subject I had with the Transition Years this year was Local
History. I had them for the last two classes on Friday afternoons
so that we could go out as often as possible. The students
were of mixed ability though generally good. As I never was
given the chance of using the computer room I did not achieve
one of my objectives-creating a website filled with local
history which my Junior Cert history students could use in
the future. My intention was to enable the students to gather
information over the three sessions to add to a simple website
which we would create. The first group's focus would be on
buildings in Kilkenny City, the second group, famous people
(residents or visitors) who were in Kilkenny and then the
third group would look at the rest of the county.
To engage their interest
in this, whenever we could we went down town and the students
followed printed Tourist Trails created over the years by
my former classes. When the weather was bad, which was not
very often, the students researched local history in the forty/fifty
books on Kilkenny which I brought to class. We met down town,
usually at the Bank of Ireland, at 3.00pm, they were given
a 'Trail' to follow and to fill in the answers, meeting again
for discussion at 3.45pm. At the end of the three modules
the girls had to give me a brief account of someone or someplace
which might eventually be incorporated into the site. I brought
in my laptop one day when I knew I would only have four students
and they made a start on the website. We used Publisher because
it was what I had learned at the 'Teach to the Future' course.
One might ask why I did not have the students give me their
work on disks and I could have uploaded it onto the fledgling
site? If I had had more class contact time and/or access to
the computer room with them this would have been feasible.
Apart from the computer problem, it was a chaotic year which
militated against any bandaid solution. In my opinion this
was a valid idea for Local History but a non-starter for I.T.
given the lack of timetabled access to the I.T. room.
Catherine Loughman 26.04.01