Remixing Through Digital Storytelling

This unit started with the story Inanimate Alice. It is an immersive digital story that redefines how students read stories.

Here is my UbD unit: Remixing Interactive Stories through Programming 

  1. What were your goals for your lesson/project (Standards)?

My goals for the project were to teach the multi-modes of a digital story and to implement a unit using the SAMR model to redefine the learning. This unit would not have been possible without the use of technology. Using Scratch Programming facilitated student learning in the creation of a multi-modality (containing text, image, sound and interaction) digital story.

See my unit for more specific goals and standards.

  1. What tools did you use? Why did you choose this/these tools for this/these task(s)?

The tools used in this unit were firstly the digital story Inanimate Alice which was the inspiration for the whole project. Students remixed new scenes and altered scenes of Alice using Scratch programming which helped in the creation of three modes (text, image and interaction). The Scratch website was vital in learning programming as it includes a huge community with millions of projects to learn from. Also, the Scratch wiki was a critical in better understanding certain blocks and scripts. Lastly, students used Garageband on the iPads to create sounds and soundtracks to enhance the mode of sound in their projects.

  1. How did you go about introducing your lesson/project?

We began by viewing the digital story Inanimate Alice which uses four modes (text, sound, images and interaction) to immerse the reader into the story.

  1. How did the students react? Include actual samples of student reflection (video, images, etc)

Students were engaged and really liked the story from the beginning. They liked that they could remix a scene to change and manipulate the mood of the story through the modes.

(see Student Videos and Reflections)

  1. Outcome? Did you meet your goals?

Yes, exceeded but I had to build extra time into the unit. This was an incredibly creative project and students really took ownership with their stories and especially with the sound and interactions in the project. Also, many students had to use complicated scripts to fulfill the interaction criteria. Programming requires lots of steps and trial and error to get the desired end result.

  1. Evidence of learning? Remember to include student evidence like video, images, reflections.

Here are some samples of student projects. This one illustrates all modes but highlights interactions and this project incorporates sounds and creates a mood throughout the scene. Please note the student projects are just one or two scenes from the entire 26 scene story so without reading the original Inanimate Alice story the student scenes might seem out of context.

Student feedback (to be updated soon)

Here is one student’s reflection and here is another of the overall project.

  1. What would you do differently next time? What did you learn? (Reflection)

Firstly, I allowed some students to work in groups. I would change this and have all students create their projects individually. This would allow me to better assess each student’s individual understandings in the unit. Also, I would have all the projects align. Instead of letting students remix any scene they want, I would assign each student a scene and they would need to remix it and talk with the person with the scene before and after to create a cohesive whole class story. Also, I may consider using one week to create a short remix scene of Alice and then have them write a story story and use the four modes to tell it.

Alternatively, I have considered using the story Inanimate Alice as background knowledge and an introduction to the modes – not the backdrop/concept for actual project. This would give students the opportunity to create new stories rather than remix Inanimate Alice. This would promote more creativity and likely accomplish the same.

  1. How do/did you plan to share this with your colleagues?

All of the projects the students created have been uploaded the to the SSIS channel on the Scratch Website. Also, students have embedded them on their blogs and reflected on the project. A playlist will be created and sent to all teachers on World Scratch Day (May 18th) to showcase learning and some of the possibilities with programming in Scratch. Also, a selection of projects will be showcased at our next staff meeting.

  1. What was your greatest learning in this course?

How creative projects allow students to innovate in ways I had not predicted. Students took the interactive mode seriously and went above and beyond to make their project interactive. Some students even made them playful like a game. Students took advantage of the huge community on Scratch and learned some complicated scripts that went beyond the requirements. Also, using Garageband on the iPads took away any barriers in creating music. Students that didn’t feel confident with creating music picked up an iPad and really got into crafting the perfect song and sounds for their projects. Sound set the tone and mood for the projects and students are more aware of the influence sound has (and how it can transform a project).

  1. Did this implementation meet the definition of Redefinition?

Redefinition was met as this project would not have been possible without a computer or the iPads. The projects are now being viewed by people from all over the world via the Scratch website. A few students already commented that other Scratchers (people in the Scratch community) liked their projects. They were very enthusiastic about people outside the school could see their projects and even remix them thanks to the ease of Scratch 2.0.



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3 Responses to Remixing Through Digital Storytelling

  1. Mick Huiet says:

    I can’t believe that I have not found and followed your blog until now. All the rabbit holes I’ve fell into regarding gaming and MineCraft, I would have thought that I would have seen your posts somewhere along the way.

    This post introduced me to and had me following her trail and Tweeting breadcrumbs along the way. I’ve fallen in love with Scratch and was just about to launch an exploration into it. One of my parents shared a plethora of resources that she helped develop while working on the project at the University of Edinburgh. When I get them sorted and usable, I will share them out.

    Now with a combined approach using both, I believe I have a structure for redefining Lucy Calkin’s unit of studies: The Arc of Story- Writing Realistic Fiction and Following Character into Meaning while setting the stage for a year of incredible math differentiation on Scratch.

    I will share my UBD skeletons when I create them. I have passed on your units to some friends in MS and HS. Cheers, Mick

  2. Dan Farrant says:

    Hi Robert,
    This unit looks amazing. I have recently been exploring Scratch a bit myself and Inanimate Alice is something that our year 7 program is going to use but I hadn’t even thought of the possibility of combining the two. I have been able to open your unit plan but the resources won’t seem to open. Is there another way that I could get access to these? It seems like such an engaging idea and I would really like to try it with some of my classes.

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