Since joining the board of NASAGA one of my driving goals has been to create online experiences and leverage social media in ways that allow us all to engage with NASAGA year-round. From this goal, #NASAGAchat was born, and while ultimately it was not sustainable, it taught us that our most compelling conversations happened when we brought in an expert to talk about his or her work in the field.
Taking this lesson to heart, in March of this year we launched the first NASAGA webinar, and invited Bernie De Koven to talk to us about Play and Playfulness. As you might expect, given our speaker and topic, even the planning stages of the webinar were all about play! Chris Saeger, Christy Cavanaugh, Samantha Heringer Knight, Bernie, and myself all spent time learning how to play together over streaming video so that we could demonstrate during the webinar.
We learned many things from this first attempt, not the least of which was that it takes a whole team to make a webinar happen and run smoothly. But more importantly, this style of event is as lively and engaging as many of our conference sessions. By pushing the limits of how we could interact over video, we actively played games together without the barrier of text or virtual manipulatives. We engaged in conversations as a larger group, and had the potential to play games and learn from each other in ways that mimic our conference. It was exciting to not only laugh together as we learned new ways to play, but also to see how engaged all of our participants were as they also learned from Bernie. It felt very much like being in a conference session and becoming energized from the ideas and techniques that we were playing with as a group!
If you were unable to join us, I hope you will listen to the recording and begin adding more play into your daily life. In fact, that’s what this whole issue of SIMAGES is all about: Play!
And if you would like to help plan or facilitate future webinars, please reach out to myself or one of the other board members, we would love to have you!
Finally, we would like to thank Bernie De Koven for being our first webinar presenter, and for being, ultimately, a very tough act to follow.