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Dalibor Svoboda

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Everything posted by Dalibor Svoboda

  1. I choose to write about four Czech women with different backgrounds and different professions. I plan to be ready with their biographies for Toulouse meeting. I hope that we can not later than at Toulouse meeting decide how our different products will be coordinated together into one single E-HELP teaching material. Or is it of no importance? I guess that every one in our group would like to use his own pedagogical approach and also his own production technology. At the same time there was talk of using Content Manager System. For the start I am thinking to put the biographies at my school homepage (or my own homepage) with presentation of the project. I was thinking to constantly enlarge the presentation of women from Eastern Europe during the whole project time. After my first four Czech profiles I would like to write for example about two quite different women from Soviet time. (But not about any bomber women. I heard nasty things about them when I visited Estonia few years ago.)
  2. I red the summary of your presentation with interest. I do believe that it could handily be divided into two parts: a) importance of networking and sharing and how the networking and sharing could be easily and practically done. This second part is rather technique minded nevertheless equally important if the participants really do want things going smoothly. Nevertheless and probably contrary to you my imagination were more caught by your description of networking and sharing. It is important yet often neglected. Are we teachers “lonely wolfs” not seldom not even giving the cooperation between us a though? At ones own school? At the national level? When regarding international networking and sharing? And if so could this behaviour be demolished? You mentioned websites which are trying to do so like your own mrbelshaw.co.uk/shareforum (nice try, though not many contributions yet) or Teacher Resource Exchange. Another one is The TeachNet project situated at Manhattan. One of my teacher friends once wrote article about The TeachNet for History department/Virtual school in 1999. The TeachNet Project When I was in New York City in November I visited Mr. John Elfrank-Dana, formerly Social studies teacher at Murry Bergtraum High School, now Director of Technoloy & Curriculum Development at The TeachNet project (part of the Teachers Network and funded by AT&T). The TeachNet project believes that 'teachers are the best teachers for teachers', i.e. if a teacher needs help or wants to explore new methods, he or she should get educated by another teacher who has the necessary skills. John explains that the TeachNet project tries to build a national network of teachers interested in pedagogic advancement, especially computer aided and internet-based teaching. First, a teacher who creates an interesting project can apply for a TeachNet-grant ($500). If they get accepted (in NYC 35 grants were issued last year) they have to publish their project on the TeachNet project web page, take part in a discussion forum (both virtually and on monthly meetings), and also assist other teachers who are interested to work with a published project. Secondly, a system of mentors is constructed. If a group of teachers at a school are interested in starting internet based teaching, the TeachNet project functions as mentors, i.e. helping the school with technical and pedagogic advice. Eventually, the teachers who received help from TeachNet will themselves function as mentors for other teachers at their school, which are interested in internet based teaching. The aim of the TeachNet project is thus to build networks of teachers who believe in change. They construct a forum where teachers can meet to exchange ideas, a mentor system which helps to spread knowledge and a library of interesting projects from which everyone can draw inspiration. Peter Tollmar, Fredrika Bremergymnasiet, Haninge, Sweden The The TeachNet is still there. Working for the teachers under constant development. Please visit it at http://www.teachnet.org/.
  3. Short answers to at least some of your questions. The individuals or groups behind pronunciation tools which were planned to be incorporated inside their future multimedia products was/were very often active or retired teachers. I believe that they always built their product on the ground of their own experience from teaching. As I mentioned before these multimedia school books were not chosen for funding subsequently never produced inside the domain of The Knowledge Foundation. The behaviouristic approach to teaching was the key word when refused. The professional publishers who applied for funding mostly planned multimedia school books without pronunciation tools. Few of them had been chosen for funding. The national criteria’s for higher level of teaching and learning were defined as: - Cross-curriculum teaching and learning - Pedagogy and schoolbooks must support students own way of learning, students own way to reach his own knowledge. - Students should learn by the method of asking question and searching for answers.
  4. I red through all the postings on this thread with a shifting mood. For a moment I felt that I was not having possibility to memorize all the arguments used. Next moment I was doubtful if I was able to completely understand what the postings were after. And at the same time I was searching inside me if I do have anything to contribute. On the other hand the mysteries of foreign language in a teaching and also learning business always fascinated me therefore I will try to add something from my own experience even if it could be incomprehensibly with the debate on this thread so far. There are ordinary Upper Secondary Schools in Sweden where education is done with the help of English language. These schools do have a high profile and are sought after by students and student’s parents and I would guess does have well educated English-history, English-math and English-physic etc. teachers. These teachers are often Swedes in some cases they might be native speaking teachers. As far as I know I never heard about any complains that they are bad history and at the same time good English teachers and vice versa. This is maybe because they choose this kind of profession when at education level at universities. I could see what kind of problems teacher of history not properly educated in English or vice versa could encounter in teaching situation. I doubt that this could be mended with additional education during teacher’s career. When we discussed at my school to try the same educational approach most of the teachers were against it mostly because they felt unprepared to switch from Swedish to English. I do believe that also many students were against the idea to switch educational language from native Swedish to foreign English as they put it. There were yet another set of arguments at our school which caught my interest for the question namely; in what way would Swedish students be prepared better for grown up life if they obtained all the education in English and then stayed rest of their lives in Sweden competing on labour marked with the students who obtained their education in Swedish? Learning foreign languages is a tricky business. Some people learn fast and in a good way other try hard with insufficient results? There are immigrants who speak flawless Swedish after one or two years in Sweden and there are immigrants with the comparatively same background whose Swedish is horrible after a séjour in the country of 25 years. Why it’s so? How can we then believe that our students inside relative sterile learning environments namely a classroom will master the skills of English, French, Spanish etc. just simply because we teach them this skill during three to four years? Could this fact be helped by using second language as educational language instead of native language? Teachers at my school were very much in doubt when asked this question.
  5. What surprises me is that despite many such presentations as Alfs, made during last ten years at my school or at different other meetings I do not find many teachers working in this way around me. So we do have excellent presentations which show in a simple manner how simple it is, we have the smiling and nodding teachers around you leaving the presentations and then we almost never see these same teacher actually to practise this way of teaching. You may object that I should not bother about all these who continue to teach in the same way without trying the new way. You may point out that I should look at it from the positive way and be happy about every single one won for using internet in this simple way described by Alf. Nevertheless I do have to ask what more do we have to do than to make such nice presentations at meetings that actually change teacher’s habits?
  6. Just single thought popped in my mind when reading Juan Carlos contribution. A thought I was fighting for elsewhere in debates. Where are the students? Couldn’t they do a huge bit of creation of these web sites you mention as a part of their educational process? What are student’s responses to the teaching material created by you? You wrote a lot about new and better teaching but very little about new and better learning.
  7. When going through my old floppy disque ( this debate stimulated me to do that) containing the documentation of evaluations of the applications received by The Knowledge Foundation, I did discover that there have been much more that one application asking for funding to create a multimedia school book of your desire … The applications for French pronunciation books, and then again Spanish pronunciation books ……. They have been all refuted because the evaluators searched for a new (and higher quality) of teaching. The multimedia school books did have this as a goal …… What is yours attitude towards “a new (and higher quality) of teaching”? How could it be achieved in the light of all we know about internet teaching today?
  8. My students who does to cope with around 12 subject a year and who in every subject do have to cope with school book with around 300 pages each plus not so few reprinted newspapers articles very often behave in bewildered way when I do show them the web place similar to ENA. “Do you really want us to work with all this?” “It’s not even written in Swedish!” are two very common students’ expressions in these situations. I do believe that they feel that school books do offer to them learning continuity but Web pages like ENA are more subjects specified. Their conclusion is then that this is an additional load the teacher put at them. Very few of them does then deliver worthy paper even if I only asked them to check a few documents and answer a few questions written by me. I often feel that if I do not have my students rallying behind me and my tasks I do them disservice. Do you have any experience and feed-backs from students outside Luxembourg where ENA had been used in everyday pedagogy at some school?
  9. I personally try to make occasional classroom visits at different archives situated in the downtown of Stockholm. And I always discover that the distance between the school and archives is of importance. Its very time consuming event and my colleagues are not very happy to give away their lesson time for this kind of activity. Then just imagine schools situated far away even from the small district town which is often the reality in such outstretched country as Sweden is. Therefore I do have great hope for digitalising of archives documents and other resources. Then the students from all school could make a reasonable effort of their own research. There is yet another difficulty I discover when trying to engage my students for archive research. They do not understand or maybe better expressed in this way they seldom se the connection between a sterile language of activated documents and their own view (supported for example by Hollywood’s films, colourful written history books etc.) what history is to them. When I try to explain to my students that the history in many cases starts inside archives I always meet a distrustful twinkle in their eyes.
  10. Well, do we really need the Internet to do this particular task? Shouldn’t we use the Internet (and the multimedia school books) in the areas where they are superior all others pedagogical resources. And at the same time not forgot that a simple tape-recorder is still good enough in many situations in today’s education. It seems to me that in our excitement for a new pedagogical inventions (like Internet for example) we do tend to disregard old pedagogical resources which are still working well in classrooms situation. Nevertheless your longing for something which, if I remember it correctly was on the verge to be supported by Knowledge Foundation ( we did receive application promising to create multimedia school book with this function) but was rejected in final round by two professors from two different universities as being to behaviouristic in it’s pedagogical approach!
  11. Prosba o pomoc! Skupina evropských učitelů zapojena do projektu E-HELP se rozhodla na svém posledním zasedaní v městě Toulouse ve Francii vytvořit dějepisnou internetní vyučovací pomůcku s názvem Evropské ženy 20.století. Muj ůkol v této skupině je presentace českých žen. Pro začátek jsem se rozhodl sepsat osudy Emmy Destinnové, Mileny Jesenské, Dr. Milady Horákové a Marie Čermínové (Toyen). Volba je to snad konvenční a tedy jaké ženy by jste vybraly Vy? Máte-li informace které by mně mohly pomoci v mém ůkolu (např. biografie a osudy českých žen z časopisů a novinových článků anebo i nějaké starší knížky o které by jste se rozhodly podělit) můžete mě kontaktovat s pomocí Education Forum. Děkuji
  12. Is the whole idea of getting into the schools a new multimedia school books dead now? Is there any way out of this problem? - Another and yet better produced multimedia products? Do you have any suggestions how that could be done …. to suite the teachers demand? - A better and more sorted pedagogy based on the immense amount of Internet facts? Is it possible? Most of the teachers are already claiming to be overwhelmed by the teaching assignment. - Going back to the traditional text books and letting students to find out and be helped by a support for their learning in the evenings at homes by ad hocks "on line lessons" from internet? I strongly believe that the focus of education is nothing else than students. It is their knowledge …. their feelings towards every single school day …… their expectations that counts …… Could we, the professional teachers smooth student’s way into the grown up life in a such way that their learning are effective, useful and meaningful? What methods are there at our hands to get this goal? I must confess that I do feel desperation here and there .……. there seems not to be any easy solutions. Even the embraced ICT education does have enormous difficulties to find it’s way into the classrooms every days pedagogical work ………And we really tried to promote it ( with the help of all means available) for at least the last 15 years ….
  13. "Is the multimedia schoolbook not just another example of an ICT solution in search of an undefined educational problem? It's not good enough to develop an electronic application, however worthy, in isolation, just because the developers can. More effort has to be spent on devising ways of integrating it into a traditional school curriculum. Conventional schoolbooks are familiar resources, they're compact and portable. They don't need batteries. And they leave the pupil room for imagination, room to supply their own visual and auditory enhancements. What do they say about radio, where the sole medium is sound? The pictures are better!" David Wilson Yes, I do agree ….. but …. And this is a BIG but. All the technical things like “batteries” , lap tops, connections were at that time ( and even more today) increasingly finding their way into the educational process! So none of the teachers can honestly say there were (or are) technical problems when trying to use multimedia school books. Furthermore, these multimedia school books didn’t aspire (after a while when the initial hopes were calmed down)) to change completely the education. The professional producers learned the lessons of newspapers in education, radio in education, educational television called once “a university in the air” in education, and as I believe, just tried to make an exchange between the “old” books for a “new” ones. And these “new” ones were planned to be more adaptable to reality than the old ones which worked mostly with a help of rather sterile descriptions. There have been also suggestions by some postings that the multimedia school books could be outdated soon after being delivered to schools …… It’s basically nonsense. The Knowledge Foundation has been producing Internet based schoolbooks where whole chapters could be constantly updated or even completely changed in order to keep them in forefront of the knowledge. Of course the schools or individual teachers were supposed to pay small amount of money to use them but often less than the payment for a new traditional written book. As you see I’m right now only arguing for a NEW kind of school books (similar to the multimedia school books of the ninetieth I once involved myself to produce) which will more truly correspond to the needs of the schools of twenty first century. And which could easily be produced by a new technology! So why are they not inside our schools? Is it an impossible dream?
  14. With all respect to the wisdom about multimedia school books I could take part of from all the postings after mine own I do have feelings that we in our debate somehow do miss a point. For example some debaters describe the pedagogical movement on internet which in itself is enough to create a pedagogical climate for learning. Others are against subsidising …… My point was rather simple, namely; why are multimedia school books until today nonexistent in the schools when at the same time conventional school books are used in every subject in every classroom in every school throughout the world? The Knowledge Foundation only subsidised the productions. The producers were in many cases rather professional groups with huge pedagogical and producing skills. The conventional schoolbooks publishers were a significant group within the chosen projects. So why didn’t they succeed? Furthermore the multimedia school books integrated texts with sounds together with pictures and movies and on top of that offered interactivity. It seems to me that the teachers long standing hopes of dreamed school books were at hand. And yet these books seldom made into the Swedish schools. Why? In this perspective one has to ask itself: Will our own multimedia school book “E - HELP” be more successful?
  15. The short answer is "no". As a teacher of modern languages, I have used different media for the whole of my career, dating back to the 1960s: tape recordings of authentic human voices speaking foreign languages, video recordings, overhead projectors for making presentations, TV and radio. All of these different media have proved very useful and they can now be combined in a computer connected to the Internet - which makes it more convenient, but this does not - and should not - remove the human being from the teaching process. I tend to take the same view as Angela McFarlane, Professor of Education and Director of Learning Technology, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, who writes: "What we do know, whether from personal experience as teacher or learner, or as the result of 20 years of research into the question, is that ICT has an impact on learning, for some learners, under some conditions, and that it cannot replace a teacher. We know that a key factor in impact at school level is and remains the teacher, whose role in managing and integrating the ICT-based experiences learners have with the rest of the curriculum and culture is vital and probably always will be." Times Educational Supplement, ICT in Education Online, 26 April 2002, p. 17. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Just a thought ….. not in any way argument against your view which I accept and as a matter of fact always put forward in many discussion I did have with Swedish colleagues ….. Your postings are showing a sceptical approach towards multimedia school books. I’m with you when you point out that a role played in schools by teachers couldn’t be underestimated. Nevertheless distance learning or as in Sweden the Mobile Upper Secondary schools which practise distant learning are not depended on everyday interconnections between students and teachers. Aren’t then multimedia school books helping curious students to achieve knowledge in a better way than traditional text books? And what about “life long learning”? Wouldn’t it be helped much better by multimedia school books than by old-fashioned conventionally written traditional books?
  16. Eureka! Things must be pretty easy at that time according to you. I must have been awfully stupid. Working for the Knowledge Foundation and at the same time not discovering how easy I could make a fortune!! Couldn’t I too go past this decision-makers at the square? Twice!!?? Just making twice as much? I could be living on Bahamas with 30 millions on my hidden account now, couldn’t I? With your casual and bantering posting you took in a couple of minute’s honour and decency of hard working and dedicated man and women who worked dutifully to achieve what they believed in, namely promotion of ICT based education in the schools. Without actually saying a word about multimedia school books!
  17. I’m thinking about working primarily with women from former Habsburg monarchy, Czechoslovakia, Czech Reich protectorate and Czech Republic. I do not think that I would like to concentrate myself only on the topic of women’s rights. Many of the women I would like to write about fought rather for national independence and later on for national freedom than for suffrage. I would like to give a kind of my personal approach to why I choose to highlight them …… We didn’t specified at all content of our subject: “Europe’s other half: women in 20th century” therefore I think that we do have at least at the start of the project (this is a day one!!! The topic had been chosen yesterday) to have a freedom of personal solutions about how to cope with the task. Even if it means that there will be slimmer possibilities for comparisions. I can also take care of women from Russia provided I can cope with this huge task …….
  18. The Knowledge Foundation and the project “A new generation of school books”. Background. The Knowledge Foundation was established in 1994. The starting financial base of The Foundation was 3,6 billions of Swedish crowns. In the first ten years, the foundation has invested almost five billion Swedish kronor in projects related to research, competence development in industry and ICT development in the schools. The Knowledge Foundation can be found at: http://www.kks.se/templates/StandardPage.aspx?id=84 ICT in education In order to promote growth in Sweden over the long term, the Knowledge Foundation supports development in Swedish schools. With investments at both the national and regional level, the Foundation wants to increase ICT use, develop the school’s different ways of working and stimulate children in their desire to learn. Around 1,2 billions of Swedish crowns was invested in projects related towards these goals. In 1996 the Knowledge Foundation commenced two programs for ICT in schools: 1. One program where schools in 55 local government communes have participated in 28 larger and 65 smaller projects with the aim of stimulating ICT development within schools. The projects have been carried out in co-operation with the local government communes, which have partly financed the projects. For example the answer on the question Where to teach?, was searched with the help of not so few of the 65 smaller projects. Many of them were distance learning projects equipped with modern lap tops. 2. The Knowledge Foundation has also provided assistance to approximately 94 teaching materials projects with the aim of offering ICT based teaching materials to schools. I did work with this second project during it’s whole length therefore I would like to give a first hand account of it. The other source of my information about the “A new generation of school textbooks” as the project was officially called is based at the evaluation report published 2002. “A new generation of school textbook” started 1996 with the budget of 120 millions SEK. The main goal of the project was to deliver to the Swedish schools on the verge to enter ICT age, multimedia school books with a new kind of pedagogy. (The secondary goal was to create the stable ground for a creation of future multimedia industry in Sweden.) The project time was outstretched throughout three years with six applications rounds. During these publishers and publishing houses, ICT companies, universities and colleges, film and theater groups, different add hoc groups consisting of writers, ICT people and pedagogue, non governmental organizations (Save the children, Red Cross …), vocational teaching organizations and schoolteachers were supposed to seek funding for their own pedagogical project. The first round of applications was dealt with during autumn 1996. Four more rounds of incoming application were subsequently organized with two rounds each year, one during springtime and the second in autumn. The Foundation received around 1000 applications which were evaluated by a small group of “experts”. 94 projects were chosen for funding. About 20 of these 94 were history projects. The last round of application never went on. The foundation made a judgment that there weren’t any new ideas for multimedia school books around. 1999 the Foundation expressed a wish to evaluate “A new generation of school books” project. The evaluation concentrate itself at the pedagogical and economical aspects of the projects and also how the Foundation should proceed in the light of what was done etc. Some of the conclusions of evaluation report: ICT in schools was at this time (around 1999-2000)believed to be necessary and important pedagogical tool to achieve a new way of learning as it was described in the Swedish Educational directives. Nevertheless there were only scattered amount of teachers who supported this vision. The ICT based pedagogy seldom made it into schools everyday pedagogy. The pedagogical interaction between traditional school text books and the new multimedia school books was at the start seldom debated later neglected. The Foundation lacked strategy for the schools choice decision between the traditional text books and the multimedia textbooks. The criteria for new multimedia school books and how they should be used in every day’s pedagogy was never discussed in an exhaustingly way. The marketing of the new multimedia schools books were neglected mostly because the production groups put most of the energy into productions. In too many cases the producing group didn’t have any knowledge about dissemination of the product into the schools. The market for the multimedia school books was worth of around 25 millions Swedish crowns a year. This market could not absorb additional 40 millions a year of new products. The publishing houses and other professional’s providers of educational material withdrew their support. The Knowledge Foundation stimulated and funded individual actors striving to produce products without engaging itself in long-term strategy of developing knowledge and competence about how these products could be used in the future. The quality of products funded by The Knowledge Foundation was not good enough when compared to similar products elsewhere around. Should the teaching and learning be done altogether inside the computers (connected to internet)? Should multimedia school books with abundance of pictures, movie sequences, music, speeches and text plus supported by huge amount of interactivity be expected to do most of the pedagogy in the near future?
  19. The Knowledge Foundation and the project “A new generation of school books”. Background. The Knowledge Foundation was established in 1994. The starting financial base of The Foundation was 3,6 billions of Swedish crowns. In the first ten years, the foundation has invested almost five billion Swedish kronor in projects related to research, competence development in industry and ICT development in the schools. The Knowledge Foundation can be found at: http://www.kks.se/templates/StandardPage.aspx?id=84 ICT in education In order to promote growth in Sweden over the long term, the Knowledge Foundation supports development in Swedish schools. With investments at both the national and regional level, the Foundation wants to increase ICT use, develop the school’s different ways of working and stimulate children in their desire to learn. Around 1,2 billions of Swedish crowns was invested in projects related towards these goals. In 1996 the Knowledge Foundation commenced two programs for ICT in schools: 1. One program where schools in 55 local government communes have participated in 28 larger and 65 smaller projects with the aim of stimulating ICT development within schools. The projects have been carried out in co-operation with the local government communes, which have partly financed the projects. For example the answer on the question Where to teach?, was searched with the help of not so few of the 65 smaller projects. Many of them were distance learning projects equipped with modern lap tops. 2. The Knowledge Foundation has also provided assistance to approximately 94 teaching materials projects with the aim of offering ICT based teaching materials to schools. I did work with this second project during it’s whole length therefore I would like to give a first hand account of it. The other source of my information about the “A new generation of school textbooks” as the project was officially called is based at the evaluation report published 2002. “A new generation of school textbook” started 1996 with the budget of 120 millions SEK. The main goal of the project was to deliver to the Swedish schools on the verge to enter ICT age, multimedia school books with a new kind of pedagogy. (The secondary goal was to create the stable ground for a creation of future multimedia industry in Sweden.) The project time was outstretched throughout three years with six applications rounds. During these publishers and publishing houses, ICT companies, universities and colleges, film and theater groups, different add hoc groups consisting of writers, ICT people and pedagogue, non governmental organizations (Save the children, Red Cross …), vocational teaching organizations and schoolteachers were supposed to seek funding for their own pedagogical project. The first round of applications was dealt with during autumn 1996. Four more rounds of incoming application were subsequently organized with two rounds each year, one during springtime and the second in autumn. The Foundation received around 1000 applications which were evaluated by a small group of “experts”. 94 projects were chosen for funding. About 20 of these 94 were history projects. The last round of application never went on. The foundation made a judgment that there weren’t any new ideas for multimedia school books around. 1999 the Foundation expressed a wish to evaluate “A new generation of school books” project. The evaluation concentrate itself at the pedagogical and economical aspects of the projects and also how the Foundation should proceed in the light of what was done etc. Some of the conclusions of evaluation report: ICT in schools was at this time (around 1999-2000)believed to be necessary and important pedagogical tool to achieve a new way of learning as it was described in the Swedish Educational directives. Nevertheless there were only scattered amount of teachers who supported this vision. The ICT based pedagogy seldom made it into schools everyday pedagogy. The pedagogical interaction between traditional school text books and the new multimedia school books was at the start seldom debated later neglected. The Foundation lacked strategy for the schools choice decision between the traditional text books and the multimedia textbooks. The criteria for new multimedia school books and how they should be used in every day’s pedagogy was never discussed in an exhaustingly way. The marketing of the new multimedia schools books were neglected mostly because the production groups put most of the energy into productions. In too many cases the producing group didn’t have any knowledge about dissemination of the product into the schools. The market for the multimedia school books was worth of around 25 millions Swedish crowns a year. This market could not absorb additional 40 millions a year of new products. The publishing houses and other professional’s providers of educational material withdrew their support. The Knowledge Foundation stimulated and funded individual actors striving to produce products without engaging itself in long-term strategy of developing knowledge and competence about how these products could be used in the future. The quality of products funded by The Knowledge Foundation was not good enough when compared to similar products elsewhere around.
  20. During a lot of years of debates and discussions between Swedish pedagogues and people involved in educational matter we always dreamed about a possibility to change the pedagogical environment with the help of ICT. And some of us did not only debate, they also actively involved themselves to make these changes. At their schools within their day to day teaching or as participant of different networks or institutions trying to create friendlier atmosphere for ICT and also ind the ways to fund these changes. The basic three questions we tried to answer were: What to teach? How to teach? and Where to teach? - Many of us dreamt about breaking the old curriculum structure dividing student’s days into separate subject without very little connections between them. Support for cross-curriculum teaching and learning was our goal. - Of course this teaching and learning should be done altogether inside and/or with the help of computers connected to internet. Multimedia textbooks with abundance of pictures, movie sequences, music, speeches and text were expected to be doing the pedagogy in the near future. Altogether supported by a huge amount of interactivity! - Was it then necessary to teach and learn in schools? No! Internet connection should allow anyone to find his own learning environment; at home, at libraries, far away in isolated houses at the north of Sweden ……. My presentation will be about my work at the Knowledge and Competent Foundation where these goals were promoted with the help of projects “New generation of school textbooks” and “School development project”.
  21. In your posting about Virtual school did you demonstrate a hypersensitiveness one seldom sees. On the other hand it’s not the first time you translate postings as an attack against you and your deeds. Why it is so? Do you feel that you are always right and therefore fight vigorously to keep supposed attackers at bay? Contrary to your believe I really did have Virtual school in my thoughts when I wrote my posting. True the situating inside History department mirrored the situation inside Virtual school in the same way as the situation inside the whole Virtual school mirrored back into History department. 1. Generally speaking there were a lot of people inside Virtual school who from time to time was unhappy for not being paid for the work done by them. You were one of them during the early days of Virtual school, let say from Stockholm inauguration meeting and until Helsinki meeting. You discussed this fact with me quite often. You basically conditioned your contributions with payments. One such debate did you, I and Vesa Viherva have in Helsinki, You wanted to be paid, me and Vesa didn’t bother with receiving money. Our line of arguments was tax situation in the Scandinavia. Participations on conferences were an acceptable reward for us two. It was not for you. I do remember how hard it was at that time to obtain material from. On the other hand you became later more active taking adequate materials from your Spartacus site (Immigration project for example) and shared it with us. For this you should get BIG thanks. Also obtaining the new and interesting material with the help of “Ask the expert” was a big achievement for the CMS´s History Department. I already thank you for that at Education forum. 2. There were around 180 teachers inside various departments creating contents. There were huge amount of people without web site and doing very well as there must be people with web site doing not so well. What is wrong with this assumption? Jan Wickleus at Civics, Clara Brandao at Geography to name a few without web site … Something must be wrong from your point of view because you are attacking wildly when I mention this ……. Exactly for what should I apology? In my posting I was generally questioning this aspect which was in an automatic matter repeated and thereafter assumed as the solution for raising amount of contributions in the later days of History department. Personally I always felt that my own web site had the name “History department”. There did I create following things: - section “Articles on History teaching” where articles on ICT and education written by friends were published - section “Library of links” - section “Curricula” or “How the history is taught in other countries” and wrote one of the articles. - section “Notices in brief” and solely posted short notices there from 1999 and until 2004 - section “Picture Gallery” and contributed to it - wrote about Aviation history in Sweden for “Aviation project” - section and content about “Olympic Games” - section on “Multimedia” - section on “An outline of History of Different countries” Subsequently I also tried to secure at least some flow of contributions into the sections I initiated. At the “new” CMS History Department I initiated section “Historical places around us” and started to contribute to it. My next contribution to this section is dealing with Stockholm Olympic stadium. I did also worked with and translate a new article about “how history subject is taught in Czech republic” (yet unpublished). Of course this is of no value today, but anyway ….. With arrival of Richard into our group things started to develop faster and for the better. His arrival meant transfusion for us all, old members of History department. We got two huge projects started and soon published at the site. You John changed too and became more active than before. It was great to se ……. 3. Communities were neglected by very many departments which caused a deep sorrow inside management team I will guess. The management team was hoping that activities there would improve a statistic of activities done inside Virtual school thus giving us more funding. And you must agree that this was of a crucial importance! When reading yours “All members joined Communities section and posted messages.” I’m startled. How can you possibly know this? When I was checking with “Heads” of a few departments all of them told me that they were not doing very much inside. When visiting History community (What’s New?, Projects, Bulletin Board and General Issues sections) I can sum up this statistics: One member = 33 postings, one member = 5 posting, one member = 1posting, one member = 1 posting, one member = 2 posting, one member = 1 posting, When visiting our Debate forum at Community I can sum up this statistics: Topic starters: one member 4 topics, one member = 1 topic, one member = 3 topics, one member = 0 topics, one member = 0 topics, one member = 0 topics. Debate postings: one member = 1 posting, one member = 1posting, one member = 4 posting, one member = 18 posting, one member = 2 postings, one member = 3 postings, Yes, all members joined Communities section and posted messages before they left. But isn’t it a rather poor result for almost three years of activities. 4. Olympic Games project: Olympic Games articles were written by me, checked by Anders and rewritten by me. Anders wrote his own version after that. Olympic Games section contain a subsection “About Olympic Games”, a subsection ”Contributions” and also subsection “Suggestions on how to contribute” . Most of the published words were written and organised solely by me. I choose to publish Anders article about Modern Olympic Games instead of mine in the end. Anders also promised to write a contribution about Barcelona Olympic of 1936. Read your own words John from the meeting in Gothenburg: “John explained the importance of the Olympic Games project to the Virtual School. All members of the department agreed to produce content and teaching activities for the project. It was agreed that some of these teaching activities would be based on material on existing websites. John also took responsibility for trying to persuade other teachers to donate material. A thread has been created in the discussion forum for this purpose.” Anders was the only one who delivered what was promised. The Olympic Games project could be found at Old History department at: http://vs.eun.org/eun.org2/eun/en/Celebrat...lang=en&ov=3315 This whole activity was published as required in good time before Olympic Games in Athens and I must say I’m very proud that History department created such a large contribution to the “flagship” of Virtual school in 2004. I kept informing the members of the History department about the progress and final launch with posting at Education Forum. What you John were doing with Olympic Games project in autumn 2004 after Olympic Games in Athens ended is a mystery for me …… Why did you write about Baron Coubertin eight months after I wrote about him? His biography was already written and published ….. That you transferred (did you?) the whole Olympic project from old web site to the new one was a good deed though it was my task. I would have done it sooner or later like I transferred other material. At the end …….. please give attention to the following thoughts: During the sex years of your membership at History department you probably left behind 30 contributions? Or more? 50 maybe? I didn’t count them I’m just guessing ….. What would your guess be? During 14 months of its existens you wrote and posted 2 829 postings at Education Forum! What kind of Virtual school would we have created during these six years if you have been half ….. no, 10%! …… as active at History department as you are at Education Forum??!! The same of course apply to all of us, former Virtual school members giving our energy, time and intellectual capacity to Education Forum instead to History department during last 14 month. After all it was amount of contributions and activities which kept Virtual school alive. Like it or not Education Forum has been in the last 14 months a main grave digger of Virtual school, diverting effectively much of the contribution flow from a task we in the past promised to support and fight for.
  22. I published words about the closure of Virtual school at the place for internal matters of History department mostly for the reason that internal matters of History department should be dealt with there. In the thread “Virtual school to close” we both go back to grievances inside History department. Thus we mixed indiscriminately arguments concerning Virtual school with arguments concerning History department. That’s pity and also confusing. I will therefore answer your posting about History department at: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=132 Apology? Yes, if I make things wrong or dealt with facts incorrectly you will get it from me…….. But let me first give my view of things ………
  23. In December last year (2004!!) did I visit combine meeting of Virtual school and language departments in Salzburg, Austria. When Virtual school meeting ended I joined the meeting of the teachers from different language departments in order to get knowledge how they work compared with other departments. At coffee break I started to talk with Christian Olivier, head of French language department. I asked him about his member’s contributions and participations at his department between meetings. His answer was that people are complaining not being paid for the work they are asked to deliver. I answer to this that this was an agreement at the start of Virtual school ….. for the work done the remuneration will be invitation to conferences. He answer that even he would like to be paid for work done and if this question is nor solved he could not see how the flow of contribution could meet demand. History department started with three members around the year 1997/1998. Later two more members joined. One of these two complained excessively and almost from the start about not being paid but at the same time asked for contributions. She told us, the rest of the group, openly about her unwillingness to contribute if not paid. After about a year and half she was removed from History department by Swedish management team on bases of her “detrimental behaviour” (words used by John in a mail to me shortly after this incident). Between these two, in time vide apart, occasions there have been countless complains at the meetings of Swedish Virtual schools collaborators about not being paid for work they were asked for to do. And also told and untold consequence of “not being paid” which was “not being keen on contributing”. Red herring? I wonder how you can be so condemning of this line of argument on the bases of two meetings with Virtual school?
  24. I red a few times Juan Carlos last contribution on the thread: What would you like to be able to do in future with ICT to improve the quality of teaching/learning, that is currently impossible/difficult to achieve?, which contain his thoughts about the importance of interactivity, flexibility, use of “primary sources”, collaborative work …… I must admit that I’m impressed. He put together in a coherent way many thoughts I did thought during a longer time. I think that he pointed at the factors which should be on our mind when we produce E-HELP …….. We all have been asked for our views and expectations about ICT. Despite the fact that I do not look at ICT in pedagogy in unproblematic way I support Juan Carlos suggestions whole heartedly.
  25. The idea of Virtual school was to fill its educational space with people willing to produce educational material and be part of educational debates. I personally always thought that the members of Virtual school should work inside it in the same way as journalists writing articles for their newspapers work. This seldom happened. This goal (producing written material) was also promoted by the Swedish authorities financing the Virtual school at the start. Yes, Virtual school did have later a lot of members with their own web pages but as far as I remember many of these members kept on to develop their ownership and at the same time often decline when asked, to share at least a part of their content with Virtual school, with the apology that they were not been paid to do so. Also participation at the debate forums created by Virtual school was rejected with the same apology ….. “not being paid for” …….. ! Furthermore the Communities (working places created by Virtual school) were neglected too. For what reasons do you think? Until this day I cannot understand why the people with own web pages (which many of you argue was essential things in order to make Virtual school working) did contributed basically as little (or as much) and as unwillingly (or as willingly) as the teachers which didn’t have web pages. And it was only amount of contributions (not ownership of one owns web page …….), that made Virtual school and which also in the end ended its activities!
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