Twine / An open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories
In my summer institute course Digital Games, Learning and Pedagogy at UBC’s Vancouver campus, we had the opportunity to try Twine, an online tool that allows you to make fun story games! This is such an incredible resource for the classroom as it is free!
My game, Two Strikes, is below. Click on the picture to take you to the game, hosted on my itch.io page. It is a story with two different outcomes (sort of ;), and you’ll notice when you hover your cursor over certain words/sentences, they are clickable. These will take you to other screens. It is a “choose your own adventure” type of game (albeit a short one!) and my first attempt at using Twine. It is so fun to use and I hope you try it out!
A reflection of our afternoon of play, with reference to Huizinger’s definition of ‘play’ and Caillois’ take on ‘game’.
Afternoon board games – we settle into our corner and choose a game to play.
“Sagrada? What’s that?”
“Do you know that cathedral in Spain? It’s a really fun game where you build stained glass windows…using die.”
Sagrada is a game where the players create stained glass windows by building up a grid of dice on their player board. Each board has some restrictions on which color or shade (value) of die can be placed there. Die of the same shade or color may not be placed next to each other. There are 90 coloured die in the game, and a game board with 10 spots. Those 10 spots are empty and awaiting the discarded dice following each round of play. For a 4-player game, you roll 9 die, choosing them from a bag and then selecting one to place on your “cathedral” (player board). Each player gets 2 die to place on their board, with an option to take both, opt out entirely or just take one (with the implication being you would potentially be behind your opponents, but sometimes you have no choice). We figured that a potential strategy could be to look at your opponent’s board and, if it suits your board (even though it would not necessarily be your first choice), take a dice that they would need/want for their window during that round to try to force an opt out.
One of the questions that came up was: Are there enough die for our rounds? The cathedral has 20 windows (spaces to place the die), marked with either the numbers on the die or colours. We did the math and if we were to deplete the bag during the rounds (4 x 20 = 80) and have 10 leftovers for the game board, that would equal 90 die total. The crux lies in whether or not the die rolls are in your favour. Caillois defines 4 different categories of games. Our group participated in the alea type, or games of chance. Games of chance level the playing field, as randomness takes away some of the competitiveness, since skills, qualifications and experience does not factor in. It is left up to fate. However, some games of chance are higher stakes than others (for example, gambling money in a casino versus a family game of Yahtzee), so each would have different levels of stress attached to who wins.
Huizinga (1955) states that play “must be defined as a free and voluntary activity”. Although the games were provided and assigned to us this afternoon, it still felt like free time, as there were no expectations or analysis to be done while playing. So, it was a source of joy and amusement. I remember thinking to myself that I should play more in general, as I was using problem-solving and critical thinking skills while figuring out the win conditions and gameplay, and doing so was satisfying.
Games provide an environment conducive to collective conversation, and thinking to yourself; being helpful, and attempting to thwart your opponents – all in an afternoon of play.
CreeGeo visited Fort Albany’s Peetabeck Academy School today to deliver a workshop with Mrs. Reuben’s Gr. 7/8 class. We learned about GPS, how it works and what it does, and students also learned about traditional uses of plants with Elder Joseph S. Sutherland. We traveled to the Youth Site, where ceremonies and gatherings are often held, and students used their GPS units to mark the waypoints of these plants out on the land. They also pointed out rabbit tracks, a few rogue “mush cranberries” and various structures as we were walking – check out our My Maps below to follow our tracks! #CreeGeo #MushYouth
I’m currently taking a course called Constructivism Strategies for E-Learning as part of my master of educational technology at UBC. We were tasked to host a “Research Cafe” for our colleagues on UBC’s Canvas LMS by designing an online learning environment. My topic was “Virtual Field Trips in a Virtual Learning Environment”, although it could also have been Virtual Field Trips as a Virtual Learning Environment. I used inquiry and collaborative learning as the basis of my cafe, and hopefully provided a space for both of these to occur through the use of map listings, a multimedia virtual field trip and discussion fora where peers collaborated with each other and asked questions based on their prior and current understandings/knowledge. My chosen framework was grounded in Baviskar et. al’s (2009) research which outlined four key elements for constructivist learning: 1) eliciting prior knowledge; 2) creating cognitive dissonance; 3) applying new learning; and 4) reflecting on the learning.
Thank you to Roxanne Metlin, Ed Sutherland, and Wilma Williams for providing audio for parts of the tour!
Click here to visit Kashechewan, Taykwa Tagamou and Chapleau Cree First Nations in Tour Builder (best viewed in Chrome).
You can also click on the hamburger menu at the upper RH corner and choose “Open in Earth” to open in Google Earth:
Baviskar, S. N., Hartle, R. T., & Whitney, T. (2009). Essential criteria to characterize constructivist teaching: Derived from a review of the literature and applied to five constructivist-teaching method articles. International Journal of Science Education, 31(4), 541-550. doi:10.1080/09500690701731121
Walk With Us will be visiting Taykwa Tagamou Nation on Saturday, June 23rd to capture Street View imagery of the community! We’ll be meeting in front of the band office at 1:00 pm, so if you’re in the neighborhood, please say hello and learn more about the Walk With Us project. WWU thanks Chief Bruce Archibald and TTN for hosting us! Stay tuned for Street View and a virtual tour.
I’m currently enrolled in ETEC 530: Constructivist Strategies for E-Learning through the UBC MET program. We are learning about knowledge, and how it’s constructed and acquired, through a philosophical lens held up by Professor Duncan Pritchard at the University of Edinburgh. The following post was one of our discussion post assignments.
My task for this particular week was to choose an online concept mapping tool in order to draw a visual representation of linkages between the posts in What is knowledge? My ideas forum, with the readings from Duncan Pritchard. Since I knew I wanted to create a sketchnote and I don’t currently own a stylus to draw on a tablet, I opted for a no-to-low tech option for this assignment. Yes, I used paper and pens. I did use an online word cloud generator by Jason Davies in order to begin my word associations, and this acted as a digital springboard for me. I take word clouds with a grain of salt, as these generators don’t take context into consideration.
I started with the word “knowledge” in the middle of the page. Then, I thought of a brain, so I drew a brain beside the word knowledge. I remembered when I taught the Human Organ Systems unit in Grade 5 Science years ago, and proceeded to split the brain into four parts: Frontal, Parietal, Occipital and Temporal, and labeled and colour-coded them. Then I refreshed my memory (activating my temporal lobe) and researched the parts of the brain, and ended up organizing my canvas into four parts. I thought that I could link Pritchard’s teachings through this type of lens and go from there.
Taking notes by sketching comes naturally to me, and I feel that I organically made linkages because it was a natural process (not to speak in circles). If you’d like to dig deeper into the wonderful world of sketchnoting, I just found this article entitled “50+ Awesome Resources to Create Visual Notes, Graphic Recordings & Sketchnotes”. It is an amazing curation of resources, even if you’ve been sketchnoting for a while! I also love Sylvia Duckworth.
Gelly Roll 06 pen (found this one while in Japantown in San Francisco and it is my absolute favourite gel pen)
Sketchbook (mine is a Five-Star Scrap Book with heavyweight paper)
Mr. Sketch markers (for pops of colour and scent!!; although these will bleed through the paper)
Sharpie pens (multiple colours)
Computer with a copy-paste Google Doc of my fellow students’ responses in the What is Knowledge? My Ideas forum, as well as the word cloud I used to generate linkages based on frequently used words/ideas
It’s finally March, and that means the official start of the seasonal cycle in the Omushkego culture. In the Omushkego Cycle of Life (Ininiwi Pimatisiwin), there are six seasons, beginning with Spring, or Sikwan. Next comes the Blooming of the Earth (Miloskamin), then Summer (Nipin), Autumn (Takwakin), Freezing Up (Mikishaw) and finally, Winter (Pipon).
Spring means warmer weather and longer periods of daylight, and the arrival of spring provided much excitement for the Omushkegowuk, according to the Omushkego Cycle of Life document (Omushkego Education Dept). And in the beginning of the Blooming of the Earth season (this begins in May), this was the time to clean up, store winter tools and equipment, and begin preparations for summer.
As we all know and experience in northern Ontario, Spring also reveals the debris hidden beneath the snow from our long winter season – from the coffee cups that once held that delicious dark roast to get us through the work day to the cigarette butts that drivers flick out of their windows. These are obviously examples of some of the negative impacts of human interactions with natural habitats and communities, but whatever types of trash we find, each piece can effectively be turned into data in order to analyze these impacts.
Enter the Litterati app, available on iOS and Android. Litterati started out as an Instagram account dedicated to taking pictures of trash (uploaded with #Litterati), and then taking those already geotagged, time-stamped images and plotting them onto a Google map to visualize this data. Then, others around the world started taking and tagging pictures of trash, until eventually, Litterati became a movement – a way to crowd-source cleaning the planet:
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd. A common school activity for the Friday before or Monday after this day will be to supervise students in beautifying their schoolyard or neighborhood as they pick up litter and either recycle or toss it. Why not take it a step further and use technology to record the number and types of trash? Litterati not only allows you to track the quantity of litter, but it also allows you to tag each piece of litter with what it is and even the brand, thereby collecting qualitative data too. And with this data comes questions, which leads to further research, and finally action – a process known as geo-inquiry:
Keep in mind that students need to create their own accounts, and therefore the age rating is 13+, and if under 18, they need to have a parent or guardian’s permission. See the Terms of Service “For Humans” here. One word of caution is that students should not be posting pictures of themselves, as the photos are taken directly through the app and then will be uploaded into the “digital landfill” for use on the interactive map, seen below. Photos should only be of litter, and each photo counts as one piece!
Photos are held in your Litterati gallery until you tag them appropriately and Upload into the Digital Landfill. Maps are updated hourly! Tagging is important because this information is then used to place litter into pollution categories – for example, if you come across a Dasani plastic water bottle, you might tag it using the brand name #Dasani and then #plasticwaterbottle. See below for suggested hashtags.
The Delta Conservatory, Sacramento Area Creeks Council and the Franklin High School Plastics Club has put together a great guide to use in your own trash mapping efforts – here is a list of hashtags found in their guide:
ALTERNATIVE: This activity can also be done by making your own classroom collaborative map using photos you take with your phone/tablet (with Location services turned on so that said photos are geotagged) and Google My Maps. The image below shows a geotagged photo taken by a phone, and imported into My Maps:
If your photos are backed up by Google Photos (How-To here), you can easily import photos (briefly illustrated here):
You can then easily share your class map on school-approved social media, and even start your own trash mapping hashtag.
NB: If you have multiple photos to upload, you can import them using a CSV file, spreadsheet or KML. More info on this method in a subsequent post!