Monday, 1 May 2017

Send my friend to school 2017

I've been involved in this campaign every year since it first launched, and it's nearly time to start preparing for 2017.

World leaders have promised every child in the world a quality education.
But a key piece of the puzzle is missing - the money to pay for this education - leaving the global picture with 263 million children missing out on school, and many more in school not learning. Now is the time to act to solve this crisis. We have a window of opportunity - 2017 is the year that world leaders can translate their words into action and fund education for all.

As part of the campaign, thousands of children across the country are creating paper jigsaw pieces, to represent that financing is the missing piece of the education puzzle, and sending them to their newly elected or re-elected MPs following the results of the UK General Election. It is important that as many MPs as possible can hear about the campaign so that they can see the strength of support for education.

Last year around 400 000 young people got involved. Can we get more this year?

Teachers can request resources to help them get involved in the campaign.

Digimap - your views wanted

The service is run through the University of Edinburgh, and there is now a project underway to assess the overall impact of the mapping service across those schools which make use of it.

I'm going to be sharing my views, and there is an opportunity for you to share yours.

You can contact Michael Gallagher here if you'd like to be involved in adding your views to the review of the service.
There are now over 2700 schools using the service, which is a real success compared to the numbers when I first got involved, and was asked to write some of the resources for secondary teachers.
Here's Michael's request - you'll notice it is not just Geography teachers that he is interested in speaking to.

I would love to speak to any and all teachers in the UK interested in ICT use as part of their teaching. Not a geography teacher? Not a problem. I want to speak to teachers across the curriculum. History, literature, science, math, and geography. This evaluation is not only about Digimap, but also about ICT use broadly. Not confident in your ICT use? Not a problem. Never used Digimap? Truly not a problem. I want to learn more about your teaching and how ICT enters into that (or not, depending). I want to learn about your teaching approaches, want to know what you think are barriers to attainment and satisfaction, what you see are some of the larger issues surrounding incorporating these types of applications into your teaching.

Remember that the service is updated with new features regularly.
Most recently, there is the chance to view GeoGraph photos through the Digimap service.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

ArcGIS Online now free to all UK schools

We have been using ArcGIS Online in school for several years now, and ESRI UK have kindly given us a free subscription for the last few years so that we can share our work.

At the end of the Awards presentation at this week's GA Conference Stuart Bonthrone, the MD of Esri UK stood up and made an announcement which was in some ways inevitable after events previously in the USA, and also very welcome.


Stuart announced that from immediate effect, ArcGIS Online will be free to all UK schools.

Under the heading of "The Science of Where", Stuart then played a short video featuring the inspirational work of Thierry Torres and colleagues at Dover Grammar School.


If you want to know more, and sign up your school, head for the ESRI UK Schools page.



I also had the chance to meet Steve Richardson, who is being employed to produce new resources and materials for teachers to encourage more use of the tool in classes.
There are already over 60 resources available, with plenty more to come.



Finally, check out the GeoMentors programme, which pairs up schools with GIS professionals.

Sign up your school now

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Vouchercloud: top tourist destinations

Vouchercloud has produced a map to show the top tourist destination in each country in the world.

This is a large map - click on the map following the link to see the whole thing and download it if you want a copy.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

GA Conference Teachmeet - April 2017

The GA Teachmeet is on again.  It's part of the GA Conference 2017
As in previous years, it's being co-ordinated by David Rogers, along with Lucy Oxley.



We are particularly keen to have some younger teachers (nobody wants to see ANOTHER 50-something bloke on stage), and those from Primary as well as Secondary, and in particular, people who have never presented at a Teachmeet before.... so they can feel the sheer terror and then exhilaration of sharing ideas with peers when they've had a few free beers first... so sign up here.

If you just want to come along and watch, you'll need a ticket from the Eventbrite page, but the event is even more enjoyable if your name is in the old slot machine too...

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Place Based Research

One of the sessions at the recent GTE Conference that I most wanted to see was Emma Rawlings-Smith's presentation on her research so far into how place is represented in textbooks. I was interviewed by Emma last year as part of this research, with respect to how we wrote the AQA 'A' Level textbook for CUP and the OCR 'A' and 'B' books for Hodder.

Emma has a blog which is used to show her progress in her research.

The blog is called GeoPlaces and is on the Weebly platform.

The blog is connected with her PhD research. It's also very useful to connect the academic ideas on place with the teaching that is involved in the new 'A' level Changing Places topic. Emma interviewed me on my decision-making process when writing and editing the draft of this chapter in the Cambridge University Press textbook.
There is a useful set of resources here.

Finally on Changing Places, you may want to see an article by Richard Phillips in the latest Geography Review magazine, which looks at Changing Places in the context of Hackney. You can follow him on Twitter too.

You could also usefully watch Alan Smith's TED talk below:

Saturday, 21 January 2017

A Plastic Ocean

Now available to stream (fee required) on Vimeo...

A Plastic Ocean from Brainstorm Media on Vimeo.