South African History Online's Education Programme.03 July 2012
This paper outlines South African History Online as a NGO that focuses on the enhancement of history especially at school level. The advent of digital and social media platforms has changed the way scholars learn and the way they perceive their world. The book, paper and journals should no longer provide the exclusive model for historical knowledge to be passed on. With this in mind, SAHO has developed a comprehensive online programme that focuses on the current curriculum as laid out by the Department of Education. The development of this website into an online classroom will assist both teachers and learners. Learners should be exposed to the wonders of digitisation and have the advantage of viewing primary source documents in their classrooms. This turns a normal classroom into a virtual archive making the learners instant historians who can now investigate their own case studies. Teachers have the opportunity of telling stories in new ways and in different means, and can use various materials from SAHO’s online media and library section to give the learners the opportunity to relive the story. SAHO has various projects such as the development of the online curriculum material and aids for history from Grades 4 to 12. The aim is to build up this project into a comprehensive online encyclopaedia. An Arts and Culture classroom will soon be developed in a similar format. SAHO’s teacher outreach programme, online support and e-learning focuses on the development of an online forum for both teachers and learners. Other campaigns include the ‘history matters’ campaign which is aimed at increasing interest in history at school and tertiary level. Monitoring and evaluating SAHO’s classroom support will be done through counters on the web pages.