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John Simkin

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I would like to create a section where a group of volunteers will be willing to answer teacher questions on using ICT in the classroom. Could volunteers willing to provide this service post a brief biography on their experience and area of expertise.

I first became involved with computers in the classroom when as a member of the Tressell Teacher Cooperative I helped design several 32/64k history programs. Later I did the same thing for Spartacus Educational. I have used the computer in the history classroom since the early 1980s. Since then I have provided INSET on how to use the computer in history teaching. In 1997 I taught myself how to produce an educational website. The following year I began to use the internet in my teaching. I have also provided INSET on this subject. Last year I was employed by Becta to provide advice on using ICT in the history classroom.

As you can see, my main experience is with history. However, I am willing to have a go at answering questions about other areas of the curriculum.

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With the new academic year in September, I will have been teaching history in a laptop classroom for five years. I suppose I might be well qualified to answer any questions about issues relating to that. Currently, I am particularly interested in how forums and digital video might be used by students (and teachers) in their learning.

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I have been involved in various international educational projects over the last 5 years. In these projects ICT has always played a very important part. Some of the projects were focussed on history but other subjects were also involved. Any questions regarding international co-operation between schools with the use of ICT I am more then willing to answer to the best of my abillity.

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I began my career as a teacher of German and French in secondary education in the 1960s, moving into higher education in 1971. I have been involved in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) since 1976. In 1982 I wrote one of the first introductory books on computers in language learning and teaching, which was followed by numerous other printed and software publications right up to the present day. My work in CALL was recognised in 1989 by the Academic Board of Ealing College of Higher Education (later to become part of Thames Valley University) when I was conferred with the title of Professor of CALL – the first chair in this subject area in the UK. I retired from full-time university teaching in 1993 but I continue to work as a free-lance consultant. I was the Founder President of EUROCALL, holding the post from 1993 to 2000. I am a partner in Camsoft, a CALL software development and consultancy business, which was founded in 1982. I have lectured and run ICT training courses for language teachers in 22 different countries and I sit on a number of national and international advisory boards and committees. I have been actively involved in WorldCALL since 1998 and I currently head a working party that is in the process of setting up WorldCALL as an official organisation that aims to assist countries that are currently underserved in the area of ICT and the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages. I am fluent in German, I speak tolerable French, and I can survive in Italian, Russian and Hungarian: http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/cvgd.htm

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I have experience of using and creating web pages to aid student learning in History, Sociology and ICT and am happy to help where I can

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I teach French, German and pupils with special educational needs at Harton School in South Shields, where I have taught since 1971. I first became interested in the integration of ICT into classroom practice back in 1983, when I purchased my own BBC micro and attended several courses in the computer language BASIC. Throughout the eighties I focused on the application of computers to the teaching and learning of French and German in the secondary school where I taught, using an authoring program to develop a series of lessons to help pupils revise for the South Tyneside Graded Objectives in Modern Languages tests. In the early nineties I was seconded to a national project trialling the use of ICT to support the teaching of MFL to all learners at Key Stage 4. During this secondment my general interest in computer assisted language learning shifted to a more specialised focus on the use of word processing and online communication programs with pupils with special educational needs. I used an Acorn Archimedes computer to access Europe’s national videotex systems, particularly Germany’s Bildschirmtext, which I searched at high speed - international telephone rates were then very expensive - to locate authentic materials to support my SEN learners of German. I qualified in SEN in the mid-1990s and moved from the MFL to the SEN department. I still teach German, however, having helped a Year 7 bilingual girl achieve a GCSE grade A in the language in summer 2003 after giving her a grounding in German phonics to improve her spelling skills. I have run MFL, SEN and ICT workshops, presented papers on using ICT with MFL learners with SEN at conferences in the UK, Hungary, Canada and Japan, contributed a chapter to a book about ICT usage in MFL and written several articles published in MFL and SEN periodicals. My website at http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com, hosted by my brother, a Minneapolis-based medical informatics consultant, is dedicated to the teaching of school subjects, particularly MFL, to those with SEN, with ICT assistance. I maintain an online bibliography of modern foreign languages and special educational needs currently containing over 1100 references. There are similar bibliographies, portals and resources for SEN, Basic Skills, Memory Skills and Thinking Skills in other National Curriculum core and foundation subjects.

Teachers and researchers seeking help and advice about teaching school subjects to pupils with SEN often contact me for online mentoring and I am usually able to assist because I enjoy conducting web searches to solve educational problems. I have submitted many answers to questions posted on BECTa’s Inclusion website at http://inclusion.ngfl.gov.uk/. I provide the same service on the many online discussion groups to which I subscribe.

David Wilson

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/

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I teach English as a Foreign Language at a university in Sweden. I've been working with distance education since 1981 and with computer-assisted courses since … well … at least 1990.

The teams I work with use a variety of different techniques and techologies, including the web, video conferencing, language practice programmes, virtual learning environments. We've been working with an international team of internet tutors since 1996, and have had thousands of students on our ICT-based courses.

I've been concentrating on holistic approaches to ICT-based courses, developing a course-design tool which I call 'The Cone of Input' to try to understand and integrate the various forms of interaction available, from face-to-face contact, through technologies such as video conferencing, right down to the paper we're all still using.

If anyone has any specific questions, I'll be happy to give them my best shot!

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I am a KS3 ICT co-ordinator. My main interests are:

* Cyberpsychology - the way pupils behave in virtual environments

* Keeping ICT interesting despite the government's best efforts to kill imagination in mid-flight.

* Using the internet to showcase children's work and interests and to communicate nationally and internationally.

* Linux

* Open Source software

I run websites for Socialist Party Teachers, West Sussex NUT and various others.

(I don't get out much!)

Derek McMillan

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Yes, I would be interested in helping colleagues further their use of IT. In recent years I have developed much of the topical sections that allowed Bized to become a well-used site and then moved onto the development the first web-based learning system for business education. I also build the majority of the EU Virtual School Economics and Business Section.

John Birchall

www.johnbirchall-economist.net

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I've been using technology and music since the 1980s, in the days of the Atari ST. Since then I've been teaching using interactive whiteboards, video conferencing, digital video (which I'm heavily into at the moment), sequencers, scorewriters, multi track recorders, digital audio editing etc. I was a national on line mentor for the NOF programme which I don't often admit to, but there we go.

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Guest Andrew Moore

I'm a relative latecomer - after a mere twelve years of computer use, and five years of publishing on the Web.

I'm pretty sound in the use of HTML (I code by hand in a text editor), but for most techie stuff I rely on the real experts who surround me.

I probably know more than anyone really wants to about some national initiatives and the ways they are funded in England - such as the Standards Fund (Grant 31) and the building of the National Schools Network from regional grids.

I'm a strong supporter of open source and open standards - and, indeed, of open learning resources. I do get out quite a lot (as I need to run, play football and drink), but compensate with some late nights at the keyboard.

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Working with computers since 1988 I'm interested in the technical side (hardware and applications, mainly MS but also Linux) as well as the use if ICT in the classroom. Together with the "Open Universiteit Nederland" and webdesigners of E-Linq I've created projects for using ICT in the classroom.

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I teach History, ICT and E Learning (as a discreet subject). My main areas of interest is the effective use of ICT in cross curricular contexts. I have provided Inset on using a range of ICT applications in cross curricular contexts and have provided subject specific training at the SHP conference for the last 2 years and for the Historical Association on a number of occasions.

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My name is Alf Wilkinson, and I have been teaching history for more than 30 years. I first began using computers in the 1980s, when you needed a tape recorder to store your data, and everything was very slow! I took a Masters Degree in 1984-85, and one of the options was ‘Computers in Education’, and this gave me a chance to explore what computers can do in history teaching and learning. I now work for the Historical Association as their Professional Development manager.

In my opinion there are two main reasons for using computers in history – either to do something you could not otherwise do; or to do something you can already do, but do it better. To borrow a simple example from science – it is very difficult to create a nuclear reaction in a school laboratory, but it is very easy to simulate one on a computer screen! Similarly, it is difficult to run the Battle of the Somme in the classroom, or on the school field, yet it is relatively easy to create a computer program that allows you to re-run the battle, and change events to see if you could do any better. In fact it was these early simulations, published by Tressel in England, that really got me into using computers. Since then I have become fascinated by the way computers can aid teaching and learning. But we must remember that they are only a tool, to be used as appropriate, like a TV, video, textbook or teacher talk. They will never replace the teacher!

For examples of how I think ICT can be effectively used in history teaching and learning see my website: www.burntcakes.com

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I am an ICT co-ordinator and Head of Department in a comprehensive school. For the majority of my career I have taught Chemistry. I endeavour to find ways in which ICT can be used to promote learning in Science.

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