Hello again friends and educators,

It’s time again to talk tech. One of my favourite things related to edtech is the way in which it allows us to change how we think of certain concepts. In history, we can sometimes find it difficult to get kids to understand the nature of the subject. They often have trouble connecting with the concepts of the humanities — most importantly, historical perspectives and consciousness is able to be better understood with certain forms of edtech. The Guardian has a nifty little tool on their site from a few years ago remembering the history of WWII in a unique way.

The tool is simple. Take a look at the photo, click and slide your cursor across, and watch as the photograph from the Second World War crossfades with as similar a frame as can be with a photo from the modern day.

The lesson I used this with was mostly a discovery tool, getting my students to think about the concepts of historical consciousness in preparation for a future assignment where they would write about the impact that history has on the people and landscapes after the war is over.

juno_beach_courseulles_bunker_cosyAn image of Juno Beach as it is today. Using modern images and tools like Google Maps can really set the scene for historical understanding.

Now, I hear you say, how is this going to break everything in my room?

It probably won’t. The tool is available on the Guardian’s website, for free. The tool itself is simple to use, and should only require a web browser. Now, if your connection drops that will end up being an issue. You can try to have the pages loaded up and present to your students on a single screen for everyone in case there aren’t enough devices for each student to look at the page individually. I am also unsure if the page works on mobile, so that’s something you may want to check.

If I were to do this again I would more than likely break it out into a reflective assignment, have students pick a single photo and ask them to do a comparison between the two eras and reflect on the changes which took place.

As always, we never stop learning. If anyone has further thoughts on how to best incorporate a tool like this one, please let me know!

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