Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons- by Anjum Razaq

I have recently finished a wonderful game on the Xbox 360 called 'Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons'. The game is a simple tale of siblings going on an epic journey to find the tree of life in order to save their ill father. Whilst a simple premise the game is wonderfully presented and I believe can be used as a stimulus for story writing in lessons. The game is quite dark in places  and not suitable for younger pupils but elements can be used to inspire children. I have linked to an excellent review by Retronauts alumnus Marty Sliva, writing for IGN who gives a detailed review of the game. I have linked to a full playthrough of the game so you can see which parts could be used in lessons. I would recommend you have a look and see for yourself. I hope to be using 'Brothers'  in my fiction story writing lessons soon! 

You meet a colourful array of characters along your journey.

Storyteller

An excellent website where creator Daniel Benmergui allows people to change the position of characters on the screen and it leads to different outcomes- great for developing a story. I know Daniel's work through the excellent flash game ‘Today I Die’ and look forward to seeing 'Storyteller' come out of beta.

Game the News

An amazing website which present current news items as games, that's right games! By immersion it hopes to give people a deeper understanding of complex situations. It also has resources, information packs and lesson ideas for broader themes such as the environment, sale of arms and land grabbing. I've used a few of these games during the 'Simulations' unit and the children loved them and became aware of real world issues. Have a look and see what you think!

Bjorks Biophilia

Biophilia is a multimedia app created by Björk and a team of artists, designers, scientists, instrument makers, writers and software developers to create an immersive experience where the relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena can be explored. It is a stunning app and with the massive cut backs affecting the arts this could be a great way to utilise ipads and ipods in Music lessons. Underneath the video is a link to Biophilia educational resources, check them out as there are some great ideas that can be implemented in the classroom.

Newstoon App

An interesting and controversial app that ridicules public figures through satire. This app is created by the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Mark Fiore.  It's very American in it's content but it does have some more global content too.

Toca Boca Apps

A wonderful company that produces many fun learning tools, these games encourage experimentation and are simply fun but can be used in an educational context too. I have used Toca Boca Hair Salon with the children to write a descriptive character piece. The video below is for Fairy Tale creator, a new app that looks like it could be brilliant. Check the video out!

Sorcery!

As a long time fan of the 'Fighting Fantasy' series of choose your own adventures I had to flag this up. An app that immerses you in a world, much like the revered series, but with atmospheric graphics and music. Imagine using this with your class on the IWB! I'm going to try it out and see how it goes!

Cassius - Video Editing

Video editing is always a great lesson for the children but getting clips that are available freely and legally can be quite a strain, especially when you have to download the clips into the correct format. But worry no more, all you need for a fun filled series of lessons is a video recorder (flip cameras are great but anything will do really) and an ipod with the Cassius ‘I <3 u so’ app. The app is free and fun with 8 characteristic mouths to use, find the one that suits you, put it front of yours, and voila... pure fun! Watch it now and spread the digital love! I did this with my children and they enjoyed filming each other and staff around the school. It was a good exercise for the children as they learnt how to use the Flips but also how to take the clips off of the recorder. Once they had enough clips collected they had to imported them into Windows Movie Maker and put the clips into order, muting the sounds from the video and placing the Cassius song on top. The results were great and the children really enjoyed these series of lessons. Below I have provided the link for the original Cassius video: