Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

Using the Internet for Educational Purposes

I have been experimenting for several years with various internet-based services to see how useful they can be for educational purposes. They all seem interesting and useful but are time-consuming.

1. You-Tube. I began my present You Tube channel in July 2012, and have so far recorded 116 videos with a total of over 49,000 views. The most popular video – on the neo-Behaviourisn of Tolman and Hull – has received 3,458 views to date in 102 countries: everywhere from Croatia to Ecuador and Cameroon, but the largest number of views was in the United States (1,095). The topics covered reflect my teaching and research interests, and include the Histories of Psychology, Social Thought and Slavery, Baha’i Studies, and various aspects of World History. Some videos are closely tied to particular courses that I teach, and if I ever have sufficient time, it will be interesting to make them a more integral part of the work I give to students. I have received lots of encouraging messages from viewers, including one from a high school teacher in upstate New York who was using my videos in his Psychology course. The videos all take the conservative form of what is essentially a PowerPoint presentation with a voice-over by me. There are no fancy graphics or shots of me talking into the camera. They take quite a lot of work to make – I have to write the script, prepare the PowerPoint programme and then record the video. I sometimes include reference links, and I always seek to ensure that the information I present is accurate and up-to-date.

See: ‘Peter Smith’, at

2. Blogsite. I started my blogspot in January 2013, and have so far made 114 posts which have received 4,854 views. Most readers are in the United States and Thailand, but again, the reach is global, with views from countries as diverse as Tunisia, Madagascar and Jamaica. As with the You-Tube videos, the topics covered relate largely to my teaching and research interests and are serious in intent.

See: ‘Peter Smith’, at

3. Facebook. I have been experimenting for some time now with using Facebook as an educational medium, creating a number of ‘pages’ and ‘groups’ on various topics. Both consist largely of posting links to relevant academic sources and good quality journalism. The pages are easier to create but don’t encourage interactivity; the groups are much more interactive but need monitoring to keep spammers out. Pages include: ‘Early 20th Century History Links’; ‘World War I: Sources and Links’; ‘The World Today’; and ‘Psychology at Salaya’. The groups include ‘African and Middle Eastern Studies’; ‘Universities and Liberal Arts’; and ‘Social Media and Society’. Anyone is able to ‘join’ a page simply by liking it, but would-be members have to apply to join a group and be added on by an administrator (with preference given to those who seem to have bone fide identities and academic affiliations).


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This entry was posted on March 30, 2014 by in Education and tagged , , .
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