TRAINING YOUR STAFF TO REACH THEIR AUDIENCE: MAKING A RELEVANT CONNECTION CONFERENCE SESSION FOR APPL 2012 Margie Klein NDOW Conservation Educator Certified Environmental Educator & Interpreter Licensed Nevada Teacher Member, Nevada Storytelling Guild Winner of the 2011 Conservation Education Award from The Wildlife Society Program description “Making that all-important connection to the audience is the goal that every education and interpretation staff or volunteer strives for. But how do you make a deeper connection and why do you need to? The information and instruction we give at our public lands can affect people’s lifelong attitudes. Reach your public lands visitors in a relevant way by utilizing some methods from environmental education, as well as some tips from formal educators.” Agenda – Connection – what is it and why do we want it? – How do we teach audience connection? – Training/teaching techniques • Planning • Communication • Delivery Methods – Who is our audience and how do we address them? • Learning Styles – Classroom Management – Tips to make it better – Assessment – Along the way… • Examples _____________________________________ How do we relate audience connection to our staff? Through our training techniques. “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.” - Baba Dioum Tilden’s Ideas… • “Chief aim of interpretation is not instruction, but provocation.” (4th principle) • Provocation new information try new things critical thinking changing attitudes/behaviors • Provocation prompts a response • Provocation via connection CONNECTION = ENGAGEMENT Connection – What? • Getting the audience to develop an awareness of or sensitivity to their surroundings • Our audiences need to be made aware of the resources we preserve / conserve. Environmental Ed precept #1: Awareness Connection – Relevance to Whom? • How does it affect them? • Give information about where the resource came from or how it works. • So they can convey the significance of our resources. Environmental Ed precept #2: Knowledge Connection – How? • Techniques • Give them the skills to find out more on their own • By relating information, they can help their audiences find out more and continue their interest. Environmental Ed precept #3: Skills Connection – Why? • To get others to take action to protect our lands, if they so desire Environmental Ed precept #4: Action E D U C A T I O N origin of the word… educare (Latin) “to bring forth from within” Teaching is helping another person to learn new knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Teaching Techniques • How to Communicate Effectively • How to Develop a Positive Classroom Style • How to Create an Exciting Classroom • How Students Learn • How to Teach Effectively • How to Manage the Classroom • How to Use Assessment Getting Started • Preparations – Necessary for any expedition – Necessary for any worthwhile endeavor • Need to consider: – – – – Date & time Logistics (the site) Materials needed Followup Materials / Supplies Teacher’s Kit The Lessons Displays Props Handouts Posters Presentation / electronic media Student supplies Giveaways / throwaways Exams & score sheets Certificates or cards of completion Emergency number …Snacks? Planning the lesson(s) • Start with a topic • Do research / get background info • Make an outline / agenda – What are the elements you need? • Introduction, Supporting Evidence & Recommendations, Conclusion • • • • Create a presentation Write out a script Gather materials Rehearse Planning the lesson(s) Lesson planning model: Warm-up Introduction Presentation Practice Evaluation Application Gathering & organizing ideas Identify the topic Brainstorm the topic Assemble related materials Separate main and supporting ideas • Develop examples • Organize the lesson • • • • It’s All About Communication “What we've got here is failure to communicate.” Captain, Road Prison 36 Cool Hand Luke 7 Keys to Effective Communication • • • • • • • Have confidence Show genuine interest Organize & clarify your ideas Be clear about your purpose Stay on topic Use a questioning strategy Listen twice, speak once Start the minute they arrive • • • • • • Welcome each individual Smile, handshake, enthusiasm Make a connection Show interest Focus on them Get their name The personal connection • Who are you? – Let your students get to know a little about you. • Keep the conversation limited – Give them a story they can relate to • Not storytelling hour – Not the place for tall tales or fish stories – Or your life story • Remember to ask them about themselves Listen • Remember, we have two ears, one mouth • Give them a chance to ask questions – No such thing as a stupid question – Repeat their question so all can hear – Ask others for their input Clear & correct ideas • Make sure you know your ideas ahead of time • Stay on topic • Guide any discussions • Gently correct misconceptions • State facts • If you don’t know the answer, tell them • Don’t make things up • Be “in” the moment The “parking lot” • In-depth discussions can take place outside of the classroom A Positive Experience Use a positive communication style Positive vs. negative styles Positive Negative Welcoming Cold Friendly Doesn’t listen to others Interested Arrogant Genuine Confident Patronizing Unsure Verbal communication The way you speak Tips: Think before you speak Choose neutral and understandable language Vary the tone of your voice Restate questions Allow student feedback Nonverbal communication The way you act Tips: Eye contact Smile Open gestures Be relaxed but confident Move around the classroom Use 7 principles of instruction • Encourage student – instructor interaction • Encourage cooperation • Encourage active learning • Give prompt feedback • Emphasize time on task • Communicate high expectations • Respect different learning styles Being fair and objective • Leave your personal opinions at home • A teacher is a facilitator of learning • Not the place for war stories, brags, or sermons Downplay the negative messaging • “You can” works better than “Do not” Avoiding boredom… NDOW volunteer! 4 guidelines • • • • Make it exciting Be practical Find out how things work Use technology The “Hook” No! Use props • • • • • • • Equipment Accessories Safety items Demonstrations Displays Posters Pictures Other materials • • • • Handouts Examples Giveaways Throwaways The instructor! • Apparel • “Flair” • Acting out a part Using technology: be prepared • What’s available? • Do you know how to use it? – Try it out • Back-up plan if it doesn’t work… Addressing the Ways Students Learn Learning Styles Learning styles are the means by which learners extract information from their surroundings through the use of their five senses. How will they learn what you have to teach? Multiple Intelligences • • • • • • • • Spatial Linguistic Logical-mathematical Bodily-kinesthetic Musical Interpersonal Intrapersonal Naturalistic (Howard Gardner) 4 main learning styles: VAKT • Visual: “I can see it.” • Auditory: “I can hear it.” • Kinesthetic: “I am doing it.” • Tactile: “I am touching it.” Academic Practical Techniques for the 4 styles • Visual – Note-taking – Presentations – Body language Techniques for the 4 styles • Auditory – Lectures – Discussions – Speakers – Speaking methods • tone of voice • repetition • questioning Techniques for the 4 styles • Kinesthetic – Hands-on – Moving – Sharing – Volunteer for participation Techniques for the 4 styles • Tactile – Handling items – Interacting with objects – Taking things apart Each student or every student? Use a combo of techniques to cover all learning styles • Include some of each in every class: – Reading materials – Lecture – Displays – Videos – Discussions – Hands-on demonstrations – Practice sessions Teaching Techniques & Strategies Direct instruction - Grab their attention Tell them what they need to know Model concepts & skills Check understanding Tie things together Apply new knowledge Guided Instruction -Discussion sessions -Case studies -Learning centers -Simulations -Practical applications Delivery methods • • • • • • • • • • Opening statement Story Photographs Videos Powerpoint presentation Sounds Props Role-playing Discussions Practice Focus • • • • • Follow agenda & goals Stay on topic Guide discussions Keep pace Control distractions “Tell them what they need to know, tell them again, then ask them what you told them.” Pacing Check the time Check the agenda Try to keep on schedule Wrap up or add a discussion to speed up or slow down • Flexibility ok – address goals • • • • Utilizing “flow” What is it? Student feedback Checks for understanding Encourages participation Connects student – teacher - material Teachable moments • Take advantage of spontaneous occurrences – Something unexpected • May illustrate a concept • Gets students to think • Adds to understanding – The AHA moment • They GET it Crowd Management What can you do? • Set up the classroom so you can see what’s going on • Tell students what they’ll be doing ahead of time • Move around the class to check student interactions • Have rules for movement in and out of the classroom and for behavior • Stick to the rules • Monitor results and adapt techniques Assessment • Who / What – The students – The course – The instructors • When / How – Before class – At the beginning of class – During class – At the end of class – After class Assessment = Evaluation Have they acquired the following? • • • • Awareness Knowledge Skills Ability to take action A combination of techniques assesses all of these. Pre-test / Post-test How much do you know about the subject before the class? How much have you learned from the class? A survey of knowledge Question & Quiz as you go along Tell them, tell them again, then ask them what you told them. Checking comprehension Practical experience “Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.” Chinese proverb Help me to do it. Checking application of knowledge to skills Evaluation • Let your students tell you: – How was the site? – How was the overall atmosphere? – How did the teaching techniques work? – Were the props / handouts useful? – Did they learn what they expected to learn? – Did they learn something new? Retrofit • Instructors review: – Logistics • Classroom set-up • A/V materials – Content • What went well • What didn’t work • Student comprehension – Classroom management problems – Communication MAKE CHANGES Final thoughts… • Pump up the Connection – Teaching Tips – Storytelling Secrets – Polishing the Performance Final thoughts… • Build the Excitement – Market – Advertise – Get the word out “Teachers have the power to encourage or discourage their students.” Aim for the … AHA! moment Front-line communicators • Remember, YOU represent your agency!
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