Tech Tools for Creating Community Virtually
As “camp people,” group dynamics are our bread and butter. Here are some tools we use for creating community online:
- We’ve put together a youtube playlist of the tips and tricks we learned from our Cornerstone 202.0 seminar experience – some specifically related to the tools below!
- Mentimeter allows you to make custom polls, word clouds, and quizzes and can be used to engage your online participants regardless of the size of the group!
- Real Life Example: Jewish Camp Mental Health & Wellness interns from 20 different camps, learning about mental, emotional, and social health, shared ways camp makes them feel.
- Real Life Example: Live voting makes for great conversation starters as folks arrive to your online space.
- Real Life Example: Kicking off the new year as a united field during our 5781Field online gathering, FJC brought camp professionals through reflective activities getting in touch with their senses. We asked: what did summer 2020 smell like?
- Google Docs & Sheets (a platform so many of your participants are already familiar with) can easily be adapted as a convening tool if you have less than 100 people on screen.
- Jamboard makes all of your post-it note dreams come true! This user-friendly resource is great for brainstorming and reflecting.
- Real Life Example: The session “Boker Beautification: A Garden of Blooming Blessings” was adapted from planting flowers in-person to be a collaborative session to grow gratitude as a community at Cornerstone 202.0. Here’s the Jamboard version of the online gratitude garden.
- Real Life Example: Mental Health & Wellness interns used Jamboard to help map camp life to Social Emotional Learning competencies.
- Mural has dozens of templates you can choose from that help you build consensus, play games, and map out ideas.
- Slack might be something you’ve used to stay in touch with your colleagues, but it is also amazing for creating a sense of conference-wide community. This communication platform allows direct messaging but also customized threads which can replace “hallway talks” and act as vehicles for announcements and tech help.
- Real Life Example: Cornerstone Fellows used Slack to connect one-on-one, have more in-depth conversations with educators beyond their sessions, and had fun using channels to participate in a virtual Color War.
- Zoom has great tools right inside it like breakout rooms and the annotate drawing tool that can allow for games like pictionary, musical memory, and round robin rotations.
- Real Life Example: This activity to “Escape the Zoom Room” done at Cornerstone 202.0 with 300+ people was a fun way to engage folks in smaller groups using breakout rooms and annotation. Here are instructions.
- Real Life Example: Mental Health & Wellness interns used Zoom’s annotation function to color in a shared scene from FJC’s Hineini resources.