VR in the History Classroom

Previous experiences of VR compared to VR today

I remember my first experience of virtual reality. It was in the early nineties and I’d have been about twelve. I went to a computer games arcade and they had a virtual reality machine. You had to put a ridiculously heavy helmet on and these weird smelly gloves. It was very exciting. And then the game began. It looked blocky, the movements were glitchy and it was frankly a disappointment. I wish I had spent my pound on another game of Daytona.
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Skitch: having a quick sketch to improve history learning

Quite often in my class I want to draw on top of a source, or onto a bit of writing I have on my whiteboard. I cannot quite work out how the complicated interactive whiteboard pens work. That was where Skitch came to the rescue.

Skitch is a free iPad or Android app that allows you to draw or write on top of photos, webpages, maps and pdfs.

It’s so easy that I am not going to give instructions on how to use it as it is best if you just have a play. But for the technophobes amongst you here are the briefest of brief instructions. Continue reading Skitch: having a quick sketch to improve history learning

Hot Air Balloon Disaster

Helping students to make judgements about relative importance

All of the important figures in history are in a hot air balloon whose engine is broken. Who do you throw out first to ensure the rest survive?! History is full of people and a key skill is to get our students to think about the relative importance of these individuals. Who is more important? Who is less important This (silly!) activity gets your students to use their historical thinking to make judgements about importance by imagining a fictional situation.

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Using Google Cultural Institute to Overcome Barriers to Field Trips

Getting students out of school to visit historic sites is difficult. I teach in the UK and here we have to fill in loads of paperwork – risk assessments, parent permission slips. It’s all a bit of a nightmare. Continue reading Using Google Cultural Institute to Overcome Barriers to Field Trips