Thursday, May 24, 2007

"My audience doesn't use the internet"

I've heard more educators say - "My audience doesn't use the internet" or they "don't have email". If your audience isn't extremely poor (i.e. living in assisted housing or homeless), maybe you could do them more good by teaching them about the benefits of using the computer and the internet than anything else you can teach them. Teach them how to learn and the best tool to do that with is a computer connected to the internet.

If you are dealing with business people (farmers are business people) and they aren't computer literate - they won't be business people (or your clients) very much longer. In today's world, if you aren't keeping up, you're falling behind.

Diane Ducharme (an Extension Agent who works with vegetable producers) and I were talking about this after lunch today and brainstormed about how becoming computer literate could help a vegetable farmer. Some thoughts we came up with:

  • weather info
  • pesticide data sheets and labels
  • access the most current Ag Chem Manual
  • comparison shop for equipment and parts - save money by finding the cheapest sources
  • buy equipment, parts, anything else - and have it delivered to the farm
  • parts manuals (that the hard copy that came with the piece have been lost)
  • follow the markets
  • reduce accountant costs by using accounting software
  • keep field records - production, inputs, pesticide applications, etc.
  • keep up to date with the news - including the production magazines
  • communicate more easily with the Extension Agent
These are just a few - how many more can you come up with?

Wouldn't some educational programs teaching those who aren't computer literate about these tools be more beneficial than teaching them about the most recent advances in production technology?

Which is going to help them keep the farm or stay in business longer? Teaching them about the latest advance or teaching them how to find out about the latest advances from now on?

Reminds me of the saying about teaching a man to fish.

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