1-Minute Gardener: Plant Mindful Teaching Strategies in Digital Learning Terrains

Concurrent Session 2 & 3 (combined)
Streamed Session Equity and Inclusion

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

It takes less than a minute to empower students, regardless of ability, in a digital learning terrain. Explore how a meditation bell in weekly announcements increases focus or how a gratitude list on a whiteboard can improve groupwork. Craft these mindful experiences to plant into any LMS or live session.

Extended Abstract

How can changing the color of the background on the screen for 60 seconds during a recorded or a live lecture create ease when transitioning into a difficult or complex topic? How can having students trace a labyrinth pattern on their phone or screen with their finger allow them to see answers more clearly before a test? 1-minute mindful pause points are strategic teaching strategies. When simple embedded behaviors are paired with engaging students in overt mindful activities, we confront some of the realities of a COVID paradigm shift. Integrating mindfulness in teaching empowers and eases students’ bodies and minds back into the classrooms to improve learning.

The Planting Mindfulness series was originally facilitated with members of the LGBTQ community to support an initiative embracing neurodiversity. In this condensed version, the interactions and models will resonate with instructional designers and instructors in K-12 and Higher Education. Asynchronous examples are showcased in Canvas but also use features that span different LMS, such as simple formatting and integrating multimedia.

The objectives of this participatory workshop are to:

  • Design a mindful activity or plan to integrate into their LMS and / or live class
  • Engage in diverse individual and collective mindful experiences during an online educational session
  • Explore the benefits and potential dangers of purposeful mindful activities in classrooms
  • Contribute to a repository of mindful activities from participants’ experiences.

Our playfulness achieves practical solutions: products and experiences can be integrated into the digital fabric of the LMS environment asynchronously, such as embedding an open educational resource from archive.org as a meditation bell,  and in synchronous facilitated sessions, such as learner-driven, anonymous intention lists on the whiteboard. Attendees will be able to use these creations immediately. While we are using backwards design principles, the activities themselves are based on cognitive embodiment, democratic pedagogy, trauma theory, and care pedagogies. We build for autonomy. For agency. For inclusion. For equity. And we build to suspend judgment.

Our format thrives on attendees' willingness to participate at their level of comfort. Examples and interactive elements cater to a range of different physical, cognitive, learning, and other abilities. After we center ourselves with a 60-second demonstration, we'll play in a demo course and explore different common and new technologies to build the experiences. A sprinkling of the theory behind the methods demonstrates practical applications in teaching and learning environments.

During our time, attendees explore and choose among categories, such as affirmations, abilities, and activities, to create their 1-minute mindful moments. In both large and small-group interactions we will frame the purpose; play with possibility; find a model; deconstruct the strengths and challenges; and pause.

When available, and relative to the number of attendees, breakout rooms allow 3-4 participants to practice creating a mindful moment, which might include a quick experience with a free tool from a list of resources. Individuals are invited to pursue their own interests and offer their own examples for feedback and development.

The session resolves with a plan for learning extension. Following an invitation to place ideas and activities into a repository and share this library with others, this time isn’t just a Q & A. It’s also a chance to make a statement of intention to take only what they need to succeed back with them.

Attendees are asked to have a device that allows them to join and tour a demo course in Canvas during the session. A microphone is encouraged.