Regular readers of the blog will know that I am a huge fan of Inanimate Alice, the online digital novel which looks to me, and an increasing number of teachers across the world, like it begins to define the future of reading for young people in a transmedia world. The power of Alice as a learning context for teachers and students is only beginning to be felt but for those who already ‘get it’ the benefits have been enormous, not only in terms of student engagement with the narrative as a quality story, but more especially with their immediate, spontaneous and almost universal desire to write their own versions, episodes and storylines using whatever tools they have available to them, even if that only amounts to pencils and paper. If you have any responsibility for teaching literacy, imagine a text so powerful that your students, including the most difficult to motivate, are demanding to write! Laura Fleming, a library media specialist from River Edge, New Jersey, who is responsible for Alice’s School Reports and the Inanimate Alice Facebook page, sums it up well:
“As students are interacting with the story, they are active participants in telling the story. They fully understand what it is like to walk in the character’s shoes. In using this digital novel I have never seen them more engaged in text.”
A new feature on the IA website is Alice’s School Report. The second issue has an interview with the series’ artist Chris Joseph and features the work of English teacher Nancy Boag and her second year students at Ayr Academy in South Ayrshire, Scotland. Read too about how, for one secondary teacher, using IA has not only transformed his classroom but his whole approach to learning and teaching – Just Trying to be Better than Yesterday.
Megan decided to set Episode 5 in Glasgow.
To see some more of her classmates’ stories click here.