e-Learning for A&F Presented at the International Congress in Sydney

Ms. Alo presenting a paper on e-Learning for A&F during the 22nd International Grassland Congress

SYDNEY, Australia – The widespread use of computers and access to the internet makes it easier to impart knowledge and services to people in remote areas, thereby giving more options for learning other than face-to-face, seasonal, or classroom-based interactions.  Thus, geographically distant farmers and fishers that can’t access season-long trainings or field schools but have access to internet are still able to get technical know-how on various commodities and agricultural technologies.
 
This principle of maximizing the use of ICT in delivering extension services to the stakeholders and of the e-Learning for Agriculture and Fisheries is being lauded locally and internationally.  Just recently, it is one of the topics discussed during the 22nd International Grassland Congress held in Sydney, Australia last September 15 to 19, 2013.
 
Anna Marie P. Alo, one of the foremost e-Learning courseware developers and a Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (PCAARRD-DOST) presented a paper on “Using e-Learning to Aid Technical Uptake of Goat-based Technologies by Small Livestock Producers in the Philippines”.
 
She shared that the PCAARRD-DOST, in collaboration with the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) came up with various ways of promoting science-based technology options to increase local goat inventory and one of those is through the e-Learning modality.  She emphasized that e-Learning courses on Integrated Goat Management were offered primarily to complement the other promotional modalities and help goat raisers address their low productivity issues.
 
Alo specifically discussed the opportunities for using e-Learning, the process in developing and administering online courses, the statistics on the courses currently offered with the corresponding number of enrolees and graduates, the reasons for enrolling in e-Learning, and some initial influence of e-Learning to its learners.
 
The 22nd International Grassland Congress is a leading global grassland and associated industries meeting participated by scientists, policy makers, extension and agri-business staff and farmers worldwide.  This year’s congress intended to explore the current issues facing grassland around the world and share the latest industry developments and solutions.
 
e-Learning is one of the major components of the Philippine e-Extension Program for A&F being implemented by the Agricultural Training Institute to provide an efficient and effective electronic extension system for agriculture, fisheries, and natural resources sector.  The e-Learning is a form of distance education that offers online certificate courses and digital learning resources on topics ranging from agricultural technologies of various commodities to social technologies and organic agriculture.  The online courses are developed by a pool of courseware developers from ATI networks of training centers, research and development institutions and state colleges and universities.