[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: NFC: Adopt-A-Tank fine tuning

The idea of pre-packaging needs to be taken seriously.  Although I am
not a teacher, I have put together several training programs in the
course of my career.  Anyone else who has done this knows it can be a
major pain in the [you know what].  Even more difficult is first
teaching yourself an unknown subject so that you can then teach others.

I am sure there are many educators who appreciate what this group is
about, but they are people (like the rest of us) with limited time and
energy.  The more we can do to make it easier on them, the more likely
they will be to implement it.  There are MANY worthwhile projects for an
educator to explore, but some are easier to implement and maintain than
others.  We need to remember the human factor, that most people tend to
choose the path of least resistance.  The more plug-and-play it is, the
more appealing.

If you doubt this theory, think of the success of Microsoft Windows. 
Bill Gates certainly didn't get rich by selling the best or most
reliable operating systems, he got rich by selling a product that is
"easy" for the average person to use (who cares how expensive it is or
how often it crashes).  I will stop myself here, before I get too far
off the subject.

This may be a non-profit organization, but that doesn't mean it couldn't
benefit from some thoughtful marketing.


Chris Hedemark wrote:
> Tony wrote:
> > It could just be a time factor as well. Most schools are getting ready
> > to shut down for the summer (if they haven't already done so), and the
> > nature centers I have approached have schedules that would make a
> > military commander blanch. My eagerness to see some projects start up
> > has led to a certain degree of impatience on my part, but I do not want
> > to turn off prospective project supporters through constant pestering. I
> > think by showing them that the NFC is always there to help will
> > eventually lead to more positive responses.
> This isn't the time of year to start new tanks, but it is an excellent
> time of year to plant the seed that you will sow in the fall.  Get
> educators thinking about it now, and actually doing it in september.  If
> you wait much longer than that it will be too cold in many areas to go
> collecting to stock the tank.
> > There are a lot of ways in which the program can be utilized, and it was
> > written in a way that attempts to make that fact known. I think it is
> > important to make it known that NFC does not intend to control the
> > adopt-a-tank projects, just be there on a continual basis to provide
> > support in any way it can. Ideally, the projects should eventualy be
> > self sufficient and NFC's importance as a resource should not be
> > overlooked.
> It would be most informative to hear the perspective of some of the
> people who expressed interest early on and later went cold to it.  As an
> enthusiast, I would personally prefer something like the current model.
> Having worked with educators (when I worked in a pet shop) to set up
> tanks, my experience has been that they want something packaged for
> them.  I even recall being asked if I knew of any pre-packaged lesson
> plans about fish.  In any case, we can only speculate how the educators
> are seeing the current presentation.
> > However, should anyone see parts of the adopt-a-tank protocol that they
> > think should be emphasized more (or less) or changed in any way, by all
> > means, please make your thoughts known for discussion. Every little bit
> > will help the future success of the program.
> While it isn't necessarily steering the direction of Adopt-a-Tank, might
> it be valuable to package a few lesson plans for teachers of different
> age groups to use the tank as a teaching tool more effectively?  Most
> teachers probably don't know any more about native fishes than the
> average Joe citizen and might appreciate some of their "homework" being
> done for them.
> > Could be in some cases, but the program has really only been around for
> > a month or two.
> Wow, really?
> > But perhaps you're right, maybe more attention from NFC
> > will help get things rolling. I think once more projects and their
> > accomplishments are made visible on the web site, greater interest will
> > follow.
> Not only on the web site, but in the media.  Local news shows love to
> put the occaisional public service story on the air, to help lighten
> people up after delivering all the bad news of the day.  Invite camera
> crews and journalists on collection trips.  Or when the teacher is doing
> a lesson plan maybe.  Getting the TV news to cover it would be more of a
> challenge but getting someone from the local paper to come out should be
> easy.
> And I do like that we're offering educators the use of our web site for
> Adopt-A-Tank purposes.  This helps them and us both.
> I'd like to revisit an idea I put out on the table a few weeks ago.
> What do you think of the idea of making an Adopt-A-Tank video?
> Something that shows how to set the tank up, how to collect fish, how to
> care for the tank, and finally some information about the different
> families of fish that live in the U.S.?  I don't have anything very
> fancy but I have a camcorder and could certainly videotape the setup of
> one tank and also just some background footage for splicing in later of
> local rivers and lakes.  I don't really have the facilities to splice
> the footage into a logical format or narrate over the video footage.  If
> anyone wants to do this kind of "post production" stuff I can send a
> video of the tank setup and some outdoor footage.  Someone with an
> established fish collection would need to do the overview of native fish
> families.  Anyone interested?  Such a tape could be adapted for use
> beyond Adopt-A-Tank.  Maybe it could be used for aquarium society
> presentations, or who knows.


Christian C. Burke
mailto:cburke.fish-head at worldnet_att.net