News of: Thursday, February 10 2005,

Amsterdam history lessons by mobile phone

Children of the Montessori School got history lessons yesterday, by playing a game in which they contact the Middle Ages with their cell phones.
The cell phones are UMTS phones (cell phones with fast internet connections), which also have GPS (Global Positioning System).

The children (11-12 years) play the role of pilgrims coming to 1550 Amsterdam to visit the special relic: the Holy Host associated with The Miracle of Amsterdam (which took place March 15, 1345).

Through the game (called 'Frequency 1550'), the children compete with other teams. They demonstrate their knowledge of medieval Amsterdam by doing location-based media-assignments on the city's history. As they wander through the streets of medieval Amsterdam, they get in virtual phone contact with characters that provide information on locations and on the strange disappearing of the holy relic.

The history lessons are a pilot project to see if this kind of history lessons is workable, and how technology can help.

The project is sponsored by the Waag Society and KPN (the biggest telephone network provider in Holland) . There is also a project website.