Reduce stress of digital platform and tools
Digital tools and platforms often bring additional stress during work, especially when the tools are unfamiliar or were not introduced in the right way. This topic focuses on introducing digital tools in an interesting and non-stressful way.
Healthy body movement
Sitting on a computer or staring into a screen for a long time is tiring and unhealthy in various ways. The following activities also present a way to participate in relaxing body movement to reduce stress and improve health.
Motivate participation and spark interest
As some challenges of digital work are the lack of participation, motivation and interest, these activities shall motivate participants to actively contribute and to spark their interest in the discussed topics and exercise.
Smartphone, computer (PC, laptop, or tablet), stable internet connection, digital meeting platform (e.g., Zoom), speakers, recycled materials
For the in-person activities: large room, paper, markers/ pens, big screen/ projector
Please refer to the activity details to know exactly what materials are needed for them specifically.
Please refer to the activity details to know exactly what platforms are needed for them specifically.
Animating a personal object
Using personal items, this activity motivates participants to share information about themselves, as well as an interesting experience they might have experienced, improving collaboration in a group.
Have your say
With the help of smartphone recordings, participants can share their opinions freely and without being influenced by others before exchanging opinions and experiences in a group.
Getting to know digital programmes
To improve knowledge on digital tools, participants are asked to do some research on different tools and explain them to their peers, improving understanding, as well as the ability to search for information online.
After a long work day, this activity focuses on relaxation and calming movement for the body. Combining the healthy and interesting movement of Capoeira, participants can relax their bodies as well as learn how online or digital classes can be conducted in an interesting way.
min. 5 pers.
Tell me more about you!
This activity relies on the method of Tinkering, using recycled or otherwise found objects and reuse them for tinkering and producing something new. By using Tinkering, the participants can share something about them as well as their opinion about specific topics.
Participants are asked to guess facts and information about others , gamifying the getting-to-know-each-other process and making it easier to share stories and experiences with each other in a group.
Estimated duration: 30 minutes – depending on the number of participants
Approx. number of participants: 12-15 (but, as it is conducted through digital platforms, it can allow more people to participate)
- Youth workers learn to use digital tools – Zoom, Webex, MS Teams and similar platforms
- Combine digital materials/tools and technology
- Participants express themselves freely in front of the camera
- From a protected environment, participants are allowed to improvise oral speech, imagination and creativity
- Use digital photo-stories and create personal narratives
Needed materials: Mobile phone with a camera or a digital camera, computer, internet connection and digital platform (such as Zoom, Webex, MS Teams)
Description: Step 1 – Introduction: The facilitator introduces the exercise and tells the participants that the aim of the exercise is to create a personal story inspired by an object, with which they have a connection. This object could be something from their working space, their bags and, if their working from home, it could be anything they like, provided it is something you can hold in your hands and carry it.
Step 2: Each participants creates a short story/narrative based on their object.
Step 3: The participants are asked to photograph their object with a digital camera or their mobile phone’s camera. They are then facilitated to send their photo to their computer. In turn, everyone uses share screen to present the story related to the object. The narrative should be up to 1 min.
Step 4: The facilitators creates digital rooms where she/he divides the participants. In the rooms the participants in groups create a story with their object. 3-5 stories are created.
Step 5: The participants return to the main group meeting area of the platform. There, they narrate their stories collectively.
Step 4 – Reflection: This exercise aims to introduce digital platform to the participants in a non-stressful and constructive way. The participants should reflect upon the way that they used the digital platforms and on their communication.
Estimated duration: Depends on number of participants, and number of trainers. For 4-5 participants approximately 30 minutes
Approx. number of participants: Min 3-4, max. 8-10
- Develop positive attitude towards your own voice and understand: It’s not about how you sound, but what you (have to) say.
- Transfer performance: We should perceive our fellow human beings on the basis of what they think, say, and how they behave, and not on external, subordinate characteristics.
- Forming an opinion
- Speak out your mind
- Develop the courage to express one’s own opinions without having aligned oneself with the mainstream beforehand
- Stand by oneself
- Learning to discuss without judgement
- Realise that it is beneficial to just listen without judging
- Raise awareness that all are equal
- Speak publicly
Needed materials: Mobile phone, speakers should be available, space to split up participants
Description: Step 1 – Introduction: The group will be asked a certain, non-binding question, e.g. “Tea or coffee”/”Cats or dogs”? The question can/should be adapted to the group of participants. The trainer should write down the question on a blackboard or a flip chart, project it on the wall etc. to make sure the participants know what to answer. This question should be a simple one for groups where participants are not familiar with one another, or with younger participants. It may also be used as an icebreaker. It might be more complex the more familiar the participants are with one another.
Step 2: Participants now have time to think about their point of view, think about their reasons and give short background information. When they have done so, they record their opinion (answer and reason) in a non-stressful atmosphere without interfering from third parties. The recording itself should not be longer than 20-30 seconds. This step might take approx. 5 minutes. To record, participants should use the native audio recording app on their smartphones, e.g. Voice Memos on iPhone or Voice Recorder on Samsung phones.
Step 3: Participants play back their recordings in a randomly selected order. It is very important that no evaluations, comments etc. should be made between the recordings. This should be made very clear before starting to playback the recordings. Participants might even close their eyes or cover them in order to minimize reaction in gestures and mimics.
Step 4 – Reflection: Everyone reflects on themselves: Did I say what I wanted to say? (content level) How does it feel to hear myself? (perception level) Is it OK? If not: Why? What bothers me? Is this relevant, or maybe not, as focus should fall on other aspects? It is also helpful to put these questions up on the blackboard, flip chart etc. so participants know what to talk about during the reflection round. At the end of the reflection round the group can be asked if somebody wants to share something additionally. Building upon this, depending on time and on the group, everyone could also reflect: What was it like to just be allowed to listen and not say what you think? What did this do to you?
Step 5: Optionally, the group might also start a conversion on their opinions.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Hearing one’s own voice recorded or digitally feels very uncomfortable for many people. This applies to voice mails, Zoom meetings that are recorded etc., and might even become a hurdle or problematic, especially when using your voice at work. With this exercise, among other aspects related to self-acceptance, we aim at reducing this feeling and want to support participants to develop a relaxed attitude concerning their own voice.
Estimated duration: 15-30 minutes
Approx. number of participants: 1-15 participants
- Learning how to work with some digital programs
- A smartphone/laptop for each participant, or (if face to face) at least one computer
- If face-to-face – Notes (small papers) with names of digital platforms, that will be presented, written on them. As many notes as the number of participants are needed. Platforms may be repeated. The facilitator chooses platforms that he/she can work with and present well.
Description: Step 1 – Introduction: Explain shortly which platforms will be used in the activity and how/why being able to work with them could be beneficial both in the participants’ personal and professional life.
(if face to face)
Step 2: Let the participants draw a random note with a digital tool/platform written on it (Youtube, Google Pictures, Google Maps, Soundcloud, etc.)
Step 3: The participants should find a favourite art piece/place/picture/music on the platform they got randomly assigned and present it to the group. (Example: Music video on Youtube, painting in Google Pictures). They should help each other and the youth worker should guide them in the process.
Step 2: Tell the participants to find their favourite music video on Youtube.
Step 3: Teach them how to share their screens to share the music video they chose, then encourage them to react to each other’s choices in the chat.
Step 4 – Reflection: Discuss what the participants learned and how they can use this knowledge in their lives.
If online use the opportunity to familiarize the participants also with the online meetings platform that is being used, for example Zoom.
Estimated duration: Approx. 90 minutes
Approx. number of participants: Minimum 5 participants – no maximum number of participants
- Release stress and relax the mind
- Improve relationships with peers
- Increase physical and mental strength
- Use body movement to relief anxiety
Needed materials: Speakers; PC, laptop, or tablet; internet connection; large room (if face-to-face); projector, or big screen
Description: Step 1 – Introduction: Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian cultural expression that fuses play, fighting, music and dance, and the expression of such. In addition to increasing strength, releasing stress, and increasing flexibility, capoeira activates different parts of the brain such as vision, movement, memory, spatial awareness, and coordination.
We will conduct a Capoeira class for beginners to help participants who have to work long hours with digital tools, to relax and recover.
Step 2: The class will be taught either by a Capoeira professional via Zoom or through the YouTube tutorials provided.
Doing this kind of activities through tutorials, even if they are online, can be very beneficial for the participants. Since they only have to follow a few guidelines and everything is explained very carefully, it does not cause the participant to feel stress, on the contrary, at the end of the session they will feel calm and liberated.
Step 3: All participants will follow the class or tutorials from a shared common area, where they will be able to interact with each other.
Step 4 – Reflection: Once the exercise is over, they will state the positive and negative aspects they experienced during the session.
- “What was it like using digital technology to learn something new?”
- “What could be improved for an online class like this?”
- “Which tutorials worked well and which did not?”
- “Are there any other courses you would like to try out via online tutorial?”
This exercise can also be done with other relaxing body movement dances and exercises, for example, Pilates.
Recommended tutorial videos:
Estimated duration: 30-45 minutes
Approx. number of participants: 8-10 participants
- Improve interactions within the group
- Improve creativity techniques
- Learn tinkering methodology
- Improve abstraction skills
Needed materials: Laptop/tablet, wifi, and recycled materials (cardboard, cloth, buttons, thread, twine, branches, leaves)
Description: Step 1 – Introduction: Two exercises based on Tinkering methodology to help the interaction during Zoom/online sessions among the group: an ice breaking activity and an activity to help participants to think about a specific theme (as instance: the topic of a lesson, during an online school lesson). The facilitator explains briefly what tinkering is, guiding youth workers in finding the material they can use for the activity in the room they are having the online session (15 min)
Step 2: Ice breaking activity: using the material helpful for the tinkering activity, participants are asked to use it to create an object that helps in telling more about themselves (15 min.) Then, they show to the others the work they have done, explaining it briefly (5min each).
Step 3: Second activity: participants are asked to think over the topic of the lesson. They are asked to use it to create an object that helps in telling more what they think about the topic (15 min.) Then, they present to others the work they have done (5min. each)
Step 4 – Reflection: after the completion of the activity, they can organize a debate.
Was it difficult to find materials? And to understand what tinkering is, and how it works? To apply it to the topics given? Which were the problems in using tinkering during an online activity? Did the screen help to feel free and create, or did it make it more difficult? DId the activity help in creating a participated session?
Estimated duration: 20 minutes
Approx. number of participants: 10 participants
- Get to know the group
- Team building
- Learn about a new digital tool
- Listening skills
- Share something about yourself
- Set up a welcoming atmosphere
Needed materials: A smartphone or a laptop – (maybe download an app)
Description: Step 1 – Introduction: Anonymously reveal an aspect of your personality, an unusual thing you have done or a hobby through pictures and let the group guess that it is you. Ideal for opening the dialogue at the beginning of a workshop and facilitating exchanges. The aim is to animate and energize the beginning of your workshop, training, or meeting to get everyone moving and working better as a team.
Step 2 (10 minutes): Share an online whiteboard with the participant (e.g., https://jamboard.google.com/). Each participant must upload 2 images that represent something about them (their personality, their passion, who they are…). It could be a picture of a place, a sport, …
When each person has chosen their pictures, they should put it on the board. The two photos should be next to each other, so it is visible that they represent one person. It can be pictures taken from their own smartphone or thanks to the functionality that look for a picture on google through key words.
Once each person has uploaded their photos, we have a visual table with what represents each personality. It is important to show an example on a shared screen to guide the participants.
Step 3: The participants must now guess which pair of photos represents who. The revealed participants have to say a few words describing the choices of the photos.
Step 4 – Reflection:
- Were you happy that you were able to learn more about the people in the group?
- How did you feel during this activity?
- What do you think of the board with the variety of pictures?
If the group is large, the activity can be boring and complicated to set up, so it is better to divide the group in 2 in these cases.