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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 12:36 PM

I came across this excellent US teacher's site today. Good, entertaining and pithy explanations of significant areas:

http://www.mrsedivy.com/index.html


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#2 Stephen Drew

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 12:54 PM

This is brilliant.:D

A few minutes spent quickly browsing through shows that there is so much excellent stuff here.

I looked at the Elizabeth I and Henry VIII pages. They are readable for most Year 7s or 8s and have excellent pictures.

I am always looking for sites to direct students to with their research via links on my site, and this site will definitely start getting visits from Passmores students in the near future.

Edited after addition of photo.

His photo simply enhances my view of this man! He is an absolute star. His shirt alone is enough to give him all the gravitas I need to trust everything he says or writes. B)
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#3 Andrew Field

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 12:56 PM

.. and perhaps it should be compulsory that any teacher who has a website puts an image of themselves up whilst wearing a flowery shirt!

:D

I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments - perhaps this could also form part of your 'powerful people' lesson?


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#4 Stephen Drew

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 01:00 PM

Who?

Mr Sedivy or the historical characters on his site? ;)
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#5 Andrew Field

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 01:09 PM

Seriously, this does show the quality of some American materials. I'm a member of the GEM consortium, the rough equivalent of England's NGfL, but I do feel there are literally hundreds of US teacher's materials that we could be benefiting from and sharing with.

One great thing is for interpretations - they way historical events are viewed from a slightly different prespective.

Looking through the above site you can see that hours and hours of work has gone into it - every section leads to quality detail upon detail.

Let's find some more sites like this! One which I can known about for some time is http://www.historyteacher.net, although this has undergone a redesign since I last paid a visit. See the Ten Commandments of Historical Writing at the site.

Similarly, I know for a fact that our New Zealand colleagues are leading the way with interactive teaching materials. Anyone found anything. I also know that the Guardian's http://www.learn.co.uk site recruited South African teachers to author their KS4 interactive history lessons.


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#6 Richard Drew

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 03:11 PM

i agree that it is an excellent website - easily understood by KS3 pupils. However, even my brief look has uncovered a couple of glaring errors and over simplifications:

On the Henry VIII page he has Edward reigning from age 15 to 21 (the six years after he died!). As for Elizabeth bringing prosperity - Ok maybe for some, but what about the major problems of begging and near starvation for many years of her reign.

I think I will think twice before getting pupils to use the site for research without some caveats.

perhaps his loud shirts dazzle his view of the notes or books he was using at the time ;)
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#7 Andrew Field

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 03:32 PM

:( :(

As always too good to be true.

Never mind - there's still material that can be used.


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#8 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 03:37 PM

Mmmm....... I've not looked at a great deal of this site yet, but I can't say I am as enthusiastic as you two.

There seem to be too many oversimplifications and inaccuracies for my liking - though the images used are good.

I'm not a great fan of American Teachers' sites I'm afraid. [Even Universtiy sites are sometimes inaccurate on English/British history] and from what I have seen there's nothing to touch the sites being produced by the people who contribute to this Forum.

If the images here are in the public domain I'll 'borrow' them but I don't think I shall be pointing my kids in that direction. Not even from the 'interpretations' point of view.

Sorry, guys. For once I disagree with you.

Edited to say that the discussion had moved on whilst I was looking at the site.

#9 Andrew Field

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 03:51 PM

Ok - try this one - should be more reliable. They are putting all of their university materials online for free (no cost at all) from September 30th

http://web.mit.edu/ocw/

Related BBC story:
http://news.bbc.co.u...ogy/2270648.stm

As regards our friend's site it is a shame. The inital look made it appear really impressive, especially with all the images. I suppose we will find that most of them break copyright as well.

:angry: :angry: :angry:


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#10 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 03:58 PM

You still can't argue with the picture though.

Whatever turns you on B)

#11 Stephen Drew

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 03:58 PM

And here endeth today's lesson. :(

To summarise:

"Go beyond the first impressions and a quick scan read to look in depth at the real quality of the site." :D

Despite the downgrading of the site during the thread, much useful stuff has come out of it. :)
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#12 Andrew Field

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 04:02 PM

You still can't argue with the picture though.

Whatever turns you on B)

Hmm... :unsure:


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#13 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 04:07 PM

Ok - try this one - should be more reliable.  They are putting all of their university materials online for free (no cost at all) from September 30th

I'd heard about this MIT initiative quite a while ago. It'll be interesing to see what History courses they put online.

The whole idea is quite a mind-blowing one; I wonder what will happen to all the pay-for sites?

Also, I can only assume that MIT are rich enough to fund an initiative like this, but the start-up costs must be ginormous so I do worry rather about what may happen to small businesses running 'fringe' courses. Presumably they will find a niche market.

PS I am thinking of educational sites in the broadest sense here - not just those providing information about history.

#14 Stephen Drew

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 04:13 PM

Carole's point about MIT and the threat to smaller providers is almost exactly the same as the debate in the UK last year when the BBC announced plans to use BBCi to produce an entire digital curriculum with the resources as well and give it away for free as part of their public service remit.

The major publishers and other smaller providers of resources were up in arms. The threat to their income was obvious.

This is an interesting issue about the provision of free resources.

On a smaller scale, it could apply to the Schoolhistory et al. situation. Teacher produced resources shared for free challenge to some extent the textbook market. I know it is realtively small scale at present, although the figures of 2 500 downloads a day quoted by Andrew recently perhaps challenge that statement.
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#15 Andrew Field

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Posted 22 September 2002 - 04:22 PM

..or is it just 50 or so teachers downloading lots!

I'm also only tracking KS3 resources at the moment - I haven't got round to doing the others. Yesterday (Saturday) 1136 .pdfs were downloaded from the Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 section.

I think the text book industry could very well be challenged here. I was approached by a text book producer and told to take two worksheets down off the site as they infringed copyright. I didn't realise they did, so obviously complied immediately. Yet they must have been looking to notice.

Around this time Dan suggested that we should approach the text-book producers to see if we could work together - Russel said simliar things. Despite doing so, I've heard nothing.

Again - the big element about all these sites is that they are run by teachers. All the stuff I've got online is for me to use and I'm happy to find it is useful for others as well!

The MIT thing - I think - will be bigger than the BBC. I believe much of the uproar about the BBC was that it would be government money that would go to them to help them establish a monopoly position. MIT are doing this by themseleves. One wonders whether this really is such a gesture of goodwill towards humanity though - surely they's something behind it?


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