In early 2022, EuroClio interviewed several cultural heritage professionals to ask them a rather difficult question: 'if time and money were not an issue, what would the ideal eLearning Platform look like?'. We heard you loud and clear: the ideal eLearning Platform should be ‘Designed in collaboration with the end-user’. For this reason, in March we began offering a series of co-creation meetings, which see members of the EuroClio teaching community meeting with curators to comb through their collections, select sources that have a clear and strong educational value, and develop eLearning Resources that are ready for classroom use.
We have hosted these meetings both in online and face to face formats. On 22 March, the Dutch Royal Library co-hosted the ‘Delpher Teacher’s Day’, where a small group of teachers were invited to experiment with the Delpher Newspaper Database for educational use. As a result of the day, teachers selected several newspaper sources on the theme of ‘Women’s Struggle to Vote’, which we are now turning into source collections and eLearning Activities with the help of the Historiana Teaching and Learning Team. Once ready, the developed material will be published on the Dutch Royal Library’s Partner Page on Historiana.
On 20 May, together with Photoconsortium, the international association for photographic heritage and Europeana accredited aggregator in the domain of photography, we started a series of three online co-creation meetings. During the first meeting, we selected several themes that we wanted to explore with teachers from our community, including photographic portraits in Girona in 1920-1940, a Europeana gallery about madness and art, and a selection of photographs made by European tourists in China in 1965. Sources on these three themes (selected from broader online collections available on Europeana and fully reusable for educational purposes) have now become Source Collections on the Photoconsortium’s Partner Page on Historiana.
During the second meeting, together with the Historiana Teaching and Learning team, we started to design eLearning Activities that tackle these topics, and on 7 July at 10:00 (CEST) we will be hosting a final online session, where teachers from across Europe will be invited to provide feedback to the designed activities. If you interested in joining this final online session, reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive the meeting link!.
Benefits for participants
We are still in the process of finalising the material with Delpher and Photoconsortium (follow EuroClio on Twitter and Instagram to see the final results), but we have already learned so much about the effect of these meetings on participants. We found that:
Teachers treasure the possibility to talk with cultural heritage professionals about their collections. Collections are always wide and rich in sources that have a strong educational potential, and teachers appreciate the opportunity to talk directly with collections curators and share with them their needs and wishes. Curators often have the right answer, and can point to the perfect source that will do the trick.
Cultural heritage professionals appreciate the opportunity to showcase great content that they are proud of, but that would need a very specific search for teachers to come across naturally. With these meetings, they can get this content out there already packaged in a way that ensures it will be used in the classroom.
We are planning to host many more co-creation meetings in 2022 and 2023. If you are a cultural heritage curator or educator who would like to set up a set of online co-creation sessions (three normally do the trick, but we can personalise the sessions and their content to better suit your needs!), or to explore the possibility of arranging a face-to-face co-creation day, let us know by reaching out to email@example.com. We would love to engage with your content, and are sure that we’ll be able to create several engaging collections and activities together!