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Juan Carlos

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Everything posted by Juan Carlos

  1. Looking to the future So far, ICT and internet has brought about changes in the way history is taught. Teachers and students are able to obtain large amounts of historical contents in a very short time. A few years ago, to get the same information would have meant to peruse tens of books at home or in libraries. John Simkin's Spartacus Educational is an outstanding example. My web site Historiasiglo20.org may be included in this sort of resources. On top of that, we can get a much more diverse range of resources: texts, images, maps, videoclips, animations.... Teachers can also find lots of lesson plans to organise their work in the classroom. The great amount of resources available on internet and the abundance of low quality web sites made difficult for teachers and students to carry out a significant didactic sequence. Webquests were born to solve this problem. Their aim is to make students focus on using information rather than searching for it. Webquests also provide a model of collaborative work for the students. An example of webquest is Jean Monnet's life and European History However, in my view all those important new developments do not mean a dramatic change in the way history is taught. Teachers and students have at their disposal a huge number of resources that is available "one click away", but I do not think that we have extracted from ICT and internet all the advantages we can use for teaching history. I would like to point out two features that we intend to work out at my school in the framework of E-HELP project: Collaborative work Some of the participants of this meeting are in charge of some of the most successful examples of collaboration on the internet: The Education Forum Schoolhistory Forum and, in Spanish, Foros de Debate, on Jose Luis de la Torre's Educahistoria web site, are other illustrative samples of history teachers' forums. Some years ago, it would have been unthinkable to have a virtual meeting point where teachers may share ideas, resources, even some jokes. There are a growing number of initiatives that try to bring together schools, teachers and students from different countries. Web based projects are undoubtedly one of the most powerful teaching tools in the next future. Despite of recent Virtual School closure, European Schoolnet is one of the most successful European web based initiatives. MyEurope, E-Twinning or Spring Day in Europe are projects that try to promote the European dimension at the schools. Global Gateway is a British web site that tries to enable teachers and students to engage in partnerships. However, in the future, we have to go further. What about on line lessons prepared by teachers from different countries? How enriching would be to work with colleagues that come from different traditions and styles of teaching! Internet is globalising education and, therefore, students will learn in a new learning environment. This change will go beyond students forums and will be very positive for the most gifted and talented students. History, the subject we teach, is one of the areas of knowledge that will profit more by collaborative work. Traditionally, history has been a subject strongly biased by nationalism. Classrooms have been places where national prejudices and xenophobia were promoted amongst children and youngsters. Europe knows a lot about it. Students should listen to different voices and interpretations when studying the past. Collaborative web based work can be an excellent tool to improve our students' historical knowledge and critical thinking. We have just started our project, but I would strongly like to set up in the future a Comenius Network that created links between HELP and other Comenius projects focused in history teaching. A European history curriculum would be an excellent outcome of that future project. The Council of Europe has developed several interesting history teaching projects on this matter: Learning and teaching about the history of Europe in the 20th century Bilateral and regional Co-operation - Reform of History Teaching European Dimension in History Teaching Yet there is a serious lack of web resources to teach history from this new collaborative perspective. To fill this void will be one of history teachers' challenges in the next future. Interactive websites Ramón Burgaleta - PrincipiosdEconomia, Economics teacher at IES Parque de Lisboa, and I are working on setting up interactive resources by using Macromedia Flash. Instead of creating colourful and (too) imaginative new activities, we would like to bring the traditional history teaching activities on the internet, taking advantage of all the ICT potentials. Our activities are not very refined yet, but we hope that over our three years project we will manage to set up a sufficient number of useful resources that cover most of the typical history teaching activities. These are some of the activities we have been working on: Treinta años de la primera crisis del petróleo (Thirty years from the first oil crisis) This Flash animation can help us to introduce the topic and motivate students. Then, by putting links on it, we can create a didactic sequence that offers our student different activities (texts, images, maps, videoclips, mind maps) to study the theme in depth. Other examples are the following: Instituciones de la Unión Europe Cold War and Olympic Games Textual analysis is a very usual task in Spanish and other countries' schools. Here you can see a sample of a Flash animation which includes a text to analyse, some guidelines on the task and boxes for the students to write. The document can be printed. Textual Analysis Exercise This is just a preliminary version. Once refined, this resource can be used for analysing images, graphics, videoclips... We are aware that working with Flash Macromedia is far beyond most of European history teachers' technological abilities. Trying to cope with this problem, we have started creating some pdf files, far easier to elaborate and very useful to assess students' work. This sort of documents can be sent by e-mail to our students as home work. Their reply will merely consist of the data written by then, a very light file, easy to send back to the teacher, and then we can grade and comment it by e-mail or at the classroom. A visit to the Prado Museum We can embed in these .pdf documents all sort of files (texts, images, videoclips, graphics, statistitcs...
  2. I cannot see on what grounds can John be sued. All the same, I think that EHELP team must support him. The current development is getting us far away from our aims: to help Richard, our coordinator, to be reinstated in his post and to keep EHELP alive until the legal end of the project.
  3. Anders, I suppose that Mike was simply describing what is the situation of an International School like. I agree with you that the only thing we can do is to insist in supporting Richard in any way we can do. From a personal and moral point of view, I cannot give up trying to help Richard and his family. He deserves it.
  4. I can only agree with John Simkin's and Andy Walker's opinion about Richard Jones-Nerzic. I have been several years collaborating with him in several projects (Virtual School, E-Help) and I have visited several times IST in Toulouse. Richard Jones-Nerzic always seemed to me a very capable and enthusiastic history teacher, who is in the cutting-edge in Europe of using ICT in teaching history. He has played the role of EHELP coordinator in a very professional way. And I can assure that it is not an easy task to coordinate such a complicated project. On top of that, he has always been a person who you can put your trust in.
  5. Correct! is not difficult.. ¡Correcto! Try it again! ¡Inténtalo otra vez!
  6. I have just sent to Russel the Spanish version of the simulation which Charo and I have translated.
  7. Thanks for your linguistic pieces of advice. I will translate into Spanish by using the Spanish idiom and adding up the English expression: "Vosotros ingleses, estáis locos como cabras (mad as March hares)" Fortunately, we have no more emperors in Europe!
  8. Charo and I are working on the translation. Too much work here in our schools now! What does exactly mean "Mad as March Hares"? Does it mean "completely mad"? In Spanish, when we say that somebody is completely crazy, insane, we say that he is "loco como una cabra" ("mad as goat") If I translate "Mad as March Hares" directly into Spanish, the result is meaningless.
  9. Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been off-line. You can count on a Spanish translation. Do you send me a zip file?
  10. I agree with all of you. Seminars were inspiring and the social events were great. Terry, you should start preparing the ale tasting Thanks Dalibor for an excellent meeting.
  11. Thanks Richard and Les. It was a quite fruitful meeting and, apart from a boring football match , the visit to Albi, the wine tasting and the dinner in Cordes sur Ciel restaurant were unforgettable.
  12. Althoug the media try to bring the public's attention on our national team, I think that, so far, people is not very interested in the next World Cup. Why? History. Spaniards tend to consider with a great fatalism our team performance. We always lose. We always feel dissapointed after every World Cup. However, our Prime Minister, who so far is quite daring and fortunate, has just claimed that this year will be "our year". I tend to not believe politicians. Even if I have voted for them. So... just relax and enjoy "o jogo bonito" from Brazil.
  13. I've got a few ideas, but very clear.... No more Chinese wine!
  14. After reading the excellent Max Hastings' post, I have no doubt in replying to his question: yes.. and the Spaniards, Americans and so on. When studying the Resistance topic, one realizes what a great cheat "nationalist" history is. I remember my father talking about the Spanish Civil War (he did it almost every day) and putting the blame of the Republican side defeat on "the British". He was a working man who started working in his early childhood and it was a simple and false answer, but he had a clear idea: the policy implemented by the British Conservative government was crucial to understand why Hitler and Mussolini were able to send weapons en masse and troops to Franco, meanwhile the Spanish Republic had to fight with no help from Western democracies. Then the British people fought bravely against Hitler and every civilized human being should be grateful for that fight. France is a clear case of "reconstructing" its own history. We cannot understand why the German army defeated so easily France in May 1940, if we forget that a lot of French people claimed that "better Hitler than Blum". A visit to Le Vernet concentration camp, near the Pyrenees, is very illustrative. Republican Spaniards and members of the International Brigades were imprisoned by the French government and kept in the camp until... the Gestapo took over. As John claims, most of the leaders of the "maquis" were Republican Spaniards or Jews who had fled from Hitler. If caught by the Nazis, the first ones had two alternatives: the Mauthaussen camp or Franco's Spain. It was not clear which was worse. Anyway, after the war the official France was able of making up a "patriotic" history, forgiving the collaborators and partly forgetting the people who had joined the Resistance. I am sure that most of the nationalists would have done the same: making up its own history. Here in Spain we have lately some fine examples. I will mention only one: the Spanish Civil War was a war between Spain and the Basque Country... The fact of that thousands of volunteers from Basque country and Navarre fought for Franco (the "requetés" were fearsome soldiers, specially after attending mass) or that Madrid was the last big city occupied by Franco are details with no importance.
  15. I take part this year in LINK AND LEARN EUROPE, a MyEurope initiative. I was told to write an article on some educational issue and I did it on our project... by being inspired in some John's texts. I hope it can be a good way to disseminate it.
  16. Well Done For the benefit of the slower learners in the group could you now describe the process of setting it up step by step? Yes, please...
  17. "Objective" history is out of question. Only conservative, naive and, why not to say it, quite unintelligent history teachers dare to claim that they are teaching "objective" history. As a matter of fact, students become aware very soon of our ideology. I cannot teach one single day without conveying my political or social views. However, one of the most important potentialities of learning history is getting to know that every event can be considered from different points of view, that every historical event can have different "interpretations". I think that one of the few things I have learnt after teaching for more than twenty years is how to offer different interpretations of what happened. I am interested in teaching how real people felt or thought of a historical situation while it was occurring and how historical interpretations are elaborated later to justify the different attitudes adopted in the past. Another point I like to stress in my classes is how our contemporary point of view makes change our interpretation of the past. Every history curriculum tries to underpin a certain view about our current society.
  18. Most probably, next year I will be teaching Middle Ages. It would be very interesting to carry out this simulation (maybe with some adaptation to Castilian context) at my school. Maybe Richard and I might somewhat do it together. Is it appropriate for 13 years old students?
  19. Captivate and Articulate was the software I mentioned in Herleen. Captivate permits to create Flash and stand alone files in a very easy way. It is an excellent tool to create attractive and didactic presentations to be used in our classrooms. http://www.macromedia.com/software/captivate/ Articulate Quizmaker allows us to elaborate a broad range of different sort of quizzes that enhance a web site interactivity. http://www.articulate.com/quizmaker.html
  20. Thanks Nico for such a well organized meeting. Thanks Elizabeth for your hospitality. And, although I complained about the weather all over the meeting, I have to be frank: I love to see white fields and snowflakes falling. It is not easy to see it in Madrid.
  21. Here you can see some examples of Flash animations Hominisation process - Timeline http://www.historiasiglo20.org/prehistory/proyector[timeline].htm Neolithic Revolution http://www.historiasiglo20.org/prehistory/proyector[revolution].htm Prehistoric Cave Paintings http://www.historiasiglo20.org/prehistory/proyector[paintings].htm Please, copy and paste the URLs. I have been trying for a long time to write a proper link, but something does not work Here you can find the software I spoke about in my presentation: Captivate Articulate Quizmaker
  22. The fact that IES Parque de Lisboa and CAP Alcorcón missed the Gothemburg meeting has kept us a bit apart from the dynamics you started up there. As a consequence, we have not dealt with subjects such as video editing or story telling. At the same time, the perspective of our teachers training course in Toulouse in 2007 getting closer has prompt us to be quite practical in our contribution to our project. We are 10 institutions involved in EHELP and we are very probably giving a five day course in Toulouse. I don’t mean that we have to share our workload in an exact mathematical proportion, but I think it may be a good idea if every institution starts thinking of being in charge of “half day” of the course. This is just a way to begin organising our residential training course. Teachers from all over Europe who teach history to students of a broad range of ages will be our “public” in Toulouse. I believe that we have to offer them a course which deals with different features of teaching European history by using ICT and internet. We should not only focus on a few topics. Although we were an all men project, fortunately not anymore, we chose “Europe's other half: history of women in the 20th century” as a common subject to work on during the first phase of our project. Most of us are history teachers. However, there is a second language aspect of our project that I consider to be very interesting and relevant for the next future. A growing number of European schools have undertaken the teaching of some subjects in a foreign language. This foreign language is usually English. History is quite usually one of the subjects which are being taught in a foreign language. After an agreement between the Spanish Education Ministry and the British Council, my school, IES Parque de Lisboa, has just started a bilingual section. 12 years old students, coming from a Primary School where they were taught several subjects in English, have begun their Secondary Education. Geography and History subject meet the guidelines of the Integrated Curriculum in Secondary Education agreed by Spanish Education Ministry and the British Council. This first year curriculum is divided into five topics: • A Journey trough prehistory Here http://www.historiasiglo20.org/prehistory/index.htm or here http://perso.wanadoo.es/principios/prehistory/prehistory.htm you can see what we have already done. • Ancient Civilisations: Mesopotamia and Egypt • Ancient Greece • Roman Civilisation • Roman Hispania and Roman Britain The curriculum will be based on Middle Ages in the next second year. IES Parque de Lisboa will focus on the application of ICT on teaching history and will try to create a broad range of resources based on the previous topics. CAP Alcorcón will focus on second language matters which are relevant to teaching history in a bilingual context. Our contribution will be targeted to 12-13 years old students in the first stage of the Secondary Education and will deal with Prehistory, Ancient Age and Middle Ages. I think that this age range and historical periods differ from the rest of EHELP partners’ contributions. It is positive for our course in Toulouse in summer 2007. As far as ICT is concerned, our main contribution is using Flash Macromedia software. Apart from uploading written and iconic information relevant for 12-13 years old students and different interactivities as quizzes, we (Ramón Burgaleta is the expert) have commenced to elaborate Flash animations to be used as presentations in our history classrooms. Although the newer versions are more and more user-friendly, mastering Flash is a quite complicated task for most of history teachers. However, Flash animations can be extremely useful in a broad range of aspects of our teaching role. I think that we can solve this problem by using Captivate and Articulate software. Captivate permits to create Flash and stand alone files in a very easy way. It is an excellent tool to create attractive and didactic presentations to be used in our classrooms. Articulate Quizmaker allows us to elaborate a broad range of different sort of quizzes that enhance a web site interactivity. As a consequence we intend to divide our “half-day” contribution to our final residential course into: • A short introduction on the resources we have been elaborating for these three years (Spanish Women's history in the 20th century and Prehistory, Ancient Age and Middle Ages for 12-13 years old students). • A hands-on workshop based on Captivate and Articulate software. Attendees will carry out some practical exercises on elaborating relevant resources and activities to be used in their history classrooms. IES Parque de Lisboa contribution to the project is being made in unison with CAP Alcorcón. This institution’s representative, Charo Requejo, is focusing their work on setting up English language activities that deal with the special features involved in teaching history in English in a non-English language context and editing English texts to be uploaded on our web site. Both institutions are coordinating their work so that they manage to be in charge of one whole day of our residential course. Here you can see some interactivities included in our Prehistory web site: History Activities set up by using an easy to use softare, Webquestions English Language Activities set up with Excel and designed for non-English speaking students. They are also available in a Pdf file English Language Activities. Students can fill them in on line and then print and hand in to their teacher.
  23. So far, I am ipod illiterate, so I have no clear idea about podcasting. After searching for information on the internet, it sounds very interisting. I support Richard's proposal. We all will have time to catch up with him.
  24. It could be an interesting area to investigate. Democratic participation in decision-making at schools. Here in Spain, law is quite progressive: teachers, students and parents participate in the School Council who has the upper hand in the most important decisions. Unfortunately, lack of participation characterizes parents and students' and ,increasingly, teachers' attitude. My special project is focused on setting up a web site on History of Human Rights. I will deal with the topic from a historical point of view and will focus on Contemporary History, although I would like to introduce some resources on Ancient Athens. As you can see, it is still a quite vague idea that I hope to make more concrete in the next future.
  25. Thanks Richard. We have now clear ideas about the subject.