Historic Scotland

UK, 2011-12

NoTosh Team

Peter Ford, Ewan McIntosh

Combining history and technology to create immersive learning

Stirling Castle Active Learning Pilot

Keen to create an interactive, fully immersive and ultimately fun experience for their younger visitors, Historic Scotland wanted to explore how new technology could be embedded in their educational outreach programme to increase engagement through active learning. Stirling Castle – with a larger number of young visitors each year than the national average – was selected as the ideal test site and NoTosh were appointed to evaluate feasibility.

Robust research was a critical starting point. We undertook several fact-finding site visits to assess the existing learning space, site accessibility, materials and technologies availability, and the users' physical journey. Over the course of several months we worked directly with local primary and secondary school students, testing a range of technologies and observing the students’ behaviour on site, and seeking their evaluation and feedback. We also assessed the site’s ability to support new technology, internet and wifi and overhauled the original learning space to build a LearningLAB with a green screen and a wealth of interactive resources which would allow the students to record their experiences around the castle.

As a result of the test project, NoTosh concluded that it would be more than feasible to implement a new interactive educational programme across a number of Historic Scotland sites, at the same time highlighting issues around physical accessibility and internet connectivity as potential restraints to a full rollout.

The aim of this project was to highlight the ways in which learning could take place, rather than the physical implementation of a fully developed programme. The process for facilitating change as well as making change is a significant aspect of the work we do at NoTosh. Working with Historic Scotland at Stirling Castle confirmed the real opportunities that exist for creating learning outside the traditional four walls of the classroom.

“The kids are really inspired as am I… you guys are really leading the way with your thinking and creativity. It is wonderful, of great interest to me and sits well with my philosophy of teaching and how it should be.”

Michelle MacPhee, Principal Teacher, Braehead Primary School
Notosh web lab 023 cerda Notosh web cs hs 003

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