The implementation context
My name is Cristina Iulia Gila and I am a member of the Romanian User Group Teachers. Starting from the Learning Scenario Development and the Types of Press created by Marija Blažević, I implemented a new History lesson because students studied not only the beginning of printing around the world but also in their native country, Romania. Analyzing different types of press was beneficial for students as they also understood the importance of handwriting.
Integration in the curriculum
It was implemented in 6th grade lower secondary class (30 students 12-13 years old). The class took place on the Google meet platform. The activity represented a great challenge as my students have never used digital cultural heritage or Europeana resources before, also studying different types of press in different historical times is part of our curriculum. So, the great challenge for them was to discover on their own, the history of printing and its implication in our daily lives.
Aim of the lesson
The aims of the lesson were to familiarize students with Europeana resources and to compare different types of print. Students were also encouraged to express their feelings about the importance of writing, press and new technologies.
At the beginning of the lesson, students were asked to define Humanism and to present its characteristics. They also express their own opinion about Humanism, as a cultural movement.
Analyzing and creating their own final product
In the classroom, the students reflected on Humanism. They found out that the spread of Humanism was influenced by Gutenberg’s invention of movable type printing. The students watched a short movie about Johannes Gutenberg`s work: A history of the printing press. They analyzed the photos of the Gutenberg’s invention of movable type printing and also the beginning of type printing in Wallachia. The students were divided in 6 different groups. The teacher informed students that they will explore History using Europeana platform. Students are asked to search Europeana collections to identify writing press related to European countries and Romania. For each selected resource students had to indicate:
• Image title
• Image location
Each student had to download the image, save it to the tablet/ phone/laptop. The teacher asked to find the oldest and most interesting examples of copy of printing. Then the students have chosen the images for their poster. 3 groups selected photos and created a poster entitled The story of writing press using Canva. Then the posters were uploaded on our Facebook groups for all students. Finally, students presented the results of their work and create a small virtual exhibition. They analyzed the posters and offered explanation of their work and gave feedback to others. Students compared types of print and they were inspired by different resources from Europeana.
The last 3 groups of students compared the use of Latin printing in Europe and Slavonic printing in Wallachia. They searched for similarities regarding the use of printing. They created a short collaborative story in Jambord.
Final conclusions and feedback
Students liked using Europeana and were active working in groups in a collaborative way.
They made lists to present both utility and importance of handwriting and also of printing press/e-books today.
Finally they tested their knowledge solving a puzzle.
The importance of writing and printing press could only encourage motivation to understand the importance of Human Sciences study, in these difficult times caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Europeana resources offers the opportunity to use different cultural resources, to ask questions about the common European past. By these kinds of Learning Scenarios students can improve both their communication and digital skills. They were engaged in active learning activities and explored History from different perspectives. The Learning Scenario allowed students to reflect about handwriting and printing press, examine the images in detail, use ICT and have fun. The implementation was effective and meaningful and the students really appreciated the History lesson.
The teacher`s outcomes
I would recommend to other teachers the use of digital cultural heritage in their lessons.
This learning scenario provided an excellent inspiration for the topic. It was easy to adapt to the classroom. Students enjoyed the movie about Gutenberg, discovered different sources from Europeana, and loved creating posters and writing stories.
When I implemented this learning scenario, I made few adaptations. I used extra resources from Europeana like Men working at a printing press or Electric printing press which made the lesson more attractive for students and stimulated their love for History.
Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?
Development and the Types of Press created by Marija Blažević
Have a look at other interesting stories of implementation:
- ‘Food tests’, implemented by Natalija Budinski;
- ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover. Or can you?’, implemented by Alexandra Duarte;
- ‘Newspapers and reports’, implemented by Sandra Troia.
Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.