Tech Savvy Ways to Upgrade your Peace Corps Week Presentation
Riley Graebner, China 2002–2003; Romania, 2003–2005
Vivian Nguyen, Niger 2003–2005
In the lead-up to Peace Corps Week, thousands of dedicated returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) will prepare to share their Peace Corps experience with students, groups, and the general public. Many of these Volunteers have chosen to forgo the use of photographs and slides, opting to use PowerPoint presentations instead. As multimedia on the Internet expand, so have the ways in which Volunteers bring the world home to Americans. These include Peace Corps podcasts online video sharing, Internet telephony, and other technology programs.
"I always dreamed about being on NPR," Allison Howard joked as she prepared to record her story "A South African Storm" for the Peace Corps. Like many other returned Volunteers, Allison was looking for a new way to share her Peace Corps experience by reading her story for Volunteer Voices, the Peace Corps’ first podcast. Podcasts are free audio magazines transmitted via the Internet.
Volunteer Voices, stories written and read by RPCVs, is a product of the agency’s Coverdell World Wise Schools, an educational program that provides classroom resources based on the Peace Corps Volunteer experience. Not only is Volunteer Voices a teaching tool for teachers in the United States, but it also represents the changing face of storytelling in the Peace Corps Volunteer community, featuring stories from Paraguay to Mali, from Gabon to Papua New Guinea.
Returned Volunteers can integrate these audio stories into their presentation as a change-of-pace to their own narrative or to inspire students to tell their own story. Also, these stories are a way for teachers and students to continue learning about the Peace Corps in the days and weeks after your presentation.
Online Video Sharing
Free video sharing websites let users upload, view, and share video clips. YouTube, for example, features hundreds of Peace Corps-related videos, including a Volunteer-led tour of a Honduran store, a morning walk to a health clinic in Swaziland, and a video montage of a mother’s trip to visit her daughter serving in Cape Verde.
The videos not only demonstrate tangible ways in which current Volunteers are documenting and sharing their experiences, but also offer a treasure trove of resources for returned Volunteers seeking options to round out their Peace Corps Week presentations.
The multimedia resources available on the Web stretch beyond homemade videos and untamed blogs. They include a plethora of videos made by the Peace Corps honoring its 45th anniversary, post-Hurricane Katrina assistance, and its fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Additionally, World Wise Schools offers country profiles and Women in Development videos, readily available for RPCVs as well as friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteers.
Other Technological Outreach
More and more actively serving Volunteers are using Internet telephony services—such as Skype and Google Talk—to communicate with schools in the United States while still overseas. And Web cameras are allowing students to put a face to letters and e-mails. Returned Volunteers can take advantage of this technology by conferencing in currently serving Volunteers as well as speaking to former high schools and Correspondence Match classrooms that may be across the country.
Some RPCVs are using Google Earth, a program that uses satellite photography to display 3D images of certain parts of the globe. With a few mouse clicks, an audience can get a bird’s-eye view of a former Volunteer’s Peace Corps site.
By using different media for viewing Peace Corps service, returned Volunteers not only improve the quality of their presentations, they also increase the chances that their messages will be internalized by their audience. When you are preparing for a presentation, of course bring along all those artifacts and pictures you have collected throughout your service. But kick it up a notch and include other exciting ways in which you can speak to students and others in your community through the latest technologies available.
Last updated Jan 22 2013
Register Your Participation
Help the Peace Corps demonstrate the impact of the Third Goal.
Registrants will receive a FREE Third Goal Kit to supplement your event or activity.
For more information about Third Goal activities, please contact:
Peace Corps Office of Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services
1111 20th St. NW
Washington, DC 20526