The use of ICT for teaching history: slow growth, some green shoots
Findings of HMI inspection, 1999-2001Scott Harrison
During the last two school years HMI and Additional Inspectors recruited by Ofsted have been undertaking a programme of visits to schools to evaluate the impact of governmental ICT initiatives. (Ofsted 2001) As part of this survey, history specialists inspected approaching fifty secondary-school history departments to look at work using ICT. Background information on these schools and on ICT in history was obtained from Section 10 reports. Schools were selected because they had received a significant proportion of their National Grid for Learning grant and had been approved as suitable recipients of New Opportunities Fund training in ICT. They did not, therefore, constitute a stratified sample of schools or history departments: indeed, inspection revealed that most of the schools in the sample have history departments that are at least sound, and some are good or very good.
The main findings from the survey are summarised below.
|• In only a small minority of schools is there regular coherent use of ICT to support learning in history. |
|• Some pupils experience productive ICT-rich activity in history lessons, and many more choose to work using ICT in their own time when the opportunity arises. |
|• The ICT capability of teachers within and between departments remains variable. As proportions of the total lessons seen, there were fewer good lessons and more unsatisfactory lessons using ICT than was the case for history lessons as a whole. Too often objectives are unclear and lessons are insufficiently prepared for. |