Mobile Digital Classroom Inspires Students to Stand Up Against Social Injustice

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Learning should be more than just memorizing facts and dates, so Forge Media + Design designed a Mobile Digital Classroom experience that envelops students with a 24-foot video wall that engages them in a cinematic lesson experience. To immerse students in the lesson, the company designed an iPad app where they could play the role of a historian hunting for clues, sharing their perspective and driving discussion, giving students a personal connection with the stories and people behind the headlines.

Nominating Company: Forge Media + Design, Toronto, Canada
Venue: Holodomor Mobile Classroom, Toronto, Canada
Project: Holodomor Mobile Classroom
Category: Education & Healthcare

BACKGROUND
The Canadian Ukraine Foundation challenged Forge Media + Design to adapt their high school curriculum about the Ukrainian genocide into an interactive digital classroom on wheels. To bring their idea to life, Forge Media + Design set out to envision an entirely new way of teaching and experiencing history.

The objective was to create an engaging and immersive digital experience that most students have only seen in movies and take them on an unforgettable journey that forever changes them. At the outset, Forge Media + Design embarked on an extensive planning process with the Canadian Ukraine Foundation and educators to translate their traditional curriculum into a groundbreaking multi-sensory experience.

CHALLENGES
Forge was tasked with translating a traditional classroom lesson plan on the Ukrainian Genocide into an immersive and interactive educational experience. The primary challenge was to rethink this lesson plan and to implement it on a bus converted into a technologically advanced classroom on wheels. In terms of technology, our main challenge was to create an ironclad networking and communications system that would stand up to the use of thousands of students and the rigors of constant road travel, with minimal maintenance requirements.

SOLUTIONS
Before developing the apps or specifying hardware, we embarked on an extensive planning process with the Canadian Ukraine Foundation to translate their traditional curriculum into an experience that would shine as an interactive lesson plan. Our ultimate design and lesson solution combined to not only make students aware of the Holodomor but also to help them feel empowered about standing up to social injustice wherever they experience it.

Holodomor Mobile Classroom pic

To bring this seamless learning experience to life, we developed a technology ecosystem comprised of three custom-built apps, 32 iPads, a Mac Pro server, a robust wireless network and the 24-foot LCD screen, all driven by an array of programming languages. These elements communicate with each other in real time and are controlled by the facilitator through an app that orchestrates the entire lesson experience.

RESULTS
The Holodomor Mobile Classroom has already visited dozens of schools and garnered rave reviews, and its journey is just beginning. The feedback from students has been beyond expectations; they leave the bus talking not about what they saw and learned, but rather about the ways that the experience inspired them, shifted their perspective and opened their eyes. The digital experience that was created takes students on a unforgettable journey and reinforces that history is about real events and real people, so standing up for what’s right is everyone’s responsibility.

PROJECT PARTNERS
Canada Ukraine Foundation

Holodomor Mobile Classroom won a 2018 APEX Award in the Education & Healthcare category.

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