Friday, 29 March 2013

GA Conference 2013

I'm preparing my contributions to the Geographical Association Conference today.

The conference will be held at the University of Derby, which is my favourite of the three venues. It runs from the 4th to the 6th of April.

The first day of the conference doesn't involve any of the usual workshops.
I will be heading over to the Association at Work session to grab a bite to eat, and chat to Ian Cook (who features in this month's 'Geographical' magazine coincidentally) to talk about a Follow the Things project I'm doing between now and the end of June.

Later that afternoon, it's the public lecture from Ellen MacArthur, followed by the GA Awards. I know that something I worked on has won an award, and there may be a few more in the offing too...
Then it's the wine reception, followed by a few drinks with esteemed geographer colleagues...

Friday is the main day of the conference, with sessions from early in the morning to late in the evening. My draft schedule is as follows:

Lecture 2
Oceans for the Geography Classroom from Jamie Buchanan Dunlop. I've worked with Jamie on three different projects this year for Digital Explorer.

Workshop 6
Ian Cook – Follow the Things 
A controversial choice as this clashes with Bob Digby's Presidential Lecture, but I'll be going along to get ideas and pointers for the work I'm doing with Ian. I'm sure there'll be a big turn out for Bob's lecture so I won't be missed...

Workshop 11 – SPC
I'll be going along to support SPC colleagues in their workshop.

Lunch, and a chance to network with colleagues. I'll also spend some time on the Discover the World stand to share ideas on the mission booklet which we've put together with them.

Lecture 7
David Lambert
My old boss talking about the thorny subject of progression in Geography - what's not to like.

Workshop 20
APPening Geography 
I'm up on this one. Katy Shipman and I will talk about apps, and their use in geography. We'll ask people about their favourite apps, and explore how they can support learning.

Workshop 26
I'm up on this one as well.. going to be a busy couple of hours !
Two Hundred Heads are better than one
I'm going to act as master of ceremonies, and introduce two sessions by Tony Cassidy and John Sayers. They are both on the theme of collaborative work, and the importance of sharing. 

Lecture 13
Urban Vignettes - Emma Rawlings-Smith and other colleagues who are involved in setting up a website with writing on urban areas. I'm hoping I can get across in time to join this one.

SPC Meal - down into Derby Centre for a pizza and a chat with colleagues...

GeoBeerMeet - over to the Brunswick Inn near the railway station for a gathering of teachers and some fine ale...

Sign up for the event on Google+ here

After the GeoBeerMeet I shall sleep soundly, knowing that my major contributions to the event have been concluded.
The second main day of the conference is on Saturday.

Lecture 13
Digital Earth - a lecture by Karl Donert, related to an EU project which I am involved in, and which has taken me to various European locations... which is nice :)

Keynote – the changing Arctic
Terry Callaghan lecture - an important element of the conference is the chance to develop knowledge and skills in new areas. This is an area that I've been focussing on with some reading, and will develop further for some writing I'm planning in 2013 and beyond.

Mission Explore fieldtrip - a quick trip out, with a trial of some of the missions in the book

Bringing knowledge back in
A range of contributors from the various UK nations...

If you're going along to the conference, come and say hello.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

John Muir Trust Mission Booklet

For the last few months we've been working with the amazing folks at the John Muir Trust to put together a booklet of missions which marries the Mission:Explore style of missions to the aims of the trust, which are to encourage young people to experience the landscape, and care for wild places.
John Muir was the father figure of nature conservation, and quotes from him have been included to connect the missions with some of the ideas that he had over a century ago.
The resource is part of the celebrations for the Year of Natural Scotland, 2013

You can get to see the missions on this GRAPHICLY page. It will be available in other locations shortly, and I'll add the links to those as they emerge.

Here's a slide that I've used in many of my presentations...
Get out and about this Easter... and don't forget to take the opportunity to Mission:Explore...

Saturday, 16 March 2013

GCSE Geography Request

I'm interested in the support strategies for GCSE Geography that seem to work the best for you.

I've also set this post up to show the potential for using GOOGLE FORMS for collecting data. This can be used for data collection for KS3 and GCSE/'A' level projects. It features in a new book on 'Fieldwork through Enquiry', which I wrote for the Geographical Association, and will be published later this year.

If you have a GMail account, you will already have a Google Drive available to you, which you can claim by visiting the site.
There is a HELP PAGE here.

If you had a minute or so to fill in the few questions that I've added below that would be much appreciated. As any entries are made, they will appear on a spreadsheet, and can then be analysed. There are also some immediate visualisation options....
Thanks in advance...

Friday, 15 March 2013

Google Earth Events

Richard Allaway is organising a special online event on the 6th of May.
It will take place at 8pm in the evening

This session will outline how Google Earth skills can be incorporated into the school curriculum and not just the Geography one!  This will lead to the discussion of a real, tested, classroom example of building a continuum of skill development leading towards a project planning the first commercial (1937) passenger flight from Southampton (UK) to Cape Town (South Africa) which happened to be on a boat-plane! (25 minutes)

I'm hoping to be in there to help out...
The official site where you can sign up to join in or find out more information is HERE....

Saturday, 9 March 2013

VITAL work coming to an end...

After 18 months working to manage the Geography portal for VITAL: the Open University's CPD service for teachers, I have another week left in that particular employment.
I am very grateful for the opportunity that this has given me to have a little financial security at a time when my job was made redundant, and also to support teachers by creating a range of resources, and also running a series of teachshares: virtual meetings. I am grateful also to all those who 'attended' these meetings, but also who joined me on the night as guest speakers, including David Riley of Triptico fame, Jamie Buchanan Dunlop, Richard Allaway and Paul Cornish...

This interview of Peter Twining by Bob Harrison also makes interesting reading about the impact of VITAL, and the legacy of the scheme. VITAL includes a range of strands, and it's worth finding out about them, and how they might be able to help you. I was also added to a list of IPD Partnership consultants for the East of England.

Later next week, my work for VITAL will finish, and the portals will then be transferred to JISC advance, who will take on the work of the portals. A reminder that these are free of charge, and all you need to do is register to access the resources.

Museum of Contemporary Commodities

At the start of the year, I was invited to an event at the University of Exeter, to explore ideas of trade justice, commodities and the stories behind things that are for sale in shops. The idea of MoCC starts by imagining shops as museums, and every product that is for sale as an exhibit in the museum. What would you write on the tag that goes with it to explain its story...
MoCC is the Museum of Contemporary Commodities.
Watch the video to find out more about the project.
This is something I am going to be involved in later this year, as I work on a project with Ian Cook of Follow the Things fame....

MoCC Thinkering Day from Simon Moreton on Vimeo.