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on each page providing the opportunity to mine SCRAN's resources and change the
navigation path at any time. Searching or browsing is facilitated by Pathfinders, i.e. brief,
illustrated introductions to People, Places,Things, Events and Ideas.The Pathfinders might
well act as "teasers" to subscribe to the full range of unique resources on SCRAN.
Reading the text on how to get a licence as an individual, that includes some hints of
what is on offer, one really would like to right away pay the £25.00 per year and dig into
the site:"from the mediaeval art of Nigeria, to the Post-Impressionist oils of Gauguin and
the monumental sculpture of Paolozzi. Architecture is well served with stunning virtual
reality panoramas giving 360° views of important buildings such as Mackintosh House, (...)
video material enables you to fly over Mount Everest circa 1933, or join an archaeological
dig at a Viking burial site.You might even master the steps to the Dashing White Sergeant."
But, the SCRAN web site is not primarily for home users, its main focus and subscribers
are educational institutions.
What's in the interactive library for teachers and learners
Since 1998, SCRAN has won about 80% of the Scottish schools and other learning
institutions as licensees to its interactive library:
Percentage of SCRAN school licenses, 1998-2001
The Scottish Executive Education Department has recently announced that they will be funding the `buy out' of the SCRAN Licence for all
schools in Scotland.This will be formally launched in November 2001.
Universities and colleges in the UK are already fully covered, thanks to an agreement
with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).
In 1998, after having developed a considerable volume of digitised cultural heritage
resources and made it searchable online, SCRAN spent much effort presenting its service to
regional educational authorities throughout Scotland. It became clear that to really find its
way into the classroom additional features would be necessary, a challenge SCRAN
immediately accepted. (cf. Buchanan, 1999)
In 1999 it launched the "Curriculum Navigator", that represents the National Curri-
culum as a tree structure, allows teachers to find where their class is within it, and then
suggests a "virtual resource pack", pre-selected by education professionals, of materials
useful in the teaching of that topic.Today, over 500 Resource Packs related to specific areas
of the Scottish curriculum, and over 400 for the National Curriculum in England are
What SCRAN, and many others that serve schools, has learned is that it is a hard job to
provide tools that many teachers would use to conceive and create digital teaching material
themselves.Teachers might say that they would like to have a tool at hand to select and
assemble material themselves, but only few ­ may be 3 percent - really make use of such a
tool, the others sticking to the pre-packaged materials offered (according to Jürgen A.
Schmidt, Ernst Klett Verlag - Educational Concepts, DigiCULT-Interview, Sept 14, 2001).
But SCRAN is confident that by and by, and in particular with a new multimedia savvy
November 1998
November 1999
November 2000
Mid 2001
End 2001
% Primary Schools
11 %
50 %
67 %
78 %
100 %
% Secondary Schools
9 %
53 %
65 %
74 %
100 %