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Old textbooks discovered through "Online classroom"

Secondary school pupils at the IGS Querum recently used digitised history textbooks from the German imperial period as resources during lessons.

The digital collection of historic textbooks known as GEI-Digital is sponsored by the DFG and for the last three years it has been providing online access to these works for use by international textbook researchers and other interested parties. As part of an ‘interactive schools’ project upper secondary school pupils at the IGS Querem were able to use these digital resources for the first time to answer questions relevant to their history lessons. The pupils explored digitised history books from the imperial era, looking for evidence of foundation myths and anti-Semitic content. Online historic textbooks can offer pupils a unique insight into history and are just starting to be introduced to lessons. The digitisation of these source materials makes them available to large groups of pupils whilst also preserving the often valuable originals.

"Intel" has provided 300 notebooks with relevant software and with a total value of around €150,000 for use by this education initiative run by a civic organisation in Braunschweig. The "Interactive schools" project will be continued as a result of this contribution. The Lower Saxony Institute for Quality Development in Schools (NLQ) has an advisory role in the project as do the Municipal Department of Schools and Sport and the n-21 initiative.

GEI-Digital is a cooperation project. In addition to the GEI the participants are the Research Library for the History of Education at the German Institute for International Educational Research (BBF/DIPF) and the Gauß IT centre at the Technical University Braunschweig.

The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research analyses educational media from a cultural, historical and social studies perspective. It advises those involved in national and international education and its research infrastructures and unique research library are an invaluable support to academics. The GEI is a member of the Leibniz Association.

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