Topic outline

  • General

    This one-day hands-on training activity on several aspects of Ocean Science Communication is organized within the framework of the Ocean Teacher Global Academy (OTGA) of UNESCO/IOC IODE.

    In the context of ocean governance and marine resource management bolstering understanding of ocean science and its possible applications for society at large is the most effective way to trigger concrete actions in favor of a healthier, sustainable ocean. The need for effective ocean science communication is greater than ever given the present day competition for funding resources and involvement from the general public. This will be a hands-on course that looks at techniques and technologies, with a specific focus on digital storytelling and the use of social media, which people working in ocean science can use to develop and implement communication and outreach programs.

    The topics covered are:
    - Ocean science communication: introduction, tools and methods
    - Science communication and storytelling: techniques, digital tools, sharing information and engaging others through social media platforms, and capturing and sharing digital images and video footage
    - Hands-on session

    Learning outcomes:
    - Improved skills in developing narratives for ocean science communication
    - Improved skills in the use of online tools and social networks for science communication
    - Increased knowledge of digital photography and video techniques

    • Part 1: SciComm and Storytelling (60 minutes)

      Storytelling is an ancient art that is increasingly important in today’s crowded, fast-paced digital world. One of the most engaging ways to connect with others about your work is by using basic storytelling techniques. We will review these techniques and organizational structures for forming a narrative, as well as look at best practices in scientific communication for general audiences.


      Learning Outcomes:

      • Participants will develop an understanding for basic story structure.
      • Participants will be able to organize a series of ideas to develop a narrative.
      • Participants will understand how to use online tools to simplify scientific concepts for the layperson.


      Video Session 1

      • Part 2: Pictures speak louder than words, especially in the digital realm (90 minutes)

        These days, with high definition cameras being built into every smartphone and adventure sports popularizing the creation of tough, affordable waterproof cams, it’s getting easier and easier to capture quality footage outdoors and on the go. We will cover the basics of capturing and sharing interesting imagery and footage of your work that will be engaging for your audience.


        Learning Outcomes:

        • Participants will understand basic digital photography principles for capturing images for use in social media.
        • Participants will be able to use at least three basic types of digital video techniques for taking footage to use in digital storytelling.


        Video Session 2

        • Part 3: Your digital toolbox (90 minutes)

          Sharing information is easier than ever thanks to social media. We’ll cover what digital tools and online platforms may the best choice for your program to use to engage others and build awareness of the work you’re doing. We’ll also cover how to set-up and promote specific hashtags for your participants to use during your program or event so that you can easily compile them into a professional looking collaborative account that’s simple to share.


          Learning Outcomes:

          • Participants will be able to identify the most appropriate digital equipment and apps to capture what they need to tell their “story.”  
          • Participants will have a basic understanding of three main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), best practices for engaging audiences on the various platforms, and how to measure impacts through built-in analytic tools on each.
          • Participants will be able to curate a collaborative “social story” using Storify.


          Video Session 3

          • Part 4: Putting it all together (120 minutes)

            Now we will pull all these ideas together in a hands-on session, by working in small groups to develop a brief social media plan and short video (15 seconds) around a single topic. We will close out the day by choosing one video to film and post online, to see the process from start to finish.

          • Extra Resources: Links Mentioned in Presentation(s)

            • Extra Resources: Online Tools and Mobile Apps for Graphic, Photo & Video Editing

              • Extra Resources: Storyboarding Video Pieces

                • Think about: What is the story you are trying to tell?
                • Do you have a "hook" or main idea that will be the focus?
                • Sketch it out Nirst like a comic strip – determine what you would like to lead with and the order in which you will show things
                • Use your storyboard outline to make a shoot list to be sure you get all the footage you will need.
                • Also keep in mind what shots can also be used individually on social media as teasers or stand-alone visuals or quotes on the topic.
                • Extra Resources: Capturing footage

                  • You do not need a super fancy camera these days – many smartphones can now record HD footage that is more than adequate for online use.
                  • GoPros and other action cams are a good choice for wet/harsh environments.
                  • Be aware of sound – especially wind. It can be the hardest thing to try to Nix. Try to find a quiet area with minimal background noise if conducting interviews.
                  • Get a variety of footage – shoot close-ups, get low, and/or climb up high for different perspectives for visual shots
                  • Still images can work too - a “Ken Burns” effect can be used to give sense of movement during the editing/production process.
                  • Extra Resources: Editing footage

                    • Extra Resources: Copyright

                      • The best way to avoid copyright issues: use your own material. Take copyright very seriously!
                      • Copyright is a form of protection provided for original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, graphic and audiovisual creations. "Copyright" literally means the right to copy, but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work.
                      • Posting copyright-infringing content online can lead to the termination of account(s) and monetary damages if a copyright owner decides to take legal action.
                      • Credit anything you use clearly.
                      • Be sure to read usage terms for any free image/footage/music sites (this is serious—you can get sued!).