For my final ICM project, I will be collaborating with Eve Weinberg from Dano’s class. We both share a love for children’s books and have been working together for Samsung’s VR lab. The idea for creating a story around superheroes arose from a thought I had to make an interactive superhero cape for my PComp final. Eve had reached out separately to gauge my interest in collaborating on an interactive story for ICM. These ideas alone seemed cool, but the opportunity to combine them sounded like basically the most exciting idea ever.
Why superheroes? Great question! Before ITP I had taught English as a Second Language for a variety of ages, demographics in several geographic locations. Although I taught children for 2 years, most of my experience is in teaching multilingual adults. I was one of those teachers who secretly believes/wishes they are a motivational speaker. This led me to putting any teaching activity on hold to give a 5-10 minute talk to my students about why they were there. Why were they learning English? Why were they in NYC? Why were they in San Diego? Why are they in this specific class? It almost served as a reminder to them and myself when we tend to get a little comfortable in class and forget how important it is to be engaged in your own learning process.
Additionally, when I served on City Year at a high school in Queens as the 9th grade Literacy Coordinator, I spent most of my day having conversations with my students about their lives in and outside of school. Maybe you’re thinking what’s the point of that if my objective was to help them read and write better. And even more, maybe you’re thinking what the hell does this have to do with your ICM final idea. In short, I believe that everyone’s a superhero, but it’s an individual’s choice to practice their personal super powers. I also don’t not believe I am the only teacher in the world who thinks like this. In fact, I am under the firm belief that all teachers believe this about their students. In this project, I want to explore how we can show anyone they’re a superhero. I hope to convey what it means to be a superhero and help people find that power within themselves.
Is this meant for kids? Another fantastic question! Yes and no. Of course, we want to empower kids, but we also want adults to unleash their child-like imagination.
Learning can be both incredibly empowering and paralyzingly scary. In order to learn, one needs to be vulnerable, in order to be vulnerable, one needs to feel comfortable. In order to feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation, one must trust their learning environment.
Summary: In this interactive story, a user will have the opportunity to test their skills as a superhero in order to save their school from a blackout. The story will begin by putting on a cape (possibly a mask and gloves) that will help the user navigate through the experience. They will learn about 5 superhero traits: wisdom, compassion, focus, bravery, and confidence. For each trait they will complete a task to get them closer to the fuse box, which will help them turn on the lights and save the school.
To get some inspiration, we visited the bookstore, Books of Wonder.
We found a lot of great books to read and use as resources.
After creating an outline of the story, we then decided our text would rhyme.
These are a few slides that represent what our story will look like in p5.