Making Stories Into Learning Adventures


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

#ds106 – Am I Out Of My Depth?!






I can tell that this damn #ds106 thing is going to –

  • Most definitely challenge my technology skills – bloody animated gifs! Now I’ll have to learn how to make them. Plus a whole host of other arty stuff that I’ve never done before. Pfft!
  • Gonna keep me thinking about how to do things all the time. Good grief, don’t you people know I have enough happening around here?!
  • Gonna make me look at things in a much more creative way. While I’m picking up after all my pets or my toddler mind you. Great.
  • Put me in touch with a new network of rather creative people. Oh for goodness sake, another one to maintain?! Tho none that ‘breathe’ quite like this one…and I’ve only just dipped my little tootsies in so far…

There are people doing assignments already, and the damn course hasn’t even started yet! Hmmm, ooh some ideas there for my own students…hmmm…

So am I out of my depth with all that I don’t know? Fat chance! Move over peeps, I is here! (and if it wasn’t 1am and I didn’t have toddler that is likely to get me up at 7am then I’d sit up now and figure out how to make one of those damn gif thingies).

Oh, better read me some more cool books and watch more groovy movies so I’ve got some good fodder for all this arty stuff. Recommendations welcome. What are your all time faves? I’m a bit behind, so help is welcome. Cult films, old films, anything.

Damn you for this living, breathing creation #ds106 peeps, damn you for invading my life with your challenges and arty-ness. I’ve only done the daily create so far, but have the weekend free-ish… It’s all your fault if I end up with an addiction and obsession – I’ll send you the bill for the therapy! 😉

Image attribution – Ocean mountain clouds alaska

An Occasion Of Excess


I dare you to exceed…

“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of habit.” W. Somerset Maugham

Do I have a habit of moderation that I could change to an occasion of excess? Hmm, how could a bout of excessiveness help to move something along or increase a benefit of an action or activity?

– perhaps lock myself away for a day and do an excessive amount of writing rather than just talking about it. That would get things started.
– spend an excessive amount of time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs. I’m always lamenting to myself about how I should do more of that. What would an excessive amount be? whole day me thinks.

But what about simpler every day things?

I probably SHOULD do an excessive amount of cooking! I’m terrible at that…

Doing something in excess on occasion could afford the opportunity to delve deeper than a moderate approach, to not be stopped right when real interest is taking place. Or simply to just enjoy enjoy enjoy.

What occasion of excess would you like to have? What would it help you to do?

image attribution too much nail polish

Construction Begins


I dare you to… construct something new.

So that is what I will do.


Well, you see, it is so that sometimes the old is no longer where we fit. Interests change, definitions change. It’s not at all that the old is totally left behind and ignored. It was indeed the old that brought me to the new. I wouldn’t have the new if it wasn’t for the old.

So my new construction is this new blog. Somewhere new to write about anything and everything that interests me, to explore new topics that I thought may not have fitted before, in the old construction. To join and contribute to new communities that before perhaps i didn’t think I had time for, nor did they fit in that construction of old. Ooh, how exciting…

image attribution Building Construction by Cuba Gallery