Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Innovations in Storytelling

In a post on July 5, 2012 Larry Ferlazzo of Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day, spoke of a new web 2.0 application which makes digital storytelling increasingly easier, especially, as a writer, you desire to give your readers choices.  In a subsequent post, The Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education in 2012-So Far he includes it on his list.  Inkle is the company responsible for the design of that application called Inklewriter.
At the site they state:

We've developed a unique format for interactive literature:  the "inklebook".

When you access the home page the tabs across the top read, left to right, home, about us, creative services, frankenstein, inklewriter and blog.  Frankenstein, under the teachers tab, informs us about their most recent app penned by Dave Morris, published by Profile books, which

provides an interactive retelling of Mary Shelly's classic novel.

This is an exciting tool offering insight and the potential for discussion; for giving readers and writers the opportunity to reflect and imagine possibilities.

Moving down the row of tabs, skipping to the last, blog, you can view all the latest and greatest happenings at the site.  Under the inklewriter tab are the headings of inklewriter, Future Voices competition, getting started and for teachers.  Inklewriter is a free application for designing, writing, interactive stories.  It keeps track of the story paths.  Once a story is completed it can be shared with a unique URL.

Future Voices competition is just that, a writing competition hosted by the site.  If you are a writer, the incentives look very good.  Yesterday on their blog was a post, 10 types of interactivity, which offers ideas for using inklewriter. The for teachers tab highlights the many uses of the application in the classroom, the ease of use and the very real plus of students not needing email addresses to save their work.

The getting started tab supplies answers and information about:

  • Start writing
  • Write, and add options
  • How do I change to another path?
  • How do I join different paths back together again?
  • How do I read my story?
  • What's this about signing up?
  • How to I use logic?
When you click on the start writing tab you are taken directly to the app Inklewriter.
You can sign in to continue work on a previous creation, start a new story or view a tutorial story.  I would recommend going through a couple of the tutorials to get a basic understanding.  For me, any more were confusing without actually using the application first.

When you click new the real fun (writing) starts.  On the left-side toolbar are the choices of making your text bold, in italics, running paragraphs together, inserting a new section or inserting a condition to test.  In the upper right-hand corner you can switch from write to read mode as well as view a list of your created contents.

A story title and author name can be added with a mouse click.  Begin typing your story hitting the enter (return) key to create a new paragraph adding options to the story as needed.  A section can only be added when you are working on a particular paragraph.  I found adding section numbers to be a quick way to navigate within the contents. You can change the section numbers to a specific name with a mouse click.

I was initially under the impression that every time you started a new paragraph in your writing, by hitting the enter key, it would allow you to add one or more options.  That is not the case.  If you want to add options to a paragraph it needs to be an option first.  Creating these chains is fun and easy by checking the contents from time to time to see how your story is unfolding.

I wholeheartedly agree with Larry Ferlazzo.  Inklewriter is an excellent tool for creating interactive stories.  It would easily work with students in groups or individually. Here is the link to my story started using Inklewriter.

In introducing the genre of adventure to sixth grade students, in the past, we have added a writing component.  Breaking a class into groups of four, the students generate an introduction.  They then pair up to each create a different path the story might take.  Endings for each of the paths are written by the students individually, thereby finishing with four separate stories.  This activity, usually done using a previously designed paper template, would be better accomplished using Inklewriter.

Inklewriter posted a trailer for this app on YouTube August 16, 2012.  Here it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment