CONCEPT: A journey through the history of ancient coins, focusing primarily on those from Greece and Rome.
DELIVERY: One thing that can often be a problem in history lessons is that lack of access to decent primary sources. Naturally the real things tend to be found in museums but even decent replicas can be hard to obtain and pricey at that.
MFA Coins from The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is a free app that offers students the chance to not only learn more about ancient coins but the civilisations that birthed them. Split into three main sections, the app features a list of their most prized possessions at the museum, a selection of Ancient Greek coins and also a set from Ancient Rome. Each coin can be inspected in great detail by zooming in and flipping it over. They are also accompanied by a detailed set of notes pertaining to the history, design and imagery of each coin.
Additionally the app contains a clever coin-based timeline that tracks the evolution of coins back to the earliest coins in 650BC. This is a great bonus as it really highlights how coins changed with the civilisations that they wee a part of.
As a source of history, it is exceptionally good and the presentation is excellent. The app offers global students the chance to get hands on with history in a way that would not previously have been possible.
LIMITATIONS: Although you can pinch zoom into the coins, it would have been even better to be able to manipulate them in 3D. Also take heed that a couple of the coins feature graphic depictions of nudity.
CONCLUSION: This free app is genuinely useful to the ancient history class. 4/5
Learning more about ancient cultures
Teaching the importance of primary sources
Tracking the history of coins and finance
Part of a study of the MFA and it's work