Inanimate Alice is an interactive multimodal fiction, a born-digital novel relating the experiences of Alice and her imaginary digital friend, Brad.
I first became aware of Alice a little over a year ago. It was a casual encounter at first, shortly after the site had won yet another of various sundry awards as one of the best teaching and learning resources available, however, it has become a bit of a more complicated relationship over time. First, there is the issue of what to do with Alice, but perhaps I digress and have jumped too far ahead of our tale. As a result, I should pull in on the reins and return to the start, which would be, what is Inanimate Alice and (because of the title) should I begin to consider investing in some post apocalyptic survival bunker for myself and those nearest and dearest?
Thankfully, the transliteracy (more on that term later) bulwark known as Inanimate Alice offers immense educational hope rather than anything to fear. The digital novel is the brainchild of Canadian author Kate Pullinger and British/Canadian artist Chris Joseph and tells the story and adventures of the titular character from childhood to early adulthood. If Alice were only a static digitized novel, it would be a marvel. The artwork and prose meshing perfectly to give us a compelling look at the fears and hopes of our heroine. Yet, much more is at work here.
Inanimate Alice is alive and filled with transmedia promises. The story is delivered through various methods as and platforms. Children and adults as well, but the former even more so, receive information from multiple sources, and not in a tidy well structured order. With music, sound, collage, kinetic images, mixed media, interactive features, Alice duplicates that experience in a clever and engaging way.
Inanimate Alice can thus be used by a teacher in a myriad of ways and over a multitude of formats. I will confess to having not even scratched, perhaps only lightly poked, the surface of pedagogical opportunities offered by the work. Digital options are one thing, however, this project offers the educator the full breadth and palate of transliteracy possibilities to work with. Physical (old school) letters, discussion, creative art, geographical lessons, theatre projects, field trips etc…..
Hopefully, in a year´s time I will revisit this blog and reveal all of the exciting classroom adventures with students of all ages that I have embarked on alongside our friend Alice. Used in the curriculum throughout Australia and other English speaking countries, Inanimate Alice can find a new home in Spain and more specifically at English Wink.
Joe Martin Sigue leyendo