Source: Prism vol. 7, pages 91-94
The six apps reviewed here exemplify best practices in the nascent field of Holocaust education apps, particularly those that illustrate a constructivist approach, one that places students at the center of the educational experience and encourages active learning. Interacting with survivors in the classroom and online has provided students with this opportunity until now, but as the witnesses pass away, teachers can turn to digital technology to offer another form of interactive engagement.
Designed for today’s generation, these apps reflect our awareness that knowledge is constructed from and shaped by experience. As Alice Christie notes, they “emphasize problem solving and understanding” (2005). We rejected those that were merely repositories of vast amounts of knowledge to be disseminated through a frontal learning approach in favor of those that structured learning around a variety of essential concepts, providing learners with multiple entry points into the study of the Holocaust and the option to acquire knowledge through different modes of communication and learning styles.
Finally, these apps include primary source material, such as documents, photographs, and artifacts—essential and invaluable tools for developing critical-thinking skills while contextualizing the history of the Holocaust. Created in Europe, North America, and Australia, the apps are innovative and pedagogically sound. They will never replace relationships with survivors, of course, but they are welcome additions to the study of the Holocaust.