Dr. Randall G. Bretz
Assistant Director/Program Manager
Agricultural Satellite Corporation (AG*SAT)
1800 N. 33rd
Lincoln, NE 68583-0747 USA
v: (402) 472-3611
f: (402) 472-9060
Education, continuing or distance
Innovative or improved ways of doing things; More equitable access to technology or electronic information
Supporting Documentation (contact author for more information):
Video, Documentation; Slides/photographs
One of the key factors in the establishment and administration of a distance education network is the timely and efficient distribution of programming information to the clients. The Agricultural Satellite Corporation (AG*SAT) has developed a program information distribution system using Internet which serves thousands of clients across the United States, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.
The benefits of the AG*SAT program information system include the speed of distribution, ease of subsequent distribution of the information, the savings in personnel time, paper and postage and the capability to be timely with program information and quick with corrections.
AG*SAT is a consortium of 42 land grant universities and 2 agencies of the USDA serving thousands of sites in 40 states. The affiliates regularly produce and share programming in the form of credit courses and Extension teleconferences via satellite, computer and other technologies.
The headquarters office, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, collects programming information from the various producers and prepares a course and teleconference description for each. Making use of multiple electronic lists, the information is distributed to two primary contacts in each state, interested parties in the United States and internationally, and to four electronic information networks. In most cases, these contacts and information networks subsequently distribute the program information to faculty and staff on site, as well as faculty and staff in each county of the states involved. The four electronic information networks (WISPLAN in Wisconsin, PENNPAGES in Pennsylvania, National Distance Learning Center in Kentucky, and the Oregon State University Electronic Satellite Guide) make the programming information available to interested parties nation-wide.
The programming information is distributed on a regularly on a monthly basis. Programs of an emergency or urgent nature are announced immediately as are corrections in times, satellite, or other information. In addition to the programming information, AG*SAT institutions also make use of the Internet system for routine business and meeting information, on-line discussions, newsletter distribution and the sharing of general information. By making use of the Internet for the distribution of distance learning program information, AG*SAT saves an estimated $50 to $100 per mailing.