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Andy Walker

Tutoring and Mentoring Online

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THIS SITE has been created for classroom teachers of Key Stage 3 history who are looking for easy to use tried and tested online lessons in the Key Stage 3 History curriculum.Teachers with very little ICT experience or confidence will find them accessible and easy to use.

The lessons presented comprise of differentiated computer based activities which offer challenge to the able and support to the less able.

The lessons and activities are designed using freely downloadable web tools and software. The best of these tools I have collated at this page of my College web site.

Many of the lessons provided use quiz builder software to create test and interactivities. These are proven motivators and fun to use. However they should not be mistaken by teachers as constituting the most important aspect the student's learning. Unless integrated into a clear lesson plan and process, interactive tests and activities of this type will leave the learner at the "reactive-passive" rung of the learning hierarchy (reading, comprehension, recall). Teacher intervention and extension is required if students are to apply, analyse and deploy their knowledge. Moreover much has been made of online learning’s potential to empower learners in self directed study constantly stimulated by pictures, text, sound, movement, and video. The implied suggestion being that teachers themselves are no longer needed. Online lessons however do not and should not provide the teacher with an opportunity to disappear into the background while the students “learn alone in cyberspace”. Teacher interventions are just as crucial when using online resources as in the ordinary classroom. Interventions such as teacher led starters that connect to prior learner and warm up the learners for the challenge of the new lesson and reviews of learning following an online activity where students are challenged to use what they have shown they comprehend in new and interesting ways. And always of course the teacher should intervene regularly to prompt, praise, challenge and motivate while the students engage in online activities just as they would in “ordinary” lessons. Such interventions have been signposted in the lesson plans and activities provided. It must also be emphasised that there should always be time in an online lesson for “time away” from the computer activities and these have been integrated into the online lesson plans provided. For instance in the Year 8 "Civil War" lesson students are encouraged to play a dominoes games away from the computers once they have shown they can recognise and define the key words in the online lesson. The dominoes game makes them apply and deploy what they know and connect the words together in a much more advanced way. Likewise in the Year 9 section the success of the final part of the Hitler lesson depends on a successful teacher-pupil interaction away from the computers on source evaluation and reliability. Online learning provides a uniquely rich and exciting context for learning, but should no more be just used alone than we would say make a child read a history book or watch an historical video without support or intervention.

Sample online lesson activities and lesson plans are provided in each Year group area. (see above). Lesson plans have been created in word format to allow teachers to save and adapt them to their own circumstances.

The aims of these opages are twofold and a discussion of the potential of online tutoring and mentoring can be accessed below and from the menu at the top of the page.

Feedback can be sent to the author of these pages via this feedback form

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Many of the lessons provided use quiz builder software to create test and interactivities. These are proven motivators and fun to use. However they should not be mistaken by teachers as constituting the most important aspect the student's learning. Unless integrated into a clear lesson plan and process, interactive tests and activities of this type will leave the learner at the "reactive-passive" rung of the learning hierarchy (reading, comprehension, recall). Teacher intervention and extension is required if students are to apply, analyse and deploy their knowledge. Moreover much has been made of online learning’s potential to empower learners in self directed study constantly stimulated by pictures, text, sound, movement, and video. The implied suggestion being that teachers themselves are no longer needed. Online lessons however do not and should not provide the teacher with an opportunity to disappear into the background while the students “learn alone in cyberspace”. Teacher interventions are just as crucial when using online resources as in the ordinary classroom.

This is an important point. Using the internet in the classroom is not the "easy" option. What it does do is to increase motivation and this makes them more demanding of the teacher.

I once asked an experienced history teacher why he always had his black curtains drawn. "It sends them to sleep" he replied. "That makes them easier to deal with." The use of the computer has the opposite impact. It wakes them up and exhausts the teacher. However, it is worth it.

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I think it's important that we have some things in the project that are 'easy' or low level ICT and not too complex technically, as well as things that are 'cutting edge'. I reeally kike and admire Johannes and his work but I know in my heart of hearts I am never going to master Flash.

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I think it's important that we have some things in the project that are 'easy' or low level ICT and not too complex technically, as well as things that are 'cutting edge'. I reeally kike and admire Johannes and his work but I know in my heart of hearts I am never going to master Flash.

I agree. And I'm definitely your man for "simple and not too complex".

Maybe in the best traditions of British education we should test and stream our 'students' on arrival ;)

When it comes to producing materials online an interactivity is an interactivity. They can either be used to lead to closed low level responses (frequently the case), or they can be used to encourage higher level thinking (quite a rarity).

An overemphasis on the technology might result in us losing sight of this point. Each module should perhaps have a very clear focus on why and how this particular technology can improve teaching and learning. Should we develop into a course for "techies" i may have to ask for my tie and shoe laces to be confiscated :blink:

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