As a teacher, I have been using Europeana Collections for a few years now. I knew my way around the collections, blogs, galleries and exhibitions. However, when I looked for specific content, I had to spend quite some time browsing, to reach the content that fitted my needs. The new Europeana Collections is a lot more accessible and user friendly!
A new section devoted to teachers
I was pleasantly surprised when I visited the demo version of the new Europeana Collections! I instantly spotted the Europeana Classroom! The first thing you can find is a connection with Learning scenarios from Teaching with Europeana blog, which highlights best practices of pedagogical integration of the Europeana resources, in various subjects.
Providing interconnected content
The Europeana Classroom is also a very handy tool that gathers all kind of resources related to featured topics. With its new interconnected way of browsing content, you can, for example, browse the section about the great women in history and find direct links to the Pioneer Exhibitions but also a list of all the Europeana Education learning scenarios about women, and other complementary resources such as interviews, Historiana items and blog posts from the Europeana blog.
And complementary training tools and guide for educators
Apart from featured topics, the section of training tools comprises a Guide for educators, in fourteen different languages, which introduces the basic principles of searching for and using Europeana’s content in education. What is more, the Historiana Teacher Training Guide 2020 contains eLearning Activities, particularly relevant in the COVID19 era. MOOCS in five languages and GIF tutorials can provide practical ideas and guidance. Do not forget the webinars (in 12 national languages) which have been recorded by the Europeana Ambassadors and are readily available for us all!
In case you want some fun and real action at school, why not engage your primary classes in one of the suggested games such as Birdy Memory and Art Faces? Competitions like the ‘Transcribathon’ and simulations like ‘Memories Retold’ are suitable for our teenage students. For STEM inquiry-based learning projects, you can watch the videos, made with Europeana, about steam engines and how they work.
A new way of exploring the Collections
Going back to the Collections, I love the refreshed layout! It leads to thematic areas that might be associated with a variety of school subjects, and correspond to the previous drop-down menu of “Explore”, which was less visible and certainly not as easily accessible.
When opting for one collection, say, Art, I find the filters on top of the page and I instantly choose the “Can I reuse it” button. It has been often discussed with my students, when, how, where they can trace royalty-free images. The prominence of these filters will definitely make our lives easier in the classroom!
The amount of objects found only in the field of free to reuse Art images is amazing. But when l look at the right part of the webpage, I find even more materials in many subcategories (e.g. theatre, music, painting etc.) which are so user friendly! Furthermore, when I scroll down, I can explore more thematic galleries and blog posts.
The fact that all posts and materials are assembled around one topic makes sense and appeals to teachers as well as students!
All in all, the simplicity of the new portal brings forth the most contemporary and, interdisciplinary connections among, otherwise scattered, information and material, with a view to becoming a cutting-edge innovation in the field of cultural heritage aggregators and their pedagogical impact.
“Less is more” is an oxymoron that applies in this case, since the content of the new Europeana Collections can be accessed uninhibitedly by users of all ages and educational backgrounds.
For more info, you can visit:
- A complete article about the new features of the new Europeana Collections
Curious to find more on how to use Europeana items for your lessons? You can read:
- 3 Ways Of Finding Public Domain Items For Your Classroom!
- The Europeana in your classroom MOOC is back!
- Breathing new life into the Europeana project: when cultural heritage meets pedagogy