Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Friday, 21 October 2011 16:25 UK

Making history come to life

Teddy bear and childhood photos
Toys and childhood photos brought in by local residents to show School Reporters at Billericay School

By Hannah, 14

On the last weekend of October when the clocks go back and the daily grind of life takes an hour's break, you can help introduce someone to the internet.

It's easy to do, free and it could change the way they view the world.

We've been helping to "Get someone Offline, On" as part of our community work at school.

In October the Billericay School ran a workshop, aiming to share and interpret people's past experiences through photographs, and "pin" them to a website called Historypin.

Hannah, 14 Billericay School
School Reporter Hannah, year 10

We helped older people scan their photos onto the site, and pin them to the place where it was taken.

It's an amazing site which brings together memories and stories behind the pictures. There are lots of personal stories: from couples getting married, photos of the first years of drag-racing and pictures of the Naples Army Barracks taken by the men who fought there in World War II.

This project works hand in hand with the BBC's objective to help people use new technology, and not be afraid to use it on a regular basis.

I, along with some other students chosen for their enthusiasm for history, thoroughly enjoyed our time with the people who came to share their stories, not only with the students who worked on this project, but with the world.

Personally I loved the workshop. It got the students to get to know some of the older members of the public, and we all got to hear some rare stories from the war, and of what life was like in Billericay School 60 years ago.

We also found out how our town and country has developed over the years.

For example, a common fact known to Billericay locals, but unknown to many others was that during the end of the Second World War, a Zeppelin was shot down, and landed in the local meadows.

The dead Germans were put in the closest barn, which became known as the "Black Barn" until it was torn down.

It was great to get the generations talking and to create an alternate virtual world of history, not just involving major events but bringing together family tales and long lost memories.

It's a clever way to spend time together with your own family, introducing older people to the user friendly digital map of the world.


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