Wednesday, 28 October 2009

New CPD conferences for 2010

After the success of the "Living Geography" events in London, York and Wrexham, a new set of dates have been released for next year.

Raising the Profile of Geography in your school offers a series of workshops for Secondary teachers.

This time, I will be joined by Ruth Totterdell and John Lyon as co-presenters.
Full details available on the GA website by following the link above.

Language of Landscape Survey - prize draw

The Ordnance Survey Free Maps for 11 Year Olds are arriving in schools - you may already have had yours...
When you get the maps, you will also find a couple of (much sought after) hard copies of a publication called "The Language of Landscape"
The booklet is supported by a series of downloads from the NATURAL ENGLAND website.

I have created a SURVEY MONKEY SURVEY for those who have got their maps, and have also made use of the "Language of Landscape" to help students use the maps: whether inside or outside the classroom (or ideally both...)

Click Here to take survey

If you have used the maps and the book, please fill in the survey.

All completed questionnaires by 1st of December will be entered into a Prize Draw to win a copy of the KS3 Teachers Toolkit title: "Look at it this Way", a copy of the Geography Collective's "Journey Journal" and a few other geographical goodies....

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Journey Journal

Spent some time yesterday with Dan Ellison pinging e-mails backwards and forwards with the rather wonderful designers at Can of Worms putting the final touches to the Journey Journal before it went off to the presses for the first print run of 3000 books.

Journey Journal is a rather wonderful book for upper secondary / lower secondary age pupils.
It is designed to be used when on a "journey" of some kind, perhaps as one of the millions of days which are taken as authorised absences every year, or maybe on a foreign exchange / activity / cultural trip.
It's a quirky and creative way of recording the visit, and encouraging young people to take notice of their surroundings.

Coming soon to an educational establishment near you.

Get in touch via the GEOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE website for more details of how to order....

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Flip Video in the Classroom

Got this idea via Paul Cornish and his Teachers TV programme.
Produced a user guide for how to embed YouTube videos, made with Flip, with a worked example...
Just been filming a few clips and adding them to YouTube ready for some events next week...
View more presentations from GeoBlogs.

Also broke a tooth earlier, and waiting for the inevitable throb of pain - fingers crossed it's OK at the moment, but my proposed travels for this week are shown below, so not sure how I'll fit in a trip to the dentist :(

Friday, 9 October 2009

Today's learners...

Yvonne Roberts was one of the speakers at the 2nd day of Handheld Learning 09 conference. I wasn't in the building, but was following remotely via Twitter, and the conference hashtag #hhl09

She quoted that 65% of students say they still copy off the board. I also found this quote in an earlier article that she wrote.

Education in the state system in England is a 19th century folly. It has been moulded by an arcane set of rules and concepts that have no evidence base and certainly very little proof of success. It was based on schools producing canon fodder for the world wars and manual labour, in the main, for the mines and factories. Sitting in a classroom for an hour writing down what the teacher says, mute and unquestioning, does not work with the grain of most boys' temperament – and it's not all that appealing to girls either. It's also no preparation for the modern, fast paced, constantly changing world.

What's required instead, is problem solving and collaborative learning; pupils asking questions, encouraged to bring their life outside the class into school – skills with computers and the internet for instance, work to keep their curiosity alive. More genuine participation; more mixed ability; a better focus on the individual child so no one drops behind, their lack of progress camouflaged by the ridiculous notion that in education, "one size fits all". It's happening in a growing number of schools but this change goes uncelebrated because of the dictatorship of the DCSF, fearful of educational "mavericks".

Yvonne Roberts

On the same day, Ollie Bray wrote a good post on his blog about some research into the way that young people interact with technology.
Here's a summary:

  • They personally own 8 devices (including MP3 player, PC, TV, DVD player, mobile phone, stereo, games console, and digital camera)
  • They frequently conduct over 5 activities whilst watching TV
  • 25% of them agree that “I’d rather stay at home than go on a holiday with no internet or phone access”
  • A quarter of young people interviewed text or IM (instant message) friends they are physically with at the time
  • They have on average 123 friends on their social network spaces
  • And the first thing the majority of them do when they get home is turn on their PC
What are the implications of this for teachers of geography, who share a learning space with double digit numbers of these young people many times a week....

Free GeoPacks resources

If you haven't already picked up on this from previous blog posts, Rick Cope over at GeoPacks has been posting a monthly free resource to the website HERE.
These are all high quality resources, and well worth downloading. Registration with name and an e-mail is required.

The latest freebie is the FIERY FINGER OF FATE which helps you pick a particular student: an alternative to Russel Tarr's excellent Class Tools SLOT MACHINE perhaps ?

Thanks to Rick for his generosity...