Sunday, May 31, 2020

Digital Scouting Era Begun!

Tools for Digital Scouting: A Scout Leader’s discoveries in this unusual time
Digital Scouting | LinkedIn


Since I was a child and came to know Scouting, my life has been centered on the words of our Founder: The most worthwhile thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others. When I came across this principle, I grasped it and lived it each day, as a true Scout, and still portray this in my adult years through Scouting.

Having the privilege of being a Scout Leader taught me an important lesson, aside from discipline and aiming for excellence, which is to be a friend to my young Scouts. That’s why staying connected is a must for an adult leader. With this pandemic, Scouting events and activities suddenly stopped and social distancing was imposed, leaving many feeling disappointed about missed plans, activities and gatherings. As Scouts, we spend much of our lives outdoors, we continuously make friends from all around the world, and we are not used to being confined in one place. 
For an adult leader like myself, the need to be connected with our young people and fellow leaders is hugely important. Now, more than ever, our young people need our support. And thanks to all the technology available today, Scouting adventures never really stop, as we move online. With all these digital tools, we resume our usual programming, but just do it in a new way. Besides, learning new things is part of Scouting!

I found joy in providing social connections among our young people online, and want to share some of the interactive tools we are using in our Scout groups to keep us active and mentally healthy:

Live streaming events
This is a powerful way to connect with your audience. You can use livestreams to host simple one-way events via your social media channels. Only the host is on camera, delivering content in real time. Remember to promote and schedule your live broadcasts ahead of time so your audience is aware and to more easily connect when your stream begins. 

You have a few options:
  1. Instagram Live (this is so far our biggest viewership since we started doing live events)
  2. Facebook Live
  3. YouTube Live
Virtual meetings
What is useful about these tools is that a free account enables us to record the session, so we can share with others to view later. Depending on the tool, participants can also be on camera or audio, so these options are better for two-way events. Here are some of the tools we’ve seen used with success:

  1. Zoom
  2. Skype 
  3. WhatsApp
  4. Google Hangouts
  5. GoToMeeting
  6. Webex
  7. FaceTime
Interactive feedback and game tools
These tools helps make online meetings more interactive and fun for everyone!
  2. Kahoot!
Collaboration tools
These tools allow you to work on developing content together, or sharing folders such as documents, photos or presentations:
  1. Google Drive 
  2. Slack 
  3. Yammer
Brainstorming tools
Capturing ideas is important in brainstorming and strategy meetings. Sticky note tools can also be used as prompts to return to ideas mentioned that do not directly fit the present agenda:
  1. Padlet 
  2. IdeaFlip  
  3. Noteapp 
  4. Bloomfire
Project management tools
If you have many projects on the go, a project management tool can help you and your team keep track of assignments:
  1. Basecamp 
  2. Trello

While we are enjoying this online Scouting – virtual meetings, webinars, live streaming, we remain vigilant in always considering our Safe from Harm policy and protocols. In whatever, platform you are using, always check the security settings and teach your Scouts about
online safety.
As a leader, it is our duty to keep our Scouts safe from harm at all times.

Happy (digital) Scouting! 

Written by:
Rio Ashadi, Adult leader and National Commissioner of Gerakan Pramuka

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