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e-Help Seminars - Alf Wilkinson
e-help Seminar 14
Using the web effectively for research
Toulouse 17-19 February 2005

My seminar focused on a simple practical example of how we might encourage history teachers to use ICT in their lessons. If we start from the history, and not from the ICT, then we can show how we can actually do history, only better, using ICT.

I started from my local war memorial. Many teachers do use their local war memorial to look at names, events etc. If you coup e this with a visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website – www.cwgc.org.uk you can find out about each soldier, where they are buried or commemorated, and a little about the campaign they were killed in.

Follow this up with a websearch for the war cemeteries and/or memorials, and you put the soldiers’ deaths in context, and help to make the war more human. Another websearch explored the battles/campaigns they died in. You only need a few names to link the First World War very firmly to the local area – many of the names will be familiar to local pupils from the newspapers and the local cemetery. In my case the two were killed at Gallipoli and Passchendale – significant battles in WW1.

Both my casualties were in the Lincolnshire Regiment, which no longer exists. A couple of judicious searches produced the story of the Lincolnshire Regiment – they were called ‘Yellowbellies’ not because of cowardice, but because of the yellow mess waistcoat of the dress uniform!

So, starting from the local I can explore most of the significant events of WW1, linking local to national to international, in a way that brings home the war. I can also do good history – searching, finding out, selecting, presenting information – only as soon becomes apparent, better using the internet and perhaps’ powerpoint’ for pupils to present their work, than by using textbooks and libraries.

You don’t have to be hi-tech to effectively do history using ICT, and for many teachers, that is the way into becoming effective users of ICT in history teaching and learning.

Contribute further to the seminar at


Spartacus Learning Online MacGregor is History Historia Siglo 20 Historical Association International School History Sintermeertencollege InnovativeICT.net

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