How can ‘bog standard’ ICT help history learning and teaching?
Imagine that you are an enthusiastic and dedicated history teacher (go on, you can imagine that), and for years you’ve been passing yourself off as an expert on teaching and learning using ICT. Your school has just bought a set of 17 computers for your classroom and the head keeps mentioning how much he’d like to come and observe “a couple of lessons” to see you “work your magic with them”.
The truth is that you’ve used PCs quite a lot in teaching – but mostly to design worksheets and make the odd video to keep students amused. You’re just beginning to realise that you have not really begun to think about what it means for history students to use computers to help their learning of history.
It is now Monday morning, 8.15 am. Your pigeon hole is crammed with notes from the head of year 11 about missing library books borrowed by members of your form sometime in year 7, and never returned. You spread the notes out on the desk in the history office. In horror, you spot a “yellow” sticking out from the bottom of the pile. A few words in the head’s spidery writing are visible.
“Good news” he writes, “conference at House of Lords been cancelled. I’ll be able to come and watch your year 9 set tomorrow – can’t wait to see what you’ve been getting them to do on the computers, and to have a chat about how we can ‘cascade’ your good practice across the school”. You sink onto the office chair, forgetting that it only has three wheels instead of four, and slither gracefully to the floor, still clutching the “yellow”.