At the Open Education Conference last week, I spoke just after Jeff Hausman from the Jesuit Learning Academy. He was speaking about trying to unite the 200+ Jesuit College campuses across the country, and one of the icons on the screenshots he was showing caught my eye (the candle above). It looked like an app icon (what does that say about me?) and the title underneath was 3-minute retreat. This reminded me of little ARIS “games” that Jim Mathews has put together; he called them meditations. The idea in these meditations was to facilitate someone taking a little break from life, going somewhere peaceful or contemplative, maybe providing an idea to think about or a little music to aid introspection.
Jeff came up to Chris Blakesley and I the next day and said he thought maybe there was some part for ARIS in his mission. So I told him what I was thinking. He told us more about the role of the 3-minute retreat at their schools. Basically, they are similar to what Jim was envisioning, but specifically about taking time out of one’s day to connect with God. It was a nice introduction. And then Chris B and I did something fun. We spent the next hour making a spec. of 3-minute retreat in ARIS. We found their materials, and they were a perfect match for what ARIS can display. We combined that material with on-site photos that Chris B and I had been taking for fun anyway. At the end of that hour, we had something up to show Jeff. Not a complete rethinking of his idea within the medium of ARIS or taking particular advantage of local place, but suggestive of what might be done. It was enough for him to show any colleagues a working prototype.
You can play our mock-up of 3 minute retreat. Look for it in ARIS. It’s near Park City Utah if you’re using the map. Maybe it will give you ideas about how meditation as an activity might be facilitated with ARIS or some other mobile platform.