Tripping the light fantastic;Religious education;Cover feature

10th September 1999 at 01:00
3Schools are connecting to the National Grid for Learning and teachers are being trained, but what software, materials and support will be out there for them? George Cole investigates the role of good content for the cyberschool generation, followed by a subject-by-subject stock-check

When Rosemary Rivett's religious education students at South Bromsgrove High School come into lessons they don't just sit around waiting for things to start. Instead they log on to the school's intranet and find a self-checking multiple choice test.

Rivett's Year 11 religious studies classes have one of their three periods a week in the IT centre. Central to their work there is the RE website that Rivett has created on the school's intranet. It has sample essays, past exam papers, factual material - about religious festivals for example. There are also links to the web.

Naturally religion has a strong presence on the Web, and it's not easy to sort the wheat from the chaff. "I put up a link when I find one that's valid and good." says Rivett. "It's not always the home page, it might go direct to the one that's useful."

As well as using the web, and e-mail links, the department encourages pupils in activities such as creating virtual celebration cards - "When we'd done Christian baptism, I got them to design a virtual baptism card." What ICT is doing, she says, is giving students practice in what she calls "handling information in a controlled and purposeful way, with the teacher managing the process."

10 websites

The Professional Council for Religious Education

The Religious Education Exchange

The religious education site

Religious education at the Virtual Teachers' Centre

Teaching resources and materials

The Bible Gateway

GCSE RE revision on the Net

The Sikhism home page

Welcome to Virtual Jerusalem

The Hindu Universe


10 resources

A Right to Die? Routledge CD-Rom, KS4, pound;40 + pound;10 for teacher's guide, Tel: 0171 842 2218

Aspects of Religions, KS34, pound;80 from Granada Learning. Tel: 01264 342 992

Exploring World Religions, KS23, pound;59 from Granada Learning, (details as above)

ICT Activities for RE, KS34, CD-Rom and book by G and H Windsor, pound;58.75 from Heinemann. Tel: 01865 888080

Investigating Christianity by G Windsor, KS34, pound;58.75 from Heinemann (details as above)

Lest We Forget: A History of the Holocaust, Key Stages S34, pound;40 from News Multimedia. Tel: 01525 852813 www.newsmultimedia

Living Religions: (All six major religions), Key Stages 34, pound;39 from I SEEK. Tel: 0800 0520900

Religions of the World, interactive philosophy fantasy, pound;25 from SEMERC. Tel: 0161 627 4469

Sophie's World, KS34, pound;40 by Macmillan, from REM. Tel: 01865 747 550

World Religions: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia, pound;40 from Sparrowhawk and Heald. Tel: 01223 576 241

(CD-Roms and websites list provided by Paul Hopkins of REfIT (the Religious Education from Information Technology project set up by the The Professional Council for Religious Education)

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