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Andy Walker

Forum Usage Stats

Recommended Posts

Below are copied the latest statistics on how busy various sections of the forum have been recently. The numbers represent visits rather than posts.

It is very clear from these figures that we need to think of ways to enliven many sections of the forum if we are to develop as a forum for teachers. There may well also be strong arguments for rationalising the structure we have at present.

Members who have ideas on how this might be achieved are invited to post them here.

JFK Assassination Debate  63190

JFK Online Seminars  10174

Biographical Details  3183

Forum Information, Development and Communication  2396

Political Debates  2395

E-HELP Members  1727

Debates in Education  1161

Forum Birthday Party  1118

E-HELP Associates  1039

Political Conspiracies  1030

ICT  1014

Modern Languages  744

History:Resources  715

Non-Academic Discussions  688

Vietnam War  608

E-Learning  482

English:Curriculum Issues  433

History Debates  349

Media:Curriculum Issues  346

Social Sciences: Changes in Society  339

English:Resources  319

Cold War  289

ICT:Help  283

History  263

JFK Books  262

ICT:Curriculum Issues  253

English  250

Special Educational Needs  183

Music:Resources  164

Media Studies  154

MFL:Curriculum Issues  153

Second World War  147

History:Curriculum Issues  146

Life and Death of JFK  142

Nazi Germany  137

Website Management  135

History Student Questions: Ask an Expert  128

Black History  126

Art:Help  124

Science  118

First World War  117

EFL  116

Government Initiatives  106

Svensktalande  104

Maths:Curriculum Issues  98

Social Sciences:Resources  96

Black History  92

PE:Curriculum Issues  88

Spanish Civil War  84

History Department  83

History of Russia  76

ICT:Resources  73

Schools History Project  73

American West  69

Cross Curricular Teaching Resources  69

History of Medicine  67

Media:Resources  67

Geography:Curriculum Issues  64

Cross Curricular Cooperation  59

Design and Technology  59

Nederlands  59

History:Help  58

Science:Curriculum Issues  56

Economics and Business Studies  50

Holocaust  46

Science:Resources  42

Politics: Resources  42

Nordic History  42

MFL:Resources  42

Economics: Curriculum Issues  39

English:Help  38

Physical Education  35

2nd World War Debates and Questions  30

Environmental Issues  30

Music:Curriculum Issues  27

Resources  26

Science:Help  23

History of India  21

Spring Europe  19

Government and Politics  18

Student Teacher Support  18

Deutsch  16

Information  15

Social Sciences:Curriculum Issues  11

Pastoral Care  6

Welcome to Cooperative Learning  6

ICT: Ask an Expert  6

Philosophy of History  5

Cross Curricular Cooperation  4

Geography:Resources  3

PE:Resources  2

Economics: Resources  2

Geography  1

Art:Resources  1

Social Sciences  1

Politics: Curriculum Issues  1

Resources  1

History  0

  Total 99409

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These figures reveal the problem.

Top 20 posters

John Simkin (2,345)

Andy Walker (759)

Wim Dankbaar (690) JFK

Graham Davies (544) ML and Education

Tim Carroll (497) JFK and History

Shanet Clark (409) JFK and History

James Richards (363) JFK

William Plumlee (298) JFK

Jack White (287) JFK

Derek McMillan (287) ICT, Politics and Education

David Richardson (274) ICT, ML and Education

Marco Koene (260) ICT

Ron Ecker (256) JFK

Richard Jones-Nerzic (240) History and Education

Larry Hancock (232) JFK

Larry Peters (220) JFK

Tim Gratz (208) JFK

Jean Walker (205) Education

Dalibor Svoboda (179) History

Nancy Eldreth (161) JFK

Andy and myself post in most sections. However, most other members concentrate on one or two sections. Except for the JFK section, most other sections do not have a body of regular posters. You need around five or six per group for it to really take off.

I have tried to get the JFK people to become involved in the history and politics sections. So far this has had only moderate success.

I have also mass-mailed members about threads that I think have overall appeal (books, film, education, etc.). This has obtained short-term success but it has failed to persuade members to be regular posters in that area.

I have tried to bring members together with the online party. I will do another of these mass mailings later today.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those in this list who have worked so hard to make the forum a success. We have a long way to go but we have had a promising first year.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those in this list who have worked so  hard to make the forum a success. We have a long way to go but we have had a promising first year.

I second this!

My aim in the New Year will be to enliven the curriculum areas. This I think is the greatest challenge but could bring the most rewards. Many organisations with significantly greater resources than us have tried to create fora for teachers across the curriculum areas and failed - the GTC, and the Technology Colleges Trust are two very noted examples who have failed to grab the interest of teachers.

I would also like the acknowledge the extraordinary number of hours John puts into trying to make this forum work. We have had some success this year - JFK thrives, E-Help is taking off and their have been some very interesting debates involving a wide variety of posters. All of this is down to John's phenomenal work rate and persistence.

I will be looking in the New Year for volunteers within subject areas who would be willing to a) lead a discussion related to their curriculum area and b ) upload and share some resources online with colleagues.

I will mass mail people after christmas and hopefully I will be deluged with volunteers.

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Latest activity on the forum listed below

Topic Views (8 February 2005 to 10 May 2005)

JFK Assassination Debate 103183

Political Conspiracies 11154

E-HELP Seminars 7752

Watergate 3517

Biographical Details 3351

History Debates 2451

E-HELP Associates 2096

Political Debates 2047

E-HELP 1639

Debates in Education 1384

E-HELP Members 1086

JFK Online Seminars 1049

E-Learning 886

History:Resources 769

Non-Academic Discussions 761

Government Initiatives 721

Special Educational Needs 583

JFK Books 578

Debates 521

Black History 455

Dance and Drama 443

Svensktalande 425

Forum Information, Development and Communication 419

Media:Curriculum Issues 406

EFL 404

Design Technology:Resources 375

ATW Departments 367

English:Curriculum Issues 357

PE:Resources 346

Science 333

English 330

Ceská a Slovenská cást fóra. 319

History of Russia 312

Social Sciences: Changes in Society 308

Nederlands 288

ICT 287

Resources 276

Music:Curriculum Issues 258

ICT:Help 220

2nd World War Debates and Questions 214

Experiences of International Schools 213

Environmental Issues 210

Pastoral Care 204

Curriculum Issues 186

Economics: Curriculum Issues 178

Art:Curriculum Issues 148

Modern Languages 146

History of India 142

Information 139

History:Curriculum Issues 137

History:Help 126

History 121

Holocaust 114

MFL:Curriculum Issues 113

English:Help 107

Life and Death of JFK 100

MFL:Resources 99

ICT:Resources 95

Economics and Business Studies 87

Philosophy of History 84

Government and Politics 82

Politics: Resources 81

Social Sciences:Resources 72

English:Resources 62

Administration Issues 62

Watergate 55

Social Sciences:Curriculum Issues 44

ICT 39

Music:Help 33

Politics: Curriculum Issues 15

Sección en español 11

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Do you see any trends in the new set of figures?

John got angry with me when I mentioned that it seemed to me that the forum was coming to be dominated by JFK and conspiracy theory messages, so I hesitate to mention it again. There have been times in the past couple of months when almost all the active topics have been related to some sort of conspiracy... I can understand that this is absorbingly interesting to a restricted sort of audience, but its purely educational application must be seen as somewhat limited.

The effect of this is a bit off-putting. There are other forums which are not so dominated by a single topic, and perhaps many potential contributors prefer to spend their time there. I understand that there wouldn't be an Education Forum without John's efforts, that the JFK thing is one of his enthusiasms, and that he has every right to indulge this on his forum, but it would seem to me that there must be a downside if people check in to the forum for the first time and see 23 threads relating to various arcane aspects of the JFK conspiracy, 12 relating to a variety of other conspiracies, and 4 of a more generally "educational" nature. First impressions are important, and a new visitor could be forgiven for thinking they'd strayed into the website of a conspiracy theorists' convention...

I also understand that you and John have no control over who chooses to contribute to the forum. If everyone who writes wants to write about JFK, then those will be the active threads. I know John works very hard to try to persuade people of contribute across the board, and he had some success with the Holocaust denial debate, the Vietnam debate, and various Christian things, but the balance is still off to one side, isn't it?

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Do you see any trends in the new set of figures?

John got angry with me when I mentioned that it seemed to me that the forum was coming to be dominated by JFK and conspiracy theory messages, so I hesitate to mention it again. There have been times in the past couple of months when almost all the active topics have been related to some sort of conspiracy... I can understand that this is absorbingly interesting to a restricted sort of audience, but its purely educational application must be seen as somewhat limited.

The effect of this is a bit off-putting. There are other forums which are not so dominated by a single topic, and perhaps many potential contributors prefer to spend their time there. I understand that there wouldn't be an Education Forum without John's efforts, that the JFK thing is one of his enthusiasms, and that he has every right to indulge this on his forum, but it would seem to me that there must be a downside if people check in to the forum for the first time and see 23 threads relating to various arcane aspects of the JFK conspiracy, 12 relating to a variety of other conspiracies, and 4 of a more generally "educational" nature. First impressions are important, and a new visitor could be forgiven for thinking they'd strayed into the website of a conspiracy theorists' convention...

I also understand that you and John have no control over who chooses to contribute to the forum. If everyone who writes wants to write about JFK, then those will be the active threads. I know John works very hard to try to persuade people of contribute across the board, and he had some success with the Holocaust denial debate, the Vietnam debate, and various Christian things, but the balance is still off to one side, isn't it?

Forums do develop with people's enthusiasms.

Arguably this forum has far too broader aims to achieve the sort of success we would all like to see in all of its component parts.

However, what has been achieved is the coming together of a very interesting and diverse set of posters - this I think is very much worth keeping hold of. I am therefore against any radical restructuring at this stage. The quality of discussion here is also far superior to that of the "bear pits" of the TES forum and others. This too is something we should carefully nurture.

It is very difficult to get teachers to contribute regularly and sadly even harder to get many of them to share resources and ideas :( This does not mean however that we should give up!

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I think the amount of page impressions for the E-HELP seminars is very encouraging. So also is the section on Watergate that was only established a week ago.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=217

The idea is to create teaching resources and forum debates on Watergate. I suggest we do something similar on European History. First we need to come up with a topic that creates passion in its contributors. It would also help if it is linked to the history of other big internet users such as America, Canada and Australia. One possibility is something controversial on the Second World War. Maybe an examination of the concept of a “war crime”.

Any other ideas?

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As part of the E-HELP project I have started an international discussion on war crimes in the 20th Century.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3813

Hopefully, people from a wide range of different countries will join in this debate. To start the ball rolling I have posted an article that appeared in today’s Guardian. Richard Drayton is senior lecturer in history at Cambridge University.

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John and Andy;

I want to thank the members,

(I became a SUPER MEMBER today for my 1000th post).

More importantly; nearly one hundred people have read my recent Social Sciences post on Dr. Raymond Dart, and twenty have read it in just the past day.

This is firm evidence that the JFK assassination/government oversight group and the academic international group are coming together and forming a community.

When I joined last year the academic posts were often unread, but the dynamic of the group synthesis has changed, and grown, thanks to both the academics and the JFK people ...

Thank you all very much.....

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I think it was inevitable that the JFK section would grow. It is a rather good one.

I have sought to encourage NUT members to take an interest in the forum, for example by putting links on the West Sussex Teachers Association website http://wsta.org.uk and the http://socialistteachers.org.uk website.

It might be a good idea to encourage members of other teachers' organisations as well (well except PAT obviously :unsure:

I think the "view new posts" could possibly group postings on the same subject if people are being put off by the number of JFK posts. This would make it easier to see new postings in an area which interests new visitors.

OTOH that might be one of those things which seem easy to ask but are actually quite difficult in practice.

Edited by Derek McMillan

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I think the "view new posts" could possibly group postings on the same subject if people are being put off by the number of JFK posts. This would make it easier to see new postings in an area which interests new visitors. 

OTOH that might be one of those things which seem easy to ask but are actually quite difficult in practice.

I think members of the JFK forum would not feel the least bit slighted if our stuff was shunted off the front page. I suspect most of us go directly to the JFK page anyway.

Re: Passionate History Topic: I don't know if this has come up on the History Forum yet, but the recent controversy sparked by President Bush's remarks about Yalta has led some commentators to ask whether Yalta was a sellout to Stalin. Would that topic get the juices flowing?

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Derek writes:

I think the "view new posts" could possibly group postings on the same subject if people are being put off by the number of JFK posts. This would make it easier to see new postings in an area which interests new visitors.

The JFK section has turned into a "site within a site". While I can appreciate the interest that this topic has generated, it may also lead some visitors to perceive the Education Forum as being irrelevant to their subject area. I would like to see more postings on e-learning pedagogy, for example. The DfES in the UK is pouring vast amounts of money into e-learning (which, incidentally, is defined by the DfES as "using ICT" and does not necessarily imply distance learning), and I therefore believe that one of our major concerns should be how e-learning can really contribute to improved learning and teaching across the curriculum.

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Derek writes:
I think the "view new posts" could possibly group postings on the same subject if people are being put off by the number of JFK posts. This would make it easier to see new postings in an area which interests new visitors.

The JFK section has turned into a "site within a site". While I can appreciate the interest that this topic has generated, it may also lead some visitors to perceive the Education Forum as being irrelevant to their subject area. I would like to see more postings on e-learning pedagogy, for example. The DfES in the UK is pouring vast amounts of money into e-learning (which, incidentally, is defined by the DfES as "using ICT" and does not necessarily imply distance learning), and I therefore believe that one of our major concerns should be how e-learning can really contribute to improved learning and teaching across the curriculum.

I find it positively amazing to see that the JFK debate can attract so many people and have so many postings. I have never had enough time to read more than a few of them, nor do I feel particularly involved in the debate, but the fact that so many people are interested in the topic could represent a history case study itself.

While I agree that new visitors may find this a little strange, it is also an indicator of what (many) members' interests seem to be at present.

I also agree with Graham that there should be more postings in other subject areas as well.

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I think it was inevitable that the JFK section would grow. It is a rather good one.

I think the "view new posts" could possibly group postings on the same subject if people are being put off by the number of JFK posts. This would make it easier to see new postings in an area which interests new visitors. 

Agreed, the JFK debate was an ineviatable 'big' area on this forum. If someone isn't interested they can of course use their user settings to block even seeing the contentes of that sub forum, or the posts of any particular poster they don't wish to read. Assuming that Andy and John have got the most recent version of the sotfware, all of that is entirely feasible. Simple enough for an individual user to block another user, group, forum, sub forum or thread from appearing on his / her updates list.

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Re: Passionate History Topic: I don't know if this has come up on the History Forum yet, but the recent controversy sparked by President Bush's remarks about Yalta has led some commentators to ask whether Yalta was a sellout to Stalin. Would that topic get the juices flowing?

I would very much like to have a dynamic section on the Cold War. We in fact a large number of members from both sides of the Iron Curtain who could contribute a great deal to debates on this topic (in fact far more than the number of JFK posters). These people also hold very different views on the subject ranging from extreme right-wing Cold War warriors to left-wing libertarians. We even have a few people willing to defend the communist governments of Eastern Europe.

Like Graham I would also like to see a lot more postings about e-learning. The E-HELP seminars on ICT and history have been fairly successful. I am very keen to do something similar for the rest of the curriculum. Maybe on topics that are not subject specific. Anyone willing to volunteer to start threads/seminars on e-learning?

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