which I am developing at Wolverhampton Grammar School currently offers more than 50 freely accessible, original online activities that give a good taster of what is possible:
* Interactive quizzes are particularly valuable as extension activities or as revision exercises. Students can attempt multiple-choice, short-answer or cloze tests and then have them marked automatically, in many instances with the computer giving feedback and clues.
The website includes topics covering the peace treaties after the First world War, the Wall Street crash and Nazi Germany.
* Decision-making games are more involved, with students acting in role as a historical character - King Harold at the Battle of Hastings and Charles I in the lead-up to the English Civil War are currently on offer. Alternatively, students are asked key questions about their beliefs so that the computer can present them with a profile (Are You a Protestant or Catholic? What are your political beliefs? What electoral system should the UK have?).
* In-depth investigations. In these activities, students analyse various interpretations of a key event to come up with a balanced interpretation. Activities in this vein currently include: What was life like in Tudor England? What Caused the Bolshevik Revolution? What was life like in the trenches during World War One? and What caused World War Two?
* Sourcework exercises. The interactive nature of the net allows students to tear sources apart brilliantly. For example, in "The murder of Becket" students can learn to detect bias and therefore evaluate reliability by turning a factual report into a judgmental one.
In "the first death on the railways" I encourage them to compare and analyse sources by cutting and pasting information into appropriate categories; and in the Tudor portrait mystery, students are asked to make inferences from a source rather than merely describe them.
Teachers are welcome to contact me directly via www.wgshistory.com
Russel Tarr teaches history and politics at Wolverhampton Grammar School