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Online Resources Ready For High School Teachers And Students

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CQUniversity has a range of online resources ready to make life easier for teachers as schools across Australia prepare to move to online class delivery.

While the courses have an ag-tech ‘flavour’, they can be delivered to all high school students with an interest in technology, science and mathematics as well as agriculture.

One such training is the ‘Women in Agri-Tech Pitch Competition’ learning module, which can be accessed here: http://womeninagri-tech.com/.

The resource walks students, regardless of gender, through the Innovation Process and by the end of the 6 modules they will have their own agri-tech innovation ready to pitch.

Women in Agri-Tech program lead, CQUniversity Research Fellow Dr Amy Cosby says the module is designed for online delivery, making the roll out for teachers much easier.

“When we created the training, we made sure it was suitable for online or in-classroom delivery and it’s ready for teachers to use with their students right now,” she said.

“As education specialists, we can see how stressful and difficult the coming weeks and months will be for educators and we hope the online resources we have developed will ease that pressure.”

Dr Cosby leads CQUniversity’s Agriculture Education and Extension research team, which specialises in developing innovative methods of driving adoption of new agricultural technologies and farm practices.

Dr Cosby said the online delivery method for high-school educators had been developed to make it simple for teachers and students to work together.

“The training is run online so students will be able to work through each module at their own pace and using the worksheets provided in the program.

“This will take the strain off teachers and schools which are being challenged to convert large amounts of the curriculum to online learning.”

The training has an added facet for female students in grades 7-8 or 9-10 who can work in groups of 2-4 students and enter the idea they developed in the training into the Women in Agri-tech Pitch Competition.

It’s an extra opportunity that doesn’t take away from the training’s value to all students, according to Dr Cosby.

“The addition of the competition at the end of the training is geared for female students only as women are extremely under-represented in the ag-tech industry, and this is one way we hope to change the trend. 

“Students who do enter the competition will compete for a share in $5000 of prize money and a free trip to Brisbane to participate in a Bootcamp to advance their idea. 

Another CQUniversity online education initiative is the GPS Cows program, which has online modules available for teachers to utilise immediately and can be found at www.gpscows.com.

When taught in the classroom under normal circumstances, these modules feature hands-on activities such as putting GPS tracking collars on cows and sheep - the online model instead features video resources to demonstrate the livestock handling experience.

“As it might not be feasible to get out into the school farm to deliver this course at the moment, we have supplied data sets so the training can be completed while students and teachers are in isolation,” Dr Cosby said.

The GPS Cows training also features a base in agriculture while still applying to students who study technology, science, mathematics and geography as well as agriculture as a subject.

“These two modules are designed to interest all students, including, but not limited to, those who are considering a career in agriculture.”