No tech.

Wednesday was good this week. I was mentoring Year 10 Business students at the Robert Smyth Academy in Market Harborough on their second Enterprise Day.  The day revolved around the students working together making promotional material and products for music festivals.  They also had to pitch their products to fellow students, teachers, support staff and mentors in the afternoon. 

The really great thing was that students weren’t allowed to use computers at all.  They had to talk to each other and share ideas.  Everything was written and drawn on paper.  When it came to making products, materials came from shops at each end of the corridor of classrooms that were run by staff. There was great excitement and energy with plenty of students bustling up and down the corridor, bartering, shouting and enjoying the day.  Purchase orders were filled out for each item, with budgets being recorded and maintained.  Students used actual thinking and communication skills.  

It was fantastic to be a part of the day and support the students with real world advice and experience, seeing young people talking in groups, making things, drawing posters and working together.  We only used computers to play music throughout the day. 

It proved you don’t need phones and tablets to get ideas, create or communicate.  Now, I’m sure that as soon as they were on breaks students had their phones out, and social media were in control.  BUT, when in the classroom and pitching to each other in the main hall, you hardly saw or heard a mobile.  One student in my room did get their phone out, but that was to use the calculator function. 

Ironically, my phone mysteriously ran out of power just after I arrived at the academy.  I didn’t miss it.  I had really good conversations with amazing people, making genuine connections, which are far more valuable to me. 

Get out there, interact, volunteer, work with others! 

See you next week, Morgan. 


Get out there

I know this isn’t a new idea, but I’d like to see how an offline network and community can work and grow in a media saturated world.  I get the irony that I have to use a computer and the internet to forge the connections that make up this community, so we can move on from that point now. I’m also sure that other people have had the same idea and are doing similar things.

I think my idea is simple.  Encourage people to connect through a basis site like this one, then actually get out and meet up in person.  I realise sadly that some people see this as a risk, as meeting strangers that you have only connected with online is an unknown quantity.  Take someone with you.  Meet in a place where other people are.  Tell someone where you are going and who you are meeting and for how long.  Be sensible and responsible.

You can do anything you want to.  Have a talk; go for a drink; ride bikes; play music; draw pictures; go for a walk; whatever you like.  The idea is that groups will form around different activities and socialise in person rather than online.  Get out there and do something instead of sitting in front of a screen or tapping away on a phone of tablet.  Breath, interact, share.

Don’t keep checking this site as if your life depends on it, I don’t plan on updating every minute.  There should be a post once a week which will relate to the experiment, or social interaction, or activities, or… well, you get the idea.  I’m not linking the posts to social media, you can if you want to.  Me sharing this site on social media defeats the intention of the experiment.  If others choose to, that’s fine, but remember that the whole point of the experiment is to interact offline.  Use social media as a tool, that’s what it is. Oh, and use comments on this site to interact too. They should connect to an email address, and people can respond through that channel.  The intention is that word should spread naturally and organically.

Thank you for reading and, hopefully, taking part.

Morgan Gleave, June 2014