This is an excellent example of using appropriate technology to enhance learning outcomes in a classroom.
The students from Year 9 at St Mary's Cathedral College study WW1 as part of their History curriculum. During the time of their unit a group of amateur historians uncovered the remains of Australian soldiers killed at Fromelles in 1916. One of the teachers at the school had been aware of this development and decided that they would research some of the soldiers identified from DNA results.
The students used the Australian History Unit, Descendant's Database, Picture Australia and Commonwealth War Graves Commission as a major part of their research. They followed leads and found references to their soldiers with great detective skills. It was amazing how much information these young students were able to locate on the web. The boys then presented their research as movies and uploaded them to Vimeo.
A beautiful and personally powerful experience for the boys was made even more poignant when family members of the soldiers saw copies of the movies.
As an added bonus some of the videos were shown at the Fromelles Ceremony at which the last of the soldiers discovered in the fields was officially reburied with full military honours and in front of many of the families and decendants of the WW1 soldiers.
The Lost Diggers of Fromelles Ning
This is where the students of St Mary's Cathedral College meet to explore the lives of those men who have become known as "The Lost Diggers of Fromelles'.
Throughout 2010 the students from their Year 9 History classes created video profiles of a number of the soldiers who had been listed as missing following the Battle of Fromelles in 1916.
A small group of students created profiles for the Commemoration Ceremony in France in July. This was a great honour and the video profiles were very well received.
During Term 3 all Year 9 students participated in the project. In pairs they worked to bring a number of the soldiers' stories back to life and pay tribute to these courageous men who had been buried at Pheasant Wood for almost a century. The videos can be found on our College Vimeo Channel.
This is a project that was obvious a labour of love and when you hear Michael Burden (the history teacher leading the class) talk about the planning and implementation of the research task he is very humble and talks more about the motivation and technical assistance he received from the students and his IT unit. It was fantastic to hear the boys themselves speak about the project and how it made each of the men real to them, and then how that in turn changed their notions of history and war.
The use of online internet research, iMovie, GarageBand and Vimeo was put together in such a way that it not only provided the most appropriate platform to showcase the student's learning but also provided the intrinsic motivation for the students to become capable,confident and independent learners