Sunday, April 13, 2008

e-Agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organization and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation invite applications from e-agriculture.org members to participate in a free four-day Online e-learning Course:

NETWORKING IN SUPPORT OF DEVELOPMENT

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I have been a fan of online learning for a long time, to the point of developing my own online courses and having a lot of fun running them on my own. To be fair, the sessions were not truly online. If we're now in the web 2.0 era, I think my course was web -1. We used a CD-ROM for content and an email discussion list for communications. I suspect that there are still quite a few people in developing countries who would appreciate this low tech approach. At the same time, I doubt anyone would dare to offer something this backward in the web 2.0 era...:) that would be akin to offering an old fashioned snail mail distance learning course.

So, each time I come across a new online course intended for participants in developing countries and focusing on development issues, my eyes open slightly wider and I check it out. Are they offering it for free? Do they say how much time the participants will need to spend online per day? Do they mix participants from all regions? Do they include participants in the US, Europe, Australia, etc...? Do they have specific technical requirements, a specific browser, etc...? How long is the course? Four days? Did they select such a short period based on past experience with longer courses? Is that the online course attention span these days?

I hope to get the opportunity to facilitate an online course again, or at least facilitate some kind of online knowledge sharing community. It's been a wonderful experience in the past.... and with the technologies evolving so quickly, I'm sure it would be an interesting learning experience again.

1 comment:

Eva Schiffer said...

Good point. I'm always amazed that we develop all these great hight tech tools, super-interactive online modules etc. after decades of debate around appropriate technology. I think before even starting to develop these courses we should ask our participants about their computer- and online-habits and the formats that fit best into their daily routine. I think CD plus email sounds so much more realistic (and I can live with the fact that it is so not-cool) in the contexts that I worked in in Ghana...