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Mike Tribe

Associate Introductions

35 posts in this topic

John asked me to write what I thought I could bring to the E-HELP project. I always find this sort of thing difficult because whatever I write will undoubtedly sound immodest or silly, but here goes:

1. I've been teaching for 35 years. I know that's true of lots of other teachers and that mere length of service is evidence of nothing other than stamina, but I do think it serves for something:

(i) I've learned quite a lot about kids and about teachers during that time, simply by meeting so many of them!

(ii) I've seen lots of "educational initiatives" come and go. My observations lead me to believe that, in general, that's what happens to them: they come, and a few years later, they've gone... I taught for many years in primary school, where this was particularly prevalent. I've been around long enough to have seen the rise and demise of the Initial Teaching Alphabet, the Phonics Revolution, the Real Language Movement, the New Maths, etc, etc.. This doesn't mean I'm any more proficient than anyone else in distinguishing between the truly useful innovations from the passing fads, but perhaps a healthy sceptism might be useful...

(iii) I've been around since the beginning of the "IT Revolution"; I remember buying one of those little Sinclair ZX toys and laboriously programming it Basic so that my students could learn arithmetic facts by driving little buses across the screen; I remember the day the school took delivery of its first Apple II computers and we started teaching the primary school classes how to program in Basic; I remember paying out of my own pocket for the school's first internet connection -- and having to persuade a very sceptical headmaster to provide a telephone connection to my classroom so that we could use it; I remember our first attempts to write IT curriculum aims -- and still blush at how incompetently we did it... Perhaps this may provide some sort of historical context to current practice...

2. Despite all of the above, I'm still technologically challenged! Not to the degree of some of my colleagues -- I don't need help switching on the computer or accessing my email like my HoD, for example -- but I constantly have the feeling that I'm running to just stay in the same place. I put all my lessons on to PowerPoint slides, burn them on to overheads and the following year, the school buys projectors; I finally work out how to connect everything so I can use the projector and they buy an interactive whiteboard; I have the kids develop their own PowerPoint presentations, and then I check out Richard's website and see the videos his students have produced... I know this might sound like a disqualification from useful participation, but I would bring to the project the perspective of the teacher with a genuine interest in introducing information technology, but with very limited skills in the area. And I really think teachers in this category might be a majority, especially in my age group.

3. I'm fortunate in that my school is rare among international schools and makes very generous provision for in-service professional development. This means I've been able to develop a fairly wide circle of "email acquaintances" with an interest in this area. For example, I've attended the JOSTI technology workshop organized by the US State Dept. Office of Overseas Schools, a Summer Seminar organized by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute from New York, a couple of IB teachers' workshops and several technology workshops by people from Fairfax County School District offered by the Mediterranean Association of International Schools. Perhaps some of these contacts may be useful.

4. My teaching experience in history is, to say the least, varied. I've taught CSE and GCE O and A Level Social and Economic History, OND Economic History, A Level European History, IB 20th Century, European, and American History, as well as lower level history classes from Yr 6-Yr 13... I also have some experience in courses preparing students for the Spanish Selectividad university entrance exam in contemporary world history, although I can't really say even after 5 years trying that I understand exactly what the examiners are looking for!

I wouldn't say I was an "expert" in any particular area. I haven't done any post-graduate courses in history -- never had the time or the money! -- and my MA is in q completely unrelated area (Counseling and Guidance). However, I do know quite a bit about (in order of competence)

(i) the Cold War

(ii) Mussolini and Fascist Italy

(iii) the French Revolution

(iv) Nazi Germany

(v) China since 1945

(vi) Soviet Russia

and can "defend myself" as we say in Spain, in most other areas of 19th and 20th Century European history...

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My name's David Richardson and I'm not really a History teacher at all! I was asked by John if I'd like to be associated with the E-HELP project and he reassured me that you need people who've used ICT tools in education, and people who've witnessed bits of history too!

I'm a teacher of EFL (English as a Foreign Language), working as co-ordinator of distance education in English at a university in southern Sweden. I do teach British and US Culture and Society sometimes, and that involves a fair bit of history, though.

I've been working with computers in education for a long while too. I've also programmed Sinclair ZXs and Apple IIes, but, like Mike, I'm still very computationally challenged. I've been working with the human side of things - if you like the C (communication) bit of ICT, rather than the I (Information) bit.

If you click on the Distance Courses link in the bar at the top of this page, you'll come to our distance courses page. The links on the left lead to live courses … but we never think that people learn solely - or even mainly - from computer screens, so most of our courses are quite difficult to understand 'from the outside', so to speak. You need all the rest (Study Guides, lectures on CD, friendly comments from Internet tutors, etc) to really make sense of them. The Business Writing course is entirely web-based, though, so that's a bit of a stand-alone.

I'm looking forward to working with you all - it's always interesting to see how people from other subject disciplines approach course design. And there's always some idea that's worth stealing!!

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My name's Caterina Gasparini and I am not a History teacher. John asked me if I would like to become an associate member of the E-HELP project and I find the aims of the Project, which attempts to “shape and redefine school history for a new generation”, extremely challenging, also because not many projects are concerned about our students as the future citizens of the world.

I'm a teacher of English in an Upper Secondary School in Italy: it is an Industrial Technical Institute which, by the way, decided many years ago that English should be the only foreign language to be taught (no more than one can be taught by the Italian Curriculum, anyway!). I teach ESP (English for Special Purposes), that is English for Aeronautics, Electrotechnics, etc. in a highly “technical-technological” environment, from every point of view. I have been an ENIS (European Network of Innovative Schools) project coordinator for a few years and I have been on the editorial staff of the new Italian ENIS web site, which was launched last May.

I started working with computers about twenty years ago: it was just some Basic at the beginning, but I soon went on searching the Web for educational material. I came across some very good sites and materials and then I got involved in the rush of ICT for education. I’m interested in how ICT and the Web can be best used to improve our teaching. I think the tools we have at disposal are powerful but we only use a small amount of their potential, maybe because we don’t always know how to exploit them adequately. I have tried different e-Learning platforms or environments, experiencing their strengths and weaknesses. I don’t think distant teaching will ever replace traditional teaching but all our students are using a blended approach to information which has already forced most teachers to change their methodology.

At present I am working with my students on producing educational resources on the topics they are studying: it cannot be considered educational material because many aspects are still missing but we hope to improve it in the future.

I'm looking forward to working with you.

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My name is Dan Lyndon and I have been teaching History in both outer and inner London for the last 12 years, four of which have been as Head of History. Over the last six months I have been writing a website to showcase the work that I and my students have been doing at my school in their History lessons but also in the other 'jobs' that I do - the 'Gifted and Talented' program for higher ability students and the 'Aimhigher' program to encourage students with no parental experience of Further or Higher Education to stay on after 16. You can see the results here: http://www.comptonhistory.com/

I am therefore, what I would describe as, an 'enthusiastic amateur' when it comes to ICT and History and am very keen to develop my skills in this area. I have written a few webquests which have been an exciting way of getting my pupils engaged in the topics (Black Britons, Olaudah Equiano and the European Dictators) and will, time permitting, get round to writing a few more very soon. I hope that I can contribute some good ideas to this project as I like to think that I am quite a creative person / teacher and really enjoy bouncing ideas off other people. John Simkin and I have some plans to work together on a Black History online project and this would be an excellent forum to bounce ideas off.

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My name is Janos Blasszauer, I am currently the head of English department at Batthyany Lajos Academic Grammar School. I am also a pedagogical advisor for the Zala County Pedagogical Institute and the Hungarian pedagogical advisor on the international advisory board of two European Schoolnet projects. One is the Myeurope project and the other one is the Spring Day in Europe 2005 project.

I am a certified teacher trainer who can run accredited courses for teachers on the modern matura exam. I have been an active member of British Council ELT in-service teacher training project.

I have run several trainings here in Hungary and abroad as well and have given several presentations on ICT-related issues at various conferences.

During the last couple of years I have learned many skills while I have been heavily involved in many international projects.

I hope these skills will help me to become a useful member of E-help project.

I constantly take part in online professional development trainings and am member of several educational communities like Tappedin, Learning Times etc. I have written several articles on ICT issues. I have recently launched at the IATEFL-H conference the ICT SIG with some of my colleagues.

I firmly believe that my ICT expertise can be exploited in the E-help project.

Let me just cite an example showing that I am up-to-date with new developments not only in the field of ELT and ICT but history teaching as well.

I know for instance that these days the The Teaching History with Technology Newsletter made its way online at:

http://thwt.org/newsletter.htm ;)

Well, that's all for the time being.

Later I may specify in detail how I concretely envision my contribution to this great project.

I am looking forward to working with you.

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My name is Ben Walsh. Like many of the others in this discussion I have been approached by John as he feels I may be able to contribute something to E-HELP (reading these messages reminds me of the early part of the classic western movie The Magnificent Seven where the team is gathered together!).

I was a teacher and head of history in schools in England for many years. In the mid 1990s I left teaching to work for a small educational publisher, which was where I learned my computer skills. I was given an office and a Mac – the training consisted of someone saying ‘here’s your office and your Mac’.

From there I went back to teaching part time and now teach at Stafford College in the English West Midlands and the rest of my time was on a series of freelance projects. This included being one of the History Project Officers for the National Council for Educational Technology or NCET (which has now been renamed BECTA, presumably because NCET was much too clear and informative a title). This involved exploring the many different ways in which computers had been and could be used to help teachers teach history. We then published resources for students and teachers and did a lot of work disseminating our ideas and resources. I seem to have been disseminating ever since, running courses on how ICT can enhance history teaching all over the UK and a few in various parts of Europe and North America.

I also spend a lot of time writing resources. As well as paper textbooks, I have been lucky enough to bump into many colleagues from various archives who have an interest in getting their material out to a wider audience and think that the electronic medium is the best way to do this. I have been responsible for many of the resources on the National Archives Learning Curve web site (http://www.learningcurve.gov.uk/). I was also one of the authors on the series of CD ROMs called ‘Sources In History’ produced by the British Library but now sadly no longer available. You will also find me involved in numerous other projects relating to digital archive materials, particularly the British Pathe web site. I am especially excited at the moment bny the use of archive footage along with digital video editing software to get students making their own history documentaries.

I hope I could offer something to the project in terms of observations from the classroom, not just of developing and using resources but also the practical experience of being hampered by management and technical problems and hopefully a few strategies to get around some of these problems. I think my experiences in helping to bring archives to a wider audience might also be helpful.

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Chemistry teachiing has been the main thrust of my teaching career but over the last few years I have migrated into the world of ICT and I am now my schools ICT Co-ordinator and Head of ICT.

I am a member of the planning team of the EUN Virtual School. The Virtual School is part of the European Schoolnet, and encourages collaboration between European schools and the teachers..

Another role is that of the UK administrator for a multi-lingual chemistry project funded by the EU and an industrial partner. Molecool is an on-line chemistry game which allows students from different countries to compete against each other in their own language.

Other activities:

Advisory role to European Commission for the Environment. http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/youth/index_en.html

Editorial and content advisory for the chemistry section of the Royal Institutes - Science Inside Out website. http://insideout.rigb.org/insideout/

Production of material for publication on the BBC educational web guide. http://www.bbc.co.uk/webguide/schools/

Content provider and freelance consultant for learn.co.uk. Their 'Topical Lessons' project was nominated for a BETT award. I was commissioned to produce the framework on which all lessons are based.

Inspiration Software (Portland, Oregon). Advising on the alterations to software product prior to release on the European market.

Member of the West Sussex Grid+ team.

My own website www.science-active.co.uk has received numerous recommendations including the highest rating from www.schoolzone.co.uk and an excellence award from Topmarks.

I am particularly interested in creativity in the curriculum with ICT and to this end have explored the use of Flash as an educational tool.

It has been featured in articles in the following journals

The Teacher

Chemistry (University of York)

Can We Learn Digitally? Technology to enhance teaching. Published by IDG Global Solutions in association with Apple Computers

Edited by Nick Falk

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My name is Raymond Blair and I am a history teacher at a private high school in Nashville, TN, USA.

The fact that I thought I had already posted a full comment on this thread not too long ago may negate any reason to allow me to participate in this.

I am active internet user and try to find ways to incorporate material available on the internet into my courses. To be honest this is something I am actively doing probably only once a month. The school I teach at was behind the curve on technology when I came to it so I am something of an expert among my peers. Out here in cyberspace my skills are what I consider to be much below average and I bring the insights of a user and not a designer or architect.

I have used John's Spartacus site several times. We have access to a mobile personal computer lab, a fixed computer lab, and internet access on campus.

Our latest new piece of technology is a smart board but our school only owns one. It is fun to use. It combines that active computer monitor for fingertip use during presentations along with the ability to use marker to highlight and add to anything brought up on the computer screen.

I also am an active participant in a political debate site called America's Debate and I am one of the moderators of the site. I do not know if that is at all relevant for our purposes.

I don't have the experience or skills of most others on this site, I guess my most valuable contributions will be an American perspective and a voice from a private school.

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Dave Martin, freelance history adviser.

My interest in the use of ICT has always been how will it improve the teaching of history and there is no doubt that it can achieve that. I have pioneered database materials and written materials and run training courses for teachers, as have other contributors to this area for over 20 years. To me ICT brings new resources into the classroom, just today I have visited the excellent new education site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission where I saw some new (for me) materials on the use of poison gas.

ICT also deepens and enriches the classroom experience as anyone who is good with Smartboard technology will know, the heady mix of sound and video, words and pictures.

ICT also serves to supplement students' short and long term memory, whether in the word processing activities produced by BECTa or with the whiteboards ability to pull up some brainstorm work from a previous lesson. ICT can also help teachers more clearly explain and demonstrate tasks and model text types for historical communication.

On my travels around schools in England I see many good examples of these sorts of things. When history teachers are given access and time they can be very imaginative. I also see others struggling to get the necessary access and there are some clear steps they can take to try and improve things. For them it is even more important to be aware of what ICT can do for their history teaching to help them try and influence those who control the resources in school.

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Hi,

My name is Doug Belshaw and I feel severely underqualified to have been asked by John to be an associate member of the E-HELP team! :unsure:

I'm an NQT in History at a school in Nottinghamshire, England and try my very best to use ICT both to assist in my teaching and general organization, and to aid my pupils' learning. :ph34r: I'm greatly inspired by examples of great teaching and teachers as demonstrated on the Schoolhistory website and its forum, of which I know many here are members!

For what it's worth, my initial degree was in Philosophy, my MA in Modern History, and I'm currently studying towards an MA in Education. :D

:plane Doug

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My name is Doug Belshaw and I feel severely underqualified to have been asked by John to be an associate member of the E-HELP team!  :D

You have omitted to mention your excellent website:

http://www.mrbelshaw.co.uk

You are just the type of person we are looking for. One of the problems of teaching is that some people have too much experience (in the sense they have used this experience to justify a unwillingness to innovate).

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I am Ramón Burgaleta. I am Head of Department of Economics in IES Parque de Lisboa in Alcorcón. I have set up a web page Principios de Economia and I am very interested in teaching Economics and History by using Flash animations.

I collaborate with Juan Carlos Ocaña in this project.

As you can see I am using Juan Carlos log in. I will send a more beautiful picture when I am registered B)

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I graduated from the University of Bucharest, the History Department in 1991. In 1993 I completed the course in Political Sciences. I am the author or co-author of five textbooks for secondary and vocational education. I have published a few articles on using the computer in the history lesson in the "Studies and Articles of History" magazine (Studii si articole de istorie, SAI), edited by the Romanian Society of Historical Sciences. "Un exemplu de utilizare a calculatorului la ora de istorie" ("An example of how to use the computer during the History lesson"), SAI, LXVI, Bucharest, 2001, pag. 67-78. "Utilizarea calculatorului la orele de istorie"("Using the computer during History lessons"), SAI, Bucharest 2003, pag. 87-106."Predarea interdisciplinara a istoriei folosind calculatorul" ("The cross cultural” (It is very difficult to translate in English)teaching of History using the Computer"), SAI, Bucharest, 2004, pages 63-80.

In 2003 I participated in the National Research Papers Session of Teachers and I was awarded the Prize for Promoting the Information Technology in History with a paper on "Means of Using the Presentation Software and the Computer in Teaching History".

At present, I am a teacher History at the National College "Carol I", Craiova, one of the most famous high schools in Romania, founded in 1826, from which about 50 members of Romanian Academy graduated.

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My name is Daniel Letouzey, and I teach history and geography in Vire, a small town in the west part of Normandy.

I am one of the active members of H-Francais, the leading mailing list on teaching H & G.

Since 1997, I have been in charge of an Internet Chronicle, which is published in "Historiens & Géographes" the professionnal magazine.

In French, you can get information from http://aphgcaen.free.fr

the regional branch of the APHG (Teachers association)

My personal website is quite heavy (more than 60 Mo, mainly texts).

In it, I try to mix printed sources and internet resources.

http://lienshistoire.free.fr

2 recent papers :

http://hgtice.free.fr/peda/cartable.htm

http://hgtice.free.fr/revues/rygiel.htm

I try to build a bridge between the French and the English Internet, being active on Schoolhistory (Seminar Teaching History in France) and on SLN Geography

Daniel

Edited by D Letouzey

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John invited me to become an associate, so here I am! My name is David Wilson and I work as a French, German and special educational needs teacher in the Equal Opportunities Department at Harton Technology College, an 11-16 secondary school in South Shields in the North East of England. I have taught there since 1971, earning along the way at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne an MA in German and an MEd for research into the teaching of English and French in the schools of the German Democratic Republic.

My interest in ICT began in 1983, when I attended several BASIC courses and purchased my own BBC microcomputer. In the years that followed, I became interested in the potential of ICT as a tool in the modern foreign language (MFL) classroom. In 1990 I was seconded for a year to the post of Assistant Coordinator of the National Flexible Learning Project North East - Modern Languages, an inititiative which enabled me to observe good practice in using ICT with MFL learners of all abilities in schools in South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Teesside.

During the 1990s I transferred from the modern languages to the special educational needs (SEN) department, qualifying in SEN with the Open University. I have always enjoyed research and became interested in the use of ICT to teach MFL to those with SEN. There are a number of people working worldwide in this area, unaware of each others' work, so I started compiling a bibliography of modern foreign languages and special educational needs which now contains over 1300 references. In 1999, I was asked to run a workshop for trainee MFL teachers at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne on ICT and SEN. By this time my brother Tom, a medical informatics consultant in Minneapolis, had offered to host my website and my workshop was my first problem-solving use of the site, which is at

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com

I am also very keen on the "C" for communication aspect of ICT. In the 1990s I managed to access Germany's national videotex system and used many of the its colourful pages in class before I progressed to the Internet. I am a member of many online forums, particularly those concerned with MFL, SEN and ICT. It is the human side of ICT that I prize the most, its use in education in general and in subject teaching in particular. My brother Tom, who has a PhD in computing, has been an immense help. He encouraged me to start presenting at international conferences and I've since gone on to publish articles about MFL, SEN and ICT. He also passed on to me his philosophy that ICT usage should always be a solution to a real human problem and that it's vital to define the initial problem first. This strategy works very well in the problem-driven world of SEN.

I look forward to working with my fellow associates, sharing ideas and learning new ones. I don't think I can help a lot on the technical side, but I hope I will have something to contribute when it comes to the pedagogical and methodological issues of matching new technologies to classroom practice.

David Wilson

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com

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