Outreach Steps for K–12 Teachers
This information is meant for teachers or staff at the K-12 level who are interested in educating their students about other countries and regions worldwide. Studying abroad is an effective way for students to develop global awareness and to learn more about the world. People who go abroad often have a profound experience that remains with them forever and influences their life.
Many teachers have studied abroad as students; the information in this section of the site is designed for teachers to be able to make presentations on their own. We also provide information that can be given to returned study abroad students who may be able to come and present at K-12 schools and/or in classrooms.
Steps to Bring Returning Study Abroad Students to Your School
Start with the Study Abroad office at a local university or college campus to find out if they have a study abroad outreach plan or program for global issues, international relations, visiting local schools, etc. (e.g. a program where university students visit K-12 schools).
- If they do, they can connect you to a student and provide you with some advice on planning a presentation with them.
- If no such program exists, you may still be able to get general suggestions and/ or contacts to resources that can help, including returned students or information about other schools which may have such a program.
In the event that there is no Study Abroad office on local campuses or the Study Abroad office is unable to help you get closer to your goal, here are a few suggestions:
- On your own, contact students who have studied abroad to organize and speak during presentations promoting study abroad.
- Enlist the help of group members at your school who have expertise and potential contacts relevant to similar outreach. Pay particular attention to faculty members in Education, International Business, or other International Studies and Area Studies Programs.
- Use the resources on this site to do the presentation yourself. These resources include PowerPoint presentations that have been created as customizable templates for your own presentations about international study. You may personalize these presentations with your own information or by adding and removing particular slides as you see fit. There are five different presentations, targeting 4-year college/university students, students at community colleges, high school, middle school and elementary school.
You may personally use this information if you plan to give an outreach presentation or provide this to a college student who has volunteered to give an outreach presentation at your school.
Download our Outreach Presentation plan sheet. This Outreach Presentation Plan is designed to help you in planning your presentation.
Consider using one of our customizable PowerPoint presentations. These PowerPoint presentations are available on this site under the Presentations link. They have been created as customizable templates for your own presentations about international study. You may personalize these presentations with your own information or by adding and removing particular slides as you see fit. There are five different presentations, targeting 4-year college/university students, students at community colleges, high school, middle school and elementary school.
Warm-up activities for PowerPoint presentations. Before beginning the official presentation, warm-up activities can be used to introduce students to the concepts of study abroad and cultural appreciation. The activities are available on this site under Outreach Materials: Presentation. They target elementary, middle, and high school students.
Think about your audience. As you plan your session, think about who your audience is, how you will accomplish your objectives and how to keep your audience engaged. For example:
- Who will I be speaking to?
- What do they know about my topic already?
- What will they want to know about my topic?
- What do I want them to know by the end of my talk?
Make sure that the location where you are presenting has the technology or other tools you may need (e.g., projector, internet access, etc.) Make sure that each team member can contribute to the planning and delivery of your presentation.
Incorporate interesting souvenirs. Souvenirs from your trip are indispensable for a quality presentation. At heart, this is a personal reflection of your trip and something the audience can see and hold is essential to illustrating the difference in culture.
Planning grade specific presentations. For example: When presenting to elementary and middle school level audiences, try to balance lecturing with Q & A and group participation. Break things down into 10-15 minute segments. Incorporate VKAT (visual, kinesthetic, auditory and tactile) communication as much as possible in your presentation especially with elementary grade levels.
Again, see the PowerPoint presentations available on this site, which are specifically geared toward elementary, middle school, high school, and 4-year university and community college students.
Consult resources. A variety of resources are available on this site under the additional resources link. Here you will find additional resources for teachers which include book lists, classroom activities, websites, etc. targeting elementary, middle, and high school students. You will also notice additional resources for parents and students which include book lists, computer games, etc. also targeting elementary, middle, and high school students.
Be aware of logistics. In your correspondence with principals and teachers, make note of logistical issues for your presentation including time allowed for your presentation, number of students expected, classroom location, directions, parking availability and access to multimedia resources.
The following are guidelines for presenting K-12 outreach presentations. This information can be used by you personally if you are planning on giving an outreach presentation or be provided to a college student who has volunteered to give an outreach presentation in your classroom.
Involve the audience by asking occasional questions. Hypothetical questions are best as they show the gap between cultures. Try to ask genuine questions to which you do not already know the answer and show interest in any replies. Leave time for the audience to think. Try to avoid answering your own questions or telling members of the audience that their answers are wrong. Audience members should feel a sense of accomplishment after answering questions, knowing that they have contributed to the presentation.
Pause occasionally to ask if audience members have questions for you. You can also pause occasionally to ask if anyone has any questions for you. If a question disrupts the flow of your talk too much, you can say that you will answer it later (but don't forget to do it!). Before you ask for questions, make sure you are ready to pick up your presentation again when the Q & A session has finished.
Use visual aids. To make a presentation livelier and help audience members follow your presentation. Many issues are communicated much more clearly with visual aids than through speech alone.
The two most common forms of visual aid are overhead transparencies and computer slide shows (e.g. PowerPoint). Objects that can be displayed or passed around the audience can also be very effective and often help to relax the audience. Some speakers give printed handouts to the audience to follow as they speak. Others prefer to give their handouts at the end of the talk, because they can distract the audience from the presentation.
After the presentation is completed, it is important to provide feedback to the presenter so that they can further refine and improve their presentation for the next time. Review the overall success of the presentation as well as planning issues, collaboration with contacts/ advisors, and other logistical issues.
You can download our presenter evaluation form here. These evaluations can be used by K-12 faculty who will be present at the outreach presentation.
After a presentation, K-12 teachers should maintain strong communication with study abroad advisors and/ or student presenters to encourage collaboration in the future. Given that school and student demographics, interests and resources often change, it is important that presenters be encouraged to consider ways to make their presentations more innovative, attractive and relevant to a particular audience.
We hope that you found this information useful. We welcome your questions, comments, and useful resources you'd like to share! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.