Summary, generated results and achieved goals
Teachers from schools covered by the project activities will now use the acquired knowledge in teaching young farmers, and the learners themselves have broadened and complemented their knowledge so that after entering the labor market they have valuable professional skills. Training materials were prepared for the e-learning system in the field of precision farming and geoinformatics techniques, which could be used in the future by people who are broadly interested in the subject of precision farming with elements of geoinformatics.
Participation in trainings was and will be an opportunity for teachers to improve their own language and pedagogical skills. The AGRO e-learning system based on the http://agroelearn.eu website, due to the used technologies, guarantees each learner a direct access to the repository of knowledge and the possibility of direct consultation with experts in the field of precision farming.
So far, the project has met the expectations of users and allowed for the next works to begin such as:
1. design and construction of tasks and teaching materials, including the diversity of agricultural environment, climatic conditions and geomorphological shape;
2. learning to integrate data from different sources of data – GPS receivers, aerial and satellite images, sensors installed on DRON and GPS aircraft;
3. learning related to techniques of spatial analysis using the obtained data directly during field work as well as in external processes, where data is published on national and european geoportals;
4. learning how to use mobile devices and applications dedicated to them.
The most important achievements of the project are:
1. Designing an e-learning system for teaching precise farming techniques and geoinformatics with on-line access (RPI O1).
Platform model was designed taking into account the basic issues in the field of precision farming and including the definitions of needs defined by participants of vocational education in the field of agriculture and by partner units – their suggestions and actual needs of the labor market. The platform has the characteristics of an interactive platform with full proffesional support of didactic tutors and people with experience in conducting work on geospatial data. Platform innovativeness reveals itself in several aspects:
1. It is planned as a platform operating via websites in the client server technique
2. The solution is fully scalable depending on the needs and number of users
3. No additional software is required to work in the training system
4. Services enabling the exchange of spatial data between the participants of the training and didactic tutors have been implemented
5. The solution can be made available to additional users at any time regardless of their location and place of residence
6. Conducting training using the platform can be done in a remote mode without the need to use dedicated hardware or software
7. The platform organizes the issues of examining the progress of individual users’ work – by monitoring their activity in the system
8. The platform contains a component related to archiving the results of laboratory and field work. The developed assumptions for the e-learning platform allow to introduce into didactic didactics a solution that allows to assess that with the help of modern techniques of presenting teaching materials, using mobile devices and the Internet, you can verify acquired knowledge directly in the field.
2. Developing training materials for the e-learning system in the field of precision agriculture and geoinformatics (RPI O2).
The works carried out under this stage were consultative works related to the future content of e-learning materials. The didactic material was developed adequately to the knowledge that the project participants have in this area, in particular partner schools (learners and teachers). The following goals were achieved:
• training programs were prepared and the acceptance process was carried out by all strategic partners,
• detailed lists of didactic materials were developed in individual educational modules approved in the agro e-learning training program,
• didactic modules were prepared in accordance with the approved program and a detailed list of didactic materials,
• didactic materials were reviewed by scientific experts,
• training materials in the Polish and English versions have been prepared. The recipients of these materials are people and other entities who did not realize how many important issues related to their education are related to spatial information systems and how much depends on their timeliness and availability. Innovative character will be also visible in learning methods using the e-learning platform – in which the learner will be able to do the exercises independently, regardless of the time of their implementation and the place where the work is to be carried out. The designed didactic material is open to the inventiveness of the training participants and does not limit it to the previously imposed scenarios. The results of O2 intellectual work are available to each participant in the form of offline files (PDF, PPT), as well as in the future available online via the e-learning platform.
3. Designing a model utility for enterprises engaged in agricultural activities with the use of precision farming (RPI O3).
A number of consultations with commercial entities as well as local government administration units and schools were carried out, which with their experience corrected the materials prepared as part of the project. These people also took part in the October seminar. Based on solutions applied in precision farming, elements of teaching based on e-learning materials have been proposed, which include: global competition, product quality analysis, technical level of production of modern agricultural machines and equipment with evaluation of their potential, search for methods to reduce costs and to increase the efficiency of agricultural production, development of technologies, machinery, equipment, methods and tools supporting agricultural production. The elaboration of the project results in a form useful for the application of educated farmers in the future work assumes that each learner has his own field experience on real data. Thanks to the experience of entities included in the strategic partnership, it will be possible to analyze the project in terms of usability and application in the actual work. Each learner will be required to prepare a report on the work carried out, which will be subject to a thorough assessment by the teachers leading the particular learner.
All the goals and activities implemented so far contribute to the creation of final and innovative project results. The benefits identified among the project’s recipients include:
• encouragement to a wider use of precision farming methods and geoinformatics
at professional work,
• access to a greater resource of materials, methods and techniques (including e-learning platform),
• updating knowledge about other countries and cultures,
• encouragement to participate in other international projects,
• the opportunity to learn about the work and practices in other cultures used in European companies and educational institutions;
• learning foreign languages;
• broadening tolerance and openness to other cultures;
• raising the motivation for further education;
• increased chances on the labor market.
In addition, thanks to previous activities, partner institutions exchanged mutual experience in the implementation of the project, established broader contacts with entities interested in the results of the project. The members of the strategic partnership regularly share information about the project and its results among cooperating partners, including vocational education institutions and companies related to agriculture, farmers as well as other interested non-governmental organizations. The project website www.agroelearn.eu is also a platform for the exchange of information between partners. A richer base of educational materials is being created, and the existing beta version of the e-learning system is a great tool for distributing these materials to interested entities. At the moment, however, the most benefits from the project’s activities relate to learners and teachers from agricultural vocational schools covered by the project activities, thanks to which the materials posted there are adapted to the needs of the institutions.