Thursday, 28 July 2011

Town - new BBC series

Nick Crane series just started.

Some interesting content, if nothing new to a seasoned geographer...
The supporting website, in association with the OU has links to a range of useful additional detail.


Also check out the opportunity to RUN YOUR OWN TOWN. This is a decision making interactive where you get to run a town and make important choices...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Topical Tropical Rainforests

A long overdue post....

A day last week working with Fay, Caitlin, Calum, Agnes, Sophie and Jamie in Priory School, Southsea.

It was a student leader co-contruction day, with the focus being a unit on Tropical Rainforests.

There was a lot of interesting discussion which I tried to capture and build into some new activities.

One area that we discussed was Palm Oil, and its use in processed food.
We thought about the issue of the Future of the forest and the different possible futures that it might have
We used the Human Planet clip of Tete climbing the tree to get honey
We also added an extra activity that was inspired by the recent story of the numbers of tribes that are still un-contacted, and the pros and cons of contacting them against leaving them. One of the main issues here of course is the size of the forest and the various groups that want to use the forest in different ways.
We mentioned the idea of sustainability a lot.

One additional topical link which I will be following for the next 5 weeks is that my niece is heading off for a 5 week Amazonian adventure to Peru today with BSES (British Schools Exploring Society), and I will add something inspired by that trip to the website / scheme of work as well...
You can follow the blog of the Amazon adventure by visiting the BSES website
There is also a FLICKR set which will presumably be added to.
There are some images of the training weekend so far, which would make useful resources.
Also got a copy of Bruce Parry's 'Amazon' next to me, and am going to fillet that too to see what's useful...

Also got the BSES Expedition Checklist which has potential as a resource to be used...

Been exploring a few links and found the Twitter feed of the BSES, which led me to James Borrell: one of the scientists who's going along to the rainforest, so there'll be some interesting options to follow for the next 5 weeks.

More to come on this shortly...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

GA Curriculum Consultation - make your voice heard.

The Geographical Association has added a major consultation to the website on the theme of "what makes a better school geography"....
It appeared yesterday.
It's a chance for you to get involved in a consultation on the changes to the Geography curriculum. There are several elements to the consultation, which can be viewed HERE.

There is a paper which describes a suggested 'national' curriculum, although the realities are that the curriculum document will be influenced by each school's particular circumstances and characteristics. The document suggests particular significant places that might be included, but there is a recognition that these will include those that are 'significant' for students too: very much influenced by the idea of 'living geography'.

There is also a presentation which suggests some of the geographical 'core knowledge' that will enable and open up other aspects of the curriculum. This has been put together by the GA's strategic partner ESRI UK, and works using the ArcGIS online tool. This is well worth a look as it consists of a series of maps containing specific information. Is the balance here correct ? are there places missing ? are there too many places named ?

When you've read the documents and the other materials that are presented here, please visit the FEEDBACK PAGE and provide your views. This is really important.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Philip Allan Course

Just had confirmation of a course that is going to run on the 5th of March 2012, organised by Philip Allan Updates.
The course is not on their website yet, but will be shortly.
The title is:
"Developing a personalised geography learning network".

Famous image: Alec Couros - CC licensed

It will be presented by David Holmes and myself...
It will be held at a venue in London (to be confirmed)

Draft schedule for the day
9.45am Registration and coffee 
10.00am Grasping the ideas: an open forum looking at the role of technology and learning, plus the role of networks 
Cultivating an active social network - what can it achieve? 
11.00am Coffee 
11.20am Evaluating the Google 'suite' for education - what's on offer?
Pros and cons and examples of success
12.20pm Lunch 
1.15pm Q&A + session: a chance to consolidate 
1.45pm There's an 'app' for that! - Smartphone technology, including use for fieldwork
2.30pm Tea break 
2.45 pm "The dog ate my homework" . Looking at school VLEs 
Building communities within the classroom for learning and participation
3.30 pm Review and moving forward
3.45pm  Day ends            

I shall keep you up to date with the details once the booking etc is finalised... don't worry - it's not the last time you'll see this...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Geography of Disease

This is another one of those blog posts aimed at uncovering a 'hidden' resource on the GA website that is freely available to anyone....

Geography of Disease was a project that was led by John Lyon, and was funded by the Wellcome Trust

Wycombe High School shared the resources that they produced as a result of their participation on their excellent website (on the Moodle platform...)

The resources are excellent ! You need to check them out if you are proposing to teach something about disease.
There are resources on Disease in Society - with a focus on Myxomatosis, the Black Death, HIV/AIDS, Cholera, Malaria, Bilharzia and Avian Influenza.

Check out Durham University's disease spread simulations too...

Great resources if you are teaching IB Geography, particularly the FOOD and HEALTH module of which more to come later in the year !

NQT Conferences in November 2011

The flyers for the latest GA CPD events have been published on Scribd.

I am leading two NQT Conferences in November 2011

NQT Conference: Making a difference in the classroom

If you are going to be an NQT Geographer or you are going to have an NQT in your department, and you'd like to book a place, contact Lucy Oxley on 01142960088

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

National Geographic Education

I have just finished working on a resource for the National Geographic Education team which is related to the work of the Geography Collective.
National Geographic Education has just had a big update, which is currently in BETA.
There is plenty of interest, including some examples of REAL WORLD GEOGRAPHY: people whose job relies on Geography to work...

I also liked the activities which connected FOOD with multiculturalism.
The metaphors are well known and were certainly part of our work on cultural globalisation on the Pilot GCSE, but worth exploring again...
Also a multimedia resource asking: "What is Geography ?"

This is certainly worth visiting and exploring....

Friday, 1 July 2011

AEGIS training

Over to the Innovation Unit at the University of Hertford a week or so ago now to have some GIS training of my own.
After years of leading training with a range of free and commercial GIS tools and packages, it was time for me to get some advanced training: in the AEGIS package from Diana Freeman.

Spent a good chunk of time talking through the CPD package that Diana had sent me, and also the two very useful project books with ready made projects that had been put together with Helen Young of Geography Geek fame (Helen's website is one of various places where you can find AEGIS materials that she has developed for a range of Key Stages. There are some really nice activities here.

The Project book contains a range of fully resourced activities.

I learned a lot about the package that I hadn't previously known, despite having used it quite a lot over a number of years.
I am going to be available to do some training in the new academic year.
I can come into school and work with you and your colleagues.
Ring the Advisory Unit to learn about the CPD packages that are available...