New Media and Methods for Environmental Tours 2016

As a follow-up to the Environmental Tour preparation workshop in August, DEQP and PADETC volunteers met in Vientiane on 14-17 Dec, 2016 upgraded their methodological skills for another cycle of village and government tours in 2016. The main theme for these tours from February to May 2016 will be Forest Protection and Natural Disasters. Therefore, two GIZ experts, Michael Trockenbrodt and Sebastian Koch, first introduced technical and background information on this topic which participants then discussed and analyzed in small working groups. Ever since 2013, this has become a standard procedure during the tour

preparation workshops.


Next, the volunteers evaluated their experiences with new poster series, theatre and puppet theater performances as well as other games and exercises used during the tours since September 2015. One skill to be improved that has come up repeatedly in recent assessments has to do with learning transfers, i.e. how to use new methods creatively and how to adapt available tools to new contexts.


Therefore, what took center stage of this four-day workshop were new media and methods introduced by Cristina Georgii, ProCEED's new international advisor, and Manfred Oepen, the project's lead consultant for environmental communication and education. The two presented seven tools in theory and in practice that had not been used on Environmental Tours before: giant puppet, cube puzzle, floor board game, magic carpet, FlexiFlan and shadow theatre.


Volunteers partly had an opportunity to practice the new media and methods games and activities before thoroughly discussing and evaluating them against their use value for the tours. When the teams in charge of the village and government tours finally put the scripts for the February-May 2016 tours together, they selected cube puzzle, floor board game, and FlexiFlan as new integral elements.


Cube puzzles are based on images and short texts put on the surfaces of four, six or more cubes which a group of players can arrange so that the images and texts make sense in terms of an environmental message or topic the organizer would like to see addressed.


In board games played on the floor, group of players throw dice and move their symbol on the board according to the number on the dice. If a group symbol stops on the head of a snake, the group has to go back to the snake’s tail, and continues from there in the next round. If a group symbol stops on the foot of a ladder, the group can proceed to the top of the ladder, and continues from there in the next round. Both the snakes and the ladders carry environmental messages that the groups should read aloud or environmental questions that the group has to answer correctly in order to move up the ladder or not move down the snake. The first group to reach the end of the board wins.


FlexiFlan means flexible figures and objects that can be moved around and arranged on a flannel board at least 100 x 75 cm. This tool kit is good for presenting facts about a given environmental issue using a story telling approach. It works best with rural communities, children and youth when the figures and objects are familiar to the audience so that people easily understand core messages. FlexiFlan can be easily and cheaply produced: all you need is flannel, a board, plywood or cardboard, Velcro tape or glue mixed with sawdust, and color to paint the figures. The tool can be used by the volunteers to address environmental issues or problems, but it can also be used by villagers to explain their perspective or a solution to a given problem.


ProCEEd will produce cube puzzle, board games and FlexiFlan sets, a poster series, and special theatre and hand puppet plays, all related to the 10 major facts of forest protection and natural disasters, before the tours start in the end of February 2016.




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