Way, way back in 2008, I was sitting in a hotel room in Shanghai, having been in the city for all of about four hours or so when there was a knock on my door.
I opened it to find a guy standing there who looked fairly familiar, but who I had never actually met before. He looked at me, stuck out his hand and said, “You Clarence Fisher? I’m Alan Levine. Let’s got get something to eat.”
This morning Alan visited the Idea Hive. He was spending some time down in Southern Ontario at Heather’s house, (I heard that her husband has been putting him to work on large machinery, but that’s a story for another time) so to pay for his stay, he agreed to come in to the Hive and spend some time with us.
Using a Google Hangout, Alan introduced himself to our classes, giving us some background to who he is and what he does. Then, he set us to work. He introduced us to 5 Card Flickr. A website based on a simple idea that shuffles photos and lets you build a story around these randomly generated photos. After you have chosen your five photos, you can then write a short story, save it and even embed it on your blog or website after you have finished.
Our kids at both ends of the Idea Hive had a great time! Lots of action and excitement. Lots of laughing as they made stories around photos. Alan has even agreed to let us upload our own photos with our own tags so that our students can make stories using their own photos.
This was a great exercise in digital storytelling, thinking about the structure of stories, and the pieces that we need to build a coherent narrative.