The Viral Glass Bead Gameboard

I used this handy tool today with my class as part of our unit of work on Identity. The students had a thumbnail sheet of their classmates that they could cut out and arrange on the graphic. But… the catch was that they had to justify the specific placement of each student pic by recording something that the two linked students had in common. And every connection made on the graphic had to be justified in this way so every picture had to be thoughtfully placed. The kids worked on this for half an hour this afternoon and barely scratched the surface – with a lot of kids seeking each other out to work out points of commonality.

“Do you barrack for Port Power or the Crows?”

” What month were you born in?”

“What’s your middle name?”

“What’s your favourite X-Box game?”

You get the idea. How did I get this activity? Well, in true digital viral form, the graphic came from Chris Harbeck in Winnipeg, Canada, who created it on Gliffy after listening to a Bernie Dodge presentation podcast, listened to and recorded by Wesley Fryer from Oklahoma, USA. Chris picked up the idea very quickly and applied his take on the “Glass Bead Game” mentioned in the presentation. Maybe I was initially resistant to this global virus but eventually the idea has taken seed here in Adelaide, Australia.

Just how easy it is to lay my hands on ideas and communicate with those people who create and put these ideas into action half a world away still blows my mind.

3 Responses to “The Viral Glass Bead Gameboard”


  • When you say, identity, Graham, do you mean self-identity, or how we are all connected? Was attempting to figure out how this could be used for the fomer, and if you have plans to use the activity for self-identity.

  • Graham, your game looks great! Your board is reminiscent of the HipBone WaterBird board. I’ve been using Charles Cameron’s HipBone games with my students for about 5 years now. They love them — and so do I! If you haven’t checked Charles’ stuff out, you might really enjoy it.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~hipbone/

    There is really no limit to how the games can be used.

    Since there are almost no right or wrong moves to make — as long as the connection can be made, students are encouraged to think more deeply and in different ways than they might otherwise. That is always a good thing in my book! I hope you will blog about other attempts.

  • Thanks for using Gliffy to illustrate your lesson! We welcome any feedback you may have from your use of the program. Thanks again, debik (at) gliffy (dot) com

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