Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Languages ICT website to close on 25 July 2011

The Languages ICT website, which was set up and maintained by CILT and ALL, is due to close on 25 July 2011. The announcement of its closure appears on the Languages ICT homepage. If there are materials at the site that you find useful grab them while you can! There are many PDF and video files that can be downloaded.

This is another example of a useful site being abandoned as a result of the lack of available funding. We have seen this happening many times, especially since the current government took over. Having said that, websites that depend on national government or EC funding are often short-lived. Once the funding period comes to an end they are unable to sustain themselves, so they get out of date and are finally abandoned. Teachers TV is a typical example, although the videos can now be streamed from other sites where they are archived: http://www.tes.co.uk/TeachersTV and http://www.teachersmedia.co.uk/

When the ICT4LT website was initiated with EC funding in 1999-2000, it was made available in four languages: English, Italian, Finnish and Swedish. After the funding period came to an end it was sustained as a labour of love by the five original partners, but the Italian, Finnish and Swedish versions were not kept up to date and have now been abandoned. I took the decision to take over the English-language version and to keep it going. It requires quite a bit of work as links keep changing or disappearing and new developments in ICT take place every day. Nevertheless, the site is reasonably up-to-date and includes information on ICT developments that have taken place since the funding period came to a close, e.g. blogging, podcasting, Web 2.0 applications and virtual worlds. Income from a few discreetly placed advertisements more than covers the costs of paying for the broadband connection and Web space is donated free of charge by my daughter Si├ón, who is a graphic designer / Web designer. So there are ways and means of keeping a project going. The site receives an average of 12,000 to 13,000 visits per month – “real” visits, not visits from bots and search engines:

So what happens to dead sites? Sometimes their resources are archived on new or existing sites, but there is a huge Web archive, also known as the Wayback Machine, that keeps records of earlier versions of websites. It is not 100% complete, but I have often found it useful in tracking down resources that I thought had disappeared into oblivion.

2 comments:

Ammar Merhbi said...

That's so sad Graham, to find that many great and innovative projects are halted due to lack of funding. This is a good example of the role of politics in education in general. I was really upset when they ended Teacher TV, such a great resource for teachers.

Graham Davies said...

It now appears that ALL and CILT will attempt to rescue and archive some of the Languages ICT materials - but it is not yet known where that will be.

The Teachers TV videos are now available at:
http://www.teachersmedia.co.uk/