Outline from Balancing the See Saw

Posted on Oct 16, 2013 in Activities, Presentations

Workshop Description – During this three hour session participants will take an in-depth look at finding balance with technology on individual and organizational levels. We will explore current thinking and popular media concerning the influence of technology on maintaining balance in our school, work, and personal lives. In this interactive session, we will evaluate how technology helps and hinders our ability to live richly and deeply. Participants will also be exposed to current methods of teaching about balance and will collaborate to develop new approaches to take back to students and school communities. Participants will come away with updated ideas and fresh resources to address this important topic for connected learning environments.

Audience: Middle and High School oriented but Elementary also okay.




1st Third


Friends from First Impressions Activity

We will likely do a variation on this but here is the original inspiration behind this introduction game.

Identify 2 people that you don’t know that you (for whatever reason) would be interested in getting to know better.

Choose one of them and identify 2 things you think you could have in common with that person. Go beyond the obvious and tap into your instincts about that potential connection.

9:30 – 9:40

Introduction to Balance

(In table groups)

Why is there so much interest in this topic?

Who are the key stakeholders and what are our (their) most urgent concerns?

What would it mean to be “balanced”?

What is new about this problem and what has existed since antiquity?

What practices can we promote as teachers and/or utilize as individuals that foster habits of balance?

New Questions

Are we losing our humanity?

Can we judge what is right for someone else?

What is the impact of being available at anytime?

How do we effectively teach about and correct our students when they go off track?

What are the benefits of simple/repetitive actions?

What are the benefits of boredom?

Louis CK on Conan About Mobile Phones

I forgot my phone

9:40 – 9:50

Balance Break

Brain Breaks Ideas – Sitting is bad for you video. (more brain breaks)

Rock Climber Reach – Mandalas


What it means to be balanced?

“Balance over the summer” start of school year high school reflection activity.

How do students feel/behave differently when they are unplugged?

2013-14 Field Studies Scuba Video

2013-13 Grade 6 Field Studies Promo

There are steps we can take to develop habits of balance.

Managing Time with a Pomodoro Approach

Living with Laptops

2nd Third

10:10 -10:45

Expanding the dialogue to what this conversation is really about?

What do the articles to the right add to our understanding about balance/imbalance with technology use?

How can that information be used to better improve our teaching and learning?

Table 1 – Louis CK is wrong about Smartphones

Table 2 – The Real Conversation: Wisdom and Technology

Table 3 – Why we need to teach mindfulness in a digital age

Table 4 – Action-Inaction Balance in cultural values

Table 5 – Social Responsibility for Game Designers

Table 6 – Hiding behind technology to be mean

Sherry Turkle – Alone Together (video option)


Balance Break – Morning Break – 10:45am (5th floor)

Tiny Teach – Epic Ping Pong Ball Shot (video)

(Remember to add your unconference ideas)

Final Third


Option 1 –

In small groups – (3-4 people) Design a 45 min balance oriented class for the age group of your choice. Feel free to address any of the ideas we have discussed or bring in additional ideas that you have. Include enough description and resources on the doc to the write so that all of us can use these ideas.

Option 2 –

In small groups – (3-4 people). Explore ideas behind areas of balance/wellness and post those on the doc to the right. Focus on a concept – ie. compassion, acceptance, gratitude

Option 3 –

In small groups – (3-4 people). Find a new practice or useful resource about a balance creating practice. Use some of this time to experience and experiment with that activity. Post your findings on the doc linked to the right that others can use. Focus on the activities or habits of balance.

Add Your Group’s Activities Here and tweet them out with the #learning2

Add Your Group’s Activities Here and tweet them out with the #learning2


2 min promo sharing about your activity

Additional Resources

Tools for unplugging

Balancing the Family Technology Contract

Yelp (with Apologies to Allen Ginsberg) Unplug

YIS Connected Learning Community Handbook

YIS Digital Dragons SiteYIS Connected Learning Site

Facebook for Educators and Community Leaders Guide

Diigo List put together related to this topic (will add the links shared during the sessions, too.)

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