Extend #oext163 & #oext164 were, what I will call, “easy ones.” Today’s Simple Sunday Share: Unplugged was a good reminder about unplugging. The online world is a fascinating one but don’t forget about the everyday world and the natural world. Perhaps that is why I am choosing to drive over to Sarnia for the Extend West kickoff. I could stay home and do this online but I want to meet real people in a real space before we go back to our online spaces.
I unplug on Sunday afternoons because it is Dungeons and Dragons day (5e, in case you are wondering). I play with a group of friends and family and my son is the Dungeon Master. We started this round in September of 2016. We play for three to six hours most Sundays and we do some special events such as D&D New Years Eve. In this realm, I am a 4 foot dwarf fighter with a battle axe and a white dragonette. I have the highest hit points so I am considered the tank (the one that takes the damage). I have no magic, and a lawful good alignment. I have no charisma to speak of and too loud and heavy to sneak up on anything!
But while that is all interesting to other D&D players, the point is unplugging for me means sharing time with close friends and family doing something we enjoy, building new memories: talking, eating, drinking. laughing and knocking a few heads together!
Yesterday’s extend asked us to play a few rounds of GeoGuessr, a google map based game where you try to figure out where you are based on whatever image information the google map cameras captured at that location. I found my self thinking about clues. What side of the road are the cars on? Are the speed signs in miles or kilometers? What kind of tree is that? Can I turn around and see what is on that sign? After collecting some data, you make a guess. In five rounds, I made it to the right country three times. Given that the countries were Russian, Japan and Costa Rica, that should be a little more impressive than it sounds.
I have been thinking about how this game could be used in a classroom. I have also been thinking about Constructivist approach and the idea of building on what students already know. This could be an interesting low risk group activity. In groups of three, play 5 rounds. Talk about the clues you see and the ones you look for and share what you know that could help your team figure out where you are. Critical thinking, problem solving, logic skills come into play, but so does communication and teamwork skills. In a diverse group of students, it could also lead to some mutual appreciation of different perspectives and knowledge.
After about a week of doing the Daily Extends, I have found most pretty easy to do but the benefit is not in the doing or the posting. I have found the benefit in the mulling over of both the experience of doing and posting and the possibilities of extending these ideas into practice.
To play GeoGuessr, check out their website https://geoguessr.com/