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Source: Koerber Foundation A conversation with Christoph Pallaske about digital learning media and the rise of the bicycle

On the digital learning platform segu Geschichte started the history competition ›Turbulent Times. Sport Makes Society ‹a module on bicycle history online. Based on historical images, caricatures and text sources, pupils can work on tasks independently and deal with the development of the bicycle from a status symbol to an everyday means of transport. Kirsten Pörschke spoke to Christoph Pallaske, teacher and initiator of the digital learning platform. What is exciting about the history of the bicycle and what can schoolchildren discover about it, inspired by segu? Christoph Pallaske: I was surprised by the rapid rise of the bicycle, which is around Began in 1890. Back then, the “safety bike” with chain drive on the rear wheel and rubber tires were invented – basically the bike as we still know it today. Within just ten years it became a mass product, comparable to the iPhone, for example: within a short time everyone is talking about it and wanting to have one. Bikes became more affordable and conquered the streets. The social effects can be examined in many ways, whether with a view to the emancipation of women or the emergence of workers’ associations. There were also discussions about the right speed. Cycling vs. Cycling. The battle for public space, which is still waged today, is also exciting. In the first half of the 20th century, bicycles were the dominant means of transport in the city, not cars. Which historical topics can still be discovered at segu? Most of the modules are based on the current topics and epochs of the curricula. But I also get impulses from outside. The topic of ‘Spanish flu’ and the school closings at that time, for example, was leaked to me by two trainee teachers who stumbled upon a dissertation from Cologne with really great sources. I take up other topics because they interest me personally: ›Fridays for Future‹, for example, was the trigger for a module on climate change in history. How did segu come about? Segu wasn’t originally planned as an online project. When the G8 was introduced in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2005 and history took place a lot in the afternoon classes, from my point of view there was a lack of learning opportunities for more open history classes that were suitable for use in the 8th / 9th period. I started by creating such materials myself. The step onto the Internet came in 2011 when I started a six-year job at the university. segu’s story has been labeled as Open Educational Resources (OER), the materials have been made freely available. Most of the modules were created during this time. Since then, the online platform has been growing and developing slowly and steadily. The process shows what works and what doesn’t. This is a great advantage of an online platform. How much do you learn about the use of segu, for example during school closings? Since my return to school, I have had the advantage of trying out the modules with my students to see if they work whether the texts are understood, etc. I also get feedback from teachers. When the schools closed in March and the demand for digital learning opportunities soared, I significantly expanded the range of so-called segu planners, which are weekly plans for two to three weeks. I am also often asked for a solution booklet with given answers for orientation. But that contradicts my idea of ​​history lessons, where there can rarely be closed answers. What can segu and other digital learning media do for the history lesson of the future? I would like a diverse history lesson that is oriented towards the history culture. History is negotiated in public; it is always our business. And it is important that we develop an attitude towards the questions that history raises. The internet is a window to the world. If you open the window to the world in history lessons, you can respond to current debates and also involve the local environment much more closely, research on site. Segu also offers modules and suggestions for research and discovery on site. A bit like the history contest, digital media can also be used as tools for making movies, creating podcasts, designing your own digital maps on historical topics, and much more. That, too, can change what happens in the classroom and strengthen project learning. But I also have the impression that much more importance is attached to these points today and that history lessons no longer correspond to the cliché of the past, where years were learned by heart – it is now a popular subject. To the segu module History of the Bicycle – ›a Mass madness without equal ‹


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