Jump to content


Spartacus

Forums and History Teaching


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,119 posts

Posted 28 September 2006 - 12:30 PM

I want to give a brief overview on how forums can be used by the classroom teacher.

(1) Discussing Issues with Educationalists

Forums enable teachers to discuss issues with others interested in education. The forum format has many advantages over other forms of discussion. For example, it allows the poster to provide web links to support their argument. The fact that comments are recorded encourages the person to think deeply about the subject before they post. The quotation function enables the poster to narrow the debate down to specifics. See for example the E-HELP Seminars and Education Debates section of the forum.

http://educationforu...p?showforum=246

http://educationforu...hp?showforum=70


(2) Student Discussion

Forum software allows the teacher to set up debates for their students. This is particularly useful when these debates take place between students from different schools or countries. For example, Richard Jones-Nerzic’s debate on 19th Factory Legislation.

(3) Exchanging Information

Forums are a convenient way for teachers to exchange information. This can range from uploading teaching resources to providing details of a conference taking place in the future.

(4) Forums as Websites

Although very few teachers have taken advantage of this opportunity, forums can be used by teachers to create a website. This is particularly useful for teachers who lack the skills to create their own independent website.

(5) Website Interactivity

Forums can be used by teachers who already have their own website. For example, I create a forum thread for nearly every new web page I produce. I then provide a link from the page to the Forum. This enables people who read the page to join the forum and discuss the information I have created. In some cases, the person who joins the debate is the subject of the page I have written. For example, two figures involved in the Watergate Scandal, Doug Caddy and Alfred Baldwin, have joined the forum, to challenge the comments I have made about them. This has resulted in some re-writing taking place.

http://www.spartacus...k/JFKcaddyD.htm

http://educationforu...?showtopic=4727

http://www.spartacus...JFKbaldwinA.htm

http://educationforu...?showtopic=5670

(6) Student Questions

This forum has a section where students can ask questions of people involved in important historical events. Subjects covered include the Second World War, Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, Vietnam War, etc.

http://educationforu...p?showforum=179

(7) Interviews with Historians

Several historians and journalists have agreed to be interviewed about their craft on this forum. This includes Alfred McCoy, Angela John, Peter Dale Scott, Anthony Summers, Bamber Gascoigne, Colin Kidd, David Kaiser, Gerald D. McKnight, Don Bohning, Jim Marrs, Robert Parry, Jefferson Morley, Dick Russell, William Turner, Joan Mellen, Joseph Trento, etc.

http://educationforu...p?showforum=249

(8) Discussions with Authors

When I read a good book I attempt to persuade the author to discuss their work on the forum. We are currently discussing 44 books with their authors. This is a good way to explore the role of ideology and objectivity in history writing.

http://educationforu...p?showforum=204

#2 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,119 posts

Posted 03 October 2006 - 10:57 AM

(9) Trialling Teaching Resources

It is very important to test out teaching materials on students before going “live”. It is not enough to just use them with your own students. Vital information is often in the head of the creator than in the materials themselves. Forums enable you to work with other teachers to test out materials. Feedback from the teachers and their students enables materials to be modified. This process enables top quality teaching materials to be created.

(10) Finding Partners for International Projects

Anyone who has been involved in International Projects knows the importance of finding good partners. Forums are good places to discuss proposed projects. For example, see the section of the Forum where we discussed a Citizenship project.

http://educationforu...p?showforum=219

#3 Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kent
  • Interests:As a younger person my interests were travelling, cinema and socialising with friends. Since the arrival of my two adorable children its watching In the Night Garden, and going to the local playground with them!

Posted 23 October 2006 - 09:01 PM

I am currently trialing the use of forums with the Invicta history website and find that they offer two additional facilities that could have a powerful effect on teaching and learning.

The ability to conduct polls and surveys - for example as a follow up to a classroom discussions

The ability to conduct peer assessment - encouraging students to paste samples of work, for examples they are currently writing, for feedback and support from their peers.

#4 Andy Walker

Andy Walker

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,989 posts

Posted 23 October 2006 - 10:23 PM

The ability to conduct peer assessment - encouraging students to paste samples of work, for examples they are currently writing, for feedback and support from their peers.


Better still why not enable file uploads for your students?
I would be interested in your views on what I have been attempting HERE

#5 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,119 posts

Posted 12 October 2008 - 07:04 AM



The ability to conduct peer assessment - encouraging students to paste samples of work, for examples they are currently writing, for feedback and support from their peers.


Better still why not enable file uploads for your students?
I would be interested in your views on what I have been attempting HERE


Interesting thread on collective essay writing.

http://studenteducat...p?showtopic=540

How did this work? Did the students submit individual essays after this process? Were the students reluctant to share their knowledge in this way? After all, the system encourages them to be competitive, not collective.

#6 Mike Tribe

Mike Tribe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Location:American School of Madrid

Posted 12 October 2008 - 07:54 AM

I have been using the forum function available with Moodle to "brainstorm" essays as a pre-writing exercise. Here is an example of an early discussion: https://asmoodle.asm...scuss.php?d=321. As you can see, there's a need to set parameters for the kids. Some of them were using the forum just to chat generally rather than focusing on the essay. Still, there are quite a lot of advantages to this approach:

* the participants came from three different class sets, so there was a possibility for students to interact with kids from other groups
* many of the participants have English as a second or third language and find it difficult to contribute or ask questions in class; the forum format is easier for them because they have the opportunity to plan out exactly what they want to say and then edit their work afterwards.
* I have the opportunity to respond if I see anyone going way off topic.

Along with using the peer-editing facility within the turnitin.com site, I really do think this approach has improved the students' writing quite noticeably over the year...

#7 Richard Jones-Nerzic

Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Advanced Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 968 posts

Posted 02 November 2008 - 09:20 PM

Interesting Mike.

I've been using forums with students for five years now and remain as convinced as ever about their utility and flexibility. For the recent Bratislava History Project, I considered using a Wiki for the students to contribute thier content and for others to edit. I decided against it simply because the forum needed no technical expertise at all, and the students were already familiar with the format. (Teachers however...) In the end they were able to work collaboratively in a very effective way, such as this thread shows.

But of all the things I have done, it is my supervision of student Extended Essays that I have found most well suited (in terms of ICT value added) to the medium.
http://studenteducat...hp?showforum=50

Both teacher and student write when they have something to say (just-in-time learning and teaching), it creates a virtual paper trail of support with exact times and dates, it creates a complete archive of a variety of sudent work (process not just product), it is hypertextual so allows direct linked reading to be included and it can unblock student impasse in seconds in the middle of a two month summer holiday.

#8 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,119 posts

Posted 05 January 2009 - 12:14 PM

I have been using the forum function available with Moodle to "brainstorm" essays as a pre-writing exercise. Here is an example of an early discussion: https://asmoodle.asm...scuss.php?d=321. As you can see, there's a need to set parameters for the kids. Some of them were using the forum just to chat generally rather than focusing on the essay. Still, there are quite a lot of advantages to this approach:

* the participants came from three different class sets, so there was a possibility for students to interact with kids from other groups
* many of the participants have English as a second or third language and find it difficult to contribute or ask questions in class; the forum format is easier for them because they have the opportunity to plan out exactly what they want to say and then edit their work afterwards.
* I have the opportunity to respond if I see anyone going way off topic.

Along with using the peer-editing facility within the turnitin.com site, I really do think this approach has improved the students' writing quite noticeably over the year...


I was not able to access this website without a password so I was unable to look at what the students was saying. However, it seems a great idea and I am surprised that more teachers do not make more use of forums in this way.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users