EnToen Nu app
The national timeline of Dutch history comprises 50 carefully-selected historical snapshots that provide Dutch children with a knowledge of history that will be useful throughout their life. Each snapshot is chosen to focus on a single historical figure, subject, or event that forms part of the shared Dutch cultural heritage, and has helped to shape the Netherlands of today.
This timeline is managed by the EnToen Nu institute. It forms a cornerstone of primary education in the Netherlands and provides a solid foundation for secondary education in the Netherlands. Our EnToen Nu app – and the free EnToen Nu ‘light’ version – were the first educational apps to be aligned with key Dutch educational goals. Both are designed so that they are fun to use for children in groups 5 through to 8. There are differentiations in the information provided for each age group, both in terms of the language and the content (links, videos and projects).
Making learning fun
Children can browse through the list of events and historical figures in the timeline, choosing subjects such as ‘Anne Frank‘ or ‘Slavery in the Netherlands’. When they find a topic of interest, they open a page that will be filled with information, as well as illustrations, videos (often linked to TV programs), links to books, museum exhibitions and more. Additional links are sometimes provided with further background information and suggestions for visits. There are also ‘Information Images’ (available only in the full app), where children can click on embedded links to reveal more hidden information about the subject.
The app includes projects and task suggestions for each time period, which can be performed individually, or as part of a group. The ‘wheel-of-fortune’ project selector (available only in the full app) can randomly select projects related to each of the timeline periods. Children have three chances to choose which project they will work on, and the size of the group in which they will work (individually, in pairs, or in a team).
Intelligent app management
The contents of the app are managed – in this case by educational specialists – using a CMS that is accessed via a web interface. One of the main benefits of this approach is that content changes can be made on-the-fly, without the need to provide a new release of the app. This also means that there’s no need to submit frequent updates to the App Store! The Entoen Nu app was initially developed in 2013 by BSL, and regularly updated during 2014 and 2015. Version 1.3.0 was released in February 2016.