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david faure

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About david faure

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    Toulouse, France
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    I have been teaching Science and Biology for 11 years. Currently I am working in the International School of Toulouse. We offer a curriculum broadly based on the UK national curriculum and integrate ICT through a laptop programme and an International aspect to our courses though innovative planning and careful use of the WWW. I am particulary interested in best use of laptops for learning and I particularly love Ecology and Molecular Biology.
  1. Dear Andy, I have just posted this reply without any problem. Admittedly my browser accepts cookies, but I have connected through the school firewall and our connection is not very fast today. It seems to me that the security improvement is fine. David FAURE International School of Toulouse France
  2. I've just spotted a really interesting article in New Scientist Magazine. It's in the technology section; I hope this type of innovation doesn't take the pressure of industrial and developing nations and their greenhouse gas emissions agreements. If our use of energy is linked to economic growth then we must find ways to produce energy without producing greenhouse gases, or abandon the economic model the capitalist world uses for something more sustainable. "Sustainable growth" is an oxymoron from a biological perspective. We shouldn't forget that the temperature of the earth has probably fluctuated much more in the past, but we should bear in mind that the cost was widespread extinctions and drastic changes in the size and shape of the Earth's landmass. As the human race seems to have increasing difficulty in co-habiting the planet peacefully before the effects of global warming are really noticable I would suggest that politicians divert some of the "rich" nations' military budgets into prevention of war in the future - namely by finding an alternative to "economic growth" and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The neat idea of Ecological Footprints is a great motivator of young people in developed nations to save energy and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases but it causes some difficulty in poorer nations; when students find out how little of the resources they get to use. The danger is that poor nations will want to behave as the rich nations do, and who are we to say they shouldn't? Before we have to fight to maintain our lion's share of the worlds resources and to save the world we know, I would urge politicians to challenge the way we live and do business. Has Keynesian or Monetarist economics actually brought us the lifestyle improvements we enjoy today in the developed world in the most efficient way? Do we have to consume so much and throw so much away to be healthy, well educated and happy? Until company performance and share dividends are measured by the sustainability of the company's activities rather than the size of it's growth, I can only see an uncertain future ahead. I wonder if millions of metal balloons can be manufactured without exploiting the mineral reserves of a developing nation and releasing thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels? Humans gained the evolutionary advantage when we first picked up tools thousands of years ago. It is time we started to use them efficiently.
  3. J'ai lu la réflexion de Serge Pouts-Lajus en anglais. J'ai trouvé l'adaptation très bien et interessant. Avec ce genre d'analysis il pose plus de questions que de solutions. L'efficacité des TICE à evolué très rapidement les dernières années, aussi que les logicels. Je suis un des partisans des TICE, mais je rendre compte qu' ils sont pas la solution magique de la pedagogie. Il faut les utiliser dans les facons qu'on juge efficace, comme tous en education. Cependant, je crains qu'il y aura d’effets secondaires négatifs physiolgiques si on ne prend pas des precautions preventitif. I have read the thoughts of Serge Ponts-Lajus in english. I found the adaptation very good, and interesting. With this type of analysis it suggests more questions than answers. The efficiency of ICT has evolved very quickly in recent years, as has the software. I am one of the supporters of ICT, but I am aware that it is not the magic pedagogical solution. It has to be used in ways we judge to be efficient, like everything in education. However, I do fear that there will be damaging physiological effects if we don't take care to prevent them.
  4. I am currently co-ordinator of Biology and Middle School Science at the International School of Toulouse, having previously worked for 8 years in comprehensive schools in the Bristol area of the UK. After three years of teaching in a laptop school, I am thoroughly convinced of the value of ICT in education. I now do most of my lesson planning on our department website www.intst.net/science and integrate student use of laptops into my lessons in a variety of ways. I am always on the look-out for new ways to use ICT to improve student learning. I am also interested in comparisons between the use of ICT in education and industry and how e-learning may offer new opportunities. I am a member of the European Virtual School Biology Department www.eun.org/vs and I have participated in eSchola and Spring Europe projects in recent years. When time allows, I love telemark skiing in the Pyrenées and playing the bassoon.
  5. I'd be interested in contributing to the Environmental Pollution aspect of the VS Chemistry department. As a member of the VS Biology department perhaps I can encourage the whole department to participate. I think I can also add an aspect of aviation into my Human Impact on Ecosystems topic in IB Biology at the International School of Toulouse. We have excellent links in the aviation industry, as you may know. We are connected to Airbus in Toulouse. In the summer term I will have some student tested resources to add. I'd be especially interested if my students could also contribute. Perhaps we can knock heads together Nick.
  6. Hi Nick, I have used a genetics simulation called "mouse lab" for breeding experiments at IB level (AS-A2) Biology. I believe there is also a drosophila "Fly Lab" but it is now a subscription site. http://www.explorelearning.com/index.cfm?m...l&ResourceID=35 I'd love to find a good ecosystem population dynamics simulation if anyone knows of one.
  7. I didn't know what a VLE was either and I found this information on the JISC website JISC - VLE information Looking at these lists it seems that many of us are already doing most of this already using simple systems already present in schools a colleges. I can't see anything which couldn't be done using Blackboard, and most of it could be done much more simply using MS Office tools. It seems like the educational equivalent of a "home entertainment system" which just bundles everything together. Sometimes distance learning is an excellent way to share ideas and learn without having to waste time travelling. These types of software could help a tutor to deliver a course to people spread across the world but not in a school or college. Have I missed the point of VLEs? Does anyone see a real advantage in them? Refering back to the original question I would be very interested to read views, and examples, of how e-learning might improve student's learning experience. I'd like to think beyond the website of worksheets if we can. Could peer-to-peer technology help teachers share resources more effectively. How is e-learning helping students to become better prepared for their lives. What are the best innovative ways educators have started using the technology currently available. What are the "competences" which can be well taught using e-learning? Is there any research to show topics that e-learning is definately not good for? (mmm.....perhaps conversational German for example....althought using a little headset and a platform called Interwise I took part in a live discussion with group of teachers in 7 countries from the comfort of my own desk, quite successfully as part of eSchola 2002...so I'm not entirely sure about that.)
  8. I wonder whether your neighbours' children and grandchildren have computers Graham? I suspect that they might. I think that Ian is making some very sensible points about providing sensible low cost technology to people who don't have a computer. If we never introduced anything new because it scares the wits out of some people, we would still be weaving by hand! If in education we are trying to prepare people for the world of work we can't ignore the fact that the vast majority of employees will have to use a computer at work. It's our job to convice our students (and their parents) that they can learn these skills and to give them the means to do so. If ICT training has not been very effective in schools Could we improve the take-up of ICT training by starting to assess students on their use of ICT within subjects, or at least allowing students to use ICT in assessment. I don't just mean wordprocessing essays. Allow courswork to be submitted on CD rom, so that it may include a website or powerpoint presentations. Give credit to those students who know how to successfully search for data on a database, or manipulate 3D models, perform a data analysis using a spreadsheet or edit their own simple movies. I'm no expert in assessment but I spend a lot of time studying the tasks which my students are going to have to perform in their final external assessment. If there was some innovative integration of good use of ICT in these assessments I would be very motivated to develop my skills and I'm sure many others would too.
  9. I am a classroom practitioner in an international school. Every student carries their own laptop computer to every lesson and we have a network point at each desk and a multimedia projector in each classroom. I have been following this forum with interest. The idea of blending the best of the old and the new to offer more active and creative ways of learning is something I try to do every day. Unfortunately I find myself constrained by an assessment system which demands the students to hand write answers to questions on paper booklets and only uses new technologies to mark the short pencil lines drawn on multiple choice answer sheets. The risk of students reading each other’s coursework or searching for information on the web creates the constant fear of plagiarism to the extent that many useful sources of information for students are now safely behind our firewall. In my view the most effective way to promote the use of ICT in education is to radically modernise the assessment of students so that it provides a measure of skills and competences needed in the 21st century workplace and beyond. Reward the innovative and creative use of ICT in assessment and both learners and educators will devote time to develop these skills. I recognise that e-learning creates opportunities for a whole range of new and creative approaches to learning. I agree with the comments about the achievements of the OU in distance learning. I welcome research into the new possibilities which ICT offers and perhaps this will change the structure of educational institutions too but the one comment which for me sums up the key to success in the development of e-learning is this one from lcych, There are many teachers like myself who have; invested time putting teaching resources onto a freely accessible websites, who have tried to be innovative and adapt their teaching to their students, who have experimented with a range of teaching and learning styles, and who have shared ideas with colleagues and in other schools across the world. After all, this is what teachers have done well for many years. After three years of hard work I remain convinced that the education which the students receive in my school is already much more relevant to the world of work in the 21st century and my enthusiasm for laptop education is undiminished. Through collaboration with my peers and support from polticians we could make great progress. The establishment of the ATW and forums like this one has helped a network of online educators to evolve. Lets see some changes in the assessment system to drive faster evolution and also, rather than giving millions to commercial organisations to show teachers how to suck eggs, lets see some confidence in the education profession at grass roots level.
  10. Biology Karyoke Songs on Powerpoint http://www.africangreyparrott.com/downloads There are some interesting biological songs now posted on this biology teacher's personal website. They are in powerpoint and some have a sound file to liven up the activity. They would suit GCSE, AS or IB level students and include, "It's Mitosis Time, C'mon! (to the tune of "Celebration Time" by Kool and the Gang)" I love the periodic table song but I think these are even better. David FAURE
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