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Mike Tribe

Swamped by JFK!

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I just checked the new posts for today. 14 out of 17 posts were JFK related... I accept that this is a legitimate interest for many members, but this is supposed to be an education forum, and it's beginning to get a bit swamped...

Is there a technical block I can install to skip the JFK debate posts? I'm really not interested! I tried adding all the JFK enthusiasts to my ignore list, but it didn't seem to make any difference....

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Mike writes:

I just checked the new posts for today. 14 out of 17 posts were JFK related... I accept that this is a legitimate interest for many members, but this is supposed to be an education forum, and it's beginning to get a bit swamped...

It's a fascinating debate for some, I guess, but not for me. I recall that the Mike's point has been raised before in another section of this Forum. Newcomers may find this domination of the Forum by one issue offputting. So, just to help redress the balance, I'm about to post something new in the MFL section.

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It's a fascinating debate for some, I guess, but not for me.

For me neither :o

However the forum is set up on entirely democratic lines. Members who want to talk about something else are at liberty to do so by starting their own threads. In such a context it is perhaps churlish for anyone to complain about "too many posts" in an area that doesn't interest them.

I for one would very much like to see the Curriculum Areas become more vibrant exchanges of ideas and debate. This will only happen however when members become more inclined to post.

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What follows is an attempt to quote Bill Hicks

"Bill why do you keep going on about the Kennedy assassination. After all it was a long time ago."

"Well OK but I take it you guys can stop going on about Jesus...if we are talking about shelf-life here..."

"Jesus dies for your sins Bill..."

"It doesn't matter it was a long time ago."

"Why worry about Kennedy. It was only a coup d'etat.....

go back to sleep America.

Your government is in control.

Go back to sleep America.

You are free to think what we tell you."

This also suggests why the Christian right forced Bill off TV in America. (his shows are available on video however)

Edited by Derek McMillan

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But I'm not saying either that the JFK assassination is essentially unimportant or uninteresting, just that for 80% of the posts on an Educational Forum to be devoted to it is just a tad excessive...

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But I'm not saying either that the JFK assassination is essentially unimportant or uninteresting, just that for 80% of the posts on an Educational Forum to be devoted to it is just a tad excessive...

There are occassions when I log on and I see a long list of posts of limited interest to me. What I do in these circumstances is click on "Mark all posts as read" and revisit later to see if there is anything posted more to my tastes.

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"Why worry about Kennedy. It was only a coup d'etat..... go back to sleep America. Your government is in control. Go back to sleep America. You are free to think what we tell you." (Bill Hicks)

Great quote Derek. Apparently around 80% of people do not believe that JFK was killed by a lone gunman. However, they fail to see the political implications of this position. If there was a conspiracy to kill JFK it was covered up by the CIA, FBI and the US government. They did this because they wanted to hide the fact that in 1963 the US experienced a coup d'etat. Everybody living in a democracy should be enraged by this event. In fact, if a small group can do this, you are not living in a democracy.

I just checked the new posts for today. 14 out of 17 posts were JFK related... I accept that this is a legitimate interest for many members, but this is supposed to be an education forum, and it's beginning to get a bit swamped. (Mike Tribe)

I can assure you that the debate about the life and death of JFK is educational. Some of the posters are not classroom teachers but they are involved in the world of education. Many of them are academics. Several of them are writers who have had several books published about this era of history. This forum is indeed about education and the people who post on the JFK forum are attempting to improve people’s understanding of the world they are living in.

Is there a technical block I can install to skip the JFK debate posts? I'm really not interested! I tried adding all the JFK enthusiasts to my ignore list, but it didn't seem to make any difference. (Mike Tribe)

There are no posts that I want to ignore. I find interesting comments in all sections of the forum. That is why I access the postings via the “active topics” section. However, if you do want to avoid the fact that people have posted in the JFK area, the only real solution is to go only too those sections that interest you.

However the forum is set up on entirely democratic lines. Members who want to talk about something else are at liberty to do so by starting their own threads. In such a context it is perhaps churlish for anyone to complain about "too many posts" in an area that doesn't interest them. I for one would very much like to see the Curriculum Areas become more vibrant exchanges of ideas and debate. This will only happen however when members become more inclined to post. (Andy Walker)

This is a very important point. It is worth considering why the JFK section is so popular. By doing this we can see how we can make other sections of the forum successful. When I started the JFK section in March, 2004, I was the only member who was interested in the subject. What I did was to give a link from my website on the JFK assassination to the forum. Within a few days we had five or six new members who were interested enough in the subject to start threads and to reply to other people’s postings on the subject. Once that happens, that section of the forum takes off. People know that if they make postings, others will read the comments and reply. This makes the time and effort needed to post worthwhile.

All the active sections of the forum have around five or six members with a desire to exchange information. Once you have that others will join and take part in the debate. So far, only a few sections have achieved this take off point: Debates in Education, E-Learning, ICT, History and Politics. In each of these sections you have at least five people willing to start threads and reply to postings of others. Despite the hard work of certain members, other sections have not yet taken off. Nor will they unless you have your five or so regular posters.

A good example of how this can change is by looking at the Sociology section. Despite the efforts of Andy Walker other sociology teachers appeared to be uninterested in debating these issues. A couple of weeks ago I started a new strand in the Sociology section called Changes in Society. I made a few postings and contacted a few members (non-sociology teachers) who I thought might be interested in discussing these issues. It was not long before we had a core of people willing to post in this area. Now we have that I am sure the Sociology section will become more and more active.

The same could happen to other curriculum areas of the forum. However, to be successful you need to create a core of people willing to start threads and reply to postings. Try it, it works.

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Regarding John's message, I have made several postings in the Modern Languages section, mostly with zero responses. I think the problem with the Education Forum is that is does not have an even spread of participants across the different subject areas, and it may fail to attract more people to the underrepresented subject areas if one topic from one subject area appears to be dominating the Forum. It's not that teachers in my subject area are inactive. I belong to another forum, the Linguanet Forum, which is aimed at language teachers, and it's a hive of activity most of the year round.

A hot topic at the moment is the European Day of Languages, 26 September 2004. I have just posted a relevant message in the Modern Languages section. Replies welcomed!

Maybe Modern Languages as a subject area is due to die out - especially now that the government has deemed it unnecessary to teach Modern Languages to children in England beyond the age of 14.

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