Slow workshop ALT Winter Conference

Yesterday I facilitated a LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) workshop at the 2019 ALT Winter Conference. This was the second time I had a go running this very hands on, practical workshop virtually. Last year I used the MashMe system which allowed all participants to be on video at all times but proved tricky holding down the microphone button in order to speak as well as showing the build. This year I used the conference system, Collaborate, which doesn’t easily allow for all video feeds to all be visible on screen but the majority of participants are familiar and comfortable with it.

I did a test run with colleagues the day before and planned for as many scenarios as possible; small numbers, large numbers, those who wanted to participate, those who maybe wanted to stay in the background, people with cameras and mic and those who may not. From this I created a clear set of rules of how it would run to allow everyone to contribute on their own terms. This is the full slide deck with the detail

On the morning, once I managed to get into the room I had booked, the workshop started and we quickly got into a very relaxed and flexible rhythm. It did take a bit of juggling on my part but as I was prepared for this, as well as having time while everyone else was working away on their build, it was possible to keep (mostly) calm. A colleague was also on hand to support me in the room which was fabulous. Some people popped in, checked it out and popped back out so I was glad I hadn’t set any limits on numbers.

One of the key elements of any LSP workshop is that often things get very personal, very quickly and as such I made it clear that I would not be recording the session. Later on though I spotted a message on Twitter that prompted me to reconsider the resultant lack of inclusivity from that decision; other conference attendees wouldn’t be able to ‘catch up later’.

This resonated further when I thought about the #slowly conversation throughout the conference (Wakelet) so this post is now an invitation to keep the workshop going/open for anyone who didn’t make it to the session. If you find a spare moment before the end of the year to reflect on 2019; use the following prompts and build with whatever you have to hand, be it LEGO or bits and bobs sitting on your desk. There are four tasks/prompts and it would be lovely if you then wanted to share your builds on Twitter via the #altc tag or in comments here.

Task 1 Warm up exercise: Build a vehicle – real or fantastical (1 minute)

Task 2: Build something that represents your biggest win or most cherished moment of 2019 (5 minutes)

Task 3: Build something that represents an event or person(s) that gave you an ‘aha’ moment (5 minutes)

Task 4: Build something that represents a time you had to firefight this year (5 minutes)

For inspiration here are a few of the fabulous items created yesterday:

Thank you so much to all the lovely participants on the day and congratulations to the whole ALT team who delivered yet another fantastic conference to end the year. Have a wonderful winter break and happy building if you get a chance.


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