A historical start?

Just been having a brief look at the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 objects site. It fills me simultaneously with hope and slight disappointment. It’s a great, exploratory learning site, and firmly public service. It encourages serendipitous discovery, it isn’t patronising, there’s nice user-generated content and localisation (local museums), it’s linked across the BBC brands and channels.The site is pretty useable and looks good. If this is the direction BBC learning (and Learning) resources are heading, it’s encouraging.

But – the offer for schools is woefully thin right now (a bunch of lesson plans and text-focussed flat pages rather than the tools and pan-UK projects which could have been exciting). And the whole thing feels as if it could have been really amazing with more money – I don’t see much narrative to bring me in to the site, and all the academic’s comments seem to be text or audio. There’s no Simon Schama to draw me in or reconstructions of what these objects might have been used for. So – a good start. I hope someone’s working on the truly ambitious follow-up.

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