Designing for the classroom


Beyond has been selected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to create a new web-based educational tool. 2014 marks the centenary of WW1 and the Government is working on an ambitious programme of events and educational projects to coincide with the 100-year anniversary.

Designing an educational tool for the classroom is a new and exciting challenge for us. The subject matter is a sensitive topic and the development process has thrown up some interesting challenges along the way. Our objective is to create an interactive website that introduces the Commission to children aged nine to fourteen, explaining its history and relevance to society today.

The way in which lessons are taught and how children learn within a classroom setting has changed dramatically over the past few years. Existing educational resources are becoming outdated and there is a need for more modern, interactive classroom tools to support the learning objectives set by teachers and Government. Designing a big-screen tool for the classroom is a fascinating project. The teaching environment has certainly made us think differently about UI design and navigation elements. We’re educating a younger audience on the significance of the great wars, so it’s important that we consider the sensitivity of the subject, but also make it engaging and interesting for pupils.

To support the interactive content teachers will need to access and download free lesson plans and additional learning activity ideas. These will link the Commission’s activities to the national curriculum for Key Stage Two and Three. The content is primarily video with voice-over narration, which will be carefully edited to support the teaching programme. We’re capturing video at significant burial grounds and integrating historical footage in order to remember those who died and ensure the lessons learnt are passed on to future generations.

Image credit: Soulshine Traveler