Digital Literacy Collaborations + Transmedia Explorations

Class 62 & Heidi Siwak win The Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching & Learning. YAY! Read more here

I'm really honored to do my small part and collaborate with Heidi Siwak & class 62 in Canada, Ian Chia in Australia & Esa Heltulla in Finland on the project based learning experience, I LIVE OVER HERE- A DIY APP.  What a dedicated group of DIGITAL LITERACY pioneers.  This whole collaboration began on twitter and spilled over into "real life."  This is truly a testatment to the power of social media & what we can do together to change education.

Teachers like Heidi & innovators like Ian & Esa are defining what the 21st century classroom looks like: collaborative, participatory and fun!

Heidi Siwak and her class 62 in Dundas, Ontario are creating an Augmented Reality App for the iphone and documenting the entire process on her blog: THE AMYRILLIS.

There is also a I LIVE OVER HERE - DIYapp wiki here.

from the wiki:
Class 62 in Dundas are creating their own iPhone app - they're choosing and writing all the content based on locations around the city of Dundas in Canada, creating all the artwork, photography and interface design. Their goal is to create their own iPhone app to be published on the App Store in a few months.
Along the way - this project will expose them to a range of real world experiences - thinking about their ideal audience and how to write and market Dundas to them. They're learning about mathematics used in photograph and digital design and global positioning systems. They're learning about geography and social studies in their own city. The potential for studying basic astronomy and science involved with geo-satellites used in mapping may be explored. They're learning about software design and content management systems and databases that are used in the iPhone app. They're creating art and design and talking to the digital artist @CynthiaJabar

Most of all - they're having fun, making stuff and collaborating with each other and others across the world.

Our hope is that we all learn from each other, and potentially create an extension of this app so that we can open the system up to other classrooms around the world from 3rd graders upwards to middle school and high school students. We can imagine an app that allows many classrooms to create their own content, and download the contributions from other classes of children and youth from around the world. Ideally - the app would have a body of creative-commons licenced curriculum behind it for many grade levels, so that we can open up participation for learners of multiple ages.
If you'd like to be involved in this discussion of where this experiment is going and how you might like to be involved in further apps for your own class, please feel free to email @ianchia so he can create a wiki account for you to edit and contribute content here - other educators are very welcome to participate in this wiki. Being Prudence would like to hear and discuss your ideas in the open - that way, everyone can benefit. As well, Heidi is blogging about the experience of Class 62 on an ongoing basis and welcomes comments from others.

During a Skype session with the students from class 62 asked me: "why do you want to help us?" My answer: I truly believe we all need to do our part, no matter how small,  to reach out and inspire and share our creativity with the children in our lives.  I am simply doing my part.  Of course it's just plain fun & inspiring hanging out with kids too!  I am learning so much from this collaboration as well.  I'm in turn taking what I have learned from them and sharing these digital literacy skills and insights with the children in my life. 

We all know digital literacy in the 21st century is not a luxury.

Here are some comments from the kids in class 62 Heidi posted on the Amaryillis blog.

"Being able to contribute to the app project has made me feel like I was important.  Emily and I cropped pictures on photoshop which was a big part of the project.  It was fun, but a lot of work." -Carlie

"We have been able to have experts help with the app, like Cynthia and Ian when they gave us really good information and helped us along the way.  If we weren't connected we wouldn't have been able to do this project.  Skyping with people like Dr. B, Ian and Cynthia wouldn't have been possible.  Being able to work on an app project is different from normal projects because we get to connect with people around the world. Working with professionals has been so amazing for me.  How we got to talk with them via Skype and Twitter ... it is just so cool!"- Justin C

"Technology has helped us connect to the world because with technology it shows other teachers or even  students what we are learning and how we are learning. We are sharing and connecting different ideas about the use of technology." -Sydney

The iPhone app, I Live Here will be published fall 2011. 
You can follow us on twitter @ianchia, @heidisiwak, @idevbooks, @cynthiajabar.

Ian is the founder of Being Prudence and the one who started all these shenanigans in the first place.  He is passionate about making thoughtful and enticing learning experiences for children and their families.
Ian is married to his magnificent wife Carrie and is the proud father of his daughters Grace (11) and Ella (8) and Felicity (0 or 6.75 depending on how grownup you are).
Most of Ian's friends consider him to be a very creative geeky dad, but truthfully his two favourite tech appliances are his hot glue gun and his pressure cooker.
FOLLOW: @ianchia

iDevBooks math apps are designed and made by me in Espoo, Finland.

I have been a researcher of algorithm visualization at the University of Tampere where I designed educational applications that made complex algorithms more accessible to computer science students.

The Finnish Society of Computer Science gave me the Annual Finnish Master’s Thesis Award for my thesis on algorithm visualization in 1988.

When I was looking for a Column Addition app for my daughter. I was surprised to find out that there were no apps that teach the basics like column addition, column subtraction, long division and long multiplication in an easy way.

I had designinged programs for visualizing algorithms for computer science students and I decided to use that knowledge to make great teaching and learning apps for children and everybody who wants to study math.

You wil find my apps by choosing the math apps -link. You can use the endorsements -link to find testimonials by teachers.
FOLLOW: @idevbooks

Heidi Siwak has made it her life’s mission to make learning more exciting, more engaging, more collaborative and most of all … more outside the classroom!  Harnessing the power of technology and social media, Heidi is creating brand new models of learning and teaching, and uses her Grade 6 classroom as a laboratory in which her students teach her as much as she teaches them.  Using platforms such as Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Skype and gaming Heidi and her students are finding ways to connect with experts around the world, test the validity of information and ideas, and expand the scope of intellectual exploration and creativity.  And, they are having a ton of fun while they are doing it.  The results have been astounding and inspiring. After 20 years as an elementary and middle school teacher of Language, Social Studies and French, Heidi is developing a new understanding of what it means to be a teacher in the 21st century. She shares her discoveries through her blog, “21 Century Classroom: The Amaryllis”.

FOLLOW: @heidisiwak

Heidi will shared her experience at RASCON3 Sunday, July 31st, 2011, 05:30 (5:30am) LA Time.  Sunday, July 31st, 08:30 (8:30am) NY time.

Project Based Learning Transmedia Collaboration with Lance Weiler

Notes: Becoming Part of The Story/Points of Entry


Storytelling pioneer Lance Weiler created ROBOT HEART STORIES, an experiential educational vehicle for kids to talk to each other all over the world, tell stories about their life on earth and ask a girl robot who has crash landed in Montreal, questions about where she is from and why she landed here.
They ask questions like:
"What might you want to do here on Earth?" - Vincent, NJ
"Why is the heart on your chest so big?" -Brenna, NJ
"What would happen if you landed in New Jersey?" -Michelle, NJ
"What did you do on Earth?" -Daniel, NJ
"Why would you dress like that?" -Meghan, NJ

(You can listen to all the questions on this voice thread from Laura Fleming & her 3rd grade class


Download the robots here and share what you made with other kids around the world.

I met Ben on twitter last year when I was looking for some music for an animation script.  I listened to his music again recently and thought it would work really well for a ROBOT HEART STORIES REMIX of some kind. He is nice enough to let kids remix it with their images & stories. Come back and check to see what we do.....if you want to add an image to our animation,,,let us know @cynthiajabar.  Share your remix. ; )

Find out more about Ben Thompson here.

Laika robots spotted in New Jersey.

This is Laika on the cover of her first school notebook.
So who is Laika?

Laika (named by the class in Montreal), is a robot who has crash landed on Earth and is making her way from Montreal to Los Angeles with the help of kids all over the world.

You can help her reach her destination by participating & sharing what you LOVE.  Love makes her move!

Visit the website: and download a heartpack to color or make a toy robot.

SHARE WHAT YOU LOVEIt's all  in your hands as the collaborator.

"For each photo or piece of art featuring the robot that is submitted, the signal strength of the robot grows stronger and helps her get back home."

Read Laika's Journey BLOG

Here's what the LA science team has to say about what fuels their passion & creativity.

"I like to be creative because if I wasn’t I would be boring."   –Gabriel Alaniz 
This is Laika admiring the graphiti in Paris, France.

"I feel passionate about Laika because she is brave." - Caitline Molina
"I am passionate about flowers because they are colorful, smell good, and are interesting to watch sway in the wind." - Agenda Domsitz  
"I like to be creative because then whatever I make, I like, because it came from my imagination."     
- Alessandra Rugamas

On the JOURNEY BLOG, you can also follow what Laika has to say about science,  geography & the other strange things humans do here on Earth.

Laika wondered what this tiny brown thing was.
En route to 46° 32’ North by 84° 20’ West.
Parry Sound is a “town” along a body of water called a “bay.”
Smaller groups of humanbots live in “towns.”
The buildingbots are fewer and smaller, too.

Teambots afraid of effects of air pollution.
Alternative energy sources identified: solar energy, biomass, animals, magnetic, wind, geothermal, ocean currents, and ocean tides.
Fear drains energy reserves.

Giant Laika visiting a class in Sydney, Aust
Check out this experiential learning project using math,  science,  history,  geography,  creative writing & art to propel the imaginations of kids across the world and help get Laika home!

FOLLOW: @rebootstories
LAIKA'S LOG with Science notes:
SUPPORT INDIEGO-GO: Robot Heart Stories
FOLLOW: @lanceweiler



The Card Game of the 7 transmedia families
(transmedia est un adjectif ;-)
The intention of the card game is to raise awareness among transmedia practitioners and newbies about the concepts for transmedia creation.
It uses players' memory and sense of observation and contributes to a develop methodologies and expertise.
It is a prototype, or beta version, as a limited and non commercial edition, and is meant to be tested as an educational tool to help people to get "transmedia ready".
It addresses the creative industry and future transmedia practitioners in the digital environnement.
It is a fun way to think of the principles of transmedia creation and try to experience oneself within a transmedia production. It help to understand the the concept of transmedia, coordonate the preparation of the creative and collaborative work. It is dedicated to everyone, from creative talents to business partners, professionals or students. 
Example :

The Storyworld family is the universe of an enlarged story based on a synopsis and narrative framework. It encompasses all possible ramifications and constitutes the depth and richness of a transmedia creation. 
Introducing the Mother as "the Writer", the Father as "the Character", the Daughter as "the Player", the Son as "the Geek". And much more surprises !


We will be at DIY DAYS in Los Angeles & Storyworld in San Francisco,  come say hey!
We're working on the next iteration.  


FIRST TEST MAY 27 & 28, 2011

Between Karine Halpern (France), Cynthia Jabar (USA), 
Paul Burke (United Kingdom) & Charles Ayat (France)

Writer/curator -> Karine Halpern KH_enthu_ziasm
Artistic director/designer -> Cynthia Jabar  :
Designers ->  -
YOU can ask questions to help develop the game
Advisors have been helping answering questions related to "families" or "characters" (Maud Serpin, Alexis Niki, @guerillakitchen  @simon_staffans @prospexity

The 7 families are: Business Models, Communities, Design, GamePlay, Multi-Platforms, Production & Storyworld.

This is part of the GAMEPLAY FAMILY designed by Charles Ayats.

FOLLOW #7TF on twitter:

KARINE HALPERN: @transmediaready

CYNTHIA JABAR: @cynthiajabar

PAUL BURKE: @poburke