Children use technology to bring history to life

LOOKING Emily Harbour and Nathan Hore search for clues.  Pictures: Steve Reid (113892-226)
LOOKING Emily Harbour and Nathan Hore search for clues. Pictures: Steve Reid (113892-226)
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CHILDREN became German spies for the day as a new interactive system to bring history to life was launched at Fort Nelson.

Pupils from Northern Junior School in Portchester were the first to test out the new equipment at the Royal Armouries museum yesterday.

HI-TECH Sean Cuttle and Sophie-Lee Setters use an iPod.

HI-TECH Sean Cuttle and Sophie-Lee Setters use an iPod.

Using iPods and iPads, they explored the Victorian fort to learn about its role in the Second World War.

Armed with secret instruction documents, the child ‘spies’ were tasked with finding clues which were strategically hidden all over the fort.

They could then take photographs and film videos using roleplay before returning to the classroom and planning their attack against the fort using whiteboard tables to draw on.

Eileen Clegg, education officer at Fort Nelson, in Portsdown Hill Road, said: ‘They put themselves into the role of German spies.

‘The aim was to find out what the fort was used for during the war and they had to make a plan of attack.

‘They used the iPod cameras to film the sensitive information about what the fort is being used for.

‘It’s a bit like a treasure hunt – they followed secret clues.’

The project, called Spies Like Us, is one of many new tasks which help the children to understand the importance of Fort Nelson.

‘We ask them to plan an attack because it helps them to understand what the key features of the forts were during the war,’ added Ms Clegg.

‘It gives them a better understanding of the fort itself and how it works.

‘They loved it.

‘They got so excited about using the iPods.

‘Some children find it difficult to write and the iPod helps them engage with the task.

‘They discovered Fort Nelson’s role in protecting the south coast from enemy air-raids, and about the lives of people who worked here during wartime.’

Once the mission was accomplished, the children uploaded their work directly from iPods to Wizkid – a Hampshire County Council online learning platform.

It allows them to access their work once they are back at school.

The new education service is part of the £3.5m revamp of Fort Nelson.