Google Cultural Institute is the most amazing website, featuring exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world. National and international treasures are depicted in the most extraordinary detail and the site showcases everything from hidden gems to masterpieces. Using this site, teachers can create their own galleries and share favourite finds with their classes.
The site has been developed by Google who claim that: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The Google Cultural Institute is an effort to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone and to digitally preserve it to educate and inspire future generations.” (Google)
Google are asking many museums and other similar cultural organisations to share their archives which may contain historical artifacts that rarely get shown due to there not being enough physical floor space available, or because they are too delicate and fragile to exhibit. Google has created this platform to make these resources accessible to everyone. They have taken all of those resources and created an online exhibition, making it easy to explore everything in the collection.
The Google Cultural Institute is split into three projects:
Art Project. Discover diverse art collections from around the world. Explore artworks in incredible detail , view exhibitions and take virtual tours. This project has a ‘Looks like’ section and an ‘Expert’ section; there is also a ‘What Next’ section, enabling students progression. Any galleries that students put together, can be shared with others.
Historic Moments Project. The exhibits here detail the stories behind very important events in human history.
World Wonders Project. This project brings modern and ancient world heritage sites on-line using Street View and other Google technologies.
Why not take the class on a virtual field trip to the Roman Fort at Arbeia? You could prepare the children for what they may look out for on a real visit! You could walk around the virtual rooms and talk about: the structure, what they can see and deduct from what is left and also search for clues to our historical past.
Classroom materials, such as: lesson plans, student worksheets and presentations can be downloaded from the site. The material is designed so that teachers all over the world can adapt the resources to suit their own curriculum.