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Facing History Webinar

Thank you to Karen Murphy and Mara Gregory at Facing History and Sean Pettis at Corrymeela for organising and hosting today's online learning webinar. We had some great demonstrations of online teaching techniques and resources, the key points of which are outlined below.

Karen Murphy, Facing History and Ourselves (

Karen recommended Facing History resources and approaches that are suitable for distance learning.

Resource Collections:

Teaching Strategies:

Denver Charles, Magherafelt High

Denver reflected on the changes he has made to his teaching practice in order to accommodate distance learning and he shared some of his most successful approaches to lock-down learning:

Successful approaches

  • Engagement breeds Enthusiasm!

  • Stay in touch with the students - maintains the sense of ‘our school community.’

  • Stay in touch with colleagues - helps maintain ‘our collective sanity.’

Successful teaching strategies:

  • Flipping the Classroom: "You are the Expert! You are going to have to teach the Rosa Parks story when you return to school! Prepare your presentation with this in mind. "

  • Open ended tasks with no answers! How are the U.S. and French Revolutions linked? Which is the most important Revolution in History?

  • Journaling, interviewing parents re: the Troubles, writing and reflecting their thoughts on the NI Troubles.

  • Time capsules, writing up experiences of lock-down, documenting an important period of history

  • Setting up a collaborative space for Source Work - silent conversations for sharing ideas about sources.

  • Being creative - create storyboards or animations to tell the story of important events i.e. Little Rock Nine

  • Being an Upstander. Who are the Upstanders in today’s situation?

  • Live lessons: Zoom, Google Classrooms, MS teams- good for giving feedback

Successful resources:

Ellen Bell, HTANI

HTANI is developing the website's Resources section during schools closure, mapping the best of online resources from broadcasters, museums, libraries, universities and archives to the CCEA curriculum.

Key resources highlighted:

John Wishart, Lagan College

John Wishart uses a range of technology tools to build up his Lagan History Zone website. He demonstrated some of his favourite software for creating interactive learning resources:

Find more of John's top technology tips at

Some Questions:

  • What are the best pupil and teacher strategies for adapting to lock-down learning?

  • What is the extent of technology poverty and how is this affecting pupils ability to learn online? What can we do to tackle this issue, do we need more mobile based learning activities?

  • How is the lock-down affecting pupils emotionally and their ability to engage? How do we encourage pupils in NI (who are reticent by nature) to engage in discussions about their emotional reaction.

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