Invited by Dr. Thayne Dutson, Director, Agricultural Experiment Station and Dr. Scott Reed, Director Extension Service of Oregon State University, Mr. Zeng Yichun, the executive vice president of Central Agricultural Broadcast and Television School (CABTS), Mr. Li Shaohua, division director of Ministry of agriculture, Ms. Li Fanghong and Mr. Wang Ping from CABTS visited USA from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1, 2007. The delegation was accorded a cordial reception from ADEC, Oregon State University (OSU) and New Mexico State University (NMSU).
In OSU, The group met with Dr. Edward Ray, President of OSU, Dr.Janet Poley, President of ADEC, Dr. Thayne Dutson Dean of College of Agricultural Sciences and Director, Agricultural Experiment Station, Dr. Dave King, Department Head and Professor of Agricultural Extension & Experiment Station Communications, Dr. Scott Reed Vice Provost, of Outreach and Engagement and Director, OSU Extension Service and other principals of concerned colleges. We also communicated with experts of Agro-Tech Extension, on-line courses development of natural resources and agricultural education, multimedia animation design during the field visit in OSU. During the time in New Mexico State University(NMSU), the group met with Dr.Waded Cruzado, executive vice president of NMSU, Prof. Lowell Catlett, chief administrative officer, college of agriculture and home economics, Dr. Paul Gutizerrez, director of cooperative extension service, and Dr. Jeanne Gleason, director of Media Productions, and discussed with the courses designers of distance education responsible for extension training of Indian tribe, agricultural economy and marketing, plant environment science, natural resources, fishing and wildlife science etc.
At two universities, the group visited multimedia courses design center, distance education center, video, animation, courseware studio, got detailed information about on-line courses development, distance education extension service, education technical application. In addition, the group had on-line discuss on further cooperation between two sides with OSU, NMSU, ADEC via Internet Video-conference System, and reached some initiative cooperation agreements: CABTS and ADEC will establish a partnership, CABTS and ADEC will exchange visits regularly, CABTS and ADEC will working together on an international publication about agricultural distance learning, CABTS and ADEC will jointly sponsor a conference/workshop in Beijing in distance education, experts from ADEC will be invited to deliver staff training for instructors of CABTS system, some young instructor of CABTS will be sent to OSU and NMSU for short training.
Through the visit and discussions, the group better understood the advanced experiences and pedagogical concepts in USA. American side also got to know more about rural distance education in China and highly praised the achievements acquired by CABTS. The visit achieved the good results.
After the official visit in USA, the group attended the ICDE International Conference in Mexico from Oct.2 to Oct. 5. The Conference sponsored by Monterrey University of Mexico, and was held in Toluca Campus of Monterrey University. The Conference Theme is: 'The Metamorphosis of Distance Education for the third Millennium: Institutions, Programs, Technologies and Roles... the same thing". CABTS submitted two papers titled with 'Digital Strategy of Distance Education in Agriculture in China' and 'Development Trend Distance Education in Agriculture in China'. Ms. Li Fanghong and Mr. Wang Ping on behalf of CABTS presented speeches at parallel meeting. Through the keynote speakers and discussing with experts from other countries, we found that the gap of instructional technical level for distance education is narrow in various areas around world. At present, many countries including some Latin America deliver their training by using traditional ways like TV, radio and etc, at the same time; they are actively exploring new methods using cutting edge technology such as mobile wireless communication. Technology for distance education is not bottleneck any longer, the way for different countries to getting substantial results in distance education is that, varied countries should find their appropriate ways to tailor to the situations of countries and satisfy needs of learners.