Priceless

Mysterious Globe
'Mysterious Globe, http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudhamshu/2991718957/

“Hello World” is a simple game I often play with my 4 year old son (‘Mr 4’). We fire up Twitter, say ‘hello’ from Fremantle, Western Australia, get a globe or an atlas (old school, I know, but it is wonderfully tactile) and wait to see where people are saying hello to us from.

Within minutes, we get at least ten replies. Some come from around the corner, many from around the world. We look each of the places up, we talk about the person who said hello, what language people speak there, what the weather is like there now, time of the day, what sort of things people eat there and so on.

Yesterday, we got replies from Fremantle, Perth, Northam, Sydney, Hobart (Australia), Elgin (Scotland), Birmingham, Leek, Ringwood, London, Lichfield (England), Johannesburg (South Africa) Grand Rapids, Detroit (United States). The range and number of replies depends only on the time of the day we play “Hello World”.

Mr 4 and I love the game.

Now, I am not some pushy parent who wants their child to do things like memorising countries of the world by heart (Mr 4 might do that anyway, whether I want it or not). But I do want my child to see that there is a big, diverse, exciting world out there waiting to be ‘discovered’ today and any other day.

In the parlance of a classic TV ad:

  • Twitter followers: 1378
  • Replies to our “hello”: 14
  • Worlds: 1
  • Sense of wonder about the world: priceless

PS. Dedicated to those who think nurturing connections online with Twitter is a waste of time…

11 comments

  1. Hadley Ferguson

    I love this “game,” and will definitely play this with my granddaughter when she gets a little older, not quite 3 yrs. now. I also want to try it in the classroom. It would be great as a geography lesson starter, or simply an activity to build their curiosity in both the world and the connectivity of a 2.0 world – I think I will try it with my 6th and 8th grade classes and see what happens. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks for the idea! Hadley

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  4. Louise Demasi

    Thanks Tomaz! What a fantastic educational game for your child and what a brilliant way to use Twitter in the classroom. So simple yet so effective and relevant. Priceless.

  5. Kim Yeomans

    This IS “priceless” Tomaz…so simple but so powerful! Just wish Twitter wasn’t blocked at school so I could try it in the Library with some of my classes.

    Kim 🙂

  6. Chris Betcher

    What a great idea! My own two kids are getting a little old for this game (or they probably think they are!), but I can see it being really good fun with the littlies back at school. Can’t wait to play this with Kindy and Year 1. Thanks for the idea Tomaz!

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  9. Sudhamshu

    “Hello” from Chennai, India! Very interesting game and a nice way to teach your son about the world! It certainly would make him more inquisitive, if not informative.
    PS: Thanks for using my photograph with such a thoughtful post. 🙂

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