Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Inanimate Education

In this week’s blog I am going to look at the use of an interactive, digital novel called Inanimate Alice and if it could work in our national school curricular. Inanimate Alice is a multimedia, interactive fiction novel that engages its audience with the story of a girl called Alice.

Inanimate Alice is described as ‘proven to be popular across a broad range of ages as well as with a broad range of viewers, including both book-lovers and gamers.’-reference from: http://www.inanimatealice.com/teach.html. Inanimate Alice is definitely unique in its presentation of each story that it tells, and will leave an impression on you whether its good or bad it’s truly up to you to decide. ‘Designed originally as entertainment, Inanimate Alice has been adopted by teachers eager to develop their students’ digital literacy skills. Available in French, German, Italian and Spanish and created around a high-quality robust text, the story provides the ideal context for teaching global citizenship and for learning across the curriculum.’- Reference from http://www.inanimatealice.com/about.html. Inanimate Alice seems to be a very use learning resource for all types of languages and maybe even teach a new language, as you could re-run the story again in a different language and understand what it means, as you had already completed it in English.
In terms of being a multi-media program is great as most people today would probably prefer to watch, listen and interact with a story to make them feel more involved and understand it easier rather than just reading off a computer screen.  To progress with the story you have to click on the two arrows move on to the next stage, of the story. That to me happens to be a good feature as it then in turn, allows the student to ‘drive the action forward at their own pace’-reference from http://www.inanimatealice.com/about.html.

In the screenshots presented you can see a sample of what Inanimate Alice has to offer. You can see that in the first screenshot there is text on the screen along with short video clips that interchange with each other and, move across the bottom of the screen. This is a very different approach compared to conventional teaching methods which, seem to just have either video or text not really merging the two together. The second screenshot is a preview of how the interactivity is used in the program as, you are presented with a mobile, and you have to click on one of the icons as if you were using the mobile yourself to progress.

The whole idea of Inanimate Alice is an interesting idea it is really like marmite you either love it or hate it, I say this because of the feedback I receive about it. People either think it’s a genius idea and completely ‘revolutionary. On the other hand, people including myself find it a bit weird and not so easy to understand. Saying that though I don’t take anything away from Inanimate Alice, as it does have a great concept of trying to teach it adds to its unique visualisation of storytelling. And as for thinking if I would add it to the national curriculum here, I would say yes because it seems to have great success in the United States and Australia. In the US Inanimate Alice’s website was awarded ‘Best website for Teaching & Learning 2012’ which obviously shows that actually could work here. Check it out for yourself and see what you think: http://www.inanimatealice.com/index.html.

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