Digital books, containing individual videos that teachers can utilise in lesson plans, are shaping classrooms across Australia and allowing students to engage with a range of subjects. A collaboration between museums, cultural organisations, and ABC education, these books are an investment that has involved regional content producers in Hobart, Bendigo, Darwin, and Perth. The first book, “The Colonisation of Hobart” explores Aboriginal history, the arrival of European settlers in Australia, the Black War, Industries including whaling, and what life was like for convicts. The content allows Australian students to engage with content about Tasmania’s first people, providing widely accessible subject matter detailing the country’s history. The first resource also acts as a foundation for Aboriginal studies, representing the Palawa people’s experience during British settlement and invasion in the area. The content explores the Palawa people’s a near-genocide, as well as the survival and increasing strength of their culture in modern times. Because this content is available in a digital format, students can access it at home and in the classroom – allowing Tasmanian, and other Australian students to find out more about the experiences that shaped their country and the people within it.
By providing history in an easily accessible, digital format, the collaboration hopes to prompt further enquiry and curiosity in schools. History is just one branch of the series, which will also include topics on immigration, geography, climate, and the environment. The digital books are designed to sit at the core of a lesson plan or act as a supplement, with all resources containing curriculum aligned materials. The digital books aim to prompt enquiry and questioning that could lead to class projects, with all content methodically fact-checked and attributed for authenticity. This was done via partnerships with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the Port Arthur Historic Site, the Maritime Museum of Tasmania, and various Education bodies. This ensures that content has expert contributions, as well as validity within existing curriculums. Because the books will explore different regions in Australia, teachers and students can broaden their learning to compare and contrast different histories in Australia, explore differing climate types, and understand stories of immigration and settlement across a range of Australian communities.
There has been some argument about whether digital books are educational or entertainment, and whether they genuinely facilitate learning or simply act as screentime for students. However, the books created by ABC Education in collaboration with Australian museums and cultural organisations serve as a tool for teaching and curiosity, allowing schools to build curriculums or contribute to existing plans with readily available, collaborative, content. Instead of having to travel to Tasmania to learn about the history of the area directly from the museum, students in other areas of the country can engage with content from their classrooms. In return, Tasmanian students can learn about the history, climate, and culture of Bendigo, Darwin, and Perth and compare and contrast it with their own. When utilised correctly, digital content can be a tool that adds depth to learning, rather than a distraction for students. With valid sources and reliable expert contributions, digital books such as those now on offer could become a great asset for teaching students emerging in a digital age.
To find out more about how to help students engage with learning in a modern market, reach out to MOQdigital today. Our Education Consultants can help your school discover tools and services that elevate educational experiences and enable Student Success.