First off, thank you so much for your thoughtful (and positive) comments and suggestions. They definitely show that you have spent time thinking about this and for that I am very grateful.
Now to the specifics: 1. I was considering this and was thinking of an "Advanced Search" option that I see a lot in my line of work as a librarian. I think having that as a feature would, like you said, give the user the option to search for specifics relating to their individual interests. I wonder if the "added" feature would become more important or more used than the original "journey/choose-your-own-adventure" feel we originally envisioned.
I LOVE the list of "filter" options you gave. I especially like the "learning disabilities" aspect. As a teacher and parent of students with learning disabilities and exceptionalities, I very much see the advantage of including this in the filter and the importance of including interviews with students with similar exceptionalities.
"Students want to see how someone like them succeeded." (I have to add that to my user statement board.)
2. I LOVE this idea. Going beyond the interview videos on the website and being able to contact the "mentor"-type student would be a powerful addition. I did not consider that in the initial phase but now think think that would be needed. THANK YOU!
Please, if you think of anything else, let me know.
I would also love for you to be in on the designs as we go through the various iterations. Would you be interested in helping in any way you feel comfortable?
Here's the Google folder with some of the images and video created by my students (Yes, they figured out that video works too.). (It features a video of me walking around with my iPad trying to figure out why my Google Drive app wouldn't update.) https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4hCBPIvGM_YflY2QTVTM1hWcTNheURkSDR6aVVmQ1lhZzFGQlZ2Si1pdHM0WjFRVDFYVFU&usp=sharing
I just tried a version of this with a small group (8) 6th grade students. To get us up and running quickly we used Google Drive since they are familiar with it. We also used the library as our main focus for various reasons (mainly as a controlled environment).
Here's our steps: 1. Created a folder in Google Drive and shared it with the students using our district accounts. 2. Students logged into their Google Drive on an iPad and found the shared folder. 3. Students used the "add" feature to take photographs using the iPad's camera which then loaded directly into the shared folder. 4. Students added short comments to the file as the file's name. (The students modified the rose/bud/thorn approach to organize their photos.) 5. Students were able to share the photos through the shared folder with all the students in the group. This will eventually expand to include the entire grade level and, eventually, larger groups in the campus.
A few #failups: 1. I initially had the folder as "View Only," but the students couldn't upload their photos with that permission. One of the students in the group suggested that I add editing permissions to the folder for the students. The students were then able to access the iPad's gallery and re-upload the images. 2. The students wanted to use the file name as a way to organize the images. I may suggest some common notation to decrease the number of characters needed. (One student suggested :) = rose :( = thorn :/ = bud.) We may also create sub-folders for the different images if they want to continue categorizing their images. I may also suggest that they just take photos for pure inspiration and leave judgement/criticism for later. 3. Some students suggested that sharing editing permissions with the entire grade level could cause issues with files being deleted. They suggested that a team form (including them, of course) that was the "Innovation Team" to help monitor the folders. My main concern, which I shared with them, is that they then become "gatekeepers" to the sharing of ideas. One student convinced me that there could be some checks and balances to help mitigate this possible source of censorship. 4. The shared resource folder would later in the process be used as a source for a more public forum like a website. (I'm thinking I could possibly embed a Google Folder link in a sub-page on my library website.)
The next step is to try the same process with an entire 6th grade class during their library class time next week. We had a library redesign project last year, and the Curiosity Journals could be a good way to kick another iteration of the library redesign project.
I will post example images in subsequent posts. (as soon as I figure out how to do that in the comment section; probably via links to the Google folder or files)