Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Web portal brings history to life

The website tells the story of Scotland up to modern times

A new online portal has been launched to help pupils, teachers and the general public learn more about Scotland's history.

Scotland's History Online features more than 200 topics ranging from prehistoric times to the modern day.

The story of Scotland and its people is told through a wide range of interactive material alongside links to more than 1,000 other online resources.

The website was developed by Learning and Teaching Scotland.

The organisation worked extensively with a number of prominent historians and education bodies to compile the website, which includes sections on the Scottish Enlightenment, Caledonians and Picts, the history of Gaeldom and Scots and Australia.

The site also features video clips, photos, illustrations, maps, interactive games, downloads and archive materials to help bring the story to life.

Launching the free resource at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said Scotland's history had in the past been "neglected" in its schools, which was why it had now been "embedded" in the national curriculum.

She added: "Scotland has a fantastic story to tell from the early people, Wars of Independence, renaissance, reformation and enlightenment through to the modern day.

"From innovations in the fields of medicine, science and industry through to Scotland's place in an evolving European Union, it's essential that our young people develop a strong understanding of Scottish history.

"During our Year of Homecoming and beyond, Scotland's History Online will stimulate interest in our past, present and future.

"Not only will this site be an outstanding resource for pupils and teachers integrated to the new Curriculum for Excellence, it will also help inform all Scots - both at home and abroad - and everyone who shares an interest in learning about our country."

Bernard McLeary, chief executive of Learning and Teaching Scotland, said: "In addition to the materials available freely online, teachers and learners alike can use Glow - the national school's intranet - to share best practice and collaborate together to enhance their experiences and cultivate their interest in the rich history of Scotland."

Tom Monaghan, president of the Scottish Association of History Teachers, said he hoped the resources would help encourage teachers to "start local but think global" when teaching pupils about their past, present and future.

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