Recently I ran across an old friend while following links through the educational blogosphere. Dr. Jackie Gerstein writes about educational technology at User Generated Education. Lots of great Ed Tech ideas for teachers. She uses a variety of useful tools in her blog that might interest educators in other fields as well. Could be a few more tools for our "activity toolbox."
A post that caught my eye right away was, "First Class Ice Breakers Using Mobile Devices" (the word Ice Breakers jumped right off the page!) This reminded me of the activity, 'Wallets" found in FUNN Stuff Vol. 2 (1996) by Karl Rohnke (Now in, FUNN 'N Games - see Karl's website for more about this massive activity book.)
For the Wallets activity, participants bring to the group their wallets (or any other valued possession they have with them at the time) and then share with the group the story behind something they keep in their wallet why it's valued. (I often set a story-telling time limit for each person so we can get to other things in the program.) After reading Dr. Gerstein's post, todays SmartPhones or any other mobile device could also be brought into the group in order to share something of value. For example, pictures of family and friends, a Google Earth map of your house or favorite vacation spot, or a picture of your favorite pet.
There is also another ice breaker I learned from Dr. Jim Cain called, "Where Ya From, Where Ya Been?" (You can find the full description in his Raccoon Circles download). Instead of using a Raccoon Circle (a long piece of webbing) to create a shape of a particular land mass, we can use a mobile device (that is of course if accessing the internet is possible) to pull up a map and show others where you're from or where you've been. (Of course it's not as tactile as manipulating a piece of webbing, but it's bringing in a little technology into adventure.)
Send us Ed Tech in Adventure ideas through the comments. Adding tools to the toolbox.
All the best,
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.
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.