Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Mexican HistARy: Discovering Our Cultural Heritage

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Participate and share : Poster

Pía Pérez Lamadrid Palazuelos  
Regina Gonzalez de Cossio  
Renata Pinto  
Galia Fernández Olea  
Zuri Alacio Valdelamar  
Akemi Telles  
Pilar Zardon  

Learn how Mexican fifth graders created an educational game about Mexican history using technology and augmented reality in order to share the richness of their culture with the world.

Audience: Principals/head teachers, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS
Tablet: iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Reality Composer (
Topic: Games for learning & gamification
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: Language arts, Social studies
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
Innovative Designer
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Teaching History in educational contexts allows students to analyze and reflect on the past to understand their present. Therefore, one of the main purposes of teaching History throughout basic education is for students to develop historical thinking and awareness, so that they have a greater understanding of contemporary societies and participate in actions of social benefit in a responsible manner. However, teaching History in primary education in Mexico is mainly based on the transmission of data, the repetition of names of the most prominent characters and the memorization of dates and places. With this, a rote learning is promoted and Mexican children are not taught to think historically, since the temporal and spatial understanding of historical events is not considered important, and neither is the need to establish causal relationships with the present day or with other national or world events.

Therefore, the main educational challenge faced during the development of this project was to promote a historical understanding of Mexican culture as well as to encourage students to develop attitudes and values for the care and conservation of their country's historic heritage.

Bearing this in mind, augmented reality applications have proven to be useful when complementing a standard curriculum or the way people get informed about cultural matters because learners can participate interactively with computer generated simulations of various events, characters or settings, and explore and learn each significant detail. Another benefit of AR technology is that it allows learning via remote collaboration, since learners at different locations can share a common virtual learning environment with virtual objects and learning materials that they can use to interact with one another within that setting. Furthermore, by complementing AR technology with gamification elements, the learner's experience can be brought to a whole new level because game mechanics and dynamics can significantly engage the student and bring educational outcomes that last longer while motivating them to become more active learners.

Therefore, the aim of this project was to demonstrate how Project Based Learning, AR technology and gamification techniques can deliver a more comprehensive understanding of Mexican History and its culture and, at the same time, engage learners and increase their enjoyment during the learning process. In addition, gamifying education and culture can be beneficial for both learners and teachers since learners become more motivated to explore and study subjects that otherwise would be unattractive, or seem difficult to them such as History or Geography. Furthermore, instead of passively learning by reading text or memorizing dates and places, through project based learning, AR and gamification, students were actively participating in the learning procedure moving away from being consumers of Mexican History and becoming active learners and creative communicators of this rich and diverse culture.

So join this session to witness first-handedly the power that gamification, AR and project based learning can have on getting students to understand, learn, identify with and share their historical heritage. It is important to note that during the realization of this project, students not only acquired knowledge on Mexican History, but they also developed important skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity while becoming active and empowered learners. Furthermore, English, Spanish, Geography, History and Technology were addressed transversally in this project, allowing students to practice their second language, and remove language barriers by sharing their culture with many English speaking kids and adults.

Students worked with Apple Productivity and Creativity tools and AR apps such as Reality Composer and MAKR to enhance their understanding and, based on the syllabus of Mexican History and Mexican Geography for fifth grade, students conducted research and decided on the appropriate contents for their final product: a game in which you are be able to travel through different time periods along Mexican History, be introduced to some of the most important Mexican characters, discover the places where historic events took place, get to know their traditions and see how these plances have changed over the years.

The main purpose and objectives for this presentation are:
- For attendees to learn how gamification and AR can be great motivators to encourage students´ learning and facilitate the generation of creative and engaging approaches to studying History and Geography, and to ultimately promote the identification with their country and its culture.
- To share with the audience the development of a project based learning experience that helped students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time on investigating a complex question regarding their cultural heritage and responding to it in a creative manner.
- To give our students an international platform to share their product and their learning process, through which they developed comprehension and identification with their historic and cultural heritage and grew fonder to their country's diversity.

Supporting research

- Lima, L. Bonilla, F & Arista, V. (2010) La enseñanza de la Historia en la escuela mexicana. Proyecto Clío 36. ISSN 1139-6237.

- Eleftheria, C.A., Charikleia, P., Iason, C.G., Athanasios, T. and Dimitrios, T. (2013). "An innovative augmented reality educational platform using Gamification to enhance lifelong learning and cultural education," IISA, Piraeus, pp. 1-5, doi: 10.1109/IISA.2013.6623724.


- Wagner, T. (2015). Creating innovators: The making of Young People Who Will Change the World (Reprint ed.) Scribner.

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Regina Gonzalez de Cossio, Highlands International School Mexico

Regina González de Cossío is a young Mexican neuropsychologist, passionate educator and technology enthusiast. She began her career in education five years ago, teaching science and ESL in second and fourth grade at a private Catholic school in Mexico City where she witnessed how technology can empower students to build their own knowledge and encourage them to create. As an educational innovation specialist at Highlands International School Mexico in Mexico City, she strives to create an innovative culture that fosters authentic and personalized learning. She conducts research and guides and measures the implementation of innovative learning methodologies and state-of-the-art technology with the school community, thus crafting creative solutions to everyday challenges such as remote learning. She also facilitates training events for staff, and enjoys coaching and empowering teachers so they can better integrate innovative practices into their classrooms to promote meaningful learning experiences. She loves to ignite creativity in teachers and students, is committed to enhancing cooperative learning and is currently making global connections to create an intercultural collaborative learning network. González de Cossío holds a bachelor's degree in neuropsychology and two two master's degrees in neuroscience and neuroeducation from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She’s also a certified Apple Teacher.

Renata Pinto, Highlands International School Mexico
Galia Fernández Olea, Highlands International School Mexico
Zuri Alacio Valdelamar, Highlands International School Mexico
Akemi Telles, Highlands International School
Pilar Zardon, Highlands International School

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