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Andrew Field

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  1. Andrew Field

    Dartford Technology College

    Marvellous news - sounds very good indeed. Any documentation or guidance that you can share to allow others to reach your heights?
  2. Andrew Field

    What makes a good educational website?

    Whilst this advice is, of course, extremely useful, Nielsen himself has now adapted and changed his ideas. Thus is it quite dangerous to look back at articles from a number of years ago. His more recent articles, whilst still pushing the same concepts are quite different. This reflects the way the Internet has developed. For instance, he published a very influential article entitled 'Flash 99%' bad: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html (2000). He was then recruited by Macromedia (the makers of Flash) and subsequently altered his views. He claimed that this was because of significant steps Macromedia implemented following his advice. As with all experts he also has his doubters: http://experiencedynamics.blogs.com/site_s...sable_is_j.html This quotes another famous self-opinioned phrase of his: I've found Nielson's articles really helpful - but if you visit his site is it really a model of good practice? The greatest issue for websites, no matter what their purpose is accessibility. If you take the time and trouble to make your website accessible to all users, making sure it adheres to web standards, you make a website that is better for everyone. http://www.w3.org/WAI/ Use of CSS for control of the site design, separating it from the site content is a key area. This benefits everyone - aside from the poor designer tasked with changing an existing site to a CSS-based design. Search engines even promote your site in their listing if you have an accessible CSS-based design - this is because their search tools can find your content more easily. In terms of accessiblity it is a major challenge to get your website Bobby approved - but the journey to do so is well worth it. The Bobby Approval system seems to have developed further now, but its goals remain the same. Test your site at http://webxact.watchfire.com/ Rather than Nielsen, I feel it is much better to focus on organisations such as http://www.cast.org/ In terms of generic webdesign, the best resource I have ever come across is 'The Design of Sites'. http://www.designofsites.com/. The authors of the book don't attempt to make sweeping judgements about websites, rather they look at the roles different websites try to fulfill, and then they provide ideas and guidance how to best do this. Again though - it's a pity they don't stick to their own guidelines - if you click 'Resources' on their website while using Firefox it doesn't work because they've missed part of the html code off the end of the page. A good educational website provides interesting, engaging and useful content that is accessible to all. Simple as that.
  3. Andrew Field

    ContentGenerator.net Multi-choice quizzes

    I agree entirely - and one of the beauties of Macromedia Flash is that extensive audio (and indeed video) can be integrated into a quiz or exercise. This is well within the realms of a dedicated teacher. What I'm trying to do with my simple free program is to illustrate how easy it is for teachers to generate their own content for Flash. Exercises produced using Flash can be used online or offline. Obviously I'm biased towards what I've created for my own uses, but my program will allow anyone to generate their own quiz for a website in about 5 minutes. 1. Load the program 2. Add your questions 3. [Optionally] customise the look or settings 4. Press generate - hey presto. The ease of such things then hopefully encourages people to explore my more commercial offerings such as the Penalty Shootout or Walk the Plank generators.
  4. Andrew Field

    ContentGenerator.net Multi-choice quizzes

    Indeed - but none of these provide what my quiz generator does - the ability for anyone of any technical ability to generate their own Flash quizzes. Anyone can integrate them into their website far more easily than existing quiz programs. Hot Potatoes is indeed excellent, but the above quiz creator is something a little different. Do try it out and you'll see.
  5. Andrew Field

    Interesting?

    Breaking news on the BBC website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4597503.stm
  6. These aren't quite ready for use yet, but I've released a beta version of my Multiple-choice quiz generator program. This program is completely free for all teachers and educators as long as it is used in a not-for-profit way. It allows anyone to generate their own Flash quiz just by entering questions. You can customise the colours and how much time to provide for each question, and you can even include accompanying quiz text to support the user. It has been designed to make it as easy as possible for anyone to create their own quizzes - you can easily create a quick 5 question quiz to use at the end of a lesson, or to place at the bottom of a webpage to act as a brief interactive revision exercise. I'm giving it away for free for two reasons - one I want everyone to benefit from the potential of such activities and two I want people to be able to explore the power and potential of my more-advanced pay-for ContentGenerator programs. There are still bugs to sort out before it can be released properly (currently you have to enter the seconds for the timing before the quiz works correctly), but a free beta version can be downloaded from my ContentGenerator.net forums. Read more about the actual program here - http://www.contentgenerator.net/multiplechoice/default.asp Feel free to try it out!
  7. Andrew Field

    E-HELP Projects

    Well, you can see what I'm talking about even though I didn't phrase that section correctly. What I'm suggesting is that from my persepective - as a history and ICT teacher who is very interested in new teaching ideas and methods - I feel you are in danger of missing out from a massive range of potential by narrowly focusing upon debates about historical topics. You can do this as a matter of course on this forum. I'd suggest striving to achieve the very cutting edge pedagogy and practice that will be of practical use to history teachers as suggested in the E-Help seminars. Interest from journalists would not seem to be incredibly vital when you have full funding and incredible potential at this stage. The interest from journalists will come when you've developed the leading-edge practices over the years of the project. Just an opinion from the very far sidelines though, feel free to ignore.
  8. Andrew Field

    E-HELP Projects

    What is your E-HELP project really for though? Surely it is all about empowering teachers to make effective use of ICT - sharing the knowledge and ideas. Debates about conspiracy theories aren't particularly relevant to those in the classroom day after day trying to come up with inventive and exciting ways to teach lessons. Surely it is of primary importance that you focus upon your target group and then get your wide range of subject experts to support you in this venture. There's a danger that doing the latter first will mean that you lose focus of your primary aims. Not trying to belittle this work at all - but I think your EHELP priorities need to be upheld. Thousands of teachers will be interested and attracted to a collection of useful and practical ideas for teaching. To be honest, I think you will turn teachers away in their droves if the project becomes focused on conspiracy theories and the like. Teachers want a collection of innovative, exciting and practical resources that have proven benefits in the classroom.
  9. Andrew Field

    ReviseICT.co.uk news

    Just in case anyone is interested I've recently updated the site much more with revision activities for students as they rapidly approach their exams. http://www.reviseict.co.uk/ Lots of revision activities, games and quizzes are avaiable at: http://www.reviseict.co.uk/revision/ It was only a quick creation, but I've also setup a simple past-paper question activity that encourages students to enter their ideas, and then compare this with model answers: http://www.reviseict.co.uk/revision/exampractice.shtml
  10. Andrew Field

    Question Time Debate

    Agreed. Was it Blair who refused to have a live debate in the usual question time format or was it all of them? I was interested to hear Blair's comments about Gordon Brown. Maybe it is now election strategy on the part of Labour to give the impression that Blair will be gone soon <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Blair refused to have the live debate - the other two had wanted to do so.
  11. Andrew Field

    Dissemination

    See hear ( ) http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...indpost&p=22389 Completely agree with Juan Carlos - the software is very good. It is what I used to create my seminar that you were all forced to listen to. Since then I've had students using the software and they find it very easy to use.
  12. Andrew Field

    Dissemination

    That has been created in Captivate - the software I've recommended to you! It comes directly from Macromedia ( / Adobe) rather than being a separate entity like the one you mention. http://www.macromedia.com/software/captivate/
  13. Andrew Field

    Excitement and Growing Old

    Have you not stumbled onto the magic of teaching - why teaching is such a good profession? I obviously wouldn't say I love my students, but introducing new concepts, skills, ideas and discussions - instilling the love of learning and discovery - is this not the key part of teaching? Thus would it be fair to suggest that teaching is the answer!
  14. Andrew Field

    ReviseICT.co.uk news

    We actually use a slightly different service where the RSS is pre-packaged and doesn't need to be processed on your own site: https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/syndication/html/registration/ Our school website is on a very limited server that cannot handle .php and suchlike, so we use this method instead.
  15. Andrew Field

    ReviseICT.co.uk news

    I you are interested there is a good article on http://www.Sitepoint.com about RSS. Get off your RSS (not my title, I hasten to add).
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