Thursday, 13 August 2015

Three tools for teaching Australian history

This post is for Australian teachers and anyone wanting to explore the history of our wonderful country! Here are three great tools for teaching and learning of Australian history.

Trove - Digitised newspapers from the National Library of Australia

Trove is the National Library of Australia’s digital archive of content from libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations. Its repository includes books, photos, journals, music, maps, letters, websites and more. However, my favorite section is Digitised Newspapers and more. This archive has more than 177 million newspaper articles from 900 Australian newspapers. Issues currently date from 1803 to 1954, with the collection continually growing through the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program.

Accessing old newspapers is a fantastic way for students to:
- Understand the way of life for people in a particular period of time.
- Analyse how media has changed over the last century.
- Analyse how factors such as pricing, employment, housing etc. changed between different time periods.
- Read first-hand accounts of significant historical events.

Where to find it
Trove’s digitised newspaper archive is available at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper. You can browse by newspaper title, State and date, or find articles using the keyword search. The ‘On this day’ article that features on the homepage is also a great discussion starter!


ABC My Place

The My Place website is an accompaniment to the television series and book (both of the same name) produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The website is an interactive experience where students explore the history of a single location in Australia (‘My Place’) via the lives of children who have lived there from 1788 to 2008. The content is based on the themes of lifestyle, technology and family & community. My Place is useful for comparing and contrasting changes in Australian life over the years - particularly around these key themes. It also serves as a starting place for investigating a specific period in time. The website can be used alongside, or independent of, the television series and book.

Where to find it
ABC My Place can be found at http://www.abc.net.au/abc3/myplace
Note: This site is Flash-based. A non-flash version is available here.
Be sure to also check out the My Place teacher’s site for more information and lots of ideas and activities for using this tool with primary and lower secondary students.




ABC Dust Echoes

Dust Echoes is another tool produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, featuring twelve animated dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land. This is an interactive way for students to learn about indigenous history, culture, customs and life. The meaning and origin of each story is also covered in the tool. Each story includes a study guide, quiz and the ability for students to ‘mash-up’ the story to create their own.

Where to find it
ABC Dust Echoes can be found at http://www.abc.net.au/dustechoes
Note: This site is flash based.









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