Farm educators change learning strategies to suit new home school life

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Companies like AgScape, the voice of agriculture in the classroom Ontario, have had to change how they do business because COVID-19 has closed schools.

Unfortunately, the organization hasn’t been able to visit classrooms or use their teacher ambassador program or career competition.

“There have been a lot of initiatives that we’ve had to cancel. That’s been really unfortunate but we’re doing our best to sort of pivot and see how we can deliver in new ways,” says Glenna Banda, executive director of AgScape.

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AgScape launched its virtual camp experience shortly after schools closed.

“It was originally meant as a resource for parents but once schools went to e-learning, teachers became an audience as well,” says Banda.

The program has 623 parents and educators registered, reaching more than 4,000 students.

When the virtual camp was first launched, AgScape wanted to help out parents with educational activities, but as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, conversations began around such things as food security, supply chain and labour shortages.

“It became evident that it was more important than ever for us to be educating youth with fact-based information about our sector and introduce them to career opportunities for the future.”

Farm and Food Care has also seen increases in use of its online resources.

The virtual reality tour website and YouTube channel have seen increases of 1,315 per cent and 417 per cent, respectively, in viewer traffic.

Both of these are up from their 2019 viewership.

About the author

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Jennifer Glenney

Jennifer is a farm reporter who lives in Cayuga, Ontario.

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