In last week’s post I wrote about different online sources history teachers can use in class to give their students a more engaging experience when they learn about ancient cultures and WWI. Well now there is an even bigger platform available – Google Cultural Institute.
The Google Cultural Institute launched a new website that hosts 42 exhibitions from a variety of collections around the world. Each collection covers a certain moment in history currently starting in 1905 and going to 2008.
These online exhibitions are curated by historians and the curators at the respective institutions around the globe. Participating are the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, the Imperial War Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and others.
The Google Cultural Institute Website
When you enter the Google Cultural Institute website you will see a slider on the top that lets you choose a year. Each year is represented by a different collection. If you click view you will enter the collection which features texts, pictures, sometimes video and other media.
Each collection is curated in a form of a story and the narrative takes the visitor through the different items which makes the whole experience much more engaging than just a collection of pictures and written text.
As this project has been developed by Google you will notice that the quality of the interface, the loading time of the content and overall experience is really smooth, it somewhat reminds me of a huge Android phone.
And note that this is just the beginning. The aim of the Google Cultural Institute is to preserve and to promote as much culture as possible on the Internet. Therefore, the developers built a platform that can easily be scaled and Google is already looking for new partners to join the project. Besides the new exhibitions, you might already know other projects of the Google Cultural Institute like Renowned Art, the World Wonders Project and the Dead Sea Scrolls Online.
Visit France – from Past to Future
Now if you are francophil, the Google Cultural Institute offers three projects in France. One of which being Versailles, the most visited monument, what else. You can virtually visit the famous chateau in 3D and also learn how it has changed over time, which parts were added when and by whom.
The second project is Le Pavillon d’Arsenal which shows how Paris will look like in the year 2020, especially interesting when you are covering topics around urbanism. The project is based on a classic plaster model that has been created in 1990 and which you can also see when visiting Paris. The 3D model created by Google is of course interactive and lets you experience the city of lights in a whole new way.
The third project is again very interesting when covering France in history or geography classes. La France en relief features 3D models of famous historic sites like Le Mont Saint Michel in 1691, the city of Toulon around the year 1800 or Strasbourg around 1830. All those monuments are embedded into Google Maps.
Altogether there are some amazing ways to learn with Google Cultural Institute, and this will continue to grow over time. What are your thoughts on the new collections? And what other sites do you find useful for exploring history and culture?