History in a Box is a fairly novel approach to integrating technology into the classroom for deep engagement with the Battle of Mount Street Bridge during one of the most important events in 20th century Irish history: The Easter Rising of 1916.
This classroom experience developed for secondary school students blends different modalities of teaching and learning by integrating copies of physical artefacts, e.g. primary sources, photographs, and 3D printed buildings, with tablet-based content, including videos, images, interactive assignments and augmented reality; a technology that superimposes digital content over the real world.
The exploration of the Battle is carried out in a student-centred, group-based classroom environment in which students are placed in the position of researchers, evaluating the various, frequently contradictory sources, pooling knowledge with other groups to better understand, not only the event itself, but the nature of documentary evidence, the fragility of memory, and the human toll of events like wars take on a wide variety of individuals caught up in them.
History in a Box resonates with the call for a change in history instruction; from one that promotes passive consumption of facts to that which makes more use of analogue and digital primary sources to foster historical thinking, teach historical reasoning, and provide the opportunity to evaluate different sources and arguments, and form new interpretations.