With Online Classroom proving to be an incredibly valuable E-learning tool for teachers, we thought you might be interested in finding out about what goes into creating this E-learning tool. We managed to pin Shay (our brilliant Online Classroom Designer) down and ask her a few questions…

Online Classroom Why create Online Classroom?
The original curriculum-linked History content had been written by primary school teachers. Our job was to take that content and adapt it to suit a digital platform. We knew Online Classroom had to be engaging, interactive and fun and we also wanted it to be a valuable time saver for teachers and home schoolers – to that end we formed a team of collaborators consisting of myself (graphic design), Ready-Ed Publications’s talented editor Lindsay Marsh, technical guru ¬†Heather van Heerden and incredibly talented illustrator Alison Mutton in order to bring history into a visual experience for students.”

So what do you have to think about when creating a digital tool like Online Classroom?
“It is really important to consider the user experience when designing a sophisticated resource like Online Classroom. Young computer users are accustomed to a plethora of buttons and interactive colour, which can sometimes cause a sensory overload. In an educational environment there needs to be a fine balance between the information and the visual. The way students learn became a priority in the thought processes behind creating Online Classroom.”

“Online Classroom: History Series strives to be a user-friendly platform for both teacher and student. The content and menu bars are easily accessible making Online Classroom easy to navigate and get a good understanding of the topics. All young learners can benefit from this engaging and well thought out style of E-learning, whilst teachers and home educators will be pleased with the presentation and time-saving nature of this digital teaching resource.”

We also had to follow the Australian History curriculum very carefully and we all agree that the content progression from Year 1 to Year 6 is excellent. All credit to all involved in the development of the new 8.1 curriculum!”

How did you find working on Online Classroom?
“Creating Online Classroom: Australian History has been a great experience. I have had the opportunity to work with Australian students and teachers across all primary school levels, who have been hugely enthusiastic and encouraging throughout the creation process. Building a digital and interactive teaching resource such as this has taken a lot of planning, time and effort – but well worth it in the end!”

Shay HowardSo what is your background?
“My background is graphic design and I have been creating educational resources for more than twelve years, so my skills lent well to the project.”

What have you personally taken from this process?
“I have learnt so much both in skill and so much about Australia! My personal family features in Online Classroom Year 1 and Year 6, and I was fortunate to be able to research my own background. I got to interview my mother about her family, who were originally German wine makers who had migrated to Australia in the 1850’s, making me a fourth generation Australian. In Year 2, my Mum features again as the winner of the first colour television in Perth in 1972.”

There has never been a better time to take advantage of the times in which we live and make the most of incredible technologies that are now readily available to bring learning areas to life. I am really looking forward to creating the next Online Classroom package.”