Linda Benedict, Morgan, Johnny W.
TALLULAH, La.–Technology has changed 4-H Club Day in Madison Parish. Instead of a standard 50-minute meeting, reading minutes and preparing for the next contest or event, 4-H Club Day for 4-H members in this northeast Louisiana town is conducted with a mobile technology lab, according to LSU AgCenter 4-H agent Karol Osborne.
"Students select from six subject-matter areas this year – horses, pets, sewing, photography, environment and babysitting. With a PowerPoint presentation to serve as their navigation tool, they explore whatever they choose."
The presentation takes them to video tutorials, websites and even learning games that provide more information on the subject area they are exploring. It takes all year to go from level one to level six in one of the subject-matter areas.
What Osborne found is that a large number of the children are staying with their project instead of bouncing around to several. However, some students find the experience so exciting, they want to explore all of the subjects.
Osborne’s students are combining the LSU AgCenter’s grant-funded Reading to the Heart literacy curriculum with computer-assisted learning to help them complete 4-H projects at school and at home.
"We’re focusing on literacy enrichment with the grant, but we’re also bringing that into the 4-H program," Osborne said. "This has given us greater visibility and helped establish greater collaborations with the schools."
(This article was published in the winter 2012 issue of Louisiana Agriculture magazine.)
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture