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David Richardson

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About David Richardson

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  • Birthday 07/27/1954

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    Kalmar, Sweden

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  1. I noticed that Oliver Kamm, in his original article, neatly skimmed over the problem of the second bomb, on Nagasaki. If a case can be made for Hiroshima, it's very difficult to see what Nagasaki was apart from experimentation on live animals …
  2. David Richardson


    I have to agree with Vladimir … I'm just preparing the autumn round of ICT-based distance courses, and it's amazing what we now take for granted that was once technologically very advanced. Nowadays, for example, students take to desktop video like ducks to water, and podcasting is something they just take for granted. It's meant a big change in my way of working - I have to get much more involved with the students as people these days. Just goes to show that ICT isn't *all* bad!
  3. I read an interesting account of English involvement in one of the Swedish-Danish wars in Peter Engqvist's book about Charles X. Charles had attacked Poland (with no greater motive than plunder, it would seem, although there was a dispute over the succession to the Swedish throne that had sputtered along for over 100 years). The invasion went well at first, but then ran into serious difficulties, so the Swedish Army retreated through northern Germany, ending up in southern Jutland at the end of 1657. At the beginning of 1658, Charles' troops made their famous (well, up here, at least) attack
  4. Churchill, for me, was a fairly typical conservative. For most of his life he was a reactionary, who fought to preserve things that shouldn't have been preserved, such as British domination of India, monarchies (hence his desire to overthrow the Bolshevik revolution and reinstate the Tsar, with the help of the British Expeditionary Force in Russia in 1919). When World War Two started, he was still regarded as an irresponsible agitator, but, as Orwell said in 'The Lion and the Unicorn', he understood that the war could not be won without fighting. He was able, during the war, to take a lot of
  5. Jag känner att Inger Enkvist skjuter långt över målet. Det finns två fenomen jag märker när jag är ute i skolor (på besök hos lärarkandidater, och för att bedriva fortbildning av språklärare): att ingenting vasentligt har förändrats i kunskapsynen bland lärare sedan 50-talet; och att unga lärare har haft en så teoretisk högskoleutbildning att de saknar dem intellektuella verktyg för att förstå situationen och förändra den. Det ställs jättestora krav på dagens ungdom: bland dem förmågan att sitta passivt medan lärare delar ut papper som har kopierats om om igen sedan början på 80-talet! Naturl
  6. We're now into our second round of 'one-code application' courses. Previously on our English distance courses (with the exception of the entirely on-line Business Writing course) we decided which study centres to use in advance and students applied to one of them. It was a nice idea in theory, but it didn't work in practice because students just ignored the fact that they didn't actually live anywhere near the centre they applied for. Lots of them just applied for all of the centres too. The result was a great deal of wasted effort around course start time as you fixed studio time for students
  7. Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself! Suddenly it's January a year on from when I started this thread … This year is the year of Moodle for us here in Kalmar. We've just been reorganised and amalgamated with another department which also has a lot of in-house expertise in computing (so we can sidestep the IT section and get on with doing real things). Moodle's just another course management system, really, but it's got the advantage of hundreds, if not thousands of programmers around the world tweaking it all the time. The Open University have just adopted Moodle as their CMS of ch
  8. It looks like I'll be including Moodle in the package of course materials in the spring. I'm attracted to the idea of being able to upload podcasts easily, and we're using a plug-in called Gong, which allows for audio inputs to a discussion forum. If I can think of a good way it can be used, I'll use that too. If you want to take a look at the skeleton course I've put together so far (no time …), you can go to http://moodle.hbv.hik.se and take a look at the course called English 1-10p, a1 Spring Term 2007. There's a guest access and the key is ENG107. I'm still no fan of LMSs, but I'm adding
  9. I think it's also important to see the Soviets as primarily Russians. I think that it's fair to say that Stalin had abandoned a political approach which was based on political principles and theories a long time before WW2 (if, in fact, you feel that he'd *ever* looked at power that way). Russia's principal problem, since the country emerged from the Middle Ages has been the lack of warm-water ports. The routes to the west go through Öresund, Skaggerak and Kattegut. The routes to the south-west not only have to pass through the middle of Istanbul, but also pass through the Dardanelles a day or
  10. Now that we've got environments like Second Life, I wonder if there's any mileage in putting on cyber theatre there for educational purposes. (I'm dead certain someone's already tried it, by the way). If anyone gets interested, I could put you in touch with our Drama department, who could probably be encouraged to take part. We've got an application for funding in with the Norwegian government's 'Future Fund' (where they put their oil revenues for the benefit of future generations, rather than going on a spending spree now) to set up an educational environment in Second Life for the use of th
  11. Det är svårt att säga. Mitt intryck av både Lars Leijonborg och Jan Björklund är att de formulerar sin politik utifrån deras 'magkänslor', snarare än någon faktabas eller verklighetskontroll. En satsning på historia som kärnämne passar bra in med både deras magkänslor (skapandet av en 'svenskhet', t.ex.), men det blir, kanske, en syn på historia som är fokuserade på 'stora män', snarare än rörelse i historia. Min tips är att Sverige nu kommer att utsättas för betygshysteri av den typen som Storbritannien drabbas av. Betyg från årskurs 6 (eller 1) låter väldigt bra som debattämne … men det är
  12. Inspiration is a nice mind-mapping programme, which I suppose would work on IWBs. There are various versions, from a Kids version to a 'serious' businesspersons version. The company's home page is at: http://www.inspiration.com PS. The Gröna Lund Hendrix concert was shut down in the middle by the caretakers because the band were playing too loud - that's the story anyway.
  13. Sorry … it was one of the last years of the 1960s, then.
  14. Jimi Hendrix played in Stockholm in the early 1970s, and if you count the number of people who *say* they were there, it's a great deal more than the capacity of the hall he played in! In other words, there's a great difference between the way the 1970s really *were* and the way they're represented now - just like any other historical period, actually. The 1970s weren't a time for ideologues, in my personal experience. The world of education was just as hide-bound then as it sometimes is now … and just as 'revolutionary' as it sometimes is now. The way I see the conflict that this thread has
  15. I've been having great fun doing team podcasts, using Gizmo (one of these voice-over-internet programmes) to record a conference call between several teachers in different places. One hit this spring was when Jon Clark in Valladolid, Spain and I in Kalmar, Sweden linked up to discuss how students typically tackled various tasks on the Business Writing course, and what sort of things the tutors were looking for. Bryan Carter and Kathy McCormick in Warrensburg, Missouri and I have regularly linked up to discuss different aspects of writing academic essays for our students in Warrensburg and sout
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