In my 17 years as an educator I’ve come to a conclusion. We educators can be pretty stiff. This, of course, isn’t always the case and there are exceptions to the rule, but sometimes we get bogged down in data-driven decision making, behavioral objective writing, assessments, and so forth. All of those are valid and worthwhile, but sometimes we forget to let our hair down and simply be in the moment. In fact, I fear some of us may have even forgotten how to be in the moment, cutting up and having fun.
The annual NCTIES Conference is an absolute highlight of my year as I have the opportunity to learn new things and connect, face-to-face, with my network. It is also the perfect place to unleash my inner mad scientist for some fun social experiments.
You see, I think we all desire to have fun and even be a little silly from time-to-time. However, professional conferences are rarely the place where this happens because of the aforementioned stuffiness. [+ 5 to me for using “aforementioned”] What a missed opportunity! Sometimes, we simply need a meaningful context to engage with others and grow our network while having a little fun in the process!
GAMEFUL THINKING to the rescue!! Games give us a context to engage even when it’s difficult to find one. So, last year, I created Quest Cards/Conference Quest to provide people with an excuse to have fun, meet new people, grow their network, commit random acts of kindness, and yes, act a little silly.
Conference Quest is back for #NCTIES16! There are even new quests contributed by @ewolfhope and @kristinedwards3! Want to play? It’s easy. You can play by yourself or with a group of friends. All you need to do is download and print a set of cards for each player. You can follow along with the #CQ and #NCTIES16 hashtags. Will you be bold and challenge a featured speaker to an arm wrestling match or will you be the one who starts a zombie flashmob?
Update: If you’d like your own set of blank cards to use with students or your own events, you can download them here. Just please give attribution! Thanks!