Digital Educational Materials on the IWitness Platform and the IWalk mobile app
Zachor Foundation for Social Remembrance and USC Shoah Foundation
Content /Topic :
IWitness is the digital educational platform of the USC Shoah Foundation, that hosts over 4000 full length testimonies with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. It also contains selected and topically curated testimony clips and most importantly, ready-made testimony-based digital educational activities in multiple languages. These materials have been developed by local organizations and educators. Zachor Foundation has developed 89 and mentored the development of an additional 154 of the available nearly 600 activities on the platform. The educational activities are outcomes-based and align with the national or local curricula. These activities represent the constructivist theory of learning and besides conveying content knowledge about the Holocaust and other genocides and other events (including description of life) in the 20th century, they also develop cognitive skills and competences like analytical skill, syntheses and argumentative skills, media-and digital literacies, comprehension skills and reflective writing skills. In addition to the development of cognitive skills, these testimony-based activities strongly develop affective skills (empathy), too.
Both educators and students can register on the platform free of charge. The multimedia educational activities can be used in a variety of school subjects (e.g. history, literature, language art, media, civics, ethics, citizenship, social studies, arts, religion). Besides hosting the activities, IWitness also serves as a collaborative learning platform.Topics and themes of the activities are diverse: e.g. prejudices, discrimination, identity, antisemitism, Holocaust, 20th century historical events, film and testimony, etc. The activities are built around video testimonies, and they develop critical thinking skills, social- emotional learning, digital literacy skills and other 21st century literacies.
IWalks are testimony-based local history walks that are accessible through the international IWalk app of the USC Shoah Foundation. These are interactive, digital, educational walks that are developed by partners across Europe. These site-based local history or thematic walks are built on location (or theme-) specific testimony clips of survivors and witnesses of genocidal violence and connect these clips specific historic sites in an educational setting. Visitors can find their ways via the built in Google map and can use the acquired information and their own thoughts to answer questions reflecting on the sites, the clips, or the history with the app. The IWalks in the app take the visitors to 65 locations in 15 countries (13 European countries). 27 of these have been developed and 18 has been mentored by Zachor. The mobile app is freely downloadable.
IWitness: K-12 and University, students in middle-school and high-school, primary school students and university students (and teachers).
IWalk: students (and teachers) aged 14+; general public.
Method / Format:
IWitness: online, digital, and downloadable educational activities, suitable to group work or individual work, focusing on testimony-based education and building on active learning.
IWalks: learning with a moble app focusing on on-site, location-based and testimony-based learning and building on active learning.
Language(s) of the project: IWitness: Czech, Dutch, Eastern Armenian, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Kinyarwanda, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian, Western Armenian (additional languages in preparation: Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian. IWalk app: Croatian, Czech, Dutch English, French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Ukrainian.