A simple way to plan a club meeting

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By: Andre Alves Garzia

In this post we’ll share how we organize our meetings here at the Rio Mozilla Club, you can use, remix and adapt this to your own setting.

We have two types of activities going on during one of our club meetings.

  • Micro-activities: these are quite simple and only require a flip-chart, sharpie pens or similar and post-it notes. They usually take about 5 minutes to complete.
  • Activities: these are the same activities you find at the Web Literacy Basics curriculum. Most activities take about 1 hour to complete.

In our events we tend to do a little roller-coaster ride oscillating between micro-activities and full activities to keep the rythim cool.

Warm-up micro-activity: Question!

We begin our club meeting posing a question to our members and facilitators. Everyone present answers the question by writing on a post-it note. If it is a question where multiple answers are possible then multiple post-it notes per person can be used. All the notes are supposed to be anonymous, we don’t want to identify who wrote what, this way, people feel safer to write their real thoughts and not what they think we’d like to hear.

Each person present fix their post-it notes at random places on the flip-chart until the chart is full of notes. Once everyone placed their answers, people walk around the chart marking items they agree with a +1 annotation.

All the micro-activities work similar to the process above. These are some questions we used before:

  • “What do you enjoy doing online?”: the answers provided good data about where their current interests lie.
  • “What would you like to know how to do?”: this is a good question to learn more about their plans and ambitions.
  • “What piece of news/event/happening marked your week?”: with this question we show everyone that they mostly consume news through the web. Thats their interface with the larger world.
Photo of club members using post-it notes and flipchart

Photo of club members using post-it notes and flipchart

Activities

With the focus of helping people learn how to read, write and participate on the Web, we try to plan our day so that it has three hour long activities, each focusing on one topic.

  • Read the Web: we do some activity that enables our members to learn more about some mechanism of the Web or how to properly use some tech. (Example: how to generate good passwords, hack the news).
  • Write the Web: Some activity where the members create content. (Example: creating their own meme).
  • Participate on the Web: This sometimes mixes with the previous one. The focus here is to have a social component where the users exchange feedback with one another and share their creations. In the case of the meme creation example, they may share their stuff with their friends on Facebook.

Between two larger activities, if we feel the pace is getting too slow, we may speed things up by doing a quick micro-activity in between. Something that will make people leave their chairs and computers and walk to the flipchart.

plastiline models: thing and strangecorn

plastiline models: thing and strangecorn

Closing micro-activity: feedback!

At every club meeting, at the very end of the event, we do a micro-activity to gather feedback about the day. We divide a flip-chart page in three columns with the following labels — How cool; how pitiful; how about? — each person attending the meeting is encourage to write as many post-it notes about what they enjoyed (how cool), what they didn’t like (how pitiful) and what they would like to see at a future meeting of the club (how about).

This is collected and used to plan future actions. This feedback is invaluable.

Flip-chart with three columns

Flip-chart with three columns

Group photo

There is always a group photo at the end. This is a good way to preserve the memory of our clubs and also a way to count the participants without requiring a enrollment list.

Group photo

Group photo

If you are a Club Captain reading this article then don’t forget to post about how you are doing your meetings. Exchanging stories and tips is awesome! We are anxious to hear from you all.

Comments? Questions? Feedback?

You can reach out to me on Twitter, or Mastodon, or Secure Scuttlebutt