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#16 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 05:47 PM

I do have one question. Can I stop members of my formun from PM ing or emailing each other, and if so how do I do it? I've had a look and can't figure it out. (I said it was all new to me). Cheers

Open up the Admin Control Panel of your forum. Select 'users and groups' then 'manage user groups'. Then select 'edit' for the groups that you want to deny e-mail / pm functions to. You should see a range of checkboxes and all of the features of the forum software there. Simply remove the ticks for the things you don't want them to be able to do.

It's worth giving teachers and moderators access to E-mail and PM functions and blocking it for all pupils. I'd set up all new members as having the 'student' mask - you can move teachers and invited moderators to a different user group quite easily.

Do remember that in the admin area of the invision boards there is a section that allows you to see the contents of any e-mail that has been sent via the forum. If students have got access to e-mail its important to keep a close eye on that.

If you get stuck with any aspect of it, feel free to yell for help!

Edited by Dan Moorhouse, 18 April 2004 - 05:49 PM.


#17 JP Raud Dugal

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 06:43 PM

If it does all work out I would love to open it up to other schools. I work in Dubai so getting my students to debate with students from the UK (or France) would be great.

France is ready for everything :D :wine:

If you want to test it do not hesitate to say so! A lot of french students will be ready to have this sort of activity...Could be easier to pre-register before?

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#18 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 08:14 PM

I am sorry if I have given the impression that I was in any way critical of the Debate, Richard.

And I am sorry that I gave the impression of being wounded by your criticisms. Had we been in the same room, such a misunderstanding could never have happened, confirming my (our?) point about the distinct nature of this new communicative environment. ;)

On JP's questions:

1- How did the students reacted when they saw that only some of then were rewarded by John?
2- Is one of the Education Forum aim to find some experts such as John in this case? (just answering because it is not obvious to have someone who could do everytime such a great job)
3- how many hours were focused on the forum? After doing them, what is your pov on that?

1 - They were delighted that their friends got a mention and I encouraged them to post their reactions in the same thread as John's judgements http://www.schoolhis...p?showtopic=457

2 - We have just created a student version of the Education Forum and there are lots of plans about how it might be used. As you will have read, John has JFK and WWII oral history projects in the pipeline. But as Carole has pointed out there are all sorts of potential pitfalls. Many of us have been excitied by the potential for so long now, I think it is important that we just try things out.

3. How much class time is spent on these projects is interesting and ties in with the earlier question about student participation. If the purpose of the forum is to have students post their written work on-line so that other students can work with it, then you can make participation compulsory and give appropriate class time to this. Much more intereting though is to give minimal class time and encourage students to particpate in their own time. For me, the Spring Europe forum was a revelation in this regard. Despite some class time being given over to the forum, approximately 85% of contributions were made in the students’ own time. Many of these contributions were made during lesson breaks, lunchtime and immediately before and after school. But of the non-class time contributions, considerably more were made from home than in school. It was quite a bizarre experience to log-on early Sunday morning to find half a dozen students already busy discussing the nature of the ICT revolution on education. The busiest time on the forum was in fact the last Friday evening of the debate, with students competing until midnight to have the last word. Since we launched the student section of the Education forum, I have given no classtime to my students but a number of them are regularly posting in their own time.
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#19 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 08:37 PM

I am currently setting up an Invision discussion board for my Year 12 and 13 students. I hope to trial it this term and have it up and running properly from September.

As I hinted at earlier I think this will be the future of forums. Teachers will have their own and use them to meet their own needs. And thanks to Dan for answering the practicals...

I'd like to move the discussion back to learning possibilities and two questions and a dilemma:

1. Can anyone think of any other history learning applications for forums?
2. If we accept that interpretations (historical debate) is an obvious skills application for forums, can we suggest good topics and in particular, good topics for younger students?

Dilemma: Pete (IST Geog) runs IB Tok.com and its discussion forum. http://pub199.ezboard.com/fibtokfrm2 He posted the 10 approved essay titles for this year's TOK coursework and invited the students to discuss them. He received complaints from teachers who thought this was undermining the purpose of the activity. What do people think?
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
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#20 John Simkin

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 11:31 AM

Other possibilities include:

History Dialogues: Put students in pairs and get them to debate important issues from the past. For example, a discussion between a supporter and opponent of universal suffrage in 1910.

Causes and Consequences: The teacher starts a thread such as “What caused the outbreak of the First World War?” Students then add one individual reason at a time. These might be disputed by other students therefore creating a debate on the issue. At the end of the exercise the students could make their own list on paper.

Historical Hypothesis: The teacher starts a thread with a controversial statement such as: “If Hitler had not ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union the UK would have been defeated by Germany.” The students are then invited to add information that supports or opposes the original hypothesis.

Expert Panels. A group of experts answer questions from students or become involved in a debate over a particular issue. For example, the intended session on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

#21 Dom_Giles

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 04:15 PM

I will be trying some of these out soon. Will let you know how we get on.

Edited by Dom_Giles, 19 April 2004 - 04:17 PM.

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#22 Andrew Field

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 06:21 PM

I heartily joined in Richard's first forum experiment in the Spring Day in Europe 2003. However, to my students' intense disappointment the school internet simply couldn't cope and I was left with a bunch of frustrated Year 9s who were unable to post their thoughts and ideas. We only eventually managed a few posts here and there. The internet connection problem is one I'm still waiting to be resolved, but once this is, I eagerly await further opportunities.

However, in the meantime I am really questioning forums. I am starting to believe that they are not going to be useful for general teaching. They are a fantastic tool for learning, but I'm really not sure they can, or indeed should fit into our genuine everyday teaching.

I feel there are a number of significant reasons for this.

Firstly, the ideal forum is based on a sense of community that welcomes new members and encourages discussion. Using a forum for a week or so is not enough time for a sense of community to build.

Secondly, it is questionable whether it is worth the time of registering all students for an activity that they will access for a limited time. Having registered them all, unless you have access to the facilities, their experience will be severely limited. If students are able and enthused to access the forum out of school then marvellous, but I'm not sure that is the reality.

Thirdly, and most significantly, I don't feel the 'forum model' is an educationally valid exercise unless you start afresh each year. The reason for this is that I see the best learning process is where students discover and develop their own ideas and views through the use of this technology. Hence the first group to access the resident expert or source materials can learn a great deal. Yet when the similar group the following year come to access the same debate, it largely becomes a comprehension exercise. Perhaps some new questions will emerge, but the gloss, the 'unexplored territory' has already been trampled upon by last year's groups.

Thus, I feel it would be more appropriate to explore similiar, but alternative technologies for effective use in our classrooms. It is, of course, possible to question all these issues, and please do - but I would prefer to explore ICT-based learning that is something that can be repeatedly used year upon year that encourages effective learning.

You could set up a new forum each calendar year as this would create a new, unexplored and undeveloped area for students to develop. However, I feel there are more efficient methods to do this, other than forums. The solution - blogging and wikiwebs!


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#23 John Simkin

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 08:41 AM

Thirdly, and most significantly, I don't feel the 'forum model' is an educationally valid exercise unless you start afresh each year.  The reason for this is that I see the best learning process is where students discover and develop their own ideas and views through the use of this technology.  Hence the first group to access the resident expert or source materials can learn a great deal.  Yet when the similar group the following year come to access the same debate, it largely becomes a comprehension exercise.  Perhaps some new questions will emerge, but the gloss, the 'unexplored territory' has already been trampled upon by last year's groups.

Thus, I feel it would be more appropriate to explore similiar, but alternative technologies for effective use in our classrooms.  It is, of course, possible to question all these issues, and please do - but I would prefer to explore ICT-based learning that is something that can be repeatedly used year upon year that encourages effective learning.

I agree that the effectiveness of online forums as a teaching/learning medium depends to a large extent on the involvement of the student. This I why I have always supported the idea of “active learning” (see Dan’s excellent seminar on the subject). As teachers we have to constantly think about how we get students involved in the learning process. The same is also true of online forums. If we look at the list of suggested models, some insist on the involvement of the students, for example, the History Dialogues. Other models, such as the Expert Panels, do not on the surface insist on the involvement of all students. However, this is true when you establish a classroom debate. Those who actively take part are likely to learn more than those who remain silent. I overcame that problem with the Child Labour simulation by insisting that all students gave a speech based on their research into the subject. This approach could be adopted to all online forum teaching/learning models. In fact, why don’t we automatically accept that approach. After all, we would not make written assignments voluntary. Why should we take this approach with online forums?

#24 m242

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 08:47 AM

I agree with Richard and John that these developments have a potentially transformative influence on the vitality and relevance of school history, and found both the JFK project and Richard's suggestions/examples really helpful.

A recent survey on ICT use in history in the UK suggested that there are now significantly more departments which could set internet based homeworks- either as preparation for a lesson or follow up. As well as getting pupils to do history outside classroom hours (a big bugbear of history teachers in the UK now that they often only get one hour a week on the timetable in the lower school), it obviously transforms the quality of homeworks which can be set. Some homework which is set in history is fairly dreary stuff and actually puts kids off the subject.

These activities also go beyond the 'low level'interactivity of quizzes etc (OK as far as they go but limited in the extent to whcih they address high order thinking in the subject).

One query about the JFK project; it seems to be groundbreaking in its scope, but it is vast. How can history teachers keep it 'manageable'; are there any strategies for using a 'cut-down' version for teachers who want to use it but have not time to explore it fully?

#25 John Simkin

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 09:25 AM

One query about the JFK project; it seems to be groundbreaking in its scope, but it is vast. How can history teachers keep it 'manageable'; are there any strategies for using a 'cut-down' version for teachers who want to use it but have not time to explore it fully?

I have tried to create a structured way through the material here:

http://www.spartacus...JFKresearch.htm

I am also thinking of running online lessons via the International Education Forum. One possibility is a day school for G & T students.

#26 Andrew Field

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 03:48 PM

You two are basically saying what I was suggesting. I'm trying to ask some genuine questions about the use of forums.

Obviously these go beyond low level interactivity of quizzes - but the forum is hardly useful for an 5 minute plenary activity is it?

They clearly do have the potential to have a massive impact, and hence why I pushed to have a trial to use such materials. However it is vital we ask the potentially difficult questions.

Can forums like this be justified for the odd lesson or two? If we had time and facilities to access a forum (relative to both equipment, internet connection, technical know-how), even then, does such practice work in the long term? I was trying to suggest that it would be great for the first year - the first people to use it, but then the potential for learning decreases each group who use the forum in subsequent years.

What I think it worth exploring are some similar, but 'manageable' online technologies.

Perhaps the focus on out of school development, using a forum as a communication device for your classes? This seems to work well for the few, but in my experiments with this, even if a large number of the class have internet access, only a small number get involved out of school. This hasn't proved worthwhile.

I really want to be proved wrong, but the effort one goes to to set such a forum up, encourage students to use it and develop techniques and learning opportunities has really caused me to question to actual genuine utility of the forum based exercises.


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#27 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 04:56 PM

http://www.spartacus...JFKresearch.htm

I am also thinking of running online lessons via the International Education Forum. One possibility is a day school for G & T students.

John's alluded to something that I'm very keen on here (I've asked John to pay a visit to school with regards the JFK work). I'd agree with Andrew's earlier comment that they need to be refreshed / restarted every year though. I don't believe my students would restart a thread don by previous students, nor would I expect them to come up with all that much that was 'new'. Save the stimulus material, archive the discussions and start again each year is how I'd envisage it working most effectively, whether thats just an in house forum or one utilised by a number of schools.

I think there's scope to expand the way that forums are used by students within the classroom. I'm setting up a forum that will consist of two main areas. The first will simply contain source material, really a case of 'they can't all go to an archive, lets bring an archive to them'. The threads in this section will be closed: one thread per source, tagged in a way that will maximise the search engines potential. The second section will contain a set of discussion points, rolled out over the course of a half term. We're trialling this will feeder schools as a method of improving historical skills prior to entry to Year 7. All of the areas covered will, initially at least, be interpretations based questions. Basically the idea is to pit one feeder against another in a debate about the issues. Other feeder schools will then offer peer evaluation of the arguments put forward by the participating schools and each of the teachers will be asked to make a brief comment about the things that pupils need to do to improve for the next debate.

I'm hoping that this will make pupils well aware of the need to use source materials; develop their awareness of interpretations; make them more critical in their thinking and increasingly aware of different ways of presenting their thoughts. Hopefully it will also improve the Literacy levels and self esteem of pupils participating.

This makes liaison a lot easier. I have never been able to get to all feeder schools, never been able to get all of the year 6 teachers together to talk about history and never really been able to see what the strengths and weaknesses of incoming students are. Time isn't a major issue. We provide ICT facilities for some of the feeder schools and the CLC has been looking to develop an E learning branch of the work they do with feeders, this would slot into the time they have there. For the feeder schools who don't use our facilities it's at worst 30 minutes of cmputer time a week, which doesn't always have to be supervised by a teacher: our feeders seem to have a decent amount of parental support for extra curricular activities and this is the sort of thing that Primary mentors are interested in.

It's likely that the work done on this forum will follow some of the Literacy strategy ideas: Guided Writing, reading Shared Writing/ Reading whilst also getting them more familiar with the types f ICT resources that will be used in KS3. I don't envisage large numbers of individual students participating in this at all: though a number of groups per school may be feasible.

The community problem is also really easy to overcome on this project. The participants will probably live no further than 800 metres from each other, will be visiting school for induction days and could easily be be invited to a 'launch' and mini prize giving. (That and the fact that 80% of them will be in the same secondary school the following year).

Will this type of activity work?
Will it help me to get those pupils more interested in History?
Will it make them more likely to participate in online discussions when they join Year 7?

I think so. The last time we had this sort of activity was as a Middle School - using e-mail. This was aimed at G&T pupils. EVERY one of those pupils attended history club EVERY week throughout KS3 when they joined the school. The vast majority of them also opted for history in a year when the subject was rather squeezed by our options block.

#28 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 07:26 AM

They are a fantastic tool for learning, but I'm really not sure they can, or indeed should fit into our genuine everyday teaching.

Looks like I've finally managed to post in this thead. I was beginning to suspect conspiratorial elements were preventing me from replying to Andrew's critique. :boxing: Turns out there's been a lot of down time recently...

What Andrew does in his post is something we proselytising ICT-History people occasionally neglect: to look beyond the technology or as Andrew puts it ‘really question’ the assumption that the technological innovation adds something new to ‘genuine’ teaching and learning. I come back to what I said in my first post, ‘forums should be used because they add a dimension to history learning unavailable in a traditional classroom context.’

I've made some bold claims for forums, largely because I want to encourage others to get involved, but I certainly agree with Andrew here: forums are an extra dimension to and will never be a substitute for 'everyday teaching'.

But then this is true of all ICT applications used in history. Until we give students access to computers, when and wherever they might need them, (sounds like another seminar of mine ;) ) the impact of ICT on history teaching and learning will be severly limited. No amount of PowerPoint and Flash driven multimedia pedagogic pyrotechnics via interactive whiteboards and LCD projectors will make much difference if at the end of it all students are forced to express their learning through the lines of an 'exercise' book.

Firstly, the ideal forum is based on a sense of community that welcomes new members and encourages discussion. Using a forum for a week or so is not enough time for a sense of community to build… Secondly, it is questionable whether it is worth the time of registering all students for an activity that they will access for a limited time.

Agreed. But the ideal forum is not what we're starting from. First of all we need to get teachers giving it a go. Dom is a case in point. They can be a bit tricky to set up, but as I argued earlier, class or teacher websites (with a community of teachers and learners) are the obvious future for student forums. If I set up a forum for my department this, immediately allows for cross-class/year group collaboration. I teach Cold War in Y10 and Y12, why not create an environment for them to work together. When I’m happy with what I’m doing, perhaps I could invite other schools or members of the wider learning community to join in.

If students are able and enthused to access the forum out of school then marvellous, but I'm not sure that is the reality.

Some are, and that is certainly a reality. Many are not, but how much of a problem is this? What I have found most interesting is that ‘own time’ use of the forum is not the preserve of my most able students. It is clearly motivating a type of learner who has not obviously been motivated before. As home Internet access becomes even more ubiquitous (an expectation?) I think we might begin to create a more effective ‘out of school’ learning environment. But of course we face problems. Not even my school demands that students have Internet access at home. We give them the computer with a modem, we spend hours on our hypertext curriculum and still not all kids have Internet access. This means I am still unable set Internet based homework.

Thirdly, and most significantly, I don't feel the 'forum model' is an educationally valid exercise unless you start afresh each year. The reason for this is that I see the best learning process is where students discover and develop their own ideas and views through the use of this technology. Hence the first group to access the resident expert or source materials can learn a great deal. Yet when the similar group the following year come to access the same debate, it largely becomes a comprehension exercise. Perhaps some new questions will emerge, but the gloss, the 'unexplored territory' has already been trampled upon by last year's groups.

Agreed. :D
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
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#29 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 07:39 AM

I am also thinking of running online lessons via the International Education Forum. One possibility is a day school for G & T students.

I had an enthusiastic response to this proposal from some of my Y12s yesterday. 'One day' is fine as long as all those involved have had a chance to warm-up with the forum before hand. We need to minimize the possibilities of registration frustration that Andrew previously described. Personally, I'd like to see it run over a few days, perhaps culminating in the one focused day.
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
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#30 JP Raud Dugal

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 10:21 AM

I was beginning to suspect conspiratorial elements were preventing me from replying to Andrew's critique.

Are you talking about me Richard? :D :D

I teach Cold War in Y10 and Y12, why not create an environment for them to work together. When I’m happy with what I’m doing, perhaps I could invite other schools or members of the wider learning community to join in.


The problem is reactivity. If you want to open it to other schools or members, it will be perhaps too late. The end of your unit will come and you might have an answer which could come too late.

I'm believing that we could have a place in this forum where we could be able to post messages before the Unit saying 'hey, I'm doing this, like this and I'm open to online discussion with my students , what do you think about?'. (perhaps this place exists but it's not so clear to me :hehe:

Jean Philippe




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