Historiana Learning Team meet in Bonn

EUROCLIO was invited to participate in the International Conference “Remembering the Past and Building the Future together” of the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) 26/27 May 2014 in Bonn. Over 200 participants from various pedagogical professions came together to discuss and discover the roles international exchange projects between schools can play within international cooperation of schools and how they can be designed. These topics were explored through various Q&A’s and thematic workshops. One of these workshops was hosted by the Historiana Learning team and showed the participants the various ways in which Historiana contributes to internationalisation and innovation of history education. Furthermore, EUROCLIO deputy-director Steven Stegers gave a speech to the PAD audience about responsible history in a globalising society which was enthusiastically received by the public.

Besides participation in the PAD Conference, the Historiana Learning Team worked on the final editing of the learning section of Historiana during multiple work sessions from 24 until 28 May. These sessions were very productive and the team worked intensively together on various important topics related to the launch of Historiana First World War Module in July. Bonn also proved to be an inspiring city for the members of the Learning Team as everyone resumed to work with fresh ideas after a visit to ‘Haus der Geschichte’ and participating in other cultural activities.

Historiana Expert Visits EUROCLIO Secretariat

The visit of Historiana chief editor Bob Stradling was held at the EUROCLIO Secretariat in The Hague from the 17th to the 20th of March, with the active participation of all EUROCLIO team members involved in the Historiana – Your Portal to the Past programme. The trainees especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with Bob Stradling and they were further enticed to become actively involved in future programme activities and to contribute to the development of innovative, high quality, balanced educational material.

His visit had the intention to agree on a strategy on delivering the content of the Historiana First World War Module up to July. This would be accompanied by the further development of specific projects: the Multi-Stranded Timeline, TimeMap and the Multiperspectivity Video. Furthermore, plans would be made for the future meetings held in Sarajevo and London. Bob also visited the secretariat to map project opportunities to further develop Historiana.

EUROCLIO Contributes to First World War Centenary Conference in Vienna

Between the 20th and 22nd of March, EUROCLIO Director Jonathan Even-Zohar and trainee Martin George were joined by Historiana deputy-editor Chris Rowe and Macedonian history teacher Boro Veljanoski in Vienna to participate in the conference ‘The First World War in Central European Memory: Trans/national Perspectives, European Contexts’. The conference, organised mainly by the Austrian Ministry of Education, reflected on how, in the 100th year since its outbreak, The Great War is remembered in both national and European contexts.

The conference began in the evening of the 20th in the impressive surrounds of the Austrian National library, where Yale expert Professor Jay Winter made a keynote speech explaining how a transnational memory of the First World War can be fostered by focusing on the common experience of suffering. This interesting talk was followed by a discussion panel and an inspiring tour around the oldest part of the library, the construction of which began in 1722 on the order of Emperor Charles VI.

The following day featured three parallel working groups which convened in both the morning and afternoon in the hotel to discuss specific issues relating to how the First World War is remembered in Central Europe. The morning workshops addressed the negative aspects of national narratives, and those of the afternoon considered how more transnational approaches can be implemented in the classroom.

On the morning of the 22nd, a ‘market place of ideas’ was held where EUROCLIO was able to exhibit its innovative online learning package, Historiana. Many academics and educators expressed a great deal of interest in the First World War Module, which is due to be launched in July with creative learning applications and content resources, including a multi-stranded timeline. Conference participants were able to experience the app demos and view the developing layout of the webpage.

A world café concluded the conference, where participants moved around thematic tables to discuss issues and opportunities for future cooperation. Jonathan hosted a table focusing on conflicts and debates, where participants spoke openly about sensitive issues related to the war. Closing words were provided by Heidemarie Uhl of the Austrian Academy of Science, who summarised the highlights of the conference and thanked the organisers at Kulturkontakt for what was an extremely successful event that brought the history community together in this historic year.

Digital collections of WW1: Sharing Challenges and Opportunities

At the “Unlocking Sources – The First World War online & Europeana” conference more than 200 representatives from research and teaching, mediation of history and education came together at the Berlin State University on 30-31 January to discuss the possibilities and limits of digital access to material about the First World War and review – from different perspectives – the contributions which have been made in the past years. As part of the plenary, Steven Stegers shared the challenges and opportunities for the use of these digital collections in history education and introduced the work done by EUROCLIO on the development of the Historiana First World War Module within the EuropeanaCreative project. The full programme as well as the presentations can be downloaded here.

Historiana Team develops new WW1 Content in Edinburgh

From 21-23 February Bob Stradling, Chris Rowe, Helen Snelson and Steven Stegers met in Edinburgh to work on the development of the Historiana First World War module. The team worked on different content areas that highlight specific aspects of the WW1, such as “The Descent into War”, “Experiences in the War” and “The Search for a Lasting Peace”. The module will consist of several resources that can be used to teach about WW1 in a comparative and transnational way: a wide range of source material, learning activities; and tools that can be used to online learning activities. More information can be found in the brochure.

Evens Foundation supports Historiana WW1 Module

EUROCLIO is thrilled to announce that The Evens Foundation agreed to support the further development of the Historiana World War One Module! The WWI Module consists of a package of (online) learning resources that is being developed to help educators to put the First World War in a wider perspective. The module will consist of cross-border source collections, learning activities, and online tools that promote multi-perspectivity and historical thinking. Currently the Community of Voluntary Contributors, Content Team and Learning Team, supported by the EUROCLIO Secretariat Staff, Trainees and Research Trainees work hard for the Launch of the Module in July 2014.

The Evens Foundation initiates and supports sustainable projects, and awards biennial prizes, that contribute to the progress and strengthening of Europe based on cultural and social diversity.
If you are interested to be involved in Historiana, please contact EUROCLIO Project Manager Judith Geerling.

Historiana Learning Team meets in London to test online apps and further develop Learning Section

In cooperation with the British Library, EUROCLIO organized a Historiana Learning Team Meeting from 10 to 12 January in London to discuss the progress of the EuropeanaCreative History Education Pilot, test the Analysis of Visual Sources and Compare and Contrast tools for the Historiana website, edit material from the History that Connects the Western Balkans projects and create ideas for exemplar Learning Activities.

The first day of the conference evolved around the demonstration and testing of the apps that are developed by Webtic for the Historiana website: the compare and contrast tool and the analysis of visual sources tool. During this day the team was strengthened with the presence of Henning Scholz (EuropeanaCreative), Susanne Tremml (Austrian National Library), and Jiri Frank (National Museum in Prague) who are all involved in the EuropeanaCreative project, and James Mark from the University of Exeter.

The other two days were used to further develop the Learning Section of Historiana that is currently constructed. Denis Detling presented the module he developed for the History that Connects the Western Balkans project and the team (existing of Ineke Veldhuis-Meester, Benny Christensen & Helen Snelson) together with EUROCLIO Deputy-Director Steven Stegers and Project Manager Judith Geerling discussed how this module and other material from the project could be best edited to feature on the Historiana website. Furthermore, the Learning Team developed some good ideas for exemplar Learning Activities to show how the apps and material of Historiana can be used in the classroom.

The apps and Learning Activities will be launched before the summer, so keep an eye on the Historiana website! If you are interested to contribute to Historiana, please contact Judith Geerling. You can also help develop the Historina website by joining the International Training Seminar “History beyond Textbooks” in London 12-17 April. Registration via this link.

Help develop the Historiana Learning Section

Colleagues from Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Israel, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, The Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States and United Kingdom have selected their top 3 teaching challenges and top 3 teaching methods, which will determine what will be developed first for the Historiana learning section. This section is being developed by Benny Christensen, Helen Snelson, Ineke Veldhuis-Meester, with contributions from an international community of educators. The section will contain information related to teaching challenges, teaching methods and historical thinking, and offer a place on the Historiana website to feature ready-to-use learning activities. It is possible to fill in the survey and help set the priorities until 6 January 2014.

Promoting transnational approaches to the First World War in Giessen

On 20 November 2013, EUROCLIO President Sylvia Semmet and EUROCLIO Deputy Director Steven Stegers presented and discussed the Historiana First World War Module (developed in the EuropeanaCreative project) during the History Day for Educators at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen. The programme “Der Erste Weltkrieg 1914-1918. TransnationalePerspektiven für das historische Lernen”. Other contributions to the programme were made by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hallet on “Teaching the Great War in a Foreign Language”, Regional History from the City Archive, and a presentation by Prof. Dr. Dirk van Laak. The day ended with a discussion amongst the educators about the implementation of the new history curriculum so far.

Historiana helps bridge the gap between cultural heritage and creative industries

At the Europeana Network Annual General Meeting 2013 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 2 December 2013, Deputy Director Steven Stegers and Project Manager Judith Geerling represented Historiana and the History Education Pilot . In two sessions participants were challenged to think of ways in which to bridge the gap between cultural heritage institutions (Content Providers) and the creative industries, and ways in which the Europeana Network, of which they are all part, can stimulate the re-use of Europeana material for educational re-use.

In the first session, Steven Stegers co-moderated the Education roundtable session ‘Faraway so Close – Bridging the gap between Cultural Heritage Institutions and Creative Industries’ together with Jiri Frank, the leader of the natural history education pilot in the EuropeanaCreative project. Some of the manifestations of this gap identified were the problems with identity (cultural heritage institutions do not see themselves as creative industries), licensing (cultural heritage institutions license their material in a way it is not allowed for re-use of the creative industries), attitude of cultural heritage institutions (unwillingness to freely share their material), and lack of knowledge of what it means to open up. Some solutions mentioned are making it clear to cultural heritage institutions that the creative industries want to use their material in a way that is also beneficial to the content providers (attract more people to the museum to see the material in real-life). Another case mentioned was the critical role of educators in the online availability of cultural heritage, and the example of the Library of Congress that has educators in residence was indicated as a best practice.

The second session started with a brief overview of the current status of the History Education Pilot in the form of Historiana. The participants were challenged to discuss the added value of Europeana and discuss how the Europeana Network can stimulate the re-use of the available material on Europeana for educational means. Three groups each identified what they see as good ways to stimulate this re-use and came up with suggestions such as lobby for Europeana to be included in national curricula, enrichment of the data by tracking statistics of sources in Europeana to be able to see which sources are viewed most and enrichment of the data by cultural heritage institutions themselves.