Published on July 17, 2014
On Promethean's Planet Ian harper When we refreshed the website back in August at the same time we announced our association with key partners with whom we will start to demonstrate how Alice delivers on the interactive classroom promise. Promethean Planet, the world’s largest online community of educators, helps deliver on our vision that students will grow up with Alice…from class to class from year to year. Go to Planet and register – it’s FREE. Access the additional resources there that outline where we are heading in terms of digital literacy and a platform that provides the basis for language training and ICT education. It is surely a cross-curricular title for the digital age. The former movie producer David, now Lord, Puttnam spends much of his time advocating for the use of new media technologies in education. He echoes many voices in the commonly held view that surprisingly little progress has been made in the many years since ‘digital’ first hit the agenda. You’ll find his welcome view inside. A reading from the screen experience for the videogame generation “ ”DAVID PUTTNAM Digital outcomes need to be dynamic and vivid. They need to leap off the screen. Moreover they need to work across platforms in a virtual student playground. We have yet to embrace the entire learners journey, from school to home to social media on mobile devices and back to school again, but that transformation to student- centric learning is fast taking shape. Time is a flexible dimension. I must emphasise that, after all this time, we are in the early stages of this considerable adventure. We will be calling for contributions from time to time, making this an ever more collaborative journey. Join us.
Although it wasn’t originally written for the education market, the more enlightened teachers around the globe have seen the potential of Inanimate Alice as a learning environment for their young students. As young people almost immediately feel empathy towards Alice and her changing circumstances, it is not difficult to involve, motivate and engage them in Alice’s world, where, along with Alice, the smart teacher can support the child to develop in any number of ways – socially, emotionally and intellectually. Digital literacy on whiteboards The nature of Inanimate Alice’s transmedia text means that it is relevant in every curricular area, and the MindMap demonstrates how each of these curriculum areas will ultimately be addressed in the planned Teachers’ Edition of IA, where teachers will have access to a wealth of ideas and resources to suit their needs. In addition, Alice’s own development through each of the episodes of the story, and the progressively challenging nature of the text, means that the young learner is developing his or her literacy skills at an appropriate rate, while growing with Alice and Brad as trusted companions. The fact that Alice already exists in five languages highlights the universality of the story and provides incentives for the young learner to develop a genuine feeling of global citizenship, a feeling which is enhanced through collaboration and sharing in the User-Generated Content Section of the resource. Apart from being a high-quality novel in its own right, IA also provides the perfect stimulus for writing and creativity, with young learners eager to show what they can do when it comes to storytelling, using whatever means available to them. Whether it’s using paper and pencil, or more sophisticated digital media, it’s the narrative that counts, and there’s nothing that young readers like to do more than have an episode of IA set in their own back yard! A high quality literate text that teachers can rely on “ ” Bill BoydLiteracy Advisor
I’ve talked at length, and on many occasions, about children and young people needing to be smarter, more adaptable, better prepared than ever before. I’ve talked about the need to harness the immense power of digital technology in order to capture the imaginations of today’s students. Brought up on television and video games, they feel they have to power down when attending school. That is a problem. Here is a terrific reading-from-the-screen experience that talks the language of digitally literate educators. Kids will read this when they won’t read from books. It’s vivid moving imagery embracing some of the techniques used in both film and video-games. It’s authentic rich-media, yet it is a high-quality text that teachers can rely on. Surprisingly intimate, the feeling for the characters forms in your head, just like reading a book, all the more so for those who prefer engagement with “born digital” material. The kids will love reading with Alice and, surely, that is the point. DAVID PUTTNAM Comment Imagine students seeing this pin- sharp trailer on an ActivBoard before getting down to reading and creativity with Alice... Click to view the trailer
The teacher launches an episode of Inanimate Alice, displaying it on the Promethean ActivBoard. The pages come alive with rich imagery, text and sound, keeping the students engaged throughout the session. The studentsfeel energized and motivated as they become immersed within the story. Students must use their cognitive skills as well as their imagination to solve puzzles, play games and find hidden items all helping uncover what happens next. Upon completion of the episode, the teacher pulls up an available flipchart from Promethean Planet. Flipcharts provide additional hands-on, collaborative learning opportunities. Promethean Learner Response devices provide for a quick assessment to gage student understanding. Based on the results of the assessment, the teacher then assigns students to a team for a homework assignment. Their assignment is to use the clues that were uncovered in the class review to determine Alice’s next steps. The students are able to access the story via their computer or mobile device for reference and work together as a team to complete the assignment. cOLLABORATION Assessment Mobile Learning Engagement Alicecomesalive-ausecase The next day the students are asked to present their findings on the ActivBoard to the rest of the classroom. Examples of developed classwork are available for review.
Teacher Training In an age where our students are required to be transliterate, and adapt to the multimodal environment of the online world, new media narratives like Inanimate Alice are prime pedagogical material. Not only does Inanimate Alice employ the well-recognised form of a Bildungsroman, but it is imbued with new media qualities of sound, image, video, text and, importantly for kinesthetic learners: varying degrees of interaction. The strong narrative writing along with the crafted multimodality provide educators and students with a myriad of learning opportunities. In fact, Inanimate Alice has been on my secondary, undergraduate and graduate syllabi since it’s inception! Dr. Jessica Laccetti University of Alberta, Canada Jess Laccetti
USER GENERATED CONTENT The inspiration of Inanimate Alice has motivated students around the world to want to create their own next episodes of the series. Learners have used critical literacy skills to deconstruct the digital text as readers, and have used the knowledge they gained to write and create. They have become producers of content in the widest transliterate sense, shaping new narrative possibilities. Students are encouraged to co-create developing episodes of their own, either filling in the gaps or developing new strands of the narrative. These next episodes have taken Alice all over the world and on some extraordinary adventures. In addition, students have created interstitial episodes that fill in the gaps in Alice’s story. Inanimate Alice has created a virtual circle of storytelling where transmedia meets co- creation inspiring many learners to write and create. User Generated Content has enabled learners to participate, grow and be an integral part of the story. We are always excited to see Take Alice on her next adventure! We are seeing many exciting examples of stories inspired by the series. After viewing the episodes, challenge your students to create their own “what happens next” episode. It is a thrill to see Alice travel the world and to see how inspired learners take her on further adventures. Teachers are encouraging students to use a variety of technologies to do this, with PowerPoint seemingly the most popular. Please share your next episodes with us by emailing to istories@inanimatealice. com. Selected student episodes will be featured on Promethean Planet in a gallery for parents, teachers, and learners from around the world to see, experience, and admire. Laura Fleming Media Specialist
Wanderings Andy Campbell will be presenting Alice at Narrative Futures in association with Tate Liverpool. Venue: The Box/FACT - Liverpool - 17 November Find out more Susan Dupre presents Technology meets Literature, a hands-on session at the Lacue 2010 conference in New Orleans, 28-30 November. Find out more Dr. Angela Thomas, UTAS, will be giving a presentation focusing on Alice at the AATE National Conference Melbourne, December 2011 Find out more Powering Learning at BETT, Olympia, London, January 11-14, 2012 Find out more
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