I attended two days of BETT in January and it was the usual whirlwind of sales pitches, product demonstrations, workshops, seminars, networking and queues for coffee.
The highlight of my two days this year was the Friday night TeachMeet. I missed this event last year so I was glad to make it this time around. My one “takeaway” idea from the night came from Steve Bunce. Steve spoke about interactive stories and mentioned, among other tips and tools, Inklewriter.
Inklewriter allows your students to create their own interactive stories, guiding them through the process as they go along. The user interface is easy to pick up and helps students of all abilities to create interesting tales full of twist and turns. The interface is fairly uncluttered, giving the students the opportunity to focus on their writing.
I introduced the idea of interactive stories to my class before showing them Inklewriter. We talked about how interesting it might be for the reader to be able to decide what happens in a story. We spoke about the linear nature of many narratives and compared them to non linear tales. We also drew comparisons to popular video games where the player gets to decide what happens next rather than following a preset storyline.
This piqued my students’ interests enough to get them started planning, in pairs, their own interactive stories. This step was completed on small whiteboards and in their English copies. Once planned, it was time to create our stories on Inklewriter. I gave a whole class demonstration of how to use Inklewriter before setting the class up in pairs in the computer room to work on their stories. A tutorial is also available to help students along.
Inklewriter allows you to create accounts without using an email address. This was great for us as we don’t have student email accounts. The finished stories can be shared via unique urls and viewed by anyone without the need to sign in. An example can be read here (http://writer.inklestudios.com/stories/musgraveritual) Incidentally, Inklewriter was blocked when I first tried it in school, but I submitted the link for review and it is now available.
We have only used Inklewriter once but I can see myself coming back to it again a number of times. It proved easy for the students to use, it got them excited about writing and it was unlike any other writing tool they had used before. I thoroughly recommend you give it a try.