Agata Monika Jagoda:
E-learning for Agricultural Communities

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AGATA MONIKA JAGODA
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, Germany

Agricultural knowledge and new technologies of food production often do not reach the ultimate users: the farmers. E-learning transmits relevant information to farmers and educators, thus contributing to higher education and poverty alleviation. E-learning is seen as a means of increasing access to educational opportunities in rural areas and keeping pace with rapid changes within the agricultural sector. This study examines e"=learning adoption trends within the agricultural producer community in Central"=Java, Indonesia. Whereas e"=learning has reached early or late adoption status within other sectors, such as in the IT sector, Economy and Management, Indonesian Agri-Business have yet to ``jump on board''. Numerous reasons were noted, including: rising cost of traditional, classroom-based training, long distances from peripheral regions to centres for education, lack of teachers for agricultural production, internet and computer access in Central"=Java, wide spread Mobile telephony in the rural areas, computer skills for Indonesian farmers, low production costs for e"=learning, and sustainability of e-Learning courses for Agri"=Business. The study did note various agricultural e-learning initiatives of online university courses and programs. Specific objectives of the project are to: (1) train interested farmers, agricultural researchers, educators in the production and use of e"=learning courses, (2) Produce e"=learning materials on agricultural production methods, (3) introduce the materials in selected communities, (4) support their technical delivery and provide the hardware. The production of desirable e-learning courses with free ware Content Management Systems (CMS) and the written survey would be published and of interest to regional government, e-learning developers and agricultural producers. The author set out to understand e"=learning adoption trends, barriers and opportunities within Indonesian agricultural sector. The study will also examine potential benefits of e"=learning to the agricultural sector. Opportunities are noted, along with best practices to assist those who wish to develop e"=learning products and services for this sector.



Keywords: CMS, e-learning, education, free ware


Footnotes

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Contact Address: Agata Monika Jagoda, Humboldt-Universitšt zu Berlin, Department of Agriculture and HorticultureMareschstr. 9, 12055  Berlin, Germany, e-mail: info@mathe-agrar.de
Andreas Deininger, September 2006