It's all very PC;Reviews;Secondary;Subject of the week;History;Books

5th November 1999 at 00:00
Using ICT in History: a Teacher's Resource Guide. By David Gardner. Stanley Thornes pound;24.

David Gardner is a brave man. He has stuck his head above the parapet and committed his thoughts to paper on information and communication technology, a medium often perceived to be inimical to the book format. The importance of his guide lies in its practical approach and clear philosophy, which is that if teachers are to adopt ICT, it must be useful in their daily teaching.

Gardner relegates technical details to their proper place - they are only relevant in allowing the ICT resources to support learning. He is at his best on the use of desktop publishing. He has no time for using precious and often highly restricted access to computers to make work look pretty. His recommended DTP activities involve analysis of original sources, preparation for debate, and exploring the value systems of a period.

He is strong on CD-Roms, using the Internet and data handling software. He provides activity sheets to be used with resources in schools not always exploited to the fullest degree.

Finally, there is an important undercurrent in every section, which reveals Gardner's role as an ICT co-ordinator - he refers to opportunities to contribute to student progression in ICT as they investigate historical issues.

Published at the end of 1998, the book suffers from the pace of change. There is a section devoted to the use of an Internet-based software resource called Internet Odyssey, developed by YITM. This company has subsequently become part of the Granada group and is more difficult to find on the Internet as a result, and its focus is slightly different from the one described in the book.

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