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Opportunities and Barriers Perceived by Secondary School Agriculture Teachers in Implementing the GPS Cows Learning Module

Author: Cosby, A., Trotter, M., Manning, J., Harreveldband, B., Roberts J.

Organisation: Institute for Future Farming Systems, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity, Rockhampton QLD

Published: January 2019

Country: Australia

Research type: Report

Within the agriculture sector the use of digital technologies is rapidly expanding. There is a growing shortage of skilled people considering a career within this sector to support the uptake of agricultural technology. The GPS Cows program is designed to improve secondary school student’s knowledge and skills of emerging agricultural technologies. It highlights a range of opportunities and potential career options available to students in agriculture. This collaborative project combines the expertise and passion of researchers, industry professionals and educators in both Australia and the USA. A pilot workshop was run with ten teachers from nine Queensland and New South Wales secondary schools. Teachers participated in lectures and practical workshops, developed data analysis skills and took part in a World Café style focus group. The focus group findings highlighted that for the GPS Cows program to be implemented in secondary school classrooms, excellent resources from the GPS Cows team are needed, combined with ongoing support and guidance. Nevertheless, the participating teachers felt that their students would both engage and enjoy participating in the GPS Cows program and realise the opportunities the agricultural sector offers.