Last week and again today I had to demonstrate the significance of tags and tagging to groups of university staff (academic and support staff). I developed an easy little game to play (or should that be a short, formal exercise) to show people how to start tagging. This could easily be used with students as well.
Game description: Tag-do-u-do
1. Think up a set or words or phrases and print them out separately at tops of pieces of paper, then put a few lines (say five) underneath to write on.
2. Organize people into groups and hand each group one of the papers.
3. Ask them to think up about five ‘tag’ words or phrases that they could use to describe the printed word/phrase at the top of the page and write them down on the lines beneath (they aren’t allowed to use the printed word or any words in a printed phrase). Time allowed 2 minutes.
4. Now ask a group to shout out their ‘tag’ words/phrases and see if the other groups can identify the printed word/phrase.
5. Ask a second group to do the same. Keep asking groups to shout out their ‘tags’ until everyone has the idea.
Repeat above 1-3.
At 4. ask a group to shout out their printed word/phase and go round the other groups and ask them to shout out possible tags. The initial group has to strike off their written ‘tags’ as other groups say them.
5. Repeat for each group.
The group that strikes off the most is the winner.
This process produced a lot of discussion about tags and tagging when I ran it, including: should the word/phase actually be used as a tag (yes), what about spelling of words like publicize/publicise (use all variations), etc.