Byte-sized history

2nd February 2007 at 00:00
Who went?

Angela Inger, history teacher, St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School, Slough.

What course?

History and ICT run by Keynote Educational.

What did it do?

It explored ways of using interactive whiteboards, computers and the internet, to make history more exciting.

Why go?

I'm 58-years-old, and slightly afraid of computers.

Message, motto or mantra?

If technology makes a lesson better, use it. If it doesn't, then don't.

Traditional methods, such as telling a story, are still valid.

Handouts or hands-on?

It was mostly talking. I would have found it useful to have actually sat in front of a computer, but we were given an excellent CD-Rom to take away, with lots of ideas on it.

Something I liked

Ben Walsh, the course leader, has written the definitive GCSE history textbook. It gives you real confidence in what he is saying to the group.

Something I learned

If you are giving children timed exercises then there is a nice piece of software that sets a clock on their computers. It ticks down and when time runs out a klaxon sounds. It's more fun than the teacher saying "stop writing".

Has it made a difference?

Revamping lesson plans takes a long time, so I'm still fairly traditional.

But little by little, I'm integrating new ideas.

The verdict?

A very good course. The internet, in particular, is a hugely valuable tool for teaching history. It is full of source material, if you know where to look

Coming soon?

History and ICT is being repeated in Manchester (February 21) and London (March 13)

Cost pound;190 plus VAT.

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