An Interactive Map of Aglish:
The idea for my dissertation is to make an ‘interactive map’ of our local community. I wanted the local school children from Aglish National School to help decide what was going to be included in the map. At the moment there is nothing on the open street map for our area so it would be a great excercise in local history and heritage to change how the map looks and learn a lot about our community along the way.
The old Aglish school dates back to 1837 and was used until 1970 (133 years). Children pass this old building everyday and don’t realise it is the old original school that maybe their relations, grannys and grandads maybe went to. It moved to its new location in 1970 were there were just prefabs. The new school was built in 1986 and the subsequent extention built in 2013. The school has doubled in size in the last eight years (from 54 to 104). They have placed the ‘school stone’ in front of the new school, it was moved from the original old school and gives the children a hint of the history behind it .
The school itself is quite progressive for a small country school.They have several green flags and numerous recycling awards.They have computers in every class room that the children can use. They were one of the first schools’ to have interactive white boards in the country. They really embrace new technology and I think they would jump at the chance of being involved in this project.
The school itself is next door to the parish church and this could be advantageous if we needed to research documents or records. I’m sure the Parish Priest would be happy to help us with any inquiries we have. The village itself is a mixture of very old and new – there was a new housing estate built nearly ten years ago so this is more of a reason to try and investigate and record as much information as possible. It would be nice for people new to the area to know about the history of their community and also nice to record it for the original residents before the information and stories are lost.
A great example of the old and new is the oldest house on the street which was originally a shop. It still has the original counters and till and weighing scales when you walk in! It sits on the street looking the exact same as it did 100 years ago. Across the road from that is the old grave yard which has some amazing head stones. Some of them had 1900 on the inscriptions. There are quite a few and there must be some really interesting history behind them. The children could possibly make some links with their ancestors and it would personalise the project for them. It would really create an interest if there was a personal link.
Further down the road there are the Kiltera Ogham Stones. These speak for themselves and are really accessible. The children pass them everyday and probably don’t realise what they are or what historical meaning they hold. Have the children ever visited them or even know what they are? The stones themselves are in really good condition and have really clear markings, they are a brilliant example of irish heritage.
With so much heritage and culture on the doorstep it would be great to get the school children involved and for them to make the connections from their history to their own surroundings. It would be great if there was a personal link for the children as this would really ignite a spark of interest and enthusiasm.
The idea is to make an interactive map. I wanted something that was specific to the area and something the children could have an imput in. I want the children to be able to click on icons and gets pictures or hear a bit of music. If we could get some stories about the area we could include those or have a little piece of an interview with a granny or grandad.
The likes of Strancally Castle and the Blackwater River itself has reams of history behind it, there are so many spots the length of the river that could tell a story or two! The children themselves might have a granny or grandad that could have a couple of stories and they could share it with the children. Any nugget of information or tale could spark an interest and make the project relevant and create that personal link.
I really want to take the training of my early years teaching and merge it with the local childrens’ ideas so we can both learn about the heritage of the area together. I feel it is so important with the year that is in it to stop and take a look around and appreciate what is on our doorsteps. I feel it is very important to try and preserve what bit of history we have left and try and keep it alive, along with the stories to pass on to the net generations.
I have approached the school and have got the go ahead to meet wth them again early 2017 and draw up a plan of action. Some of the teachers were particurly interested because they are not local themselves so they thought it would be the perfect opportunity to learn a bit about the surrounding area from the children and reverse the roles!
I have the required vetting in order and I will send out a letter to the parents informing them of what I hope to do. I will have to be careful about permissions especially if photography is involved and out of school trips. There might be parents or grandparents that would have a particular interest as their are families in the area that go back several generations, they might have a few stories that would be worth recording.
I hope to merge the old with the new and create an interactive digital map that the children can experiment and learn about what outside their doors in their own community. I would hope to use such digital tools as Omeka for cataloging and recording places and things of interest. There is also Neatline which could work for mapping. I also want to familiarise myself with Carto which is another mapping tool.
At the moment the Open Street Map has nothing on it in relation to our area so I’m really hoping that will change and there will be a lot of interesting sights and places of interest for people to see. I really wantthe children to connect with this and get the feeling that this is all about them might a concrete conncetion to their own pasts and histories and how we can all preserve it for the future.
*When it comes to bibligraphy I have taken allthe photographys myself and the only other image is the map from open street map.