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Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State:

Challenges & Lessons Learned

Challenges & Lessons Learned

There will undoubtedly be challenges and lessons learned as the project outreach continues, but some basic lessons have already been encountered:

  • It is never too early to contact outreach partners. Organizations often have a lengthy process for approving involvement in public television projects, and longer lead time often yields a greater level of partner participation. Ongoing communication with partners is equally important.
  • Curriculum developers should begin to develop teaching materials as early as possible in the production process, even based on treatments. That way, if the final production is delivered only weeks before the materials are slated for distribution, as was true for Auschwitz, only refinements will be necessary.
  • Provide as many resources as possible electronically. Electronic delivery saves money, and the resources arrive quickly and can be easily re-sent if something is lost. The project found that even when materials were mailed, or e-mailed, to a specific list, requests for additional copies came in for months afterward, and the easiest way to fulfill them was electronically. Electronic communications also enabled this project -- with offices in Los Angeles; Stockbridge, Mass.; and London -- to share ideas and materials efficiently, unfettered by local time differences.
  • An audioconference during which station outreach directors discussed grant opportunities was very effective for disseminating the same message to everyone and answering everyone's questions. Roughly half the participants in the audioconference subsequently submitted grant proposals. The audioconference helped clarify the two grant opportunities and also gave stations a chance to test out ideas and hear other stations' questions. A problem occurred, however, when one individual put the call on hold and never returned, subjecting everyone else to the music on that participant's radio station. For future audioconferences. we would address issues of audioconference etiquette up front.
  • Every subject matter brings with it unique sensitivities and attracts organizations with conflicting viewpoints and great champions. Learn what they are, and learn from them. In the case of Holocaust education, the continuum ranges from teaching the specific contextual history of the Holocaust to making the study relevant for students' lives today. "Guidelines for Teaching about the Holocaust," issued by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, helped the project balance these two goals. The subject of sensitivities underscores yet another reason to start the project outreach as early as possible: An early start improves understanding of different points of view about the content and helps you reach consensus on the direction the project will take.

In this section:

    Auschwitz: Inside the
    Nazi State

        Goals & Audience

        Outreach Elements


>      Challenges &
        Lessons Learned

    Building Big

    Culture Shock



    In Search of Shakespeare

    Lewis & Clark:
    The Journey of the
    Corps of Discovery

    My Journey Home

    The New Americans

    Poetic License


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