If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World, you know that it’s quite the experience. For a child (or adult in my case) there is so much to take in that you get lost in the essence that is Disney. That which was only possible in movies has been recreated right in the front of your eyes. And if you blink, you’ll miss it. Literally…”How” and “why” Disney does this is two-fold. Disney incorporates hidden “easter eggs” within their parks to create layers of detail aimed at enhancing the overall experience for its guests. And it doesn’t stop there. Disney parks and movies are littered with these “easter eggs”. From sights and sounds to hidden park secrets, to the elusive Mickeys, Disney took one experience and made it truly interactive. Consider the featured image above from the Disney movie Meet the Robinsons. Take a moment to scroll up and view the image and see if you can find the hidden easter eggs, then come back down.
Welcome back! If you took a moment to view the image you might have noticed the hidden easter eggs. If you look closely at the banners hanging in the back of the baseball field, one is The Jungle Book and the other is Toy Story. A neat little trick by Disney that continues throughout almost every Disney film created.
Imagine for a moment: creating assignments that immersed your students through multiple hidden easter eggs, similar to what Disney has created. With this in mind, I sought after a way to create these experiences, both as a project and for a project. A few weeks ago I spoke about this quickly on GEGNJ Power Hour #4. Now I what some of you are already saying… “you can do this with Thinglink“. And you’re right. I absolutely love Thinglink. However, I wanted to recreate this idea using Google Apps and I didn’t want the bullets that devoid us of the “hidden” feature that makes it even more interactive. In my search, I came across Google Drawings. Google drawing gives us the opportunity to create images that are secretly hyperlinked to various sources and materials. Want to know how to do it? Check out my video below.
So what if…
- Students created a hidden scavenger hunt within the image and shared and evaluated their work with eachother?
- Students embedded written character analyses behind the characters in the picture?
- The teacher created a series of “assignment obstacles” hidden in the image that students had to complete in a particular order?
- The teacher hid a secret message into the image that students had to find?
- World history students created an engaging directive to be used as a source of study during a paticular unit?
- World Language students embedded written explanation and audio recordings of specific vocabulary being studied?
- Science students created an interactive “lab” of sorts?
Try it out and let me know what you think. Don’t be afraid to “loosen the reigns” so to be speak, and let the students’ creativity come up with their own ideas. Anything that builds the engagement in my book is a win-win for me.