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For Volunteers

Technology | Programming | Creating Visuals | Creating Activities

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer with ISIS. Many of our past volunteers have found the experience to be quite rewarding, not to mention fun!  Below, you will find information on how to successfully design and implement an interactive video program. If you have not already volunteered for a specific program, but you would like to be considered for future opportunities, contact the ISIS coordinator at isis@iu.edu.

Technology

ISIS connects volunteers at Indiana University to schools and community organizations throughout the United States and internationally.

We can connect to any school that has videoconferencing equipment or an internet connect and webcam.  Here at IU, most ISIS programs are held in the two videoconference classrooms located at 201 N. Indiana Avenue (the International Programs building).  Rooms are equipped with video cameras, microphones, a computer, DVD players, and document cameras.  Like other classrooms on the IUB campus, computers can be used to show PowerPoint presentations, videos or other media.

Before programming, the ISIS coordinator arranges a test-call with the requesting organization to lessen the likelihood of technological issues.  In addition, the ISIS coordinator attends all programs to assist the volunteers.

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Programming

  • Build rapport and exaggerate enthusiasm
  • Carefully plan entire lesson
  • Develop & communicate clear performance objectives
  • Focus only on 3-4 main points
  • Change activities every 5-10 minutes
  • Actively involve the learners
  • Triple the number of visuals
  • Wear clothes of solid colors, not white or patterns
  • Keep “eye contact” as much as possible
  • Be creative

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Creating Visuals

  • Use large, bold, simple fonts
  • Use phrases with bullets
  • Use landscape mode
  • Use large margins
  • Use graphics
  • Use pastel, colored paper (never use white paper, as it creates visual static)
  • Use colored background for PowerPoint

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Creating Activities

Activities can be created for students to do before, during or after the program.  Activities in the past have included dance, fill-in the blank worksheets, crafts such as paper lantern making, etc.  Volunteers may develop follow-up materials for the classes.

Activities can also be as simple as asking provocative questions and requesting that your audience asks you a lot of questions.  For all age levels, opportunities for questions should occur throughout the program and not just at the very end.  No matter the subject matter, there should always be time for discussion!

Below is an example of a simple coloring sheet designed for a program on Russian Culture.  Elementary students were asked to create their own designs on the nesting dolls based examples they saw during the program.

Nesting Dolls

In this activity, the presenter made a list of topics that she could discuss about life in Japan. The class voted on which three topics they would focus on during the program.

List of Topics

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“The kids left extremely impressed. Magortu spoke directly to the students and shared experiences they could really relate to. Our Librarian said this (he) was probably the best speaker she had seen in a very long time.” – Skowhegan Area High School, Maine