Students on St Helena will be the first to pilot and help to develop a new learning aid called Storyteller – developed for the International Slavery Museum (ISM) in Liverpool, UK. Feedback from St Helena’s students will influence how the final device works, a device which will be used in the Museum for years to come.
This information-based, interactive device – through photographs, text and audio – allows students to come to their own conclusions about archaeological finds, much as archaeologists do themselves. The device (looking a little like a large radio) allows individuals to interact with information on archaeological artifacts that would usually be displayed in a glass case in a museum.
Leading the project for the ISM on St Helena is Heidi Bauer-Clapp (Doctoral Student in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA) who recently arrived on Island to kick start the design process. She will be here until the end of July.
“I am very interested in the liberated African heritage of St Helena and the current exhibition at the ISM in Liverpool has gained much international media attention – which is where the design team in Liverpool came up with the idea of using it as a trial subject for this development project.”
The Storyteller learning aid was initially going to be tested in schools in the United Kingdom, but on reflection St Helena seemed to be the best starting point to test the pilot project, with information on the device originally gathered byAndrew Pearson (who previously conducted archaeological investigations in Rupert’s Valley).
Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean was instrumental in organising the visit, additionally setting up sessions in all three primary schools plus Prince Andrew School.
About the learning aid, Heidi commented:
“Storyteller is like a radio that also issues reams of information, and it also connects to the internet so you can collaborate and share information at an international level.”
The idea centres around school tours that happen at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. The device will be sent in advance to classrooms, so students can gather historical information on exhibits before seeing them for real, at the museum.
Heidi is also conducting an additional project on liberated Africans in the primary schools, working with year 5/6 students in their history curriculum, with the hope of setting up an exhibition based on student’s work to display to the public