First impressions

Hey all,

Haven’t ever blogged before.. this is new!! Just wanted to add a quick note to let you know how I am feeling about I-swoop: somewhat anxious, but excited as well.

Why anxious? Because this is going to be a new level by which I take my interpretation. For the past few years, I have been struggling with “loosening the reins” on my programs, and trying to adopt the facilitated dialogue approach. I tend to consider myself an “infotainment” type of ranger, only now starting to crack into facilitated dialogue. I believe it is possible to teach an “old dog” new tricks, but to break habits is going to take time, dedication, and practice. I’m a bit nervous of stepping out of my comfort zone, and really having the visitor take over the program, to direct their own learning.

I am excited about using the I-swoop model, because we will be giving visitors an opportunity to activate their learning in a multi-model inquiry-based manner. I remember how exciting it was for me to using an inquiry based model for learning about water tension (back in winter, 2009). The demonstration was straight forward, but the process by which I learned what water tension was, and be able to then apply my “newly” acquired information really cemented the concept in my mind. I hope I may facilitate the same type of learning for visitors!

That’s it for now…. looking forward to tomorrow’s session!


3 thoughts on “First impressions

  1. I’m with you, Alyssa. Like you, I like to “present” my program, taking the storyteller approach. Our resource has many compelling stories to tell, and letting those stories unfold in an audience participation format will make those stories more relevant to the visitors. This will be a challenge to me as I shift from a one-man show to a group adventure approach.
    An even bigger challenge for me is taking in and understanding the science itself. My old brain is going to have to open itself up mighty wide to accomplish this. That’s the challenge I hope I’m up to. Thanks to Martha, Louise, Nick and Katyana for making it seem possible.


  2. Maybe in the future I’ll explain iSWOOP as like signing up for a stretch class. I hadn’t blogged or tweeted or used Keynote before iSWOOP. I’d never roved with an iPad (though I had done some roving at the Franklin Park Zoo) and I still don’t consider myself excellent at it, but I love the challenge.

    Personally, I like a gentle stretch. Stretch too hard or too far and your muscles get tight and more rigid in response, right? Cool to have a new metaphor.

    Alyssa, in terms of letting the visitors take over the program, I imagine you’ll find a balance, but check out Jennifer Evans’ post from late January 2014 or maybe it was early February 2014 for what happened when she stepped back. And there’s a presentation Brian Forist does on two-way dialogue (a bit different from facilitated dialogue–happy to talk about this at lunch) that is in the resources section that also may be of interest.

    Talk soon,


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