Europeana launches Multi-Touch Book and iTunes U course on the First World War

Author: Milena Popova
13 October 2015 Comment

For a while now, we’ve been exploring the different ways we can unlock Europe’s cultural heritage for education and learning. Today, we’re delighted to announce the launch of our first Multi-Touch Book and related iTunes U course, World War I: A battle of perspectives, introducing students and learners to the causes leading to the outbreak of the First World War. They are available in both Dutch and English on iTunes.

The project, which was developed together with EUROCLIO and Gwen Vergouwen, an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) and Belgian history teacher, is an important step forward in our goal to use digital collections to bring history to life for students.

It was developed through Apple’s ADEs in Residence programme which places selected ADEs in some of the world’s leading museums, archives, science centers, and cultural organizations to develop innovative teaching and learning resources.

The book and accompanying course, available from today on iTunes, allow students to explore a diverse range of different historical sources from Europeana 1914-1918 alongside learning resources from EUROCLIO. From letters exchanged between a German soldier and a British girl, to the ID card of a prisoner of war, the build up to the conflict is shown from a number of different perspectives.

Using these unique historical materials, students are encouraged through a variety of interactive assignments to develop their own understanding of what lead to war in 1914. The idea, as Gwen Vergouwen suggests, is to harness the Multi-Touch technology to help students analyse and interpret sources, and hone their “historical thinking.”

Examples of some of the interactive assignments

The project with Gwen, EUROCLIO and technology leader Apple would not have been possible without the valuable collections in Europeana 1914-1918 contributed by heritage institutions and members of the public across Europe. Along with projects like Historiana and Inventing Europe, it shows the exciting possibilities for cultural collections in the classroom opened up by the digital revolution.

If you’re interested in more details about this project, or how you can participate in future ADE projects, please feel free to get in touch.
You can also subscribe to the dedicated educational session at the Europeana Network AGM.

Download the English Multi-Touch book and iTunes U course
Download the Dutch Multi-Touch book and iTunes U course