Lessons in Herstory is an app that is designed to introduce the reader to women who have been traditionally left out of history books and classes. The creators state that only 11% of the stories in U.S. History books are about women; their app seeks to change this by allowing the user to use their phone’s AR function to literally superimpose a story of a female historical figure over their printed history book. The app works in conjunction with the book A History of US: Liberty for All? The user can turn to any picture of a man in this book, scan it with their app, and then see an AR representation of a woman who lived during the same time period and accomplished a similar task. For example, scan the picture of Zachary Taylor and you will see the story of Cathay Williams, a woman who dressed as a man so she could enlist in the military.
If they do not have a copy of the textbook, users can also browse the app and click on any of the women featured there to learn more. The app provides a few short facts with colorful graphics and animations, inviting the user to learn more about these women who have been traditionally left out of schools’ History classes
Lessons in Herstory is a free-to-use app and is now available on iOS. Because of the amount of reading involved, younger students may need to work with an adult to navigate the app.
Because women only make up 11% of the stories told in History books, using the Lessons in Herstory app is a great way for the user to try something new! Learning about women who are often forgotten in traditional textbooks can help the user practice their flexibility skills by learning something outside of the normal range of historical facts. And because there are two ways to do this, the user can also learn about these women in different ways, either by scanning the pictures in the textbook or scrolling through the app and choosing a woman they want to learn more about.
Focus: Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
Learning something new is a great way to practice focusing skills. And for users who struggle with Focus, Lessons in Herstory can provide a low-stakes approach to practicing this skill. The app does not offer tons of information on each woman, but rather bite sized facts that are designed to provide some insight and entice the reader to learn more about these women on their own. For this reason, users who struggle with staying focused can practice this skill by choosing one or two women at a time and learning something about them by either scanning a photo in their textbook or choosing them from a list on the app.
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