Partners The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth and Menter Iaith Môn have released a series of new Welsh language educational resources, via HWB and Wikipedia, for pupils studying history.
The work is the culmination of a 12-month pilot project funded by the Welsh Government, which saw the library’s National Wikimedian working with Menter Iaith Môn, WJEC, HWB and subject specialists to identify the 100 most important events and themes studied for the subject of history in Welsh primary and secondary schools.
A subject specialist then developed new Welsh Wikipedia articles and a series of short educational videos for these themes, adapting existing openly licenced learning resources where possible.
The content is available on Wicipedia where it can be improved and updated by the community over time. Static, expert reviewed copies of the articles are also available on HWB along with all the educational videos.
Wikipedia is widely used by pupils for research, but the quality and coverage of Welsh language content often means that Welsh speaking students are forced to turn to English language content for information.
This project has demonstrated a new strategy for developing flexible, openly licensed learning resources which can be used in different settings to maximise accessibility.
The library has been supporting the Welsh language version of Wikipedia, which has over 100,000 articles, since employing a Wikipedian in Residence in 2015.
Working with the Welsh Government, the library has operated a number of Wicipedia projects; delivering Wikipedia editing and training events for various groups and institutions and sharing its digital content openly for use in Wikipedia articles.
Jason Evans, project manager and National Wikimedian, said: “Delivering this project against the backdrop of the national lockdown only served to underline the importance of free online learning resources.
“Welsh speaking students can now easily seek out a wealth of reliable information about a range of historical topics in Welsh. And many of these articles focus on historical events from a Welsh perspective, where the English Wikipedia versions do not.
“I hope that our work here can be used as a template for a new approach to creating and distributing Welsh language learning resources.”
Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, said: "We've seen the use of online learning platforms increase massively this year, with twice as many users logging on to the Hwb platform compared to last year.
“These learning materials will be really valuable for pupils studying history through the medium of Welsh and will be excellent resources for use in our new curriculum.”
Pedr ap Llwyd, the library’s chief executive and librarian, said: "Being able to offer children and young people digital access to the history and culture of Wales through the medium of Welsh is vitally important.
“Enabling a range of new educational resources will stimulate and inspire young people to know more about historical events and the impact they had on our development as Welsh people."
Aaron Morris, of Menter Iaith Môn, said: “It has been a pleasure working with the National Library on such an important project. By creating this educational content, not only do we highlight the interesting aspects of Welsh history and make it available freely for all, but we delve into our history by using our native tongue and encourage all to use the Welsh language with confidence and pride.”
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