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David Ardley

Is this forum still running?

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Hi Andy. Is this forum still alive :blink: . I see that John posted in April but there have been no threads since then. Can we help generate interest in some way? Hope all is well for now. David (Ardley - ex IST Toulouse) :)

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A lot of the subject sections in the Education Forum appear to be pretty dead. I have tried to liven up the Modern Foreign Languages section from time to time, but I don't appear to be having much luck. It seems that the only really active sections are History and Politics - including, of course, the endless JFK debate. My heart sinks whenever I click on Today's Active Topics and find a screen full of JFK and little else - I wonder if this puts people off who have no interest in JFK.

I belong to several other subject-specific forums that are much more active. Is it just a case that teachers are more comfortable talking to colleagues who teach the same subject? Maybe I'm different, as I like to see what other subject specialists are talking about and stick in my oar from time to time. I find a lot in common with my colleagues in English and I take an interest in Art & Design as I have a daughter who owns a graphic design business.

I have noticed from monitoring the hit counters at two websites for Modern Foreign Languages which I maintain that language teachers are more likely to be referred to my sites by language-related sites such as CILT (the National Centre for Languages) or the BBC Languages website rather than general educational sites such as BECTA or the National Grid for Learning (NGfL). Actually, I haven't seen a referral from BECTA or the NGfL for months. ByTeachers seems to be a good general source of referrals, however.

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Hi David

Yes all sections of the Education Forum are still open (if not in some cases very active).

What needs to happen is for 2 or three teachers in each curriculum area to really make an effort to get some threads going and some resource sharing going. So far this has only really happened in history and politics.

I have just recruited a trainee technology teacher to the forum and I know Andy Davies would have a lot to offer...... why don't you start a few threads and I'll mail them to these guys to try and get something started.

Hope all is well with you

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Hi Andy and Graham!

Just shows you - I though Andy Davies was still in charge of this area but good to hear from you Andy (t'other one!)

I have posted some posts to invite anger, er, I mean to provoke thought and hopefully response. Whilst at IST we had quite an active Design Technology forum second only to Jonseys History one (will anyone ever beat the guy at forum supremacy?!). Lets see how we do. I am involved in many forums for Design (and technology) and they are normally pretty active.

As Graham says I too enjoy the inter-subject banter and discussion. On the IB forums this is quite good but in a general 'D&T' sense there is not much about. Lets see how we can improve things.

All the best for now.

David

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I am involved in many forums for Design (and technology) and they are normally pretty active.

As Graham says I too enjoy the inter-subject banter and discussion. On the IB forums this is quite good but in a general 'D&T' sense there is not much about. Lets see how we can improve things.

All the best for now.

David

Perhaps you could invite some of the colleagues you know from other forums to contribute here?

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Perhaps you could invite some of the colleagues you know from other forums to contribute here?

Here here!

In my school D&T people are always using and going on about ICT and its uses... I'll try to bring the forums to their attention... No promises!

And may I say how fascinated I was with CAD/CAM when I worked for an F3/WSPC motorsport team in the early 1990s. I doubt, looking at motorsport in the UK, that we've lost the edge, yet...

E

ps I was only a buyer!

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A lot of the subject sections in the Education Forum appear to be pretty dead. I have tried to liven up the Modern Foreign Languages section from time to time, but I don't appear to be having much luck. It seems that the only really active sections are History and Politics - including, of course, the endless JFK debate. My heart sinks whenever I click on Today's Active Topics and find a screen full of JFK and little else - I wonder if this puts people off who have no interest in JFK.

This issue is raised every couple of months. People post some sensible solutions but rarely are they carried out.

Several sections of this Forum are doing extremely well. You can tell this by looking at the page views and the number of replies these threads achieve.

The reason for this is that these sections have a group of very active members. These people want to read what other members of the group post. They often disagree with each other and this often causes heated debate.

As I have said several times before, the postings on the Forum reflect people's interests. It is clearly true that the JFK section is very active. It has an international reputation for the quality of its postings. We have broken several important stories. As a result, it is visited by journalists and historians. This is reflected in the high number of page views that these threads obtain. However, if you look at this section, a lot of these threads are not about the JFK assassination. In fact a high percentage are about US Foreign Policy, the Cold War and the covert activities of the CIA. Some of these postings are about recently released CIA and FBI documents.

Some good heated discussion takes place in the various history sections on the Forum. I would especially recommend the section on History Books where historians discuss their work with their readers.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=204

The section started for Andy Walker’s sociology class has also been a great success. I have found the political and religious debates taking place between people with different views very stimulating.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=86

My biggest disappointment has been the lack of response to the succession of threads I have started in the Education Issues section.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=154

It would seem that teachers are not very interested in discussing educational issues. That is very sad, but I can’t do anything about it. We just have to accept that people feel more strongly about politics and history than they do about education.

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Guest Stephen Turner

I can echo John's views, you get out of this Forum what you put in. I decided to start a series of threads on the 1888 Whitechapel murders (Jack the ripper) As It reflects my own interest's in abnormal psychology, and true crime. To start with it was a bit of a struggle, but now has over 13 threads and hundreds of posts, some from well known and respected "Ripper" historians like Stewart Evans, and Chris George. If you follow though on the suggestions made here,I am sure a lively debate will ensue. Steve.

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I can echo John's views, you get out of this Forum what you put in. I decided to start a series of threads on the 1888 Whitechapel murders (Jack the ripper) As It reflects my own interest's in abnormal psychology, and true crime. To start with it was a bit of a struggle, but now has over 13 threads and hundreds of posts, some from well known and respected "Ripper" historians like Stewart Evans, and Chris George. If you follow though on the suggestions made here,I am sure a lively debate will ensue. Steve.

This is all well and good. However the original vision behind this forum was (and will remain so long as I am involved) the creation of an online forum specifically for school teachers. A place where teachers can share ideas and resources, discuss educational policy, practice and politics and develop as professionals. Our friends who post in threads about educational research and/or 'conspiracy' are not our primary audience, welcome though they are - especially welcome when they contribute more widely to the Forum.

It is disappointing in the extreme when so few teachers respond to threads where other teachers offer resources or seek advice from colleagues.

I do not however believe that this poor response rate has anything to do with teachers being "put off" by busier areas of the forum.

I would like to remind colleagues that this is actually the Design Technology section of the Education Forum.

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I do not however believe that this poor response rate has anything to do with teachers being "put off" by busier areas of the forum.

But when a visitor comes to the forum for the first time and sees a sea of posts all about JFK, or fake moon landings, or how the CIA was responsible for 9/11, etc, etc they may well be put off. It's becoming more and more common to check in and find that there's nothing else... I've mentioned this before -- and had my wrist soundly slapped for it -- and am glad to find that I'm not the only one who sees it as a problem. Once again, isn't there any way one can check the latest posts without having to plough through pages of stuff which is only very tangentally connected to "education"...

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Mike writes:

But when a visitor comes to the forum for the first time and sees a sea of posts all about JFK, or fake moon landings, or how the CIA was responsible for 9/11, etc, etc they may well be put off. It's becoming more and more common to check in and find that there's nothing else... I've mentioned this before -- and had my wrist soundly slapped for it -- and am glad to find that I'm not the only one who sees it as a problem. Once again, isn't there any way one can check the latest posts without having to plough through pages of stuff which is only very tangentally connected to "education"...

I absolutely agree. I have recommended the Education Forum to colleagues in Modern Foreign Languages. I have had responses from about half a dozen colleagues whose first impression of the Forum was that was all about history, politics and JFK. You have to dig a bit more deeply to find postings that tackle burning issues in education across the curriculum. In other fora to which I contribute I have mentioned some of the interesting topics raised in this Forum. I have tried to raise burning issues in Modern Foreign Languages, e.g. the disastrous effect that UK government policies are having on language learning in schools. I just got back from a meeting in the North of England in an area where only 20% of state schools now offer Modern Foreign Languages to children aged over 14. But who cares? The JFK issue is obviously more important.

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I do not however believe that this poor response rate has anything to do with teachers being "put off" by busier areas of the forum.

But when a visitor comes to the forum for the first time and sees a sea of posts all about JFK, or fake moon landings, or how the CIA was responsible for 9/11, etc, etc they may well be put off. It's becoming more and more common to check in and find that there's nothing else... I've mentioned this before -- and had my wrist soundly slapped for it -- and am glad to find that I'm not the only one who sees it as a problem. Once again, isn't there any way one can check the latest posts without having to plough through pages of stuff which is only very tangentally connected to "education"...

Andy has rightly pointed out that this is not the place to discuss these issues but as Mike has continued the debate he needs to be answered.

I would like to ask you why you don’t post on the various threads on educational or e-learning issues. I have started hundreds of these topics but you rarely respond.

The same is true of the large number of history threads I start. Why are you not interested in these topics? If you don’t like my topics, why don’t you start your own? Don’t you feel strongly about history or educational issues?

You started getting involved in Andy’s sociology project on political ideology but left after members criticised your views you left in a huff.

It seems the only time you can find to post is to complain that two many people are active in the JFK section. I must say I am constantly irritated by your negative attitude. If you do not have anything positive to contribute, I think it is best not to say anything at all.

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John, I think you are being very unfair to Mike. I agree with what he said. Mike has made some excellent postings in this Forum. I have made several postings on a variety of topics and started several new threads, but they never get off the ground. You don't seem to appreciate how disillusioned Mike and I - and doubtless many other "lurkers" - are with the overall thrust of this Forum.

To reiterate what I said in my previous posting, burning educational issues do not seem to be the most prominent feature of this Forum. This contrasts sharply with other educational fora to which I contribute, e.g. Languages ICT, Moodle for Language Teaching, Linguanet and EUROCALL. OK they are all specialist fora, but their members seem to be able to exchange ideas without being rude to one another.

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Guilty as charged! Nice to be back!

My time is spent working on several forums (mainly IB related as I am now the faculty manager for online Design Technology with the IB) and this has taken alot of my time since the beginning of the new year. I am also travelling alot which does not help.

I will now make it a priority to contribute to this forum - I have posted already on the IB DT forums about this forum so I hope numbers of interested folk will increase. Forums are fantastic for sharing, encouraging, crying, laughing and learning.

Cheers for now. David

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