Lez Smart with Miriam Norton
This chapter explores how recent developments in ICT have created new opportunities for using maps in the teaching and learning of history. These developments have reduced costs significantly, increased the accessibility of maps and, most dramatically, have created new opportunities to interact with maps. These advances have not always been driven by an educational agenda, but the educational opportunities they offer are unprecedented and are, I believe, very exciting for all history teachers.
The speed of development within the whole sphere of ICT and its impact on our lives is often the subject of comment. The Internet, with all its 'www.' addresses in common daily use, is in 2001 still only a few years old. Schools have, for a variety of reasons, generally taken some time to obtain, explore and make effective use of technological developments such as radio, TV, tape-recorders, video cameras and computers, and this is likely to be the case with ICT and maps. What follows is written as a small contribution to the ongoing exploration of how to make the teaching and learning of history both more effective - and more enjoyable, through the use of ICT with maps.
First, an examination of the contribution of maps to the effective teaching and learning of history in the pre- and post-ICT eras is undertaken. This is followed by a detailed practical guide to gaining access to historical maps for your own area held by the Ordnance Survey (OS). The final section, written in collaboration with Miriam Norton, explains how one teacher's use of the history + maps + ICT combination with a group of pupils with learning difficulties had a significant impact on learning. 1