At the end of term 2 one of the English teachers came to the library to talk about ways of engaging some of her Year 8 students who don’t like to read. She said she wanted to try eBooks but as we talked I discovered it wasn’t really eBooks she meant but online/digital/interactive fiction – something novel (excuse the pun) to hook them back into reading.
I talked to her about Inanimate Alice and a few other possibilities and she’s now keen for her class to sample a variety of online fiction. I’m spending the term break becoming familiar with ‘what’s out there’ and the possibilities for use in classrooms.
Inanimate Alice is the obvious starting place, Kate Pullinger is not only an author but also an educator and many fabulous teaching/learning resources have grown up around Inanimate Alice. There is an official Pedagogy Project containing lesson plans and other educational resources. It is available (free) by registering with iTeach on the website. Some introductory articles are linked at the start of the resource providing helpful background information. The lesson plans themselves focus on the multimodality of the work and multiliteracies:
‘Inanimate Alice’ is a new media fiction that allows students to develop multiple literacies (literary, cinematic, artistic, etc.) in combination with the highly collaborative and participatory nature of the online environment (from iTeach, Inanimate Alice)
Other great resources for Inanimate Alice worth checking out:
- Inanimate Alice on Facebook – updates, resources and projects by participating school communities
- Alice And Friends — a digital literacy wiki created by two Australian teachers with lesson plans and other resources
- Mr Woods and Team 17 wiki — a NZ class that documented their learning journey with Inanimate Alice
But the teacher doesn’t want to focus only on Inanimate Alice so what else is out there?