DisinformACTION! – Training Teachers

DisinformACTION! – Counter Climate Change Disinformation through youth E-participation” – Teacher trainings in Spain

The teacher training sessions conducted by EuroMuévete aimed to empower educators with the knowledge and skills necessary for implementing the Climate Change Ambassadors methodology in their schools.  Two offline training sessions were organized on the 18th of March, attended by 20 participants in total. 

The decision to conduct the offline training in 2 different highschools from Antequera was strategic, considering the following factors:

  • as NGO we focus on rural areas, we do our Erasmus+ projects in villages, so we decided to collaborate with schools from outside the capital to include teachers with less opportunities since there are more trainings in the capital;
  • we also decided to conduct the two trainings in the same day because since is far away from the capital it was more effective to divide our team, so one of us went to one school and the other one went to the other school but in the same village;
  • The last decision was to organize these trainings the last week of March because it is the last week before Easter holidays and the teachers have more time to attend a 4 hour course.

Objectives of the training:

  • Presentation of methodology: Educators were introduced to the Climate Change Ambassadors methodology along with its activities.
  • Implementation tips: Practical tips and tricks were shared based on EuroMuévete’s experience with previous school workshops.
  • Simulation activities: Various activities included in the methodology were simulated, providing hands-on experience for better implementation.
  • Teacher implementation Stage: The requirements and expectations of the teacher implementation stage were clearly explained.
  • Exchange of best practices: The training encouraged the exchange of good practices related to non-formal education methods.

 

Critical online citizens

Before starting with the first chapter, we decided to do an activity to get to know each other, in which they had to say their name and field, for example: Manuel Rios, geography teacher. Along with this game we explain the aim of the ice-breakers and when to use it, so in some cases they are not going to need it as they already know each other and in other cases maybe it will be needed to change the atmosphere in the group.

For the activity “Climate change: What is real?” We asked the teachers if they knew the differences between the concepts to be worked on in this activity: misinformation, disinformation and factual information. Some of the teachers knew the difference between these concepts but some of them did not know about it, so after this first approach we presented the definitions and they did the first task of having to choose among six headlines  to which type of information it belonged, for this they discussed with each other and as a result all the participants selected the corrected answer.

To make sure all the teachers understood it we link this activity with the last one of chapter 1 “Checklist: combat misinformation and disinformation” where they had it to create together a checklist of things each of them can do in order to correctly identify disinformation and misinformation and combat it. This way they can have a checklist they can use as a guideline, when they are doing this activity in their classes, to help the students find out what they know.

Effective Communication

In this chapter we focused more on the ice-breaker “broken phone” than in the previous chapter because this activity was a good example of how bad communication can lead to misinformation and how easy it is to misrepresent information. With the second activity we pay more attention to offline communication and with the third one we work more on online communication. Finally, we introduced Kahoot, a digital tool that in this case was known to almost all of our participants. In this chapter, teachers have acquired the necessary knowledge about communication styles and the importance of effective communication that will enable them to train a generation of young climate activists and responsible digital citizens.

Climate Change Ambassadors

Teachers are a very important part of the adolescents’ development phase, so with the aim of turning young people into climate ambassadors, as a first approach we had a talk with teachers about the civic engagement of young people in climate action, to find out what teachers thought about the new generation, whether or not they showed commitment and how they could motivate them.

In this part, we were interested in knowing more about the teachers’ point of view, what other campaigns they knew, what they thought about the way we had proposed to carry out a good online campaign, etc.

Digital tools for e-participation

Despite having mentioned and even included digital tools in the previous chapters, the aim of this last chapter is to teach teachers other basic tools that they can use in their classes to make them more interactive and that even their students can use at home for personal purposes. In our case Canva is a well known digital tool here in Spain, everybody among students and teachers know about it, but in the case of Mentimeter not a lot of people use it here, so it was new for some of our participants.

Teacher implementation

In the first part of this project, the national organizations had to deliver the Methodology Climate Change Ambassadors with the objective of reaching 120 local students, but this part is even more important as it helps to spread this methodology to teachers from different educational institutions all over Spain, which have committed to organizing at least one workshop with a minimum of 30 students within six weeks of their training. These workshops will apply the Climate Change Ambassadors methodology, featuring practical sessions based on non-formal teaching methods.. 

  • The implementation process begins with an initial research phase, where students are required to fill out an online questionnaire prior to the workshop. Subsequently, the workshop unfolds, with participants applying the methodologies acquired during training.
  • Post-workshop, a concluding research phase takes place, involving a comparable online questionnaire for students. This phase enables us to evaluate the impact of their efforts.
  • Teachers are anticipated to furnish reports on their workshop outcomes within seven days of completion, delivering crucial feedback on the efficacy of the methodology.

    “DisinformACTION! – Counter Climate Change Disinformation through youth E-participation” – National workshops based on the methodology

    DisinformACTION! – Counter Climate Change Disinformation through youth E-participation” – National workshops based on the methodology

    Together with the El Palo Institute between 5-14 of June 2023 we have organized the workshops as part of the project “DisinformACTION! – Counter Climate Change Disinformation through youth E-participation”.

    The workshops aimed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to identify and counter misinformation and disinformation surrounding climate change, while also empowering them to find their voice and stand up for issues related to climate change.

    The workshops were conducted using an interactive and participatory approach. The methodology involved the following steps:
    a. Selection of participating schools based on their interest and commitment;
    b. Signing a collaboration protocol with the schools, stating all the details of the collaboration;
    c. Conducting a qualitative research among the students through pre and post questionnaires, designed to measure the level of knowledge and confidence in the topics before and after the workshops;
    c. Facilitation of the workshop sessions in each country designed to be engaging, informative, and age-appropriate.
    d. Use of multimedia resources, group discussions, case studies, and interactive activities to enhance learning.

    The workshop covered the following chapters:
    Chapter 1: Critical online citizens
    Chapter 2: Effective online communication
    Chapter 3: Climate Change Ambassadors
    Chapter 4: Digital tools for e-participation

    The order of the chapters is different from the application stage, as during the process of creating the methodology and activities, the partners noticed that it is more logical to switch two of the chapters (3 and 4).

    The workshops were delivered by experienced facilitators who combined their expertise on the topics with pedagogical skills. The sessions were designed to be interactive, fostering active student participation. The delivery approach included several non-formal education methods, among which:
    a. Engaging multimedia presentations to convey information effectively.
    b. Group discussions to encourage critical thinking and knowledge sharing.
    c. Hands-on activities to enhance understanding and application of concepts, as well as different digital tools.
    d. Icebreakers and team building activities.
    e. Debates, simulations.

    EuroMuévete partnered up with 1 school from Málaga and we reached 135 students from 6 classes, aged 15-19 years old. We applied the previously developed Climate Change Ambassadors Methodology, split into 2 days (since all the activities last around 4 hours, it was too much for just 1 day, which is why we agreed with the schools to have 2 hours in one week, and 2 hours the next week). The first part was chapter 1 and 2, that day we explained to them what disinformation, misinformation, factual information, climate change and online campaigns are and then we made some activities to put into practice what we have taught. We left the last part of chapter 2 (the quiz) for the next session with the aim of reminding students of the concepts they have already seen at the same time we introduced one of the digital tools, Mentimeter. The second day we worked in chapters 3 and 4, where we explained civic engagement and digital civic engagement by youth and we gave examples of different types of engagement, such as creating a new campaign, becoming an active member in an existing campaign or becoming an active supporter by simply actively sharing information. From the surveys we conducted after the workshops, we have gathered the following results:
    – The majority verify the story before sharing it, understand why it is important to consult different media, are careful about the language they use online and think that disinformation/misinformation about climate change is very dangerous and young people should use their voice to fight it.
    – However, most students are not entirely comfortable sharing their opinions online, even in person. Therefore, if they see something online that they do not agree with, they simply ignore it and do not comment on it.
    – In contrast to the surveys we conducted before the workshops began, in the subsequent surveys, in general, almost everyone was able to answer the difference between misinformation and disinformation, at the same time, they were able to name different ways in which you can say that an online publication or article is a fake news.
    – Almost 90% responded well to the question on the definition of climate change and to the question on effective online communication.
    In terms of experience, the highest responses were that they did like the workshops, that they more or less understood how to identify and counter climate change disinformation/misinformation, that they do feel they learned new skills, that the digital tools presented were interesting and that they will behave differently online as a result of the workshops.

    Another part of the project will be training for teachers. Follow us for new opportunities.

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