Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Teaching History with a Hypertext Curriculum:


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Richard Jones-Nerzic

Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 510 posts

Posted 29 October 2003 - 09:23 AM

Teaching History with a Hypertext Curriculum:
Or how building a website can seriously improve your exam results


I have a fairly minimalist definition of ‘hypertext curriculum’. As soon as I have created and published a web page that supports my students’ learning, I am teaching with a hypertext curriculum. Hypertext curriculum does not therefore mean a ‘paper free’ classroom. A few years ago educational conferences were full of people presenting hypertext curricula that were going to revolutionise our business. Ironically, these were often curricula presented by book publishers apparently threatened by the death knell of the printed word. In my view, books and photocopies/printouts will remain at the heart of school learning for the foreseeable future. Although I teach in a technology rich environment, books are more often than not the most appropriate technology for classroom learning.

While I’m about it, let me say something else to please the traditionalists: using a hypertext curriculum improves history exam results. Of this, I have no doubt and absolutely no proof. But in explaining why I think a hypertext curriculum improves exam results, I hope to carry on the threads of some of our earlier seminars that have dealt with history teaching and ICT.

See my previous seminar on Teaching History in a Laptop Classroom
Andrew Field - Encouraging Teachers to use ICT
John Simkin – Online Simulations in History
Andrew Moore – Writing Educational Websites

In addition, last week’s seminar by Anders Macgregor on Teaching History in Sweden, led me rewrite and substantially extend this seminar at the last moment. One comment/question in particular has led me to refocus on persuading teachers and teacher trainers to build their own websites:

what can we do to make the teachers of our schools aware of the advantage of web design? Is this something every individual has to discover all by themselves (everybody gets to invent the wheel on their own)? Is it something that the individual schools should focus on; the education of its teaching staff so they would be able to handle basic web design or is it something that should be a part of the teacher training courses, so that the teacher of today and the future have these skills? (Mac)

A second comment made in last week’s seminar suggested that the pressure of preparing exam classes discourages teachers from being creative with the use of ICT and websites in particular: ‘national exams prevail all over the upper secondary education and prevent every initiative’ (Tasos) Although I have a great deal of sympathy with this statement, in this seminar I want to show that it can be done; that building a website to support an examination class is worth doing. I want to focus on how I have used a website to support my International GCSE history class over the last two years and how as a consequence, I believe, their exam results were improved.

As a consequence of this last minute rewriting, I have gone a little beyond the usual length of these seminars. Apologies in advance for this.

There are three users of my IGCSE history hypertext curriculum: me, my students and a number of significant others. As a consequence of using the website (hypertext curriculum), each user contributes to the success of the students. Let me consider each user in turn.

Me, the teacher.

The first and most important user of a hypertext curriculum is the teacher. But the teacher is also the most often neglected in discussions of this kind. If mentioned, it is usual to refer to the creative enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from (what is after all) a form of vanity publishing. I do enjoy the creative side of building and maintaining a website, and I admit that I occasionally spend too long on website content rather than in marking student work, but importantly, I also use a hypertext curriculum to better organise my resources, my lessons and myself. As a better-organised teacher, I am a more efficient teacher and my students benefit as a result.

The history part of the International School of Toulouse Humanities website is currently just over gigabyte in size, or more meaningfully, approximately 18000 files and 2100 folders. It grows at the rate of a couple of hundred files each half-term. In paper format this would be unwieldy and difficult to manage. In digital form, it is not only easy to organise, it is also accessible, flexible and easy to maintain.

In using a website to manage my resources, I am never more than a few clicks away from anything I might need. As I write this I am 800km from my files but I can access them in a few moments if I need to. As long as I have access to the Internet, I have access to everything I put online: lesson plans, teaching resources, my mark book and even the students’ work to be assessed. In addition, a hypertext curriculum is also highly flexible. During a lesson I have the website open both in a web browser and in a format to be edited. This means I can make changes to the resources or activities as the lesson progresses, responding to the needs of the students. I remember as a student teacher I had all the questions and activities precisely planned in advance. As a more experienced teacher I used the blackboard to adjust my tasks in response to the lesson. Now I have the ‘permanent’ format – essential for students to know the tasks expected of them – but a format responsive to the natural progression of the lesson. Good lessons are often those that see plans torn up halfway through, but now nothing gets torn up.

Even more importantly I can also respond to my needs as they arise. I regularly come across a good website, a good article or something on TV that I might want to incorporate in a lesson some time in the next 12 months. It takes two minutes to add the link to the appropriate part of my curriculum site and then I can forget about it. This acts as a kind of knot in the corner of the curriculum handkerchief; a reminder of a good idea a number of months before. Like most, I walk more slowly to the classroom if I want to plan the lesson more thoroughly, but the first thing I do when I arrive is log on and check what we did last time and what we might do today. One final organisational advantage concerns the ease with which the website organises my filing in a logical way. I used to spend hours at the end of a week clearing out photocopies, sorting and filing the worksheet masters. When I use paper resources they tend to accumulate on my desk after use. In contrast, digital resources never move - no matter how often I use them - unless of course I want them to. In conclusion, a hypertext curriculum can be teacher planner, lesson plans, syllabus, diary, worksheets, textbook, mark book, exam papers, etc. etc. all rolled into one.

My students

When I speak about my hypertext curriculum, I really mean ‘ours’. A significant percentage of the content of history site at the IST has been generated by the students. I examined the motivational significance of this in my last seminar. Last time I also spoke about how a hypertext curriculum can scaffold student learning, supporting the less able, stretching the brightest and recognising the range of multiple intelligences. On this occasion I’d like to look at how, in particular, a website can improve the learning of an examination class.

The first thing to note is that unlike a textbook (including the one designed for your syllabus) or a resource pack produced by a department, a hypertext curriculum is personal to the classes being taught. A hypertext curriculum changes every week as the latest exemplary work is added and the group projects and videos of debates and role-plays are archived. In addition, the hypertext curriculum echoes the voice of the teacher: it will be in a style and language familiar to the class. The hypertext curriculum also meets the needs of the particular syllabus options taught and the coursework designed by the centre for the current academic year and it reinforces the necessary skills in exactly the same way as they are taught in class. Very little is generic and consequently nothing is irrelevant.

I use about half a dozen standard textbooks during the two year IGCSE history course, but how I use them is personal to me. Occasionally students will complete activities straight from the textbook, but more often than not parts of some activities are mixed with other texts, handouts or my activities. It is the website that guides the students through this maze and allows them to become much more independent learners. In last week’s seminar Anders described an experimental period in Swedish education in the late 1960s:

We studied 2 weeks intensively with several lessons in 3 - mostly four subjects. Than we had a four week period where we worked with the subjects. During this period we only had a few "check-up" gatherings every week. It was a system that gave us the ability to plan ahead (under supervision) but most of all we were not "killed" of boredom. With today’s technology this could be developed much more than it was possible at the time. For me personally it meant that I had great skills in planning, structuring and taking responsibility for my studies which was not to bad when I went to the university

I couldn’t agree more. With today’s technology it is possible for students to navigate through a clearly defined structure of key questions taken directly from the syllabus in their own time and at their own pace. (This continual reinforcement of syllabus structure and key questions is particularly important I think.) They can jump ahead if they want to and easily catch up if they’ve been away. The students will know when they will have tests and there are links to model answers, past papers and revision sections to help them prepare for them. If they forgot to make a note of the homework or lose the handout given in class, they can log-on from home to remind themselves and print out what has been lost. As long as they have access to the Internet they are empowered in their independence.

Significant Others

This is potentially the most revolutionary aspect of teaching with a hypertext curriculum. What goes on in a classroom has always been something of a ‘secret garden’, a closed, private world of teacher and learner. But when I put my lessons on the web I went public. 'Significant others' are significant because their access to our website contributes something to my students’ learning.

The most obvious group of people who want my students to do well in exams are their parents. In all my contact with exam class parents, I try to tie my comments into the context of the hypertext curriculum. If parents are to help me, they need to understand what is required of their children. In parents’ evening I am fortunate to be able to project my website on a screen behind me as I talk. In written reports I now include URLs to contextualise the points I make, or to refer the parents to pages where their son/daughter has produced exemplary work. My email address is on the site and I encourage parents to use it. If a student is going to be absent it is helpful to know this. It takes two minutes to reply with the URL of the lesson to be missed.

Working in an international school involves teaching a highly transient group of students. A significant proportion of students of my IGCSE entries in any year will have not been with me for the full five terms. Having a hypertext curriculum can significantly ease the transition between schools. I had a student join me this September in Year 11 who had been working through my curriculum website for the previous three months in another country, going as far as to complete his first coursework assignment before the rest of the class. Similarly, if any of my students leave, it is very easy for me to show the new school exactly what has been covered and how.

Many schools have been very cautious with going fully online and have protected themselves with an intranet password for the exclusive use of their ‘learning community’. In my view this is a mistake. Other than parents and prospective students, there is a whole range of people who can contribute to the success of my students because our curriculum is online. If you are behind a password these people won’t find you.

If you have a website with your email address on it, you will get emails. Once in a while these emails can be useful. I have had my students’ German and Korean corrected in the last six months and my factual errors on a number of occasions. I have had teachers send me resources because of something they saw on my site. My students have had opportunities to work on collaborative international projects because somebody saw what I was doing online. I have been able to enter online competitions because I am able to host my students’ contributions. Most significantly, I have a growing number of contacts (and not just history teachers) all around the world that first contacted me because of something they found on the site. Occasionally from these contacts you get encouragement that can put the spring back into your step. I know that not all school managers understand the time some of us dedicate to our websites. As a consequence, an occasional pat on the back from a ‘virtual’ peer can often be very welcome.

Future plans

This has been a fantastic opportunity to force myself to reflect on my last two years of teaching with a hypertext curriculum. Spending a few hours in writing it has also given me time to think about how I want the site to develop in future. But having significantly extended my original seminar in response to recent comments elsewhere, I will save these thoughts for another day. This will give anyone who wants to an opportunity to respond to the above, or offer their own view on future possibilities.

Richard Jones-Nerzic
Brittany, October 28-29, 2003
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke


European School Brussels III
International School History

#2 MAC

MAC

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts

Posted 29 October 2003 - 10:53 AM

Richard, very interesting and great with a link to your school. I like to focus on two things (to start with) - time spent on the learning process and the problems of passwords!!!

The first and most important user of a hypertext curriculum is the teacher. But the teacher is also the most often neglected in discussions of this kind. If mentioned, it is usual to refer to the creative enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from (what is after all) a form of vanity publishing. I do enjoy the creative side of building and maintaining a website, and I admit that I occasionally spend too long on website content rather than in marking student work, but importantly, I also use a hypertext curriculum to better organise my resources, my lessons and myself. As a better-organised teacher, I am a more efficient teacher and my students benefit as a result. (Richard Jones-Nerzic)

I can understand the joy and the satisfaction of your work but I would like to focus on another side - to comprehend the technical demands...
If you are quite an inexperienced teacher within the field of creating and publishing websites you might have a problem - the time used to try to manage the technical aspect of creating the sites. I know from my own experience that this is quite a time consuming process, but I should also state - once you're able to master some of the more simple parts you will defenitely benefit from it. You have obviously reached a stage where you're able to produce quite advanced material - but for a teacher or a teacher candidate that will start this process I think it would be valuable to find out how you experienced the first "steps" in this development...
Teachers (or others within the staff) who has greater knowledge within this field are very important people. The process of learning the web basics go so much faster when you have somebody that can guide you through it...


Many schools have been very cautious with going fully online and have protected themselves with an intranet password for the exclusive use of their ‘learning community’. In my view this is a mistake. Other than parents and prospective students, there is a whole range of people who can contribute to the success of my students because our curriculum is online. If you are behind a password these people won’t find you. (Richard Jones-Nerzic)

I completely agree with you. I work at a school that has an intranet password. It's very frustrating. My pupils first has to log into the schools server which gives them access to the general information about the school, but to be able to reach the specific subjects and their pages they have to have another log on. That's ridiculous!!!

#3 Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,546 posts

Posted 29 October 2003 - 12:53 PM

  I can understand the joy and the satisfaction of your work but I would like to focus on another side - to comprehend the technical demands...
  If you are quite an inexperienced teacher within the field of creating and publishing websites you might have a problem - the time used to try to manage the technical aspect of creating the sites. I know from my own experience that this is quite a time consuming process, but I should also state - once you're able to master some of the more simple parts you will defenitely benefit from it. You have obviously reached a stage where you're able to produce quite advanced material - but for a teacher or a teacher candidate that will start this process I think it would be valuable to find out how you experienced the first "steps" in this development...
  Teachers (or others within the staff) who has greater knowledge within this field are very important people. The process of learning the web basics go so much faster when you have somebody that can guide you through it...

Hopefully online training will become available soon, be that provided by the DfES, teachers who have already developed these skills or the subject associations. Teachers need to then be able to press for quality time, and support within their establishments, to make use of these resources. From what I've heard of Russel's inset sessions and based on the interest shown at Lincoln, there are certainly lots of people out there who do want to develop these skills.

NB: There are moves towards setting up free online inset sessions at the moment, though this is very much in its early stages. (I know several people have said they are interested in creating material for any online inset that might be jointly provided, if anyone else is interested let me know and I'll share the ideas with Andrew when he's back).

#4 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • Special member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,779 posts

Posted 30 October 2003 - 07:56 AM

It is fascinating to read how a creative teacher can use the latest technology to teach in a laptop school. It would be nice to think that what you are describing is what will be taking place in state schools in Britain over the next few years.
Even if we do have this level of technology available in schools in the future we will still need to address the problems of how we are going to train teachers to make this possible. I know you teach in a recently established school that recruited staff with a strong interest in ICT. However, how many of your staff use this new technology to teach in the way that you do? How do you think this percentage could be increased?

You are right to stress the fact that new technology can improve examination performance. I initially created my website to help my GCSE group to carry out a local history study on votes for women. In terms of examination grades, the venture was a great success.

I agree entirely with your desire to put student’s historical writing online. This is one of the most revolutionary aspects of creating a school-based website. It turns the student from a consumer into a producer of education. This in itself gives the writing process new meaning.

As I argued in the previous seminar, that I believe that the creation of teaching resources is the most important (and enjoyable) work that a teacher does outside the classroom. I have always found that my best lessons have come from using my own resources. The main reason for this (and I am sure it is true of all teachers) is because the materials have been tailored for the needs of my own students. This includes a knowledge of what the students already know (the most crucial aspect of the teaching process).

Your hypertext curriculum provides an excellent example of how this might work in the future. I liked your phrase that a “hypertext curriculum can scaffold student learning, supporting the less able, stretching the brightest and recognising the range of multiple intelligences.” Compared to worksheets etc, it is fairly easy to adapt teaching materials when they are part of a website.

#5 Carole Faithorn

Carole Faithorn

    Carole

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,279 posts

Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:28 AM

Richard has referred to the fact that he believes that that teaching with a hypertext curriculum has improved the performance of his exam candidates and also to a student who had been following the curriculum via his website before joining his school.

In the light of that I thought readers of this thread might be interested in Sheffield College's GCSE English Online course which 'went live' in 2002. As you can see, their exam results were significantly higher than the national average. However, I suspect that the real reason for the students' success was the level of support that they received from the tutor and not the fact that their course was online.

I certainly don't want to pour cold water on the enthusiasm for teaching with a hypertext curriculum and I do think that it is essential that teachers are trained in the skills necessary to produce their own websites - but let us not forget that the most significant factor in student success is the enthusiasm and skill of the teacher and the level of support that the student receives. Bunging all one's worksheets and handouts online is not what I really see as 'teaching with a hypertext curriculum' (not that I am accusing Richard of that!). The medium needs to be used more creatively than that if it is to take full advantage of all the possibilities.

#6 alf wilkinson

alf wilkinson

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 30 October 2003 - 01:31 PM

There is certainly a great demand from teachers wanting assistance in using the new technologies in their teaching, and the Historical Association is attempting to respond to that - the recent 'History and ICT' conference in Lincoln will, we hope become an annual event, and next week there is an history online inset on the ictadvice website - www.ictadvice.org. I am also exploring the idea of weekend workshops where teachers could spend the weekend working together on producing online materials or their own website. The DfES also is mounting a big project to extend the effective use of ICT in Key Stage 3 (and the Primary Strategy too.) So there seems to be a general acceptance now that ICT is 'a good thing' . The problem is, as I see it, that there has not been a parallel effort into exploring WHY ICT is such a good thing, in exploring the ways it helps pupils learn better and achieve better results - either as exam grades or as interest and enthusiasm for the subject. That is an important area to explore now. And that is where practising teachers are important - they can show how x or y led to improvement in a way that researchers often can't. It would be good to try to collect together examples of good practice that teachers know work, that are effective, to help move the debate forward.

Edited by alf wilkinson, 30 October 2003 - 01:32 PM.

Alf Wilkinson: www.burntcakes.com

#7 Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,546 posts

Posted 30 October 2003 - 05:03 PM

Quoting Carole:
Bunging all one's worksheets and handouts online is not what I really see as 'teaching with a hypertext curriculum' (not that I am accusing Richard of that!). The medium needs to be used more creatively than that if it is to take full advantage of all the possibilities.


Sadly thats what many departmental sites set out to do. There are many ways of making the medium more effective, and its the variety and creativity that tends to make sites work well. If you take just a few examples from the sites created by people who regularly use the forum there's a wide variety of methods of utilising the Internet to enhance learning:

- Text that is written at an appropriate level for students.
- A wide range of sources, and types of sources accompany tasks (Video, Audio, Loads of Pictures, maps etc...)
- Writing frames
- Exemplar answers
- Structured guides to tackling certain types of question

For a hypertext curriculum to be effective a range of these need to be deployed. There's also a lot of scope to 'liven things up' via this medium, things such as Russel's Head2Head, the many games available, Video, Audio, Decision Making games etc.

Combined these can allow subtle differentiation of task, possibly increased clarity of instruction, in many cases instant feedback and (hopefully) increased enjoyment of the subject as students have increased opportunity to dip into their preferred sources of information and can test their knowledge in a wider range of ways.

It will, of course, only REALLY raise attainment if the teachers making use of it do the job in the classroom though - though E Tutoring does have its advantages.

Quoting Alf Wilkinson:
The problem is, as I see it, that there has not been a parallel effort into exploring WHY ICT is such a good thing, in exploring the ways it helps pupils learn better and achieve better results - either as exam grades or as interest and enthusiasm for the subject. That is an important area to explore now. And that is where practising teachers are important - they can show how x or y led to improvement in a way that researchers often can't. It would be good to try to collect together examples of good practice that teachers know work, that are effective, to help move the debate forward.


Attempts at doing this so far have indeed been pretty poor. Even in places where good practive is shared, its rarely explained why its good use of ICT, how one particular strategy helped students in category a, b or c. The Teachers Resource Exchange is an example of this. Up go your resources or a link to an activity, you tick a few boxes to say who you'd use it with and then, erm, in 95% of cases thats it. Nothing. No advice, no explanation of how its used, what the target group was, how it faired in comparison to alternative strategies. (Add to that the horrible navigation they've got on TRE and you've got a good idea that doesn't work).

It would indeed be nice to see a decent guide to effective use of ICT / Websites made available - with guidance for teachers about how to go away and create similar tasks. Is that something that the HA and other subject associations are contemplating Alf?

#8 JohnDClare

JohnDClare

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,184 posts

Posted 30 October 2003 - 05:24 PM

I certainly don't want to pour cold water on the enthusiasm for teaching with a hypertext curriculum... but let us not forget that the most significant factor in student success is the enthusiasm and skill of the teacher and the level of support that the student receives.


I have received this email from a new member from Spain, Ingrid, who is making her first post and pressed the wrong button! This is what she says:

Firstly I have to say that it´s the first time I write here, so I hope that I´am welcome in this forum. On the other hand I have to say that I´m from Spain so apologize me for all mistakes I do in this foreign language.

A question fly for my mind:¿ What really need our students for growing with a complet education? ¿What is exactily education? ¿Can we forget that all of them are persons with feelings, with ideas, with big personalities and with differnts wasys of doing between them?
I know that a lot of words have been written by good specialists that speaks about these questions, but at the end, I think that we forget the trascendental things.
Perhaps we are under the lie that the thecnology is the solution to our "problems" and as he says carole, I beliefe that this is not basic to teach. I realise that in my country- perhaps in others too- there is not comunication between teachers and students. We are like a feudalism society where the stronger eats the small. It seems that students are like dolls witch movement is produced like the waves of the sea, by inercy.
I konw very well that they have been some changes, and we find teachers that are really good, but I ´m under the belief that there are a minority.

Waiting for any comment
Best wishes,

Ingrid

#9 Guest_andy_walker_*

Guest_andy_walker_*
  • Guests

Posted 30 October 2003 - 06:53 PM

I strongly agree with posters who have made the point about differentiation and well designed online materials. The best and most inspiring individual teaching a class in formal mode is going to find differentiation difficult - not least because she/he will be in large part "telling" pupils what to do and dictating the pace of the learning.

I also believe there is tremendous scope for online tutoring and mentoring enhancing the relationship between teacher and students and increasing the frequency and quality of support. Having experimented with this on my own web sites I am convinced of its worth.

Making intellectual capital freely available "anytime anywhere" online is an immensely powerful step forward and may it the long run radically alter how learning is organised.

#10 Richard Jones-Nerzic

Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 510 posts

Posted 30 October 2003 - 09:34 PM

Teachers (or others within the staff) who has greater knowledge within this field are very important people. The process of learning the web basics go so much faster when you have somebody that can guide you through it...

Lots of replies, thanks for that. I'd like to tie in Ander's (Mac) point with John's question first of all.

I know you teach in a recently established school that recruited staff with a strong interest in ICT. However, how many of your staff use this new technology to teach in the way that you do? How do you think this percentage could be increased? John

Clearly, the fact that we are a new school, with staff recruited for their positive attitude to ICT is important. Technology and financial commitment alone is not enough. I have a friend who teaches in a laptop school in Melbourne (job title of 'Digital Curriculum Consultant'?!) who has to cope with the problem of his humanities teachers telling their students 'don't bother bringing in your laptops this term'. It is an old, successful school, with an old successful staff.

Virtually all the secondary teachers/departments at the IST have their own
websites now but we certainly don't all use them in the same way. Our recent survey suggested that students used their laptops most in History and Geography, but that might just be a reflection of the suitability of these subjects to the use of ICT as anything else.

I have found learning to use ICT (and learning to teach ICT) needs a 'hands on' collaborative approach. Students learn from each other by looking over each other's shoulders and asking 'how do you do that?', and so do the teachers. We are a small staff and physically a small school with big glass doors: whilst I sit at my computer I can see people walk past who might be able to help and vice versa.

In addition, the whole Secondary staff meets once a week and we regularly do 'show and tell' ICT presentations for each other. I think that any initiative, (school based or subject based, local or national) which gets interested teachers in a room full of reliable computers, with like-minded colleagues on a regular basis (to begin with) has to be a good thing. As somebody else said, it does take less than an hour to show someone how to build a first website, but it takes less than hour to forget how to do it. I think I'm right in saying that I gave Anders (Mac) his first hour, but his initial frustration probably stemmed from not being able to knock on my door to ask 'why won't this thing do this? and how did you do that?'.

More later.
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke


European School Brussels III
International School History

#11 Dom_Giles

Dom_Giles

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,041 posts

Posted 31 October 2003 - 01:20 AM

Significant Others

This is potentially the most revolutionary aspect of teaching with a hypertext curriculum. What goes on in a classroom has always been something of a ‘secret garden’, a closed, private world of teacher and learner. But when I put my lessons on the web I went public. 'Significant others' are significant because their access to our website contributes something to my students’ learning.

As another teacher who teachers outside of the UK I just wanted to add my voice to this seminar. I have used Richards website, as have a few of my students and we have certainly benefited from it. A lot of International teaching invloves working in smallish schools which means there is only one History teacher. Being able to communicate with other teachers around the globe (especially if they are studying the same courses) is extremely useful. Schools which require passwords and intranetting are being very short sighted and selfish. I hope to work in an environment which will allow me to develop a department as Richard has and would insist that it was available online.

Thinking is SO important Baldrick. What do YOU think?
I think thinking is SO important, my Lord.


#12 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • Special member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,779 posts

Posted 31 October 2003 - 07:09 AM

I am also exploring the idea of weekend workshops where teachers could spend the weekend working together on producing online materials or their own website. The DfES also is mounting a big project to extend the effective use of ICT in Key Stage 3 (Alf Wilkinson)

This sounds very interesting. Please keep us informed of these developments. At Lincoln I had an interesting talk with Jerome Freeman of the QCA. The QCA’s new Innovative History website could be an exciting venture. Is there plans for the Historical Association to work closely with the QCA on this?

In addition, the whole Secondary staff meets once a week and we regularly do 'show and tell' ICT presentations for each other. I think that any initiative, (school based or subject based, local or national) which gets interested teachers in a room full of reliable computers, with like-minded colleagues on a regular basis (to begin with) has to be a good thing. As somebody else said, it does take less than an hour to show someone how to build a first website, but it takes less than hour to forget how to do it. I think I'm right in saying that I gave Anders (Mac) his first hour, but his initial frustration probably stemmed from not being able to knock on my door to ask 'why won't this thing do this? and how did you do that?'. (Richard Jones Nerzic)

Good point. Although it only took about an hour to start with, it was followed by questions at a later date. Access to the original trainer is very important. This is a good argument for the training to be done within a school. In the past I made use of INSET days to do that. Are other members doing that in their schools?
I would be interested in discovering how people developed their first website. Did people develop the skills needed to produce their first website while o their PGCE course? Were they taught by a colleague or friend? This information might give people like Alf insights into the best way forward.

#13 MAC

MAC

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts

Posted 31 October 2003 - 09:13 AM

Right on - Richard! As you said you gave me that important first hour :flowers: but my frustration became big when I returned to a traditional environment with very little support (or more little understanding) for web based education. :angry: I have used the schools intranet for the build up of resources, links etc... for the History Department Still there is soooo much more that needs to be done. :crazy:
I can also see a connection of good results and students being more active with the sites on the intranet, but being the only teacher using it (and trying to establish a tradition among my students) it has cost me a lot of hours and effort. Therefore it's so extremely important with these international (and national as well) exchanges of ideas and "services". I have used Richards site and the knowledge of Andrew Moore. They are so valuable...

There is certainly a great demand from teachers wanting assistance in using the new technologies in their teaching, and the Historical Association is attempting to respond to that - the recent 'History and ICT' conference in Lincoln will, we hope become an annual event, and next week there is an history online inset on the ictadvice website - www.ictadvice.org. I am also exploring the idea of weekend workshops where teachers could spend the weekend working together on producing online materials or their own website. (Alf Wilkinson)

This sounds great. The establishment of workshops (hopefully some international once as well) and active training over the net sounds exactly what we "lonely wolfs" need. I agree with John - please keep us informed! :teacher:

#14 Juan Carlos

Juan Carlos

    New member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 01 November 2003 - 08:55 AM

Excellent and thought-provoking seminar, Richard.
Your school and your work is a sort of vanguard which is heralding, as John says, what a lot of European schools are going to do the next years. We all can learn a lot from your experience.

A lot of ideas have been drawn from this seminar:
- Hypertext curriculum as an excellent way to see to mixed-ability groups
- The changing role of the students, from consumers to producers
- The growing demand of new teachers to be taught ICT in order to undertake a new way of teaching...

I would like to stress what Richard calls "Significant Others". I am not sure that a completely open web site is a good idea, but I absolutely agree that bringing other people (parents...) into our classroom is a brave and positive step forward.

I believe that it is very important to highlight that among these "Significant Others", we can include other European teachers.
Hypertext curriculum enable us to set up transnational lesson plans, activities, and why not in the future a whole syllabus.

The subject we teach needs this sort of transnational way of teaching more that anything else. The recent measure adopted by France and Germany as far as upper secondary education History teaching is concerned, is a good example of what the future of our profession should be.

In this context, preparing European teachers to teach on the Internet is an excellent subject to a collaborative project.

#15 alf wilkinson

alf wilkinson

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 01 November 2003 - 07:46 PM

I understand there is some work going on at Becta at the moment on the pedagogy of teaching and learning using ICT, and I look forward to the results. The HA is certainly interested in working with teachers to establish examples of good practice, and make them accessible on the HA website, but that is a fairly long term task which we are just beginning. As for weekend workshops, the problem is finding suitable premises, residential but with good enough ICT facilities. I am confident we can find the workshop leaders - in fact I've already had several offers, and enough teachers who would pay through their CPD budgets to make such courses viable. Anybody any offers of suitable accommodation? I am thinking in terms of a maximum of 20 teachers at a time, friday evening to sunday lunchtime.
Alf Wilkinson: www.burntcakes.com




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users