The main purpose of adventure education practices is to explore, learn, and grow in the areas of personal and interpersonal relationships. Some recognize this as the development of pro-social skills and social emotional learning. (For a more in-depth view, see my Adventure Education Historical Perspective found on the Resources page under Essays & Documents here at FUNdoing.)
Recently I ran into a leadership piece at Forbes Online from Jeff Schmitt that I thought might be good for educators everywhere - at least it's a good reminder of the simple things we can do to encourage pro-social development. Jeff shares 15 Phrases That Build Bridges Between People. Teaching and encouraging these phrases does not take a lot of time, only commitment. Hopefully we are already using them to strengthen the communities we belong to. Here is a quick reference to the phrases. See Jeff's article for his perspective on each phrase.
Jeff and I ask, "What phrases do you use to make people feel more comfortable, motivated, and appreciated?" Share your thoughts in the comments area below.
All the best,
The folks from Digital Media and Learning Research Hub (DLM) commissioned a series of short films that explore the underlying thinking of their six principles of connected learning - interests, peers, youth as producers, networks, shared purpose, and academics. I learned about the films through a DLM blog post Making + Playing + Understanding = Learning (A nice little formula for adventure programming I think...). The post included one of the films, Connected Learning: Play (and links to the other five films). The film "Play" did of course catch my eye. It is essentially an interview with Katie Salen, a game designer and executive director of a non-profit called Institute of Play. After watching the 7-minute film, a number of questions came to mind that I thought would be worth sharing and reflecting upon as an adventure educator. Give this film a look (click on the image or click the word "Play" above) and let me know what you think.
Reflective Questions for the film, Connected Learning: Play
Adventure Education Level:
What are some of your answers? What are some of your questions about the film? Share in the comments.
All the best,
I wish I would have remembered this find a couple weeks ago in the spirit of the Olympics! But, we're still in the wake, so let me share this interesting activity. I see it as a variation, specifically, of Air Traffic Controller found in Back Pocket Adventure from Karl Rohnke and Jim Grout (also a variation of any blindfolded activity where others are guiding the non-sighted).
"The Lost Sport" activity is the culminating event (or sport) of the MOOG (massively open online game) The Lost Ring created, in part, by Jane McGonigal, Ph.D. (author of, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World - I highly recommend the read!! See more at the RIB Site) Jane's Bio reads: [Jane] is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games - or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. This sounds like what we do as adventure educators! Awesome. Jane's book goes way beyond simply "playing" video games, it's about changing the world as we know it!! Anyway, I digress - back to The Lost Game.
Six months before the 2008 Olympics, McGonigal (and others) designed this online experience to engage and draw in the "younger generation" into the Olympic experience. In a nutshell, players from around the world helped discover clues (and chronicled on a wiki - see below) to a sport that was "banned" from the Olympics in Roman times (I'm don't remember the reason why - spoiler alert: this is an alternate reality game). Here is the Interactive Case Study about the overall event if you want to dig deeper. Here is The Lost Ring Wiki created by (hundreds? thousands? of) people all over the world, basically to find the rules to The Lost Sport ("that can change the world!"). (FYI: This wiki details the plans to create a labyrinth in 9 steps - you'll want to know this is you are up for giving this one a go.)
Finally, to the point!! The Lost Sport: A blindfolded player runs a clover labyrinth with other players creating the walls of the labyrinth in front of the runner. Notice in the video (listen), that the players creating the walls can only hum..... Check this out! (running the labyrinth in under a minute). I have yet to try this, but I'm excited about the potential.
Epilog: If I remember correctly, I believe there was an ultimate competition of labyrinth runners from different countries shortly before the Olympics started in 2008. Through video submission of their runs (I think), countries were awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze (in spirit - I don't think any medals were cast. But, I could be wrong, it was an elaborate effort!!).
Please let me know if you try this and how it went!! Comment below.
All the best, Chris
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.