Heritage Schools Case Study: Creating Digital Interactives
Year 6 children at The Hall School, Leicestershire, were given the challenge of creating interactive digital content for Heritage Schools about the Stone Age. The aim was to make ‘bitesize’ interactives so that they could be accessed as both a tool for teacher-led learning or independent study. The children identified key topics of the Stone Age that would form the basis of the interactives. They were shown the different types of interactives that they could create. In pairs they decided which type of interactive they’d like to make then set about researching their chosen topic and planning each element of their interactive.
The children created their digital interactive over a number of sessions. During the process, they tried out and evaluated the interactives of their classmates and improvements were made as a result. Any voiceovers were added once the interactive element was complete. The fact that their work had a ‘real life’ context gave the task a sense of purpose and gave the children a real sense of pride.
Where: The Hall School, Leicestershire
Who: Year 6
Stone Age Tools Hotspots
- Pupils understand that content uploaded to the Internet should be accurate and original
- Pupils are able to identify key content for a specific study that they can summarise and use
- Pupils enhance their understanding of aspects of the Stone Age
What we did
- Identified key elements of the Stone Age that would form the basis of the interactives.
- Evaluated the current resources available on the Heritage Schools website and decided which elements could be adapted, which ones should be omitted and what information they would have to assemble from scratch.
- Worked with Creative Learning Services, a local educational organisation, handling Stone Age artefacts and asking questions of an expert to gain information that would help when creating the interactives.
- Discovered the different types of interactives that they could create. These ranged from clicking on hotspots and writing quizzes to recording voiceovers and making drag and drop activities.
- Decided, in pairs, on an area of interest and what they wanted to provide in terms of the educational material, then selected an appropriate digital format and planned each element of their interactive.
- Researched using books, online resources and notes from their own learning, understanding that any content added to the interactive could not be directly copied from another source and that any images used had to be owned by Historic England - or have permission via Historic England - to be included.
- Children created their digital interactive over a number of sessions. During the process, they tried out and evaluated the interactives of their classmates and improvements were made as a result. Any voiceovers were added once the interactive element was complete.
- The children found it difficult – and frustrating – when they discovered an image online that they wanted to use but could not because of copyright and permission issues. They occasionally felt that their interactives were inhibited by having to use a selection of images only.
- Having a whole class sharing one login sometimes posed problems when everyone was trying to access the site at the same time from different devices.
- Finding a place in school that was quiet enough to be able to record the voiceovers without the risk of background noise.
- The enthusiasm and enjoyment of the children and the fact that their work had a ‘real life’ context. This gave the task a sense of purpose and gave the children a real sense of pride.
- We achieved the aims we set out to achieve. The children gained an in-depth knowledge of our chosen aspects of the Stone Age; they certainly gained an appreciation of the need to produce their own material and the restrictions presented by copyright; and they were able to pick out key elements from their learning and summarise them with a specific audience and purpose in mind.
- All children, regardless of their ability, could access the resources and show their understanding of the Stone Age through their chosen interactive.
Next steps/extension activities
- Introduce the interactives within our school to Year 3 who explore this topic.
- Look at how we can use the idea of summarising key elements of topics to produce other resources, such as fact files, posters or short videos, to share with subsequent year groups learning the same topic.
- Develop evaluation skills by looking at other educational interactives.