Reflections on My First DL
2020-07-13 16:23:37.000 – Nicole Tallman, Weather Observer/Education Specialist
Today I led my first distance-learning program since being hired as the Education Specialist. After many days fine-tuning my presentation and rehearsing to others and myself today was finally the day! In some ways, preparing for this DL was much like preparing a lesson for a classroom. 2 years of teaching definitely prepared me for this first step!
After creating the content, I had my presentation peer reviewed by coworkers. They were able to give me pointers on how to captivate the audience further and caught the mistakes I was overlooking. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes (or even a third) to overlook your work!
Once the presentation was set, I ran through the slides several times to solidify what I wanted to talk about for each one and made sure to keep it fun and entertaining! Some tips that I learned was to have an interesting background of a photo or video, little amount of text, and if possible use a prop! These tricks were things that I had noticed from my teaching days as well.
Weather Observer Nicole Tallman using the sling psychrometer during an ob
Once I felt that my DL program was perfect I rehearsed one more time and then I was set! This morning I refreshed a few key points and then it was time to put all of my hard work to the test. Today’s program was a program on Extreme Weather Obs where I featured how and why we as weather observers take hourly weather observations. This program was for one of our sponsors, MathWorks! I walked my viewers through the instruments used in weather observation as well as some of the importance of being a manual weather station at 6288’ elevation.
A photo used in my DL of the founding fathers of MWObs
Once I pushed through the initial nerves of presenting in front of a (unseen) crowd through Zoom, I was back to my old habits of teaching what I am passionate about. I always found it so important to be passionate while leading classes. This energy is what connect to your students or participants and helps them get involved in the content you are conveying! I am very passionate about MWObs and our job up here on the summit as weather observers and I hope that was shown through my DL!
A chart used in my DL to explain one of the reasons why Mount Washington sees severe weather
I get to continue practicing these skills moving forward for my next program (tomorrow’s program on Tropical Cyclones), as well as future programs like Science in the Mountains. I absolutely love to educate and to get people excited about weather and climate and hope that I influence my viewers through these DLs.
Nicole Tallman, Weather Observer/Education Specialist