510 ACES Funk Library
1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Apr 1, 2009
French television ads feature farm jobs. "L`agriculture, des métiers à la mode" (farming jobs are in fashion) is the theme of a television advertising campaign in France to attract people into agriculture. It is sponsored by an agricultural organization, FNSEA, and we became aware of it through an item in the Farmers Weekly Interactive (UK).
These six brief spots are not your usual rural promotions. When you watch them online you should be ready for "How's-that-again?" images such as baled-hay earphones and a purple sheep.
Ten new agricultural communications research reports. Faculty members and graduate students presented 10 research reports at the recent annual meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are the topics addressed in the Agricultural Communications Section:
You can review these papers at: http://agnews.tamu.edu/saas/saasproceedings.html
Rural learning from a hole in the wall. School-based education is outside the domain of this Center, but implications of educational researcher Sugata Mitra's "hole in the wall" experiments in remote sectors of India extend far beyond the classroom. In fact, as you may know, "hole in the wall" experiments inspired the movie "Slumdog Millionaire," winner of four Golden Globe Awards.
What happens when you install an internet-connected computer and touchpad in a hole in a wall of a remote village or urban slum area? No teacher or advisor on hand. No curriculum. Just leave it there.
"Minimally invasive education" and "outdoctrination" are terms Mitra uses to describe this insightful approach to learning in a digital era. It uses the power of collaboration and the mutual curiosity of children, complementing the framework of traditional schooling.
You can view a conference presentation in which Mitra described his remarkable experiments and the results of them: www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html
Eating on cruise control. The obesity epidemic is driving public health researchers to entertain the idea of focusing less on nutrition education and more on shaping the food environment. What about viewing eating as an automatic behavior, over which we have limited control? Writing in Preventing Chronic Disease, Deborah Cohen and Thomas Farley cited studies indicating that eating should be so viewed. For example:
Authors also reported research pointing to "high levels of food marketing, accessibility, and quantity as the 'toxic environment' at the root of the obesity epidemic." In this environment, they said, educational or motivational approaches to reducing consumption will continue to fail.
Communicator activities approaching
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How to visualize the disappearance of farmland: a fresh photo idea. Photographer Scott Strazzante's creative approach to visualizing rural-urban change earned "News Gem" honors during 2008. "Jon Marshall's News Gems," presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, are described as representing the best of American journalism. Here's what earned the photographer that recognition:
"Six years ago photographer Scott Strazzante chronicled the dismantling of a family farm on the outskirts of metropolitan Chicago. Strazzante revisited the same plot of land where a subdivision now stands. With "Another Country" in the Chicago Tribune Magazine, he brilliantly juxtaposes pictures he took of the disappearing rural life with photos of the suburban present."
Citation: Farm meets the subdivision
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