. 38. The Work Ahead <ul><ul><li>Increasing growth and investment in sustainable and transparent ICT efforts . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaging new and emerging modalities such as mobile technologies and social media. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Honoring local knowledge in an increasingly connected world. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Contact <ul><li>Paul Treadwell </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>@ptreadwell </li></ul><ul><li>pt36.posterous.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.paultreadwell.com </li></ul>

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