Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department

 

Date of this Version

June 2004

Comments

Published in The Journal of Agricultural Education, volume 45 (2004), pages 1-10. Used by permission.
The Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) is a publication of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Its back issues are available online at http://pubs.aged.tamu.edu/jae/

Abstract

What began as a meta search for 4-H curricula available on the Internet became a phenomenon that has served more than 18,000 Nebraskans in an amazing example of creating partnerships; blending resources; and celebrating 4-H, youth, and technology. Welcome to the Nebraska 4-H Cyber Fair.

When the Nebraska 4-H Office conducted an extensive review of Web-based curricula and CD-ROMs created by Cooperative Extension and 4-H nationwide, it became apparent that considerable material was available for delivery by computer. Although some of the material discovered was Nebraska-based, it was not necessarily known to Nebraskans involved in 4-H programming.

Nebraska youth in public schools benefit from the third best student/multimedia computer ratio in the country (Nebraska Department of Education, 2001). In order for 4-H programming to appeal to this technologically adept generation, multimedia delivery must be added to volunteer training and provided as curricula resources. Obviously, the newly found 4-H material needed to be shared with 4-H youth, their volunteer leaders, and all Cooperative Extension personnel involved with Nebraska 4-H.

There was a natural fit between the need to inform 4-Hers about the materials available for the computer and the opportunity to create a new "image" for 4-H at the Nebraska State Fair. Nebraska 4-H sought a way to infuse a new image into its presence at the Nebraska State Fair, and the use of technology at the State Fair as an interactive, educational tool presented an opportunity to do so. The Nebraska State Fair staff was extremely receptive to the idea of dedicating a building to Nebraska 4-H for technology with the understanding that it would be open 12 hours a day for the entire 11 days of the State Fair.

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