Silent disco and “socially-distanced” classroom learning

Will social distancing be a norm post-lockdown? As educational institutions are starting to open up – social distancing will still need to be imposed. So how do we create creative and interesting classroom interactions? Can we do anything else that would be better than online teaching?

Discussions on twitter today (thanks to Nicola Whitton for instigating such timely dialogues) have made me think about the value of remixing existing fun and playful activities that are not necessarily educational. We have been championing the remixing of existing play and games for creating meaningful experiences, which is the main principle of the GameChangers initiative.

This perspective aligns with my interest in hybrid learning and how play and games can inspire the configuration of experiences at the speed of need.

Ok. Back to social distancing in a classroom setting. Silent disco comes to mind! Such a playful and personalised setting brings people together in such a strange yet enjoyable context. Can we remix this into experiences that would be educational and powerful?

An example context could be facilitating a silent but social learning with students in a classroom, physically ‘social-distancing’ but digitally engaged with one another. Each student could be watching a video covering a certain topic from different perspectives. And collectively the students will gain insights from these differing sources on the same topic. They can discuss and reflect on this on a chat room. And debriefing and group reflections will be enriched with multi-faceted perspectives.

How could this then be adapted? It can perhaps be used to raise awareness on collective intelligence, the need to put pieces of information together, and the need to be able to critically assess information from different sources and perspectives.

It could also be adapted to get students to work in teams unpicking clues from the various media they are accessing in a “silent – disco” mode.

How is this different from an online learning you may ask? That is the intention- to be hybrid in how we reimagine the use of space and how the context can be more hybrid. Furthermore, others could also join in remotely, which breaks the barrier of space.

See the thread of discussions that trigger this random but I hope valid thoughts:

Silent disco has also been used in a meaningful manner, such as for therapy and rehabilitation.

Original photo: London Lifestyle

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