Making Stories Into Learning Adventures

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I dare you to… think outside the classroom box

The thing that is really getting me excited at the moment is the idea of creating games-based, cross media learning adventure experiences that, while possibly adaptable for a traditional classroom, would really be focussed on kids to experience outside of a classroom and school situation, mostly online.

I’ve started one about Chinese characters called The Black Line Mystery where the students are guided by Agent 42 (I have actually dressed up for class and there are various online videos of Agent 42) through various tasks that will enable them to earn panels for the Character Decoder. Once it has full information on all it’s 8 panels (the kids do 8 ‘missions’) then they will be able to use the decoder to help them easily remember any Chinese character they come across in the future. The experience is run in English as the content is about meta linguistic awareness. You can listen to my reasonings for that here if you like.

I also did a presentation for the recent K12 Online conference about The Black Line Mystery that you can find here if you like. It’s not your traditional presentation, I can tell you. I dare you to take the journey 🙂

I’ve got a few ideas for other units, including one based on Chinatown in Melbourne. I love the idea of getting the kids out and about, finding clues, putting them together, following a physical trail, all that sort of stuff. A day on site in Chinatown could be part of a whole learning experience, most of which is done at school and /or on the web. Add a bit of augmented reality, have the kids emailing things to each other and to the web as they go, have them changing the narrative with their decisions – well, now, doesn’t that all sound damn exciting?!

Here are the things I am going to be researching:
– the power of narrative
– the power of narrative in game design
– good game design
– alternate reality gaming
– augmented reality
– transmedia storytelling

I’ll post a list of the places I am doing lots of this research next. Am totally open to suggestions too!

I think a combination of these things could make for some pretty powerful and engaging learning experiences. Well, I’m going to give it a go anyway! I’m such a newbie at this stuff that I’ve got a lot of learning to do and of course this new blog is going to be a record of that. Come along for the journey if you like.

Ooh, I’m excited. This stuff is going to keep me up at night (more so than things already do I think 🙂 This and #ds106.

This gives me the opportunity to create without the restrictions of curriculum, or term times, or school bells. It gives me the opportunity to really really think about how to engage kids on an interest based level without having to worry about completing assessment properly. Oh man, what an opportunity! It’s a dare I could not pass up, especially seeing as this year I am being paid to develop this sort for thing,

Here I go!

What exciting ideas keep you up at night? I better got to bed, it’s 1:35am.

image is my own

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