Wednesday, 12 October 2011

VITAL: Geography Teachshare 1 - Tonight

I will be running my first VITAL Teachshare TONIGHT

It's on 'FREE GIS TOOLS for the Geography Classroom' and introduces the basics of GIS followed by 3 suggested websites which can be used to produce GIS-style work with students.

If you'd like to join me, you'll need to click this link just before 7pm

This will load up Elluminate on your machine which may take a few minutes....

For those who haven't been to an online session before, you'll be able to hear and see me going through a presentation and then have a chance to discuss things. You can ask question and I might ask you to click some icons to participate... You'll get the hang of it...

We should be finished by 7.45, but you can of course feel free to join later and leave earlier if you like: that's the 'benefit' of online sessions like this. Slides and links will be on Slideshare after the event.

If you haven't already done so, head over to VITAL and sign up for a free trial for the Geography portal too...

Check out the other subject portals too. For just five quid you can subscribe to 3 of them until March 2012 and access videos, forums, resources, Top Tips and other content.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

I'm excited to be starting a new part-time post working for the Open University's VITAL CPD programme next week. A series of subject specific portals have started to open, and next week sees the launch of the Geography Portal, which I shall be managing.

As part of the launch, I shall be leading a Teachshare next Wednesday at 7pm (there will be 2 of these each month, sometimes more)

The subject will be FREE GIS FOR THE GEOGRAPHY CLASSROOM and I will show 3 websites which can be used to carry out GIS type work in the geography department.

This will be held via the Elluminate service. The link to join the event is HERE.
It's a little like a FLASH meeting or ADOBE connect, for those who are familiar with those.

The cost of accessing up to 3 of the subject-specific portals between now and the end of March 2012 is just five pounds, which has to be a bargain considering the geography-specific support that the portal will offer....

I shall be doing the following each month:
- holding at least 2 Teachshare meetings
- posting Top Tips for Geography teachers, which will include resources and other tip-offs
- a moderated Geography forum, where you can join in discussions on pedagogy and curriculum topics
- producing 4 x 10 minute video guides to a particular website or technique that would be useful in the geography classroom
- keeping up to date with the geography news

There will also be other Geography features added over time...

Hope to see you there next week !

Wednesday, 5 October 2011 now LIVE !

I've just completed my first mission on the relaunched Mission which is now live in BETA
It's called the DEAD EASY MISSION
Come and login and find out what it involves...
It's worth it to go and see Tom Morgan Jones' latest wonderful illustrations...

Just going to do some missions at home...

Coincidentally my EARTH SANDWICH Mission Explore t-shirt arrived today - it's cool.

Why not order your own MISSION EXPLORE shirt to wear while completing the MISSION EXPLORE missions ?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Subject Knowledge Update: Globalisation

The RGS-IBG hold regular subject updates for topics that are of relevance to 'A' level topics in particular.

I mentioned a previous one on water, and will actually be leading one in 2012 on the theme of the Polar regions (of which more to come later...)

There will be a subject update on the theme of Globalisation held in Manchester on the 5th of December 2011. This will be useful for those who would find it difficult travelling to London.

Subject Knowledge Updates are a series of evening sessions each focusing on a different theme, covering the basic information for teaching that topic and providing up to date case study material and resources. The next session in this series looks at Globalisation.
The DfE Schools White Paper 2010 The importance of Teaching highlights a need for subject knowledge to
be included in CPD: “It is also vital that we give teachers the opportunity to deepen their subject
knowledge and renew the passion which brought them into the classroom”.

This Globalisation Subject Knowledge Update will:
 Provide up to date and new case study material and information.
 Give an overview of the key facts and information that should be highlighted when teaching 
 Help teachers who have not taught globalisation for a while, or never studied it, to teach it 
effectively and confidently.
 Provide some resources and case studies for you to take away for use at KS3, KS4 and KS5.
 Encourage enthusiasm to teach globalisation and give ideas of how to link it with other topics and 

About the session
Globalisation is now a core element for some of the new geography A-level Specifications and the
International Baccalaureate diploma course. It is increasingly a highly popular A2 option for those boards
where it is not a compulsory topic. But thanks to the fast-changing nature of global interactions, it is
difficult for students and teachers to always keep up to date with their facts and case studies. Some new
course text books published in 2008 do not mention the Credit Crunch for instance, yet this is a crucial new development that some experts have even called ‘de-globalisation.’  Effective globalisation teaching for higher grades also requires that students can make good use of important concepts – such as networks, flows, interconnectedness – and that they also have a good understanding of the politics, and not just the economics, of globalisation. This session will provide experienced and newer geography teachers with an opportunity to up-date their globalisation knowledge. Specific themes covered will include TNCs updates, cultural globalisation (glocalisation), global politics, ICT and global interactions (mobiles, Facebook, BlackBerry, etc.), diaspora, global production networks and Credit Crunch geography.
About the presenter
Dr Simon Oakes is an A-level Principal Examiner and Chief Examiner for IB Diploma Programme geography.He currently teaches at Bancroft’s School in Essex and is an experienced undergraduate lecture. He has been the lead writer of the Royal Geographical Society’s ‘Geography in the News’ website since 2003, authoring more than 120 articles. Simon is an Associate Editor of Geography Review magazine and is the author of Phillip Allan’s new Globalisation text book and a co-author of several key A-level and GCSE course guides. His doctoral research examined the growth of information technology global networks viewed from a rural perspective. Post-doctoral research includes work on flood hazard management for the Environmental Agency / Defra and climate change curriculum development with DCSF.

Venue:  Xaverian Sixth Form College, Lower Park Road, Victoria Park, Manchester, M14 5RB
Time: 5pm – 7pm (registration from 4.30pm for a prompt start). Refreshments will be available.
Format: 90mins lecture style followed by 30mins of discussion and questions.
There are 20 places available on this course.
Please note: this course is for teachers only.
Members (School Members / Fellows / ECT Members / Young Geographers) £30 inc VAT
Non Members £40 inc VAT

Contact Claire Wheeler for more details

Monday, 3 October 2011

Innovative Geography Teaching Grants

As a geography teacher, I received quite a few Innovative Geography Teaching Grants: two as an individual, and two as part of a group project. The first one was the GeoBlogs project in 2003, which gave me my online persona and kick-started a whole range of other stuff...

The RGS-IBG have just announced the recipients for 2011

Innovative Geography Teaching Grant recipients

  2011: Rachel Atkins (Bristol Grammar School). 'Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) Templates – Interactive Geographers'
The templates focus on interactive techniques to encourage pupil participation with the IWB. the creation of templates which illustrate easy and effective techniques in Smartboard, can be easily modified according to the aims of lessons, and therefore supply resources that are ready to go, needing minimal adoption
  2011: Samantha Coulson (William Farr CE School). 'Geography of Film – Scheme of Work'
The project developed Year 9 pupils’ ability to relate their experience of films to their knowledge of the real world, and in doing so opening their eyes to what film has to offer and giving context to reality. Pupils can investigate how film instils, a sense of place, culture and change over time
  2011: James Mutton (Featherstone High School). 'The whole world (wide web) in my hands'
The project used mobile technology to enhance the delivery of geography education.This enables faster access to data and personilising provision to individuals, demonstrating how relevant and cutting edge Geography education
can be
  2011: Jo Debens (Priory School Specialist Sports College). 'International link between Priory School, UK and the Cape Fear Centre for Enquiry, USA'
Pupils compare their personal geographies of their home areas and explore how living near the coast affects their lives.Using new technologies students are able to collaborate with others, therefore developing their communication skills.

Congratulations to all the recipients....