A Suggested Time Scale for a Digital Artefact Box

September, October & November:

Class discussions on what it means to be Irish - music, language, people, sports, customs, etc. Collection of images, sound files etc which depict Ireland. Following discussions, class decide what they wish to tell the world about their country through their digital box.

A group of children is selected to work on this part of the digital box. The group search for suitable artefacts to represent the ideas given by the whole class. The group bring the artefacts back within a fortnight for the class to consider. Suitable artefacts which can be easily digitised should be chosen first.

County clues are next for discussion. Children discuss with parents and grandparents what it means to be from a particular county. Games, people, music, buildings, landscapes etc should all be considered? By the end of September a group should be selected to work on the collection of artefacts for the county.

Group working on artefacts to represent the country display all the artefacts selected. The class then decide which are to be selected to be digitised. About 8 should be selected. When the final choice is made, two or three children are given the task to digitise all the artefacts. Depending on the software chosen to display the project as HTML these same children can complete this part of the project before the end of October. A small group (Proof Readers) should be selected to check Level 1 to ensure there are no bugs in it. It is a good idea to upload the HTML files to your web site or home page to ensure that they work as you wish on the Internet.

The same method is used for Levels 2 and 3. Each Level should take about 6 weeks with a lap over of two weeks. This means that the Artefact Box should be ready by the first week in December.


Digital Artefact Boxes could be exchanged before Christmas and tested by the class teacher before children explore them. In this way any anomalies can be sorted out. Teacher should explore the Artefacts without resorting to the answers.


Children explore digital boxes. Some children are VERY enthusiastic about exploring the clues and with computers at home can quickly answer many of the clues. It is important that clear rules are set about passing on information gained about the project. As many children as possible should be afforded the time to solve the clues and enjoy the project.


Set up email links with the partner school and exchange ideas about the projects. Exchange travel buddies with younger classes.

March: Review the project. Discuss this review with your partner school.

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If possible no single artefact should give away the location of the country. Pupils must need to examine all the artefacts before they solve the first level.

It is important that the artefacts chosen depict a wide range of activities and are not simply chosen because they are topical at the moment. In this way the artefacts will stand the test of time.

Take care not to make artefacts become out of date quickly. For example, instead of showing a photo of an athlete saying he or she won a medal in 'last year's Olympic Games' rephrase it saying 'in the 2000 Olympic Games'

Sound files can be very large. The microphone and sound recording software that came with your computer are not useful for the Internet. Wav files are far too big. Sound needs to be compressed like mp3 or streamed from your server. Real Producer is one such piece of software and available free at Realnetworks.com

The Flash Player is available for download here



Time can slip by quickly so it is important that email links be established in February so children can build on the project with the partner school. Often all the work goes into composing the project at the expense of building on the wonderful link made with the partner school.


Choosing a partner school with the same school year is important. Schools in the northern hemisphere are probably easier to work with initially. However, if the project is kept small schools in the southern hemisphere could then be used.