“…set in the early years of the 21st century and told through text, sound, images, music and games.”
‘Alice’ is a ‘digital novel’ that most students find accessible, interesting, fun – and mysterious. The first time an episode is screened the tension in the classroom builds. For many students, it is a story told in a form and style that is unfamiliar – at least in the context of a traditional print-based English classroom – they do not know what to expect.
Recently, ‘Alice’ inspired many of my university students, preparing for their Professional Experience (PEX) sessions in classrooms around the region, to think how they could use the stories. Reports were all positive regarding student responses to Alice from their classrooms. One is writing about the text, for a professional journal, so positively did her students respond.
Who would argue with the slogan that ‘new media demands new literacies’? There are resources at the site plus plenty of enthusiasts to help you explore digital stories and ‘Alice’. Here is a ‘starter kit’.
My friend and English teaching colleague Kelli McGraw is a longtime fan of Alice’s. Check out her recent presentation, Alice in Australia: Making Digital Stories and her digital storytelling wiki. You can read more about ‘Alice’s Australian Report’ here. Joining this Edmodo community will likely help you connect with other enthusiasts too.
Alice inspires students to be creative, especially when they see how easily stories can be created with simple tools. Students can download Snappy at home to create visual stories and presentations after experiencing ‘Alice’. Students in my Year 10 class thought it cool and my 8 year old daughter had no difficulty using it.
Here’s a promotional video exploring the tool:
I do need to point out that these digital stories about ‘Alice’ and her experiences do not personally satisfy my narrative needs. The sound effects and music can be a little jarring and there is an emotional distance created that does not permit me to warm to the character.
How about you? Are you a fan of Inanimate Alice?
Teaching tips sought: how are you using ‘Alice’ in the classroom?
UPDATE: Just realised I first blogged about Inanimate Alice over 4 years ago.