Why Spark? Web stories for learniNg


  • OMG we love to hate it.
  • It's so LINEAR. Point A to Point B. Hope you caught it all the first time.
  • TEXT! I cannot read another paragraph of size 8 font or another bulleted list.

For example...

No one can read with all this noise.


It's non-linear! It has some cool transition effects! It can give us all vertigo!

But what if what you and your students actually want to tell a more complex story?


How could we capture the history and context of our work?

How can we document our process so that it really flows?

"What are the Parts of this system?"

"What are their Purposes?"

"What are the Complexities that are a normal part of this system? What are the Complexities that change over time?"

An authentic audience: A panel of specialists and experts
Showing our ideas and asking questions of our experts

Be Specific

Your work means more when you are describing what makes it cool using lots of details

Be Bold

Take risks! There is no cost to failing and doing it over usually means doing it better. Make something worthy!

Move Freely

Don't feel stuck to a single idea or a single project. If you have a good idea, roll with it!

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

SHARE! Share ideas with each other, share tools and materials and find and share research.

Rule #1: Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative

How can we capture a sense of change over time?

Chicken eggs must always be kept warm to grow a baby chick.

Hens sit on eggs for 21 days to make them hatch.

Chicks take their first breath from an air pocket inside their egg

Chicks don't eat for the first two days of their lives because they are fed by their yolk - it's inside them!

The fluff a chick is born with is called "down". As they grow they get real feathers.

A chicken's comb helps it keep cool in the heat!

Male and female chicks look the same on the outside. They can have similar combs, feathers and some hens even crow! You can only tell them apart reliably by whether they lay eggs or not.

Chickens have great eyesight during the day, but terrible eyesight at night.

Once a year they will lose and regrow their feathers - this is called "molting" and it makes their bodies tired.

When a hen goes "broody" she will nest and start gathering a clutch of eggs to sit on. If she hatches them, she will usually take care of the chicks.

Some breeds are good "broody" hens and some are not. Heirloom breeds are usually better mothers because they have been bred for the trait.

How can we build connections across difference?

Visualization of 1000 Facebook friendships
Wikipedia visualization of "Human". Three levels of category pages are shown. Pages that are linked from a central node (in this case Humans) are rendered inside the ball. Pages that are linked to the latter are rendered on the outer ring. Links between category pages are color coded by depth from the parent node. Nodes are clustered such that edge lengths are minimized.

Is it hard?

  • Google log in
  • Google Photos access
  • Intuitive interface
  • In the cloud - no storage issues, access it anywhere
  • iPad App - it's already in Self Service!
  • Insert photos and videos from your Camera Roll on your iPad
  • Sharing! Collaborating!

So. Nope.

That's it. Just an easy way to tell a better story.


Created with images by Pexels - "dark fireworks hands" • Pexels - "dark hands light" • 3dman_eu - "chinese characters autumn" • talos73 - "zhong lian plaque calligraphy" • 悠遊山城.樹玫瑰.庭園美食. - "40假令眾妙攸歸,務存骨氣;骨既存矣,而遒潤加之。亦猶枝幹扶疏,淩霜雪而彌勁;花葉鮮茂,與雲日而相暉。如其骨力偏多,遒麗蓋少,則若枯槎架險,巨石當路,雖妍媚云闕,而體質存焉。若遒麗居優,骨氣將劣,譬夫芳林落蕊,空照灼而無依;蘭沼漂萍,徒青翠而奚托。是知偏工易就," • JOE WU - "書法花紋" • 悠遊山城.樹玫瑰.庭園美食. - "顏真卿《李玄靖碑》 (12)" • 悠遊山城.樹玫瑰.庭園美食. - "DSC02422" • 悠遊山城.樹玫瑰.庭園美食. - "DSC02419" • vitor roa - "untitled image" • amnestystudent - "Brainstorming" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Goddard Sunday Experiment - 5" • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - "Lunch With Women Leaders at GSFC" • Towne Post Network - "Grant Helps Kids Learn Music" • Marco Arment - "Brainstorming" • Jordanhill School D&T Dept - "Design Sketching" • dluders - "Page 35-60-13" • jurvetson - "Betamax" • jronaldlee - "Brown Eggs" • congerdesign - "egg eggshell hatch" • meemal - "chicks" • normanack - "Alice/Al 2" • Green Garden Girl - "Week 5: Rose" • Linda N. - "The adolescents" • whuiiiyourlife - "chicken animal poultry" • PublicDomainPictures - "chicken hen farm" • TheBosque - "CIMG0166a" • ponce_photography - "camera canon photography" • skeeze - "business meeting electronics cell phone" • fancycrave1 - "creativity idea inspiration" • kevin dooley - "Brainstorming"

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