Jan Brady

Demonstrating how I meet the Professional Standards of
Criterium b.3

I believe in the importance of using information technologies for assisting my teaching and for advancing the learning of my students. As the students are children of the new millennium, they are more conversant and comfortable with technology that ever before. However, I believe it is equally important not to rely totally on the use of information technologies and abandon books, journals and other written materials. As a consequence I differentiate between their uses and encourage my students to see complementary value in both. On the HSIE Website, which has been built and is maintained by me, I clearly make the point that books and other printed materials have value alongside electronic sources and both feature in my resource lists.

The WebQuests which I have developed demonstrate my willingness and ability to use information technologies in my teaching but I am not limited to those controlled activities. In Year 9 and 10 History the use of desktop publishing is encouraged for the presentation of appropriate tasks and an example of one such newspaper article is attached here in its original form as submitted. Within the class situation I model best practice techniques to produce such work by taking my students into the Technology rooms and taking them through the necessary steps. In addition the use of PowerPoint for presentations is encouraged when appropriate and two such tasks are attached here. The first one is from a group of Year 9 students and the second one is from a Year 12 student. Both assignments are unedited by me.

However there are other uses for technology besides presentations. In Year 8 we are currently studying Medieval History. In a series of lessons I have been able to incorporate a study of Medieval Knights with the teaching of appropriate research skills on the Internet. The lessons began with an introduction to the internet and although most students use it regularly they use it in a very ad hoc manner often wasting time on their unrefined search skills.

I began with an explanation of what the URL for each website means from www, www2 to portal, to the address and page divisions and ending with the .com, .au, .org divisions. Through questioning of the students I was able to gauge their learning and proceeded onto more advanced issues when all had shown understanding. I then showed them how to use the Advanced Research facility to enable them to learn to refine their searches and chose an example where, with a general search the result was 958 000 pages but, with refinement, that was reduced to 151 and, finally, to one page.

I then had the students complete an advanced search for Medieval Knights and Armour (Armor?) each with a different European country selected, eg Germany, Hungary, Russia and they completed the search and researched their country's knights and armour. The result of subsequent classes has been that the students have a much wider appreciation of the variations of knights and armour throughout Europe in the Medieval Period rather than just accepting the stereotypical Hollywood vision or the generic version in their textbooks.

As students become more familiar with information technologies it is important that we, as teachers, keep up with these skills too and I continue to develop my own skills to ensure that progress is maintained.

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