Posted by: bluesyemre | June 12, 2018

Digital Dexterity Card Game by Lee Skallerup Bessette


Last week, I had the pleasure of going to Davidson College to offer a two-day workshop on Digital Dexterity as a part of their Digital Learning Initiative. You can see my full schedule and readings for the workshop, but I want to talk specifically about a game I hacked (haha) for the workshop that I think could be useful to others.

What is Digital Dexterity? As I put it:

Digital Dexterity isn’t a list of technologies and skills you can check off a list; it is an ethos that informs and inspires your classroom pedagogy and beyond. This workshop will focus on setting our pedagogical priorities and exploring ways that technology can enhance the student learning experience.

How, though, do I encourage a kind of creative and open mindset, while also giving them some tools to be able to take with them? A former colleague used to have a deck of index cards that he had pre-made with a set of tools and then a set of pedagogical challenges, and developed a whole game around them to play with faculty.

I also remembered Jason writing about using Tarot cards to get unstuck as well as Brian Eno’s creativity deck. I was wondering if there was a way to merge the two ideas in a more generative, participant-driven way.

And so, I did, and I’m calling it the Digital Dexterity Card Game.

  1. Generate a list of common challenges you face while teaching (online, f2f, hybrid, whatever). For this group, I went with 12.

  2. I gave them a list of Collaborative Learning Techniques and asked them, again, to pick 12 that they liked.

  3. Another list of Classroom Assessment Techniques, picking 12.

  4. Finally, I asked them to list 6 digital tools they currently use/know of and then find six new ones.

  5. Each list then gets transcribed on to a colored set of cards, one color per list, one item per card.

  6. We play! Each person (or group) gets one challenge card, one tool car, one of each of the assessment and learning cards, and they have to figure out how these can help address the challenge they drew!

  7. Share!

You can change up the numbers and the rules as the game progresses; for instance, at one point, we left the drawn “solution” cards in the middle of the table, drew new challenge cards, and then could choose which of the available solutions would work best.

It was a great success. But what I told the participants to do was to create their own “solutions” deck to draw from whenever they get stuck or face a challenge in their own teaching. The exercise showed them that they could do it, if they give themselves the chance. If we had had more time, I would have given them the time to make it themselves with me there, but I hope they do it anyway.

How do you encourage digital dexterity?

Image of four card from our deck, taken by me.

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