June 23, 2009

AllWrite: creative writing with award winning authors

AllWrite In about two months I'll be unveiling my latest commission with Channel 4's Innovation for the Public Fund.

Broadcast reports that we are commissioning Dan and Adrian Hon’s Six to Start to develop a creative writing game for the iPhone and iPod Touch, backed by national education agency Learning and Teaching Scotland. The game, currently under development, aims to help users tap deep into their imaginations and develop their creative writing skills by responding to writer challenges through their iPhone. They say we all have a novel in us, and ‘All Write’ will help users find it.

Six to Start is a highly successful developer specialising in digital storytelling with recent notable successes such as the We Tell Stories series for Penguin Books. Learning and Teaching Scotland have over the past three years developed a world-leading reputation for developing gaming for learning. The partnership will lead to both a mainstream game available in the iPhone App Store, and a teens' version for use in schools.

This is how Adrian puts it:

“All Write is the perfect tool for budding short story writers – it encourages people to get their ideas down wherever they are, and share them with the world. We’ve made storytelling into a fun and enthralling experience by posing imaginative writing challenges, and providing some great new pieces of original fiction from Naomi Alderman, a winner of the Orange Prize for New Writers.”

Alderman was also a lead writer on the Hons' previous success, alternate reality game Perplex City.

All Write is the latest in a series of projects developed in Scotland by Channel 4’s Innovation for the Public fund (4iP). Announced as part of the Channel’s Next on 4 strategic blueprint and endorsed by the Government’s Digital Britain Report, 4iP is a major new initiative to encourage innovation on digital platforms.

By helping young people and new audiences to discover the joy of reading and creative writing, All Write illustrates how digital media can serve a meaningful public purpose.

My former colleague Derek Robertson, now National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning at Learning and Teaching Scotland, was quoted:

“New and emerging technologies and their informed application in the teaching and learning setting is an area of particular focus for Learning and Teaching Scotland. We are very keen to explore the potential that handheld mobile learning tools can bring to schools and in that regard we are delighted to be partnering 4IP and Six to Start in the design and creation of a bespoke iPhone/iPod Touch learning app that will encourage and facilitate a community of ‘imaginative writers.’”

All Write will be launched worldwide this August on the iPhone App Store. Pic credit: New iPhone


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This sounds like an alright idea! I really appreciated this post and the thinking and technology behind it hits close to home for me because I work with a website called

    eduify [dot] com
and our goal is to help students write smarter and faster for free! One great way that we do this is through the iPhone app we are developing which allows students to insert and cite quotations easily. We also have a cloud based website with a ton of cool technology. It is good to know we are not alone at the front of the future of writing!

i like to check your blog on a regular basis to keep up with latest developments. It is a sad indictment of the education system in NZ that we are unlikely to have routine discourse on this subject in a staff meeting.

Caught up with Derek at teaching and Learning Scotland a couple of years ago when on holiday from the antipodes and was impressed with his work.

A couple of points on emerging
...they take a long time to embed in a developing pedagogy
...there is poor support and students disconnect from the wonderful world of cloud computing when they walk through the school gates.
...I have seen lots of great work with primary teachers on blogs but at the secondary end of things.....if its skool work its just not kool and only a limited number of students will engage.
...teachers need to learn to collaborate with each other again in ways that are independent of and not mediated by management structures. We need to use the technologies in our own learning first.

and finally to put the timescale for developments into perspective. I had paradigm shift after listening to you at Ulearn 07 in auckland. You demonstrated the simple tool animoto and it is only now that I have fully evaluated its usefuleness. Getting on top of Wikis after playing with blogs.

Then i read your posts and feel I am still losing ground.....aaargh... interesting times.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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