As part of my “Flipped Classroom” I have recorded ‘lectures’ and embedded a narrative story line element. The basic story is set in a dystopian future where History has largely been forgotten or misused by those seeking power. A group of “historians” known as the “Underground” have formed secret communities in order to create subversive public history projects. In order to complete these missions (which are the project based activities of the classroom) the Underground needs volunteers, called “Collectors” to access hidden digital archives controlled by a tyrannical government agency called “APOC” and protected by a secret police known as “Jacks”. These archives are sometimes obtained through DVD copies, jump drives, or through pirated APOC WiFi signals. In this particular Underground cell  there have been 9 previous collectors and the leader of the group, Zed, doesn’t like to have the members use real names. He calls the protagonist Collector “10”. This is the role that the students take on when they watch the recorded lectures.

Well know that I’ve written that out it doesn’t seem so basic!

In the first digital content the student becomes “10” – a normal teenager that is saved from a Jack patrol by Zed then convinced to join the Underground. As they complete the recorded lectures the students go on a “Heroes Journey” beginning as a relatively normal character and growing in importance and power throughout the narrative. The YouTube video above is an example from “Season 4”. (Ok, it is the content for Standard 4 but a student called asked when season 4 would be available so that is how we refer to the videos now. I have 8 standards so we will have 8 seasons.) By this point it has been revealed that Zed has a sister named Zelda that was captured and brainwashed by APOC into being an elite secret police enforcer. In season 4 she has tricked “10” into going to our local outdoor shopping center called “Broadway at the Beach” and is trying to lure her brother into a trap by manipulating “10” into a dangerous collection game. The story is injected into the digital content every 4-5 minutes as a way to keep students motivated. One player type, called “Free-Spirits” are motivated by exploration of the game world. The story tries to add this world building and purpose into the classroom. I also tried to incorporate this world exploration by including a “real-world” #Zeldatour challenge. If students go to the locations where Zelda leads 10 and posts a selfie on their favorite social media the student earns credits in our class economy. In an interesting side effect this added some Socialization as the students that completed the Tour did so in  groups.

Anyways, enjoy the video and if you check out my YouTube channel (apowley001) you can see all of the recordings. I upload them to edpuzzle to facilitate my “QWIQR” notetaking style. Read about this notetaking style at on November 30th!

SPECIAL NOTE: My colleagues Meredith Ritchie and Martina McKoy have both helped with the voice acting. Ms. Ritchie is Zelda, Martina is Red, and I play Zed. I thank them for making the cheesy dialogue and badly written plot (which I wrote) interesting for the students.