Heritage education enhances the teaching and learning of art, culture, geography and history in the classroom, besides the variety of digital cultural heritage tools offer educators and students brilliant tools to achieve and increase learning outcomes.
The average history classroom differs significantly in practice, however, due to limitations on the teachers’ part. To their aid heritage brings forth several teaching methods to help them magnify the learning experience.
Studies show that teachers use heritage and museums as a teaching tool for history, as students interact with the material, develop skills as scientific thinking, research, analysis and reasoning. Moreover, gamification is rapidly growing in heritage education, using strategy to achieve learning objectives, imparting digital and information and communication technology (ICT) skills and intangible values of identity and relation to the past.
While the benefits are plenty, teachers continue to implement memory repetitive models and textbooks for history teaching, viewing heritage as an extracurricular activity. Textbooks frame knowledge statically and finitely not subject to criticism or change, unlike games and digital tools. Teachers need digital skills to implement them, however. Teaching history and heritage requires covering a lot of information swiftly, thus not leaving time for teachers to introduce alternative methods. Several tools are in place to address teacher literacy in digital and heritage education as eTwinning.
eTwinning is a platform for educators and school workers to communicate and collaborate in Europe. Their focus lies in the development and training of teachers and creating ICT services for schools.
The platform is available in 28 languages, where teachers can create projects, collaborate with their students and other professionals. Also, they host learning events, seminars, e-training activities and a mobile app.
Since 2018 eTwinning embraces heritage education, expanding its’ activities and variety. Notably, their publication “Learning from the past, designing our future” features activities and ideas for teachers to introduce cultural heritage in their classrooms. Our favourites:
- Art Faces app game with visual art
- Historiana e-learning activities
- Transcribathon, online transcription of WWI documents, students learn to create digital records and manage metadata (and available FR, DE)
- Our link with the skies, learning activity for the heritage and astronomy buffs
- Traditional stories with a different ending, reimagine folklore tales
- Art Galleries using Augmented reality
Check out the book for more!
Digital education is vital for the future for the students and, of course, their teachers. Museums and heritage projects incorporate more and more games and digital educational activities to improve learning and interest. The educator’s ability to integrate them into the curriculum requires, therefore, good use of ICT. Furthering this idea is the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027). Within the framework, education focuses on building digital skills for students and teachers featuring guidelines, training, AI learning, certificates and more.
Learn more with the Digital Education Action plan 2021-27 fact sheet!
Heritage Education as a subject or tool is beneficial for successfully imparting learning outcomes. In the museum environment, especially from 2020, the digital and technological innovations present information with accessible and fun formats, making the experience memorable. These tools are often not immediately ready for diffusion in schools as the teacher’s reality and skills are not always compatible. Digital literacy and collaboration for educators will help introduce new methodologies, thinking and activities in teaching practices. In turn, it will open the door for interdisciplinary teaching through heritage for a cohesive enjoyable education.
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Active teachers’ perceptions on the most suitable resources for teaching history by Catalina Guerrero-Romera, Raquel Sánchez-Ibáñez, Ainoa Escribano-Miralles & Verónica Vivas-Moreno.