Jones, SJ, Hall, L., Hilton, J., & Fowler, J. (2011). Investigating the use of the IPad in Heritage Education for Children: Impact of Technology on the History Detective in a Victorian Classroom Role Play Activity. 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovations (ICERI), 1262-1271.
The indexical properties of real photographs impart a compelling link with previous generations and past events in social and economic history. However, the fragility of photographic material, means that rare photographs are consigned to the archive and in the context of children’s heritage education, which relies heavily on photographic resources, this materiality of the photograph is inevitably transformed reducing the quality of the learning experience. Ongoing innovations in multi-touch small screen technology are opening up new opportunities in the context of heritage education which give users thin and lightweight mobile hand held devices which are fingertip driven and ideal for examining and manipulating images. Intuitively, the iPad has some commendable design features, particularly for children, but just how these impact upon children’s experiences and responses to viewing archive images has yet to be fully investigated.
This work sets out to explore the use of the iPad within the context of a Victorian classroom experience at the Old Donnison School Museum in the Sunderland Heritage Quarter, a regeneration project in the North East of England. In this paper we review the broad outcomes of this pilot into the
use of the iPad in heritage education and draw some conclusions as to the use of this versatile technology for the effective deployment of the digital archive for children.