An educator’s take on using Infinity Ring in the classroom
By Guest Blogger on January 3rd, 2013
Recently, James Dashner, author of Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time, visited the Rogers Public Schools in Arkansas. Jane Keen, a Gifted and Talented Facilitator there, wanted to share how she and her students incorporated technology into James’s visit — which makes perfect sense, considering Infinity Ring is an alternate-history time travel adventure series that combines books, an interactive “Hystorian’s Guide” map feature, and a fully-immersive online game experience, chock-full of technology! Teachers, you can bring the Infinity Ring adventure to your school or library by visiting scholastic.com/teachinfinityring for text-based discussion guides, author Q&As, and multimedia resources like FREE Common Core State Standard whiteboard activities.
Recently, Rogers Public Library was delighted to be afforded the opportunity for students to visit with James Dashner about his new book Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time. This book is part of a series which incorporates online games into a story about three young time travelers who must save the world from destruction by setting moments right in history. However, upon the completion of the book the adventure isn’t over. There are online games and apps which allow for an interactive gaming experience where the reader must help to prevent the next “break” in history. My students loved the idea of being a part of the adventure!
Inspired by this multimedia approach to literature, students with Rogers Public Schools in Arkansas decided to take on the task of integrating technology into Mr. Dashner’s visit. With the help of Beth Carnes, director of the gifted and talented program in the school district, students were encouraged to be involved with Dashner’s visit in new and creative ways! As the audience entered, many dressed in costumes of their favorite historical character, they were greeted by a “Hystorian’s Wall” lined with hand-drawn illustrations of students’ favorite moments in history. The mayor’s introduction was politely “cut short” by a student-made video which displayed stick figure characters gushing over the author and introducing a sort of technological scavenger hunt.
Audience members then received “passports” with QR codes in them, made by students who were inspired by events in Dashner’s new book. QR codes are digital codes which hold information in them. They can be scanned with smart devices via a QR reader (which is available as a free download on any smart phone). Each of the codes was accompanied by a question intended to lead the audience members to a set of seven letters. If the audience found themselves stumped, they were able to scan the QR code, and were linked to things such as student-made websites. The letters were unscrambled to spell out the name “Dashner!” The students then introduced the author, finding themselves to be an integral part of this event.
Reflections from students were just so positive! Not only were they able to hear one of their favorite authors speak, but they were able to take part in the delivery of culture and growth to their community!
The most successful and productive moments are the ones which are student driven and somehow connect them to their community in a positive way. Through the use of technology and other media, students were able to do this, and they were part of an experience that they will never forget. If I had a time traveling device like the Infinity Ring, this is one moment in history I would leave to shine!
Remember: we have loads of resources available for teachers who wish to bring the Infinity Ring adventure to your school or library! Go to scholastic.com/teachinfinityring for text-based discussion guides, author Q&As, and multimedia resources like FREE Common Core State Standard whiteboard activities.