Hey peeps! Long time no see 🙂
When I began this post, I was at #CueRockstar…however, it’s now the next day and I’m in Colorado. Cue Rockstar was AWESOME! I was faculty from June 21-23rd, and have learned so much through facilitating sessions. My first session was about flipped/blended instruction, and the participants created fantastic products in a very short time. I’ve encouraged them to tweet them out using the #CUERockstar hashtag, so maybe you may see them 🙂
The second day was about gamification. I have presented on the topic multiple times, but usually it was to people who were new to intermediate level gamifiers. Occasionally, there have been some advanced participants, but I have never been in a situation with so many in one place. I loved it, because I learned new tricks from some of the rockstars in the room. There were many things I hadn’t considered, and they gave me great food for thought by sharing what they were doing. It was truly a collaborative learning space, and felt somewhat like an edcamp.
Yesterday was session three. Since the format of CUE Rockstar is totally different than other conferences, and workshops are supposed to be hands-on, I wanted to tweak my usual “What is EduMatch?” presentation. While this one is designed to be a discussion, and runs on audience participation, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new: #EduMatchBingo. I drew on influences from several cool things that I’ve been playing with, such as Mystery Hangouts and BreakoutEDU.
The idea came together last week when I was chatting with the #EduMatch crew on Voxer, preparing for a different session. I don’t know exactly where the inspiration came from, but as soon as I opened my mouth, a plan began to form. The idea appealed to me so much that I decided to beta test it in the safe space at CUE Rockstar. Here’s what we did:
- I set up a Google Form where people from around the world (hosts) could sign up and answer a few basic questions, including their availability, preferred platform, and personal/professional facts about themselves. (I wanted them to share some personal information because part of the mission of #EduMatch is building relationships. This is important if we are to learn from and with each other.)
- Given their responses, I assigned them to different platforms for the morning and afternoon sessions (plus a third date next week). I organized this on a separate sheet (Template Here)
- On a third sheet, I organized their responses into different lines. It also served as a cheat sheet for the hosts to see their responses in an easy way, in order to make sure they gave all their answers.
- I found this Bingo Template from Alice Keeler that saved my life. The directions are on the sheet. I created and downloaded about 15 random bingo boards and put them into a Google Folder.
- The morning of, I placed all of the hosts into a Voxer group and communicated with them, reconfirming everyone’s availability and answering any questions when they arose.
Thank you to the following hosts, who had signed up at the time of this writing:
- Dene Gainey
- Heidi Carr
- Makisha Rogers
- Dan Kreiness
- Tracy Brady
- Shelly Stout
- Melissa Eddington
- Tisha Richmond
- Rodney Turner
- Karen Corbell
- Carrie Baughcum
- Christy Cate
- Heidi Hutchison
- Mike Jaber
Beta Testing Round 1
At CUE Rockstar, the faculty members shred, or promo, their sessions at the beginning of each day. During the shred, I admitted my nerves and beginner’s mindset, saying that we were going to try something brand new for the first time, which could either be an epic win, or an epic need-to-overhaul (thanks Tammy Neil for changing my mindset regarding the word FAIL).
The first session ended up being both! I was so thankful to see my new buddy Nishantha who came to play. He was the sole participant, so we ended up competing head-to head to test for bugs. There were many, so I noted them as we played. Spoiler alert: he won! A few ideas from session one:
- Add a slide that provides an overview of how to connect to the game boards through Google Drive.
- For platforms with sound and/or video (i.e. Google Hangout/Voxer), only play from one device. Encourage participants to join the main #EduMatch Voxer group.
- Google Hangouts was the easiest platform to play, because it was synchronous. Voxer was second, probably because of the speed of voice. The text-based platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus) were a little clunky.
Nishantha also offered other good suggestions, such as pre-surveying the participants and getting matches based on their interests; as well as having people sign up to be hosts after playing the game.
Beta Test Round 2
With this new information on hand, I went back to the Voxer group to rally the hosts. I created a PM Voxer group, and changed strategy a bit. For example, I linked a slide to the #EduMatch Google Plus and Facebook groups, and asked the hosts to tweet to the hashtag #EduMatchBingo. In addition, hosts frontloaded the text based platforms with their clues ahead of time. The roles were more fluid and free-flowing, with anyone being encouraged to post their clues in advance on any/all platforms, but not to post all the answers in one place. In addition, all hosts were invited to participate in the Voxer/Google Hangout conversation.
- One of the hosts asked how cryptic the clues should be. In the morning, we had not covered this point. In the afternoon round, we experimented with having them give their answers verbatim. This made the game go by very quickly. Ideally, the responses will be a little vague, but not too challenging.
- Each participant could ask one question to the hosts on Voxer and Google Hangouts. I passed them my phone, they introduced themselves, and asked their question.
- At the end, we had an open dialogue on Google Hangouts, and participants were encouraged to join their new connections in our #EduMatch Voxer group.
There were many duplicate answers on the Bingo cards, which came as a result of having six hosts per session. As we continue to play and expand our database, there will be less duplicates, and the game will be more challenging to win.
Thank you to all of the players and hosts from Beta Test Day One. Whenever we get #EduMatch swag printed, you all will get a special gift 🙂 After running through both sessions and debriefing, some of the following ideas emerged:
- Continue running the game to refine the model. Although we have most of the bugs out, Day One was played in small groups, with tech-savvy, connected participants. Other factors for consideration may emerge later. For example, future players may not be on the social networks that we utilized, or know how to access their Google Drive.
- In addition, the current model works well in small group settings. For each round, I made only 15 bingo cards. However, I do intend to use this tool in other avenues, such as keynotes, edcamps, and featured speaker sessions in the near future. At such sessions, there can be dozens to hundreds of people in one space.
- One idea to address the first two bullet points is to do team bingo, as one of the participants suggested.
- DocHub was a good tool to annotate on a PDF, however there may be another, easier solution.
- A last idea is to create an app that will be able to do all of this in one place. Since I have limited coding experience, I may have to do some edumatching to myself, in order to find someone who can help. Perhaps other tools that are already out can work.
Thanks again to everyone for participating in this experiment. I am looking forward to seeing it grow and develop, and would love to hear any feedback on how to make this better.