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Developing Interactive Teaching Styles using an IWB


Roy Huggins
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My ideas may seem simple and below your high academic standards, but they do actually work with real kids. You are not going to get the majority of teachers to listen to your ideas or take you seriously by being so high handed and provocative all the time. You will just put their backs up and make them throw up their force fields as they retreat to their tried and trusted methods. You should stop trying to be the 'expert' who has to lead from the front all the time, practice what you preach!

This is a rather unfortunate overeaction to the expression of a considered contrary opinion.

It is however likely that emotions will run high because it is such an important and central debate to the future of education and schooling. John has adopted a position which challenges the traditional role of the teacher which for many is unsettling. I do not see why however Roy should take the expression of a contrary opinion as an insult to his intelligence. My impression of Roy is that he is a generous bright professional person who delivered a very good session on how to use an IWB.

For these reasons I do hope Roy doesn't really take his ball back to the history forum because whilst things may seem more comfortable there little of any substance or depth is ever discussed.

Twenty years ago the ideas of democratic education were rubbished as "letting the lunatics run the asylum." Today we see so many features of the vision of AS Neill and others infiltrating the mainstream - student voice, personalised learning, the student centred approach, active citizenship. The debate may be uncomfortable but it is current, overdue and necessary.

ICT has a central role to play in this transformation of emphasis from teacher to learner. This is my understanding of what our project is about.

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I fail to see what you are doing is revolutionary.

Hi John,

Encouarging teachers to experiment, innovate, share resources and ideas without recourse to either pubic or private funding or leadership? Effecting change from below?

Call me old fashioned, but that sounds pretty revolutionary to me or at least challenging in schools that I've worked in! One of the many interesting comments that were made repeatedly by delegates from all over Europe at the E-Help conference was the fact that so few teachers are prepared to share their resources or take onboard new ideas. You have to appeal to their hearts and minds and convince them of the value of ICT to help their students and make their lives easier.

My ideas may seem simple and below your high academic standards, but they do actually work with real kids. You are not going to get the majority of teachers to listen to your ideas or take you seriously by being so high handed and provocative all the time. You will just put their backs up and make them throw up their force fields as they retreat to their tried and trusted methods. You should stop trying to be the 'expert' who has to lead from the front all the time, practice what you preach!

Anyway, apologies for having wasted your valuable time. I took a leap of faith by posting on this website, despite the warnings from others!

If anyone is interested in continuing this seminar then I will be responding to threads on IWBs on the thread below:

http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/forum/index...opic=3625&st=30

Kind Regards & Good Luck with the project

Roy

I am sorry you are unwilling to engage in intellectual debate. It might be more comforting to post on the History Forum where you will not be challenged because its members have to accept the dominant ideology imposed by the administrators. On this forum we allow people to question people’s statements (now, that really is revolutionary).

I am of course all in favour of teachers sharing resources. I have been giving my resources away free to teachers via the web since 1997. This is not a new idea. I remember in the 1970s how history teachers used to share resources at the local teacher centres. It was not revolutionary in the 1970s. It is not revolutionary now.

I dare say the administrators of the History Forum did warn you against joining this forum. However, that was a condition of you being invited to Toulouse. I, like other members, were against inviting you to Toulouse. However, Richard insisted and so you were allowed to participate. I hope you enjoyed the experience.

I will be out of the country for the next ten days so don’t think I am snubbing you if I don’t reply straight away to any comments you might make.

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John writes:

“You seem to think that the battle is between the young and old teachers. This assumes that it is the young who are the ones who are keen to use ICT and the old are trying to prevent this from happening. I have been involved in trying to persuade teachers to use ICT for over 25 years. Age is not the problem. Some of the main advocates for the use of ICT are people nearing retirement age. They have been doing this for as long as I have.”

I am one old “silver surfer” (just turned 64) who is still a big kid regarding electronic gimmicks, in spite of the fact that my old eyes find it increasingly difficult to read and write mobile phone text messages – but I do try!

What worries me about young teachers is that they often fail to look back at the lessons of the past, e.g. relating to my subject area, modern foreign languages, the rise and fall of the language lab. There are various reasons for its demise, but the main ones were lack of training and the inability of teachers to exploit fully the new approaches to teaching and learning that it offered. See my article:

Davies. G. (1997) "Lessons from the past, lessons for the future: 20 years of CALL". In Korsvold A-K. & Rüschoff B. (eds.) New technologies in language learning and teaching, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France. The full text (regularly updated) is also on the Web at: http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/coegdd1.htm

I cite Oppenheimer (1997) in this article, who expresses more cynical views about technology:

"In 1922 Thomas Edison predicted that 'the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and [...] in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.' Twenty-three years later, in 1945, William Levenson, the director of the Cleveland public schools' radio station, claimed that 'the time may come when a portable radio receiver will be as common in the classroom as is the blackboard.' Forty years after that the noted psychologist B.F. Skinner, referring to the first days of his 'teaching machines,' in the late 1950s and early 1960s, wrote, 'I was soon saying that, with the help of teaching machines and programmed instruction, students could learn twice as much in the same time and with the same effort as in a standard classroom.' (Oppenheimer 1997:45)

The cycle began with big promises backed by the technology developers' research. In the classroom, however, teachers never really embraced the new tools, and no significant academic improvement occurred." (Oppenheimer 1997:45)

I don't entirely agree with Oppenheimer, but his views should sound warning signals - and which I think have already been addressed in the exchange of views in this debate.

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Guest Russel Tarr
For these reasons I do hope Roy doesn't really take his ball back to the history forum because whilst things may seem more comfortable there little of any substance or depth is ever discussed.
- Andy

Firstly, there is nothing to stop anyone being a member of both forums; secondly, there is a great deal of lively discussion "over there" on all sorts of practical issues that many teachers find very useful.

I am sorry you are unwilling to engage in intellectual debate. It might be more comforting to post on the History Forum where you will not be challenged because its members have to accept the dominant ideology imposed by the administrators.
- John

As an administrator of aforementioned forum myself, I have to point out that the only "ideology" which is imposed is the ideology of common courtesy (if such a thing can exist...). Hence, you won't find any negative references to this forum being made over there.

It is not exactly conducive to the team spirit of EHelp for either of you to be making sweeping insults about the the other forum when you are well aware that one of its administrators is part of the EHelp team!

This post is simply a reply to what has been said so far, not an attempt to open up a can of worms, so I won't be saying any more on the matter if it can be helped.

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It is not exactly conducive to the team spirit of EHelp for either of you to be making sweeping insults about the the other forum when you are well aware that one of its administrators is part of the EHelp team!

As a point of information I don't remember a great deal of the ideology mentioned by Russel from him or from any of the rest of the schoolhistory team either before or during the time John and myself where banned from that forum for making posts the admin team found unsettling or controversial. :lol:

However I would appreciate it if everyone and by that I mean E-Help members, members of staff from E-Help institutions and Ed Forum members would address themselves to matters of relevance to this thread if they wish to post in it

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I remember in the 1970s how history teachers used to share resources at the local teacher centres. It was not revolutionary in the 1970s. It is not revolutionary now.

I, like other members, were against inviting you to Toulouse. However, Richard insisted and so you were allowed to participate. I hope you enjoyed the experience.

Hi John,

Good teachers have always shared resources because they are committed to pushing back the boundaries to help their students.

ICT has helped to revolutionise the sharing of resources and ideas. Unfortunately, then as now, only a small proportion of teachers are prepared to do so. Challenging this culture and opening the minds of teachers to new ideas and concepts is an ongoing battle that is far from won. The fact that you think it already over shows that you are operating in a vacuum created by the Internet, which has allowed you to meet like minded people. The reality at the chalk face is that things are changing very slowly and won't change unless you address the CPD needs of teachers and win their hearts and minds.

Like you I am passionate about education and about trying to make a difference. Throughout the trip to Toulouse and my threads I have sought to find common ground. United we stand, divided we fall against the forces of mediocrity.

However, you are not the only person who has been let down by the education system during their life. I suffered at the hands of the 1970s ideologues who through their well meaning policies sacrificed the education of a generation of students. Surely, the lesson that we can learn from that period of history is that no matter how good an idea we may think we have, you should never pursue it exclusively to the detriment of all other ideas in a fanatical attempt to impose your own view on education. There is a lot to be gained through diversity and variety in the classroom. Not all kids are the same, nor are all teachers!

I respect you point of view concerning IWBs, but respectfully disagree. ICT is a tool, a medium for communication and it can never replace the artistry of a good teacher or achieve on its own the goals that you have expressed in your own threads.

Concerning Toulouse, yes I did have a wonderful time. I enjoyed the intellectual debate, the good company, the food and the chance to exchange resources with some of the most outstanding teachers of our times. I look forward to a future when we can forget our petty disagreements and work together to push forward the agenda of making history the best taught - and learnt - subject on the curriculum. I made a leap of faith by attending Toulouse and I was not disappointed. I just wish that you could treat my views with the same courtesy and respect that I have yours. Call me olde fashioned, but manners maketh the man, especially when you are trying to win peoples hearts and minds and effect real change. Respect is a two way thing and at the heart of being a good European and a dam good teacher.

In the interests of sharing good practice I will keep on popping back into this thread to answer peoples questions on IWBs, seek common ground, share resources and help further the vision of E-Help.

Kind Regards

Roy

Edited by Roy Huggins
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Guest Russel Tarr
I suffered at the hands of the 1970s ideologues who through their well meaning policies sacrificed the education of a generation of students. Surely, the lesson that we can learn from that period of history is that no matter how good an idea we may think we have, you should never pursue it exclusively to the detriment of all other ideas in a fanatical attempt to impose your own view on education. There is a lot to be gained through diversity and variety in the classroom. Not all kids are the same, nor are all teachers!

Well put.

:lol:

Edited by Russel Tarr
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Hi Guys,

Any one fancy chatting about how to use IWBs or want to share resources?

Kind Regards

Roy

Why not start by addressing head on some of the questions about IWBs raised by those well known fanatical ideologues from the 70's John, Graham, David and myself? :lol:

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Jimi Hendrix played in Stockholm in the early 1970s, and if you count the number of people who *say* they were there, it's a great deal more than the capacity of the hall he played in! In other words, there's a great difference between the way the 1970s really *were* and the way they're represented now - just like any other historical period, actually.

The 1970s weren't a time for ideologues, in my personal experience. The world of education was just as hide-bound then as it sometimes is now … and just as 'revolutionary' as it sometimes is now.

The way I see the conflict that this thread has aroused is as a reflection of an age-old problem of education. In just about every profession you can think of, the managers know more about what's going on than the people who're at whatever 'sharp end' that profession has. Thus senior consultants in hospitals know more than junior doctors, factory managers know more than production line workers, etc. It's not like that in education, though. Becoming a manager means leaving the 'sharp end', usually permanently. And teaching skills lose their edge if they're not used - quite quickly, too (which is why I'm thankful that I have plenty of opportunities to teach whilst I'm doing teacher training and in-service training).

In my experience, educational managers generally can't cope with this situation. I remember one in my career who could, but he was really a coach company manager, and thus had a much more realistic view of the enterprise! One great temptation for these managers, then, is to find some area where they *can* be the experts and tell these upstart teachers what they're to do. This is my explanation for the constant promotion of teaching by machine. If teaching and learning is actually the intimate exchange between teachers, learners and materials which real teachers know that it is, educational managers feel left out … so how nice for them to be able to deny it, and bring on the machine that will fulfil the goal … that's designed so that it can only be fulfilled by the machine!

The sad thing is that Roy seems to have a lot of very interesting and valid things to say. I'm on this thread really only because I had the chance to get over to Gothenburg last year and present a few ideas about distance education. It seems to me, as an 'outsider', that all you need to do, Roy, is chill out. Speaking for myself, I'm not criticising your practices or calling into question your experiences, but simply trying to put them in a broader historical context. I got out of education in the UK as long ago as 1980 - my explanation is that I could see the writing on the wall! That writing said, then, "we prefer conformity to truth" … which is a great slogan for a bureaucracy, but a poor one for an educational system.

So, yes, let's talk about IWBs and how they can be used … but let's not ignore the context in which they're used too.

Edited by David Richardson
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Hi David,

Many thanks, I shall take onboard your advice!

One of the features of the SmartBoard software bundle that often goes unnoticed is the Smart Video Recorder. What the software basically does is to create a film clip of whatever is happening on your desktop or IWB - minus the sound!

So why is this useful? Well you can use it to capture DVD film clips (Without the Sound) or use it to record the showcasing of piece of software or an interactive lesson that can then be uploaded to a VLE or network and downloaded later at home by students to replay. Its not a brillant piece of software, but it can be quite useful. For example, I've used to create simple step step movies to show my students and staff how to use quizz editors or edit film clips using Windows Movie Maker. You could also use it to summarise or record the debate surrounding a particular graphic organiser.

Another useful piece of software is the spotlight feature, which I briefly demonstrated at the E-Help Seminar.

The spotlight feature basically blanks out whatever is on the screen except for a small spot light. So you can use it as a starter or a plenary to cover up an image or historical picture, then move it around using either your mouse or IWB until the class can correctly identify the historical personality or image. Its simple, practical and effective as a low maintaince starter or plenary.

Roy

Edited by Roy Huggins
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Andy writes:

Why not start by addressing head on some of the questions about IWBs raised by those well known fanatical ideologues from the 70's John, Graham, David and myself? :lol:

1970s? The 1960s was my period. My college, Queen Mary College, London, had a fantastic theatre/ballroom. I was at gigs held there in the 1960s where these bands played live: The Who, The Animals, Manfred Mann, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Them (Van Morrison lead singer).

My wife-to-be worked at an architect's office in Soho Square in the 1960s, next door to the British Board of Film Censors. One day when was on my way to meet her for lunch I was accosted by an Asian woman protesting outside the Board about a film of hers that had been banned. Stills from the film showed just pictures of people's bottoms. "Do you find this offensive?" she asked. "No," I replied "boring maybe but not offensive." "Thank you", she said and pinned a daffodil on my lapel. When I met my wife she asked why I was wearing a daffodil. "Some Asian woman gave it to me", I said. The Asian woman turned out to be Yoko Ono - little known at the time.

The 1960s were a period of upheaval, protests, change and liberation. Authority was questioned left, right and centre. It was great compared to the sedate and somewhat oppressive 1950s! But I guess it made being a teacher a lot tougher. I was trained as a teacher in 1964-65 at Goldsmiths' College. My practice teaching took place in a South East London comprehensive - a baptism of fire for an ex-grammar-school boy who knew no other type of secondary school environment. My first teaching post in a grammar school in Devon was, by contrast, an easy ride. I used my first language lab there and I have been cautious about technology ever since. I enjoy gadgets but I am the first to point out that they are not the panacea. In my subject area, modern foreign languages, many children in the world learn to speak three or four different languages in classes of 50 children and one text book between three - I've seen it for myself in KwaZulu, South Africa, in the 1980s. In the UK, with all the gadgets at our disposal, we remain the language dunces of Europe.

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Hi Graham,

Have you tried the foreign langauge versions of GameShow Presenter? Its available in both French and Spanish. You can make some pretty cool starters and plenaries. The only disadvantage of the software is that you can not convert it into a HTML like Andrew Fields Content Generators.

Our foreign Languages department use them all the time. I also have a really useful flash generator for blockbusters. You just type in the letters and it creates the grids automatically. You can then form the kids up into teams or groups to test their knowledge of key words etc. The teacher or student then has to move the correct coloured square over the letter that the class correctly identifies using either the mouse, IWB or tablet PC.

Again, this is a simple, practical tool that can save time and help to inject a little bit of pace, reinforcement and fun into a lesson.

Sounds like you had some fun back in the 1960s. My earliest memories are from the 1970s - awful bell bottom trouses, bad dress sense and platform shoes. Its amazing how some fashions come full circle! Now the 1980s - that was a time to live, but not to go to school. I went to one of those awful secondary moderns that churned out disaffected kids who didn't have any qualifications. Then again there were one or two good teachers, but one of the main reasons why i became a teacher, after I done an access course via the local college, was to fight against the sort of mediocre teaching that I had experienced as a kid.

Kind Regards

Roy

Edited by Roy Huggins
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Guest Russel Tarr
Jimi Hendrix played in Stockholm in the early 1970s, and if you count the number of people who *say* they were there, it's a great deal more than the capacity of the hall he played in! In other words, there's a great difference between the way the 1970s really *were* and the way they're represented now - just like any other historical period, actually.

This conspiracy runs very deep. I think it's unlikely Hendrix played in Stockholm in the early 70's at all, as he was died three quarters of the way through 1970. Or, if he did, it would have been a rather dull concert.

:blink:

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