Teaching history and the use of Internet


Hi everybody my name is Ignacio Medel and in this lesson we’re going to talk about teaching history and the use of the Internet. We begin with a JosŽ Saramago quote History doesn’t make judgement those who make judgement are the men of each era. That’s right, we are the human beings who judge our present and our past because of that we have the mean of our time. It doesn’t seem to make much sense for a student of history in the 21st century to use only only the same tools as a colleague of his in the nineteen or 20th century. Therefore we advocated the inclusion of audio-visual media but also the invention that revolutionized the past century and that is indispensable in the 21st century: Internet. But it is really feasible to introduce the Internet as a resource for teaching history? Without underestimating the value of libraries and textbooks it does not make sense for 21st century teachers to avoid the irruption of informatics and especially the use of the Internet in their educational practice. What role can the Internet play in teaching History in Secondary school? Is this a motivating tool for the student which is especially interesting at this stage of education Allows a better distribution of the schedules. The teacher, being no longer the only source of information in the classroom, can spend more time tracking the students’ learning process. The Internet can ease the understanding of concepts, simulate historical eras, etc But we must also be aware of the dangers that can arise from the use of the Internet in the classroom. Therefore, the following points should be considered: it must be included in a natural way within the classroom settings so that the student perceives it as a tool as valid as those traditional used bibliography etc without overvaluing it and stating that it isn’t the only means of learning History nor is everything. Second, the amount of accessible information is the largest ever and it is necessary to discriminate and learn how to make that. For this, the teacher’s work will be essential. And finally the ease of finding information on the Internet makes the cognitive process of analysis and research replaced by copy paste. What uses can we give to the Internet in education and particularly in the teaching of History? As a virtual library, with a big amount of references dictionaries, digital magazines, blogs databases, etc. Access to historical archives on the Internet: viewing reproduction and downloading documents As a place to search information Internet as a search tool. Currently search engines are classified into two kinds: search engines and directories. On the one hand we have indexes and search engines. Indexes have the advantage over search engines that provides more specific information about what we are looking for. That is, we must sift and eliminate less information. Meanwhile, the most search engines we use currently look for keywords. The best known case is Google. Also, we have robots and multi searchers, second generation tools, installed on our computers as tools. Its job is to perform the exploration of results in several search tools at a time showing the results once only in an orderly manner depending on their relevance. How should we look? We need to clearly define what we are looking for through keywords. They can be words, phrases or any combination of single words and phrases. Finding quotes using quotation marks is useful for searching for specific names or concepts. It is preferable to use only lower case and uncut. Use the advanced search option to find more precise results. Google, for example, can already search by document type, delimit the search to the pages of a certain web or excluded pages, among other possibilities. Is the Internet a good teaching aid? We respond positively. Here are some examples in this regard: Telematic tutoring with students. Through email and video conferencing, teachers can have direct contact with the student. The students can access didactic materials online: programs, didactic guides, manuals, etc. The teacher develops his webpage with the program of the subject, resources, recommended bibliography,etc. Learning among equals: debates among students, collaborative projects… Students can carry out joint activities with centers in other places in their own country or abroad. And finally distance master classes. Today, through videoconference, we can attend a master class, live or deferred, beyond the place where the teachers and students are located. The possibilities and resources that the Internet currently shows us are huge. Here are some examples of website directories that have in common their quality, their historical theme and their main language: English. First example is Best History Website. In that compile many links short by historical periods and topics and commented and rated. It is specially interesting for a study of the history of the 20th century in relation to the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the Cold War. Next is the History Website Directory Spartacus Educational Spartacus is one of the leading web sites in Europe. It presents a vast directory of commented links, web classified in a double way: by its theme and according to the age of the students to which they are directed. A School History. In its section of links it collects more than thousand websites commented and classified. Undoubtedly, one of the most complete web for teaching history. Teachers Oz’s Kingdom of History. In this website we are offered a large amount of resources ordered by theme on World History, US History, etc. Also for its quality and quantity of material presented and available we recommend the visit and the use of the resource of the following web pages: BBC History. The British public television website provides us with a wealth of quality resources, organised thematically. It presents pages really interesting as dedicated to the First World War. PBS Learning Media is an exceptional resource bank for teachers of History and Social Sciences. It presents programming topics and an interesting selection of links to be able to work with activities evaluation, etc. Finally we also advocate the use in the classroom of the WebQuest. The web quest is a learning method that has the following characteristic: First, it is a targeted investigation where the information used is prioritised on the Internet. The teacher provides a structure, and guides the search for information on the Internet: select good websites and mark clear and realistic activities. The objective of working with a webquest is to enhace the critical spirit of the student, who will be obliged to discriminate sources. It is a mainly cooperative learning method, where the students must learn to work in group. And finally promotes the mastery of Internet browsing as well as the techniques that will allow the development of all material to be uploaded to the network. The steps of a complete webquest guide that can be modified according to the teacher and the student the students: First, introduction: we must explain to the student the characteristics of the task to be performed and motivated in an attractive way the work he is going to carry out. Second step is task: description of what should be done in the research work. It is advisable, not obligatory, that the task carried out can finally be exposed on the Internet or at least that they are aided by some ICT tool PowerPoint, Prezi. And third, the process: In a detailed way we must describe the steps to carry out the work: assigning roles and tasks to students, choosing the technological means to use, etc. Continuous dialogue between the students and teacher is important. About the resources selection of the resources that we are going to use in Internet according to the characteristic of the group and its age. The older you are, the more freedom you can choose from sources. A good selection of resources is essential to achieve the success of our webquest. About evaluation it is essential that the student knows from the beginning how it will be evaluated. And finally the conclusion. We must arrive at conclusions that allow the debate and leave open future research, also through other webquest. There is a possibility that the webquests end with a series of reflections and advices by the teacher. So a good webquest should: Present students with a complete resource search. Show a concise and developed description of the tasks to be performed by students. An example of webquest is the webquest of Jean Monnet’s life and European History. This webquest intend to teach the history of European integration and the student must seek connections between the life and deeds of Jean Monnet and the great events of the 20th century. Thank you for your attention.

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