EUROCLIO and Partners Continue to “Open Up Historiana”



EUROCLIO and Europeana continuously work to improve its innovative educational platform Historiana. At the moment we have several projects contributing to these improvements, including the Opening Up Historiana project. This project aims to include a wider range of developers and partners in the web development of the platform, in addition to EUROCLIO and Webtic. At the same time we are opening up to our community of educators to involve practitioners in the decisions we make for changes and additions to the site. In that framework, we organised a feedback session on new ideas for the Historiana eActivity Builder. The session took place on Sunday 7th of April, 2019 as part of the EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Gdansk, Poland with 38 participants.

Ideas for the Historiana eActivity Builder

Teacher in residence Bridget Martin presented three concepts for future possible tools for the eActivity Builder on the Historiana website in sketch form and collected feedback for each of these individually. The concepts were as follows:

  • The Annotating Tool which would enable the annotation of visual sources. This would enable students to add an annotation in the shape and colour of their choice in which they could type text according to teacher instructions. The tool would allow for the analysis of a single source or the comparison of multiple sources.
  • The Highlighting Tool which would enable the annotation of textual sources. This tool would allow teachers to add textual sources of their choosing with which students could interact. Students would be able to highlight sections of the text in different colours and add written annotations which would appear like ‘post-it’ notes beside the text.
  • Support Buttons which would appear within each activity block (such as Annotating, Highlighting, Sorting, Prioritising) and allow teachers to provide instructions which students can access without losing sight of their workspace. These three buttons would allow teachers to add contextual information, instructions and questions for students to respond to.

Feedback

The majority the participants to this session were not very familiar with the eActivity Builder, most indicating they had ‘never seen’ or only ‘generally seen’ the tool with just a few having gone into the builder in the past. Respondents were very positive about the usefulness of the proposed tools, particularly the Annotating Tool which the majority indicated they would use in their teaching. Teachers expressed a further desire to have the possibility of comparing and annotating visual and textual sources within one activity. Teachers also suggested the creation of a function which would allow students to collaboratively annotate and respond in activities.

What is next?

The project partners met in the margins of the annual conference to first prepare, and later discuss the feedback collected. They agreed the collected inputs will be taken on board in the next steps of the project. The proposed new tools will be sketched in more detail, and will be part of an open call for web developers that will be send out in April to find external web developers to create these tools. At the same time, we plan to have regular (online) feedback sessions to gather further inputs on the desirability and usefulness of the proposed developments. If you are interested to join us, please send an email to the project manager Judith Geerling (judith@euroclio.eu) and we will make sure you receive updates and invitations for feedback sessions.



2nd Transnational Project Meeting for the Opening Up Historiana project

On 17-20 January 2019 the partners of the project Learning to Disagree coordinated by EUROCLIO, along with all the core team members will come together in Maynooth, Ireland for a short term staff training. The meeting aims at presenting the work made so far on the collection of point of views on the first three topics: People on the move, Borders and Living under pressure. The meeting will also serve as the starting point for the Collection of Viewpoints on the next topics and as update on what has been developed by partners on the other outputs so far.

DSI 4 Kick Off and Historical Content Team Meeting

EUROCLIO and the Historiana Historical Content Team will come together in Brussels to define the first steps in the implementation of the 4th phase of the Digital Services Infrastructure (DSI4) project, led by Europeana Foundation. They will set the priorities and the next steps of their collaboration, in particular defining the future work on the implementation of the DSI4 project. They will brainstorm together on possible topics for future source collections.

Opening Up Historiana: First Transnational project meeting in Prague

EUROCLIO Project Updates ,

On 5-6 November, the partners of the project “Opening Up Historiana” came together at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague for their first transnational project meeting.

The project – which is coordinated by EUROCLIO – started on 1 October 2018 and involves four other partners: Webtic (Netherlands), the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (Czech Republic), Stockholmskällan (Sweden) and the Museum of Slavonia (Croatia). These partners work with Europeana Foundation, who was also represented in Prague. They will work to improve the Historiana eLearning Environment and open it up by involving more developers in the webdevelopment and more partners in the creation, publication and sharing of resources.

The project will result in three new eLearning Tools for the Historiana eActivity Builder and the possibility for partner and member organisations to publish and curate resources on their own page. The project will also result in recommendations for the Europeana Initiative (detailing what needs to be done to ensure that history educators find what they need) and a business case that allows the project to grow.

During the first day the project partners familiarised themselves with each other, with the project and with Historiana: The partners, including Europeana, presented themselves and their organisations; Judith Geerling (EUROCLIO) presented the project outline; Nique Sanders (Webtic) presented the first sketches for the partner pages;  and Steven Stegers (EUROCLIO) demonstrated how Historiana works, feels and looks.

The second day focused on the management and implementation of the project: The partners reviewed the partner agreements, discussed how cooperate during the project, and planned the upcoming meetings. As a next step, the partners will collect ideas for new eLearning Tools and start develop source collections.

Opening Up Historiana Kick-off Meeting

During this first transnational project meeting, project partners will introduce and discusse reporting, management and administration requirements for the project. Project partners will be made aware of the newest developments of the Historiana website, and the workflow for the development of new tools. Project partners will agree on the workflow and process for involving external webdevelopers to build new tools for the Historiana website. This event is a chance for project participants to get to know each other and to familiarise themselves with the project.