Sunday, 30 October 2016

GeographyPaul

I first met Paul Turner in 2010ish (I think) when he was completing his PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge University and I was speaking to that year's cohort, as I have done for nearly 10 years now.

Our paths have crossed numerous times since: as a speaker at the GA Cambridge branch which he helped with, at Sevenoaks School when I spoke to the local cluster of teachers, and at Bedales School, where I have the privilege to be the geography moderator for their Bedales Assessed Course. Paul and I were also the two people who received the RGS-IBG's Innovative Geography Teacher awards the last time they were offered. Paul worked with a colleague from CASA UCL to create some resources.

Paul was also behind the 'Geographical Times' - I have a rare copy of Issue 1 (all reasonable offers considered) - and also cycled LEJOG and set up a drone video channel. He was also kind enough to come and speak at the GIS Day that I organised at my school earlier this year as part of the GI Learner project.

Paul has now made thousands of his resources available in a new format. There are a few geography teachers who have shared all their work over the years - I did it myself from 2001 onwards on the late great GeographyPages, and some like Richard Allaway did too with the essential Geography all the Way, but then monetised their site with a small annual subscription fee (if I could have worked out how to do it I would have done too, to be fair...)

Paul is asking for £20 for a year's subscription giving access to all the materials on his Google Drive, however the money will then be donated to Surfers against Sewage.

I've seen, and used, a fair few of Paul's resources over the years (there are some samples on the website) and have no doubt this is excellent value for money for those wanting an injection of new materials at this time of great curriculum change.
Follow, or contact him on Twitter: @geography_paul

Friday, 28 October 2016

New Digimap for Schools resources

There is a whole new set of resources now available to download to accompany the Digimap for Schools tool.

They have been written by Will Tuft, and although they are written with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in mind, they would be useful for anybody teaching the relevant topics.

If you want to hear more of Will's work, you can hear him being interviewed by John Johnston on the EduTalk Radio podcast website.
He is talking about his ideas for the immersive classroom. This involves an element of storytelling, suspension of disbelief, and setting up the classroom around a particular scenario.  It was interesting to hear that I got a mention near the start of the programme, when Will describes how Russel Tarr and Matt Podbury's lessons based on my Ice Man book were the inspiration for the work. Will be seeing Russel and Matt next week at Practical Pedagogies (of which more to come on the blog over the next week or so...)

Check out Will's blog here too, for some of his ideas.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

New GA CPD Course - on in November

For a period between 2007 and 2013, I ran regular courses for the Geographical Association, including the Living Geography courses, NQT Conferences, GIS courses with ESRI, New Fieldwork courses and plenty of others. In that time, I worked with hundreds of teachers, and learned a lot about my own practice.
When I returned to teaching full time in 2013, I didn't have time to do them, and stopped, and a 'new' generation of presenters has taken over including Catherine Owen, Ben Ballin, Garry Simmons and Becky Kitchen.

Now, I'm back leading an event for the GA, with a new course, which has the added advantage of being 'my old favourite price': FREE. So you can come along for an afternoon discussing technology and global learning, and networking with other colleagues, and leaving with some new ideas for you I hope.

It's being put on in Bury St. Edmunds, so it's a handy location for those in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and S. Norfolk, and perhaps even parts of Essex.

It's on the theme of the GLOBAL LEARNING PROGRAMME, (which is funding the course) and has the context of a global village.


It also connects with an online course which I wrote last year for the GA, and is called Exploring our GLOBAL VILLAGE.

There is a connection with the golden record that NASA attached to the Voyager spaceships before they headed out to the edge of the universe. I was interested in a recent Kickstarter project to create replicas.

I hope to see some of you there...

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Primary Geography article

I have an article in the most recent issue of Primary Geography journal.


Steve Rawlinson asked me to write about digital connections, and ideas from my current school.


Thanks to colleagues including Martin Bramley and Richard Whymark for their thoughts, which were included in the final piece.
It can be downloaded by subscribers, and physical copies are on their way too.


You can add a subscription to your membership easily too.


Monday, 5 September 2016

New British Red Cross resource

A new resource that I wrote for the British Red Cross has now been published, and placed online for download. It's taken almost a year from the original start of the project, which John Lyon asked me to do before he retired from the GA. During that time it has grown and become a major resource.

It's 130 pages long, and packed with ideas for teaching about natural hazards and humanitarian aid.

Free to download from the British Red Cross website.

“We urge all geography teachers to download this free resource and encourage young people to think about the humanitarian impact of natural disasters. This invaluable resource pack has been created with the technical input from the British Red Cross combined with the expertise of GA teacher consultants.”
Rebecca Kitchen, Secondary Curriculum Leader at the Geographical Association

Introduction and curriculum links

Learn about how the resource has been designed to support your teaching and how the content maps to the geography curriculum for KS3, GCSE and A Level.

Session 1: Natural disasters

Session 1 is an introduction to the Natural disasters: earthquakes resource. It sets the scene by introducing the topic of natural disasters alongside general ideas of risk and hazard.
  • What do we mean by natural hazards and disasters and how can they be classified?
  • Which natural hazards are the most common?
  • What impacts will different natural disasters have on individuals and communities?

Session 2: Earthquakes

After a general introduction to natural hazards and disasters, this session moves on to look more specifically at earthquakes, with a focus on tectonic hazards.
  • Where do earthquakes happen, and why?
  • What were the causes of the Nepal earthquake?
  • How can people who live in areas prone to natural hazards prepare themselves for future events?
  • Could the Nepal earthquake have been predicted?

Session 3: The impact of a natural disaster

Session 3 focuses on the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster like an earthquake and the work of local and international Red Cross teams to support people affected.
  • What was the immediate impact of the Nepal earthquake?
  • What was the immediate humanitarian response to the earthquake?
  • How were local and international communities involved in this response?

Session 4: Recovery and resilience

After a natural disaster the Red Cross supports the people affected as they start to recover and rebuild their lives.
  • What are the longer term impacts of a natural disaster and how do people recover?
  • How resilient were individuals and communities in Nepal to the earthquake?
  • How can communities increase their resilience – what about the school community? What might make a community more or less resilient?
  • What lessons can be learned from each event so citizens are better prepared for them in future?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Media Literacy and Geographies of Consumption

Here's the latest resource that I have worked on (a little - I gave some guidance on the contents and Finnish translation and activities)

It's been developed by Eeva Kemppainen and Ian Cook, who I've worked with previously.

Developed for Pro-Ethical Trade Finland

This guide sets out an approach to teaching media literacy and the geographies of consumption that has been developed by the NGO Pro Ethical Trade Finland (Eettisen kaupan puolesta ry), with funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland.
A subvertisement workshop involves interpreting and subverting the messages made in product advertising.
With their teachers, students are shown how to critically read advertisements brought into the classroom and encouraged to work out:
• How images and texts are designed to convey a message about a commodity
• How advertisements convey relationships between people, places and things
• What claims advertisements make about the origins and uses of commodities and what information and imagery is missing
• How advertisements can be altered to convey alternative messages
• How and where subvertisements can encourage critical readings of advertisements?

Children and young people are bombarded by diverse commercial messages on social media, on the street, on TV, in movies and in games. Teachers can help students to learn the differences between journalism and marketing as well as develop their capacity to critically interpret what they see and hear.

Would be useful for Cultural Geographers and also connections with Changing Places units as well.




You can download a copy of the whole guide in English (unless you want it in Finnish) as a PDF file.

For more on the previous work that I have done with Ian and Eeva check out the Follow the Things education page.

Friday, 12 August 2016

New 'A' level textbook published

Breaking into the summer break for some important news

The AQA 'A' level Geography textbook that I worked for over 2 years on editing and co-writing (and re-writing) is now in stock at the publishers! Order your copies now.

Thanks again to everyone who helped with the project!

Image: Caroline Walton from CUP