Imagine this, you are attending a presentation on sexuality, and you see on the agenda that it is a 4 hour lecture only presentation. Yawn…. followed by stretching. Who doesn’t tune out once or twice over a marathon lecture? Even an interesting and intriguing subject such as sexuality can allow your imagination to run away with you after some time. It can be a challenge to convey messages about sexuality for a number of reasons. Thankfully, there are alternatives and given that there are, it is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel—this is where media can be employed in education. This concept, using digital media, has been discussed over and over with multiple sources. Teaching Sexual Health, a program based in Canada, warns that “it is important to find the right media and to use it effectively to ensure student learning is optimized” (Teachingsexualhealth.ca, Digital Media, retrieved Feb. 6, 2013).
Adult learning theory (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2005) suggests that sometimes the best way to teach is through others who have already learned and/or mastered the matter at hand, such as peers. Combining the use of digital media, peer education is at our finger tips due to the age of information. For example, when teaching parents how to tend to a lesbian, gay, or bisexual parent who has just came out, hearing from another parent who has been through the emotional process can ameliorate this situation. “Lead with Love” is a film posted online which does exactly this and can be at leadwithlovemovie.com or leadwithlovefilm.com. Effective and accurate digital media is an option to break up lecture and add emotion back into the learning process.
Simple exercises can always follow lecture or digital media. A quick and popular exercise which is useful with the example above is “Think, Pair, Share.” In this scenario, attendees will be presented with something to think about, possibly a question or scenario, followed by encouragement to pair with someone else in the audience and then discuss that which crossed their mind. Depending on the audience and the goal of the presentation, educators can tailor their “Think, Pair, Share” exercise to them.
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F. & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The Adult Learner, Sixth Edition: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. Routledge: New York, NY.
Lead with Love. (2011). Retrieved from http://leadwithlovemovie.com/index.html on Feb. 25, 2013.
Teaching Sexual Health. (n. d.). Digital media. Retrieved from http://teachers.teachingsexualhealth.ca/teaching-tools/instructional-methods/digital-media on Feb. 6, 2013.