What is Twine?
Twine is a resources you can use to create an interactive activity or story. Using embedded links you can create branches and choices for the reader or user. This allows the reader different pathways through a story. For a student you can create activities which allow the student to choose their learning pathway.
Twine is an open source tool. That means that it free and is improved on by a variety of independent developers. The current version is Twine 2. It is a WYSIWYG application – what you see is what you get. The basic program is very easy to use.
What can I do with it?
Originally designed for creating interactive stories to be viewed on-line, Twine is great for:
- getting students to create their own stories which they can share with others
- you can create a decision-making tool/ activity ( see example on https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21128153/copylitwizwebinar.htm)
- getting students to choose which activities they wish to work on through making a series of choices
- individualised learning
- group work
- sharing links, ideas and picture
- group decision-making and sharing options
- creating non-linear texts
- creating testing and exam materials complete with choices and answers
- game creating
- add sound, pictures, videos etc.
- lots of uses I haven’t thought about yet….
What are other people doing with it?
Games for Research
A game protype
Twine in education
More educational uses
Where can I upload the completed activity?
You can put it on Moodle, an App, your own website or on the Twine website.
I want it. How do I get it?
This is the easy part.
First, go the website: Twine.
Then, decide if you want to use it on-line or download it. I recommend putting it on your memory stick or hard drive so you can use it offline.
OK. I’ve got it. Now, how do I use it?
To get started, just start the application that you find inside the folder (on Windows this is the
Twine.exe file and on Linux it is just called
Twine). This just takes a few minutes to load up.
Stories in Twine 2 are saved to your web browser itself, not to the twinery.org web site. 1) This is the case even if you’re running Twine 2 from a copy you downloaded to your own computer. The best thing to do to avoid these problems is to regularly archive your work with the Archivelink on the right sidebar of the story list. This saves all of your stories to a file on your computer that can then be restored with the Import link on the same page. I recommend storing the HTML files on to your USB or hard drive so you can access them and upload them easily.
Once you are up and running you should see the workspace where you will start to create your work. It looks like this.
Use the green + Story button on the right side of the screen to get started with your new story. It will pop open a balloon asking what to call it. You can name it whatever you like.
As soon as you give your story a name, you’ll be taken to its story map. The story map is a canvas for your story that will expand in size as much as you like. You can move around it using the scroll bars of the window, or if you’re using a touch-based device or mouse, just drag it around. You can also zoom out to see more of it by using these buttons:
Ok. Now we are ready to create.
You’ll notice that a box pops onto your story map as soon as it opens, called “Untitled Passage.” Your story will be made up of individual passages. Usually, passages are shown one at a time to a reader. Let’s enter some text in that starting passage. You can do that by either double-clicking it with a mouse, or by tapping it with your finger on a touch-based device and choosing the pencil from the icons that appear. I think it is a good idea to label this box START or INTRODUCTION + whatever topic you are using. This way you know where the journey begins.
Type in the first text. Where you would like the reader to make a choice, you need to input the link. To do this surround the word with the following: [[|…….]]. This will change the colour of the text you are highlighting and using as the link. If it has not changed colour then you have not created the link. Go back and try again. What should happen if you have done this successfully, is that a new text box appears on the screen connected to the parent box.
You can add as many links / choices as you want. On the screen, you can move them around by using your mouse or finger. This is better for inputting and seeing the story structure. It does not affect what t he reader sees when the text has been uploaded.
Once you’re done with your story, click or tap the title of your story in the toolbar. It has a little upward triangle at its end, like ▲, to indicate that it’s a menu. This is the story menu. It contains options that you won’t use as often as you work on your story. For example, you can Rename Story from this menu, but what we’re interested in doing is Publish to File. This will save your story into an HTML file that works on its own – your readers don’t have to install Twine themselves. You can email this file to someone, upload it to the VLE.
Once you have saved and uploaded the file, you can then use the interactive activity in class or assign for self-study.
Create a story
Twine is great for creating interactive stories. I will explore this in a later blog.