S1 and S2: Digital Learning and Teaching about the Holocaust

Introduction

  • The aim of this work was to explore ways in which Holocaust education could be supported and enhanced by the use of digital approaches to learning and teaching;
  • It was anticipated that the nature of that ‘support’ would involve some form of networking that would enable learners and teachers to access information and resources and collaborate in its use;
  • The assumed benefits included anywhere anytime access; flexibility in allowing or restricting access to resources to better target learning needs; speedy adaptability of resources to meet individual or group learning needs; enhanced learning through ongoing dialogue.

Holocaust Education and the Digital

This resource did not aim to replicate the digital resources and approaches that already exist. Holocaust education is richly supported through digital provision as the following sites illustrate:

The Technology

  • The resource has been constructed around Microsoft SharePoint
  • SharePoint is cloud based (i.e. its online and the content is stored on a Microsoft server)
  • SharePoint is web based (i.e. you are creating a website that can be accessed on a range of devices; you can incorporate applications, for example some of the common ones you find in social media such as discussion forums, into the site)
  • SharePoint is a content management system (i.e. it allows you to manage digital content such as video, images or documents, in a range of ways)

Note: there are a number of such systems, with different features, available to schools. This resource, for example, was originally constructed on EDU 2.0.

The Structure of the Resource

The resource is structured around school years S1 to S5 in a manner that builds on prior learning as learners moved from stage to stage, or year to year in their school career.

In S1 learners should be able to DESCRIBE the experiences of one Holocaust survivor; ACCESS further information about the Holocaust from a reliable website; take part in an ONLINE DISCUSSION around a particular feature of the learning experience. This is informed by an exploration of the experiences of one Holocaust Survivor called Josef Perl.

Screenshot S1: Josef Perl

S1

The resource contains the following elements:

  • Jewish life before the war (a video of Josef Perl describing his early life)
  • A Short and Long version of Josef’s experiences during the war, summarised from his book ‘Faces in the Smoke’) and presented in pdf format
  • A map of Europe during the Holocaust (locating this places referred to by Josef)
  • Josef’s journey during the war (a video of Josef describing his travels from one camp to another)
  • Teacher Notes (in Word format, supporting use of the resource)
  • SURVEY (an online learner survey from which the teacher can evaluate prior understanding of the Holocaust to guide how the resource should be adapted)
  • HELP SHEET (learner help sheet in Word format)
  • A web link to the Anne Frank Trust site (i.e. focusing on one Holocaust related site from a reliable and reputable organisation)
  • THE FORUM (learner and teacher discussion area)

The S2 resource introduces the experiences of Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller, from which learners can COMPARE and CONTRAST the experiences of two survivors; begin to understand how the Holocaust is DEFINED in different ways; and introduces the terms PERPETRATOR and BYSTANDER.

Screenshot S2: Freddie Knoller

S2

In S3 learners explore the Holocaust from the perspective of the French Jews; in S4 that exploration focuses on Holland; by S5 learners are encountering the place of Auschwitz in Holocaust.

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