V. Karakitsou, M. Koutli, N. Larios, I. Tyrou

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how an interactive multimedia application which has been developed for primary school students, can introduce them into original and creative ways of writing by adapting teaching to individual differences and by developing more than one type of intelligence. In particular, the chosen activities originate from the Italian Gianni Rodari whose vibrant, innovative and imaginative fantasy stories have impacted the pupils’ mentality on a positive way.
Gianni Rodari was chosen on the grounds that he is one of the most important storytellers. Indeed, he utilized children’s ideas in a sensitive and creatively way by making them his own experiences in order to write amazing stories, beyond the usual style of writing.

In fact, the project was planned and was developed in two phases. The first phase contains the actual design and theoritical framework of the multimedia application. Moreover, the second phase includes a further development. This is based on the results of a formative and final evaluation as well as a qualitative research in which a selective population of primary school pupils were involved. At that point there was a reform of the multimedia application.

In particular, our goal was to develop the divergent thinking through spontaneous activities and encourage independence. These are not compatible and demonstrate tolerance for diversity and deviation from conventional views. Furthermore, other activities introduce students to the essence of things and expect them to give a solution or approach to their own visual things. Likewise, other activities wait for the free expression of feelings of children.
As far as it concerns the methodology of our research, this application was taught in elementary school children in a school of Athens and lasted for four two-hour lessons. The selection of students was done in such a way so as to constitute a representative sample of the classroom.

As a result of the above, we noticed that the interaction with the computer helped students to focus on every activity and kept their interest irreducible, by offering them the chance to work with their own pace. We need to point out that all students worked actively, even the weakest, whilst an atmosphere of mutual help and understanding was developed. In addition, their imagination, creative spirit and critical thinking have been stimulated: on the one hand by producing original and on the other hand by making impressive stories through creative writing.

Therefore, we believe that the environment of the educational software helped our students out to experience this journey into fantasy and fairy tales. In particular, these results imply that the teaching power of multimedia application offers alternative paths of reading and creating stories along with a creative effect in the soul. These are based on the theories of constructivism and multiple intelligence.