Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2002
IU center helps FFA develop computer program on international agriculture
The Indiana University International Resource Center has helped the national FFA organization develop an Internet-based educational program to help thousands of high school students learn about international agriculture.
The new interactive learning program is described by FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) as combining global agriculture and travel in one virtual tour. Found online at http://www.ffa.org/scenarios/, the FFA Global Leadership Scenarios will be used by more than 10,000 high school agriculture instructors to provide a global agricultural perspective for their students.
The Web site and introductory CD-ROM are funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. IU was the lead organization in securing the $280,000 grant for the project. Purdue University, WisdomTools and the national FFA also are involved.
Shawn Reynolds, director of the IU International Resource Center, said the diversity of international programs at IU was a key in developing the program. IU faculty with expertise on Honduras, Ethiopia and Moldova were used to help prepare the learning materials for these three countries used in the computer program.
Students using the program follow two of their virtual peers, Carmen and Eric, as they learn about international travel and the language, culture and customs of the countries visited. Each episode includes its own classroom activities and worksheets that encourage the students to think, discuss and make decisions related to a global experience. The goal is to educate students about cultural diversity, the global economy and international development programs while exposing the students to global agricultural development issues.
FFA is a national youth organization of 460,000 students preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. There are more than 7,000 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA home page is http://www.ffa.org.