The Possibilities for ICT In History
The Department of Education and Skills, in 2006, published a report that looked at teaching and learning History in post-primary schools. The report was conducted as a result of the findings and recommendations made by inspectors of history during September 2004 and May 2006. A total of fifty post-primary school are represented in the report, thirty-four voluntary secondary schools, four community or comprehensive schools and twelve VEC schools or community colleges. The diverse range of schools involved ensures a complete overview of how History was being taught and learnt from September 2004 to May 2006. The report is broken down and simplified into four sections.
- Whole-School Provision & Support.
- Planning & Preparation.
- Teaching & Learning.
- Assessment & Achievement.
The intended purpose of the report was to summarize what inspectors found during school visits between 2004 and 2006 and secondly, ‘to assist schools generally, and teachers of History specifically, in their efforts to improve History throughout the range of areas outlined’, (Department of Education and Skills, 2006).
At this particular stage I would expect many to be asking or questioning the importance or relevance of the report outlined above. Within the report there any many subsections that discuss and explain the use of Information and Communication Technology in History (ICT). From reading the report it is obvious that, even almost ten years ago, there was huge possibilities for ICT in History. ‘Another area of general resource provision that can significantly affect History is ICT’, (Department of Education and Skills, 2006). Teachers, at the time of the report, were becoming more and more aware of the advantages of ICT in History. ‘The History teachers want to access data projectors to enable them to use PowerPoint and other applications‘, (Department of Education and Skills, 2006). It’s fair to say that even during the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 that there was great opportunities and possibilities for ICT to be used in History classes.
Since 2006, when the report was published, there has been a remarkable increase ‘in the range and quality of material available online, and through other electronic media, to support the teaching of History’, (pdst.ie). The possibilities for ICT in History and education in general is now better than ever. In recent times numerous websites and applications have been constructed to aid and facilitate student learning. There is something for every type of learner, whether you are a visual learner, auditory learner, read and write learner, or kinaesthetic learner. The Professional Development Service for Teachers (pdst.ie) have complied a number of websites and applications that support the teaching and learning of History at post-primary schools. I will now explain just a few of them.
Study Stack is a free web 2.0 tool which helps students to memorise information in a fun and engaging way. Students and teachers can create their own flashcards or use some of the millions of flashcards that have already been created. For each set of flashcards entered, the StudyStack website automatically generates over a dozen ways for students to study and revise the material they need to learn, reducing boredom. Teachers too can enter material once and have over a dozen different activities created for their students, (pdst.ie).
StudyStack Link: http://www.studystack.com/
StudyStack (Video): https://youtu.be/geOJmK-7zgU
Digital learners prefer processing pictures, sounds, colours and video as opposed to working with static text. Animoto is a Web 2.0 tool which facilitates this. It can be used to improve subject vocabulary, understanding of complex topics, link concepts and develop greater understanding for students. Animoto allows users to create visually appealing and memorable videos which can be created in minutes once the subject material is available, (pdst.ie).
Animoto Link: https://animoto.com/
Padlet is a free online tool that is best described as an online notice board. Padlet can be used by students and teachers to post notes on a common page. The notes posted by teachers and students can contain links, videos, images and document files, (pdst.ie).
Padlet Link: https://padlet.com/
These are just a few examples of how we, as teachers, can incorporate and use ICT in the subject History. It is obvious from these examples and the discussion above that there is huge possibilities for ICT in History!
Department of Education & Science, (2006). Looking At History: Teaching & Learning History in Post-Primary Schools. Stationary Office, Dublin. Retrieved from https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Inspection-Reports-Publications/Evaluation-Reports-Guidelines/insp_looking_at_history_pdf.pdf
Professional Development Service for Teacher, (pdst.ie). Junior Cycle – History. Retrieved from http://pdst.ie/jc/history/ICT