March madness is here and I have hoops on the brain. (Please excuse the gratuitous Husky hype: Cold Blooded.)
Basketball is an incredible game. While it can be played alone, it is much better as a team. The social play is special. Boys & Girls Clubs have figured this out. Basketball and social play prominently figure into their programs as a mechanism youth development. And now they are appropriating technology to serve the same goals.
John Goslin is blogging about specific ways that this is occurring over at the MUSP blog. He identifies important ways that technology is used: skills development (for technical literacy), exercise (xbox kinnect), organizational infrastructure for the larger BGCA network (sharepoint), etc. These are important observations. The dynamic that was most striking to me however, based on my time in clubs, was the way relationships developed around technology–with peers and with mentors.
Technology in clubs provides opportunities for youth to come together, to stretch themselves, to play. It is similar to the function that basketball served 50 years ago and continues to serve today. (Although I hope it never replaces actual hoops.:)