Last Saturday around 40 teachers from Portugal, Croatia and Italy met online to discuss their experiences with the DREAM thus far. During a 2 hour session lot’s of interesting ideas and experiences were shared between the participants. We also wished to hear some of the reasons and motivations for participating in the DREAM project.
The meeting was organized because the training of teachers in the art of DREAM started earlier this spring. Project partners wished to hear participants’ initial thoughts of the project and create a open environment for discussion. The event started with introduction of the project and it’s members followed by two discussion sessions for small groups of teachers with mixed backgrounds. During these sessions we were able to compile a list of reasons on why teachers find the DREAM project interesting.
For many teacher’s participation in DREAM was almost self-explanatory as it opens up new possibilities for learning and getting interested in cultural history. As one teacher put it:
DREAM is an opportunity to learn more about museums, culture, technology and augmented reality. It is important to learn how to transfer this knowledge to students. Also, through this project students will have the opportunity to visit museum and learn more about them.
Many of the comments also highlighted the feeling of growing differences between generations. A shared feeling across the countries seems to be the dissonance between the worlds of adults and children. For children and the youth, the technological and digital aspects of the world are an integral part of their life. At the same time some of the teachers found it difficult to participate in that world either due to challenges in using new technologies or due to high cost of integrating technology as part of the education practices. DREAM was seen as a potentially valuable tool in bridging this gap, as it…
…is a big opportunity to give a new life to the objects of our museum and make them more interactive to the students and older visitors and closer to the language of digital natives.
One other teacher added that using DREAM is a…
…great opportunity to become closer to students and their ideas and to improve our digital skills.
The key element for some in DREAM is the fact that it is free and at least in its current form does not require the use of additional applications. This opens the platform for basically any school or museum and makes it easier to instruct pupils in using the AR functionalities of the platform. The possibility of adding your content was also seen as feature with great possibilities for varied and participatory methods of teaching. At the same time teachers underlined the importance of an easy and intuitive user-interface to make the platform approachable for teachers and pupils of different skill levels.
Based on the comments from the online session it seems that for the teachers DREAM is first and foremost a tool to diversify and enhance their teaching while making museums ever more relevant for younger audiences. DREAM also acts as a way for educators to develop digital skills and competencies. Combining storytelling and digital technology, the DREAM is seen as an opportunity to flex historical and cultural boundaries and grow interest in cultural history, art and technology. Most importantly DREAM has the potential to ignite the interest in history through contemporary and future technology.