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Live learning improving e-learning in agricultural education system

“A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know and to find those who want to learn it from them; and, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known.” —Ivan Illich Author, Deschooling Society (1971).

Education plays an increasingly critical role in ensuring sustainable human resource development. To prepare qualified employees that correspond to emerging markets demand we should keep developing not only urban students but also focus on rural areas, and start implementing innovative technology tools in educating rural students to improve agricultural education system.

Properly harnessed innovative tools can be the fuel that propels economies to new and greater heights. We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change and the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn, how to learn using innovative tools and keep updated, acquire employability skills responding to emerging market demands.

One of the methods to deliver e-learning, distance learning  is “A massive open online course (MOOC) online aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the web.

Key features of MOOC:

  • Open access. MOOC participants do not need to be a registered student in a school to "take" a MOOC, and are not required to pay a fee.
  • Scalability. Many traditional courses depend upon a small ratio of students to teacher, but the "massive" in MOOC suggests that the course is designed to support an indefinite number of participants.

Nowadays we have possibility to choose between options to join the Institution or find a part-time course being offered by a prestigious university, or go online to self-study.

As a starter, if we are looking for online learning we could head to, or for Sustainability Course : Along with other Development issues it also covers  Agriculture and Water - Can we continue to increase food production - or have we reached the limit of what the land can support?

Class Central is a free online course aka MOOC aggregator from top universites like Stanford, MIT, Harvard, etc. offered via Coursera, Udacity, edX, Canvas Network. It provides some online courses on various sciences including agriculture sector:

Some Platforms provide free courses:

- ( );
- Courses offered by Harvard, MIT and Berkeley at their EdX online learning platform (;
- Udacity ( that promises a hands-on, problem based learning experience.

For teachers MOOCs are a great way to keep knowledge up-to-date. Not only to participate in the courses to gain knowledge, since there are tens of thousands of participants, they could use MOOCs to gain insights into where students get stuck and use that to enhance their teaching. Also, since the students are from hundreds of countries teachers could consider organizing physical meet-ups in their city, where they could facilitate the students face-to-face, perhaps for a nominal fee. Of course, they could also consider making your classroom a flipped classroom. Wikipedia article on Flip Teaching:

For learners MOOCs are a boon. Don't have a good teacher, or don't have a teacher, or don't understand the way your teacher teaches, go search for a MOOC or other open educational resources. Even if the course being offered is of advance level listen to the introductory lectures for each topic.

For knowledge workers: Going has never been so good for self-directed, lifelong learners and it is only getting better. Introspect on how you learn best and then find out learning resources online that suit you most. Or, join a community of practice in your interest area. Or start your own online learning community, curating MOOCs and other learning resources and catalyzing conversation and collaboration for a deeper learning experience. Such is the long tail of online learning that you can find fellow enthusiasts even in the most niche of topics. 

Watch this 4-minute video – Success in a MOOC:

The model that can succeed is one of a class-size of 1000 to 10000 and that is a MOOC which has the potential to achieve Millennium Development Goals.

Message for the youths in developing and under-dev...

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Tuesday, 24 May 2022

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