Hilario's Theory of Technology Infusion. Dark thoughts early morning

clip_image002SAN FERNANDO CITY: 23 November 2013. I'm typing this in this dark mezzanine floor of this family room in Sea & Sky Hotel in the City of San Fernando in La Union, with only the screen of my Lenovo laptop illuminating itself. I sit yoga-like. On my crossed legs, I'm typing using an external keyboard, whose keys I don't see at all. It's 0250 hours, Saturday, and we are in La Union as consultants of UMIC International for the DAR project called ARCCESS, short for Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services.

We means Butchoy Espino, Dormie del Carmen and I; we are a team; it just happens that I am the facilitator of the training on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and I finished yesterday 2 training sessions, the first at the offices of the Atlas Mabuna MPC in Lasip, and the second at the offices of the Progressive MPC in Oraan East in San Fabian, both in Pangasinan.

How can I type when it's dark and I can't see the keys on my external keyboard? It's easy – my fingers have memorized the home keys so much so that I can type without looking, not to mention that the computer keyboard has raised dots on the f and j keys and I just have to feel them to get my home keys right. And how do I save my file? I use the mouse to click on the icon Save; I also use it to move back and forth the cursor when I lose my bearings or when I make a mistake with the keys Enter (to end a train of thought) and Backspace (to delete). Typing in the dark dramatizes the fact that I learned to type more than 50 years ago when my cousin Manang Lucing, mother of my favorite nephew Santi, taught me how to type with her husband Manong Mulong's Remington typewriter. And why did I have the grand idea of learning how to type? It must have been after I learned, in 4th year high school, that my hidden talent was creative writing.

In the ARCCESS consultancy, where we are supposed to teach the DAR farmers how to decide for themselves, we are not teaching them technologies, or how to do this or that. Butchoy is finishing today his 4th training session on Nutrient Management, for the Santa Cecilia class. When we teach the DAR farmers about fertilizers, soils, soil tests, essential plant nutrients, we are not simply lecturing on the science of those but we are providing them alternatives to action.

I'm typing this first draft anyway; I always revise, so no problem - and, of course, I will revise not in the dark but in the light. Light or dark, it's just important to catch your thoughts before they fly away forever.

Yes, back to my topic IPM. I begin the session with a Christmas card, which I created myself using Word 2013 and printing on my HP DeskJet 2060 Advantage on color paper. It's all balloons, and I tell my audience I'm giving them an advanced Christmas gift of balloons. I ask them to count – 10 balloons – and then to note the middle (11th) balloon and what it contains, which are the words Farmer's Choice.

Farmer's Choice is something I coined early this month to distinguish the essence of our farmer training from other farmer trainings conducted here or abroad yesterday and years past. I have always been a wide reader, and especially now with the advent of the Internet, whose universe of information and intuition is ever increasing, so I know that there has never been a Farmer's Choice training of any kind in the world. We teach the farmers the technologies, yes, but we emphasize and keep on telling them that there are alternatives to those technologies, and that it is up for them to decide which option to adopt.

This is radically different from the Theory of Technology Diffusion of Everett Rogers where you are 100% sold on your technology and you want it 100% bought by your target client, in this case, the farmers. You don't have a choice and neither does the farmer. You are convinced that science has shown that this technology is better than the others, so you do a hard sell. Science & technology taken as one is always a hard sell in the Philippines. This time, no. For the first time in the history of technology diffusion anywhere, we are not selling the technology - we are selling the choice, Farmer's Choice. We tell the farmers this is how this technology works, and this other one, and it's up to you to adopt which one. In contrast to Roger Everett's, I would like to call it Frank Hilario's Theory of Technology Infusion. You can't have Farmer's Choice without Technology Infusion.

Why are we doing this? It's our response to the terms of reference of our consultancy with the DAR. It's our practical translation of what we are supposed to do with the farmers. Just to give credit to whom credit is true, let me be clear that Farmer's Choice is a concept that came from us, not from the DAR.

So, yesterday, I enjoyed those 2 training sessions with 2 different groups of farmers, many of those who attended being female. Would you like to attend my class?

After my Christmas card episode, I proceed to the first tarpaulin with all those circles I invented. This time, it's the title tarp, and it says, among other things, IPM. I point out that there are so many balloons surrounding IPM (it's similar to the image they find in my Christmas card), and I say isn't it that all those balloons make learning IPM hard? 10 balloons. So, I say, I will make IPM easier by just teaching them 3 words today. I ask them to guess what those 3 words are, nobody can: Integrated Pest Management. That's called teaching by iteration. I should know my teaching methods. I'm a creative writer and a certified teacher with a Professional Civil Service eligibility.

It's 0345 and I have just typed all those words you see above (originally 963 words), now with very little correction, except to infuse "the Theory of Technology Infusion." It all goes to show that Creative Writing is as good if you can type in the dark.

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