Making History with the experts

by Jan M
Publish date
18 April 2011
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This guest post is from Jan Molloy, a teacher who now works at the Immigration Museum. She develops education programs and works on partnership projects with schools.

How do you bring a gaggle of students from across Victoria together with prominent historians into one classroom? Virtually, that’s how!

Making History is an interactive website where students can research their community’s history, interact with professional historians and access Museum Victoria’s online collection. By sharing research and stories on the Making History channel, students will showcase their work while contributing to the knowledge and collections of the museum. Making History is a collaboration between the DEECD, Museum Victoria and the Public History Department at Monash University. It will launch in June 2011 but in March we held two pilot online sessions.

On Friday 25 March, Professor Graeme Davison spoke with more than 40 students from Maffra Secondary College, Fairhills High School and ,Sacred Heart College, Kyneton and the Victorian School of Languages, about his work as a historian. He answered questions from the virtual floor for over an hour, using the web to link the computer lab at Melbourne Museum to classrooms across Victoria. Students moved from personal queries like:

If you got to own one of the things in a museum what would it be?


What happens when you have something at home that looks old but you don’t know its history and no one in your family does?

  Making History screenshot Screenshot from Making History pilot session.
Source: Museum Victoria

In a second session on 30 March, Dr. Seamus O’Hanlon  responded to questions in a virtual classroom of over 100 students. Our very keen Year 9s from Maffra and Fairhills Secondary Colleges returned and were joined by students from Castlemaine North Primary School, Tongala PS, Kyabram P-12 and Lalbert Primary School. Their questions ranged from:

Why do you like your job as an historian?


How do you research the history of a building without using the internet?

  Screenshot Making History Screen shot from the Making History pilot session: Seamus tours students around a site about architectural history.
Source: Museum Victoria

The participating students were inspired by their chats with Seamus and Graeme and were keen to start their own research. We look forward to seeing some fantastic work from these students.


History education resources

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About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.