A great deal has been written about teaching pupils about significance. If you want to get a feel for the extensive work that has been done in this area you only have to look at ‘Teaching History’ to access to a range of excellent articles on the topic. From the late Robert Phillips ‘GREAT’ mnemonic to Christine Counsell’s Five ‘R’s there are numerous scaffolds that we can use to help children assess the significant of something or someone. Here are a couple of ICT based ideas that have worked for me.
I’ve been experimenting with using the iPad in lessons and would like to recommend a nifty timeline application called ‘Timeline Eons’ reviewed by History Today in February. After having played with the free version for a few days I have upgraded to the full version for under six pounds and although there are probably a few fine adjustments to be made the App is well worth the outlay.
It comes with a pre-built “graphic representation of the entire natural and human history” which is fascinating but with a distinct American bias. If you have the free version you’re stuck with this state of affairs but with the upgrade there is the opportunity to add your own events which is great. So far I’ve used it with Y7 and Y9 looking at the spread of the Black Death and significant events from the twentieth century respectively.
I’m playing the image through to a Promethean IWB and the quality is excellent. The only slight problem I’m having at the moment is the hassle of hooking the iPad up to the RGB for the IWB. As well as risking damaging pins with repeated use it also means you can’t change between the iPad and say your PC or laptop as easily as you should be able to during a lesson. The solution is not too far away however as I’ve a KVM switch on order that should allow me to have all three hooked up simultaneously.
So there it is….a great way to use your iPad in lessons and not just for looking good in the staffroom.