About this project

The Multimedia Young Authors project was started in January 2012 as an interdisciplinary immersive learning course that partnered Ball State University undergraduates with students in grades K-5 at Burris Elementary School in Muncie, Indiana. In partnership with the Young Authors program at Burris, we created 240 interactive books that included multimedia content, such as photo galleries and slideshows, interactive graphics, video, audio and text. Each Burris student wrote an original story and then teamed up with Ball State students to explore how those stories could be told in the form of interactive, multimedia iBooks designed and developed for the iPad. Ball State students helped Burris authors plan, write and develop multimedia content for their stories. Then, Ball State students custom-designed 240 interactive iBooks, one for each student involved in the project, using Apple’s iBook Author.

The Muncie-area Reading Council’s Young Authors initiative has been a part of the East Central Indiana curriculum since 1963. Every year in January, teachers in grades K-5 introduce the project with instruction on storytelling. This includes how to outline, brainstorm, structure, illustrate and produce a traditional paperback fiction or nonfiction story. These same teaching strategies will be used to create a new kind of narrative: one that is cutting-edge, digital, and interactive and takes the reader deeper into a story through multimedia.