History re-made: New AR classroom application lets pupils see how York looked over 1,900 years ago 

The online educational publisher Twinkl has launched a first-of-its-kind application showing the city of York in 3D as it changed throughout the ages from 70 to 1400AD. 

The ‘Twinkl Ages: York app’ reveals how buildings appeared and the landscape transformed as York went from an area of open fields in 70AD to a city equipped with its famous waterways and cathedral by the Middle Ages. The free Augmented Reality app gives you the tools to show history being made in your classroom or home and even allows you to zoom in close to see details of buildings and people walking the ancient streets. 

Parts of York that are no longer visible today are also revealed, such as a Roman Amphitheatre that some historians believe was part of the city from 180AD.  

The revolutionary application paves the way for future uses of Augmented Reality across our classrooms. The application can be downloaded for free from the App Store onto any Apple device. To make it work you just hold your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch over an open area such as a clear table or wall and watch as the City of York appears on your screen.  

“Augmented Reality really can bring things to life for children”, said Jonathan Seaton, CEO and Founder of Twinkl. 

“With this application they can see York decade by decade as it changed, discovering how historical groups such as the Vikings adapted and used the land around them. It really is an incredible new way to get children learning about history.” 

The application was developed by Liam Rushfirth, a 3D Artist at Twinkl and App Developer John Carpenter, a student from Sheffield Hallam University who has spent the last year at Twinkl as an App Developer. 

Extensive work went into mapping the dates that different buildings arrived in the city, with some time periods such as the Roman Era proving more difficult as they have not been documented in as much detail. The duo were supported by Twinkl’s App Development Team. 

“We have made the visuals as accurate as we can but did have to use artistic license for some of the details” said Liam. 

“But it is a very close reflection of what the city would have been like and lets pupils visualise it in a way that is more engaging and interactive than ever before.”History re-made: New AR classroom application lets pupils see how York looked over 1,900 years ago 

Pete Casson, Chief Technology Officer at Twinkl, said: “Augmented Reality has huge potential for education as it enables pupils to not only see but also explore places and items, making it a really exciting experience, that raises curiosity and stimulates the imagination. 

“When we have shown the app to children and adults alike they have been fascinated to see the way York grew and developed and this has led to discussions about the history of the city and the people from different time periods that lived there. 

“The app is also really easy and quick to use and doesn’t require anything other than an iPhone or iPad, which is important for the teachers we have made the product for. It can be viewed by individuals, groups and whole classrooms, making it adaptable and versatile too.” 

Twinkl helps those who teach across the world and has more than 500,000 quality classroom resources available to clients, all created in-house. The majority of the staff at Twinkl are current or former teachers, meaning the learning materials are created by teachers for teachers. 

To download the free Twinkl Ages: York app please visit https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/twinkl-ages-york/id1403408561?mt=8
For more information on Twinkl, visit www.twinkl.co.uk.