Thursday, 22 December 2016

Christmas Blogging Break

I'm about to take my annual break from blogging for a few days...

Thanks for reading the blog this year.

Image: Ronald Lampitt, who also illustrated 'The Map that came to Life' and many Ladybird books...

Monday, 19 December 2016

GI Learner Conference chapter

Earlier this year, as blogged here at the time, I visited Salzburg again, this time to visit the GI Forum, which took place at the University of Salzburg, as part of my work with the schools and universities who are taking part in the GI Learner project, funded by ERASMUS.

This involves my school: King's Ely, and will involve students a little more as we move into 2017, and we finish creating a range of student resources which are shared across the schools.

I presented a workshop at the conference, as part of our double workshop.

We also had a paper presented, with me as a joint author, and this has now been published as part of the conference outputs....

You can download it by following the link...




Saturday, 17 December 2016

GA Teachmeet details for 2017

David Rogers has revealed the details and signing-up form for the Teachmeet which will be held to coincide the GA Conference in 2017.

The timing is not ideal for some as it is after the Easter holidays, but this remains the essential CPD for teachers of Geography, and is worth seeking special permission to visit.
Hope to see lots of you there.
I'll put myself down as a deputy speaker in case there are gaps, or people who have to withdraw at the last minute. Will be good to see lots of new speakers and attendees.
Also get your ticket from the Eventbrite page if you are wanting to attend.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Emojiography

A few weeks ago, partly coinciding with Practical Pedagogies (see recent posts), I came across a really nice idea using emojis.
For a while, we've had an emoji sheet by the classroom door where students can choose a quick feedback on what they felt about the lesson that had just finished.
This post used the emojis as a resource and a stimulus for discussion during a lesson, and reflection on themes, by providing a symbol with several meanings - a simple semiotic stimulus...

It was the work of Jonathan Taylor, who tweets at @HistGeoBritSec. He'd shared his ideas for megacities.


There are plenty of posts on the twitter feed, and quite a few teachers seem to have been using the idea following Jonathan's session at Practical Pedagogies.

I created a bespoke set of emojis to related to the work we are doing on the Nepal Earthquake. This goes alongside the resource that I wrote for the British Red Cross, which has been well received by lots of people.

I decided to try it with this context, and came across this website where you are presented with a list of emojis and selecting a particular symbols adds it to a tweet box, which can then be sent, and therefore screenshotted...


There's also the Emoji Copy website or Get Emoji, which allows you to build up a list by copying and pasting the icons into a box once again...

A few colleagues then tried the idea having seen it on my twitter feed, and had the idea of perhaps building up a 'library' of emoji boards for use in Geography.
And I came up with the name of 'emojiography' for this sort of activity....

Have you tried this? Share an emoji board...

Image: Alan Parkinson - example of student work

Sunday, 30 October 2016

GeographyPaul

I first met Paul Turner in 2010ish (I think) when he was completing his PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge University and I was speaking to that year's cohort, as I have done for nearly 10 years now.

Our paths have crossed numerous times since: as a speaker at the GA Cambridge branch which he helped with, at Sevenoaks School when I spoke to the local cluster of teachers, and at Bedales School, where I have the privilege to be the geography moderator for their Bedales Assessed Course. Paul and I were also the two people who received the RGS-IBG's Innovative Geography Teacher awards the last time they were offered. Paul worked with a colleague from CASA UCL to create some resources.

Paul was also behind the 'Geographical Times' - I have a rare copy of Issue 1 (all reasonable offers considered) - and also cycled LEJOG and set up a drone video channel. He was also kind enough to come and speak at the GIS Day that I organised at my school earlier this year as part of the GI Learner project.

Paul has now made thousands of his resources available in a new format. There are a few geography teachers who have shared all their work over the years - I did it myself from 2001 onwards on the late great GeographyPages, and some like Richard Allaway did too with the essential Geography all the Way, but then monetised their site with a small annual subscription fee (if I could have worked out how to do it I would have done too, to be fair...)

Paul is asking for £20 for a year's subscription giving access to all the materials on his Google Drive, however the money will then be donated to Surfers against Sewage.

I've seen, and used, a fair few of Paul's resources over the years (there are some samples on the website) and have no doubt this is excellent value for money for those wanting an injection of new materials at this time of great curriculum change.
Follow, or contact him on Twitter: @geography_paul

Friday, 28 October 2016

New Digimap for Schools resources

There is a whole new set of resources now available to download to accompany the Digimap for Schools tool.

They have been written by Will Tuft, and although they are written with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in mind, they would be useful for anybody teaching the relevant topics.

If you want to hear more of Will's work, you can hear him being interviewed by John Johnston on the EduTalk Radio podcast website.
He is talking about his ideas for the immersive classroom. This involves an element of storytelling, suspension of disbelief, and setting up the classroom around a particular scenario.  It was interesting to hear that I got a mention near the start of the programme, when Will describes how Russel Tarr and Matt Podbury's lessons based on my Ice Man book were the inspiration for the work. Will be seeing Russel and Matt next week at Practical Pedagogies (of which more to come on the blog over the next week or so...)

Check out Will's blog here too, for some of his ideas.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

New GA CPD Course - on in November

For a period between 2007 and 2013, I ran regular courses for the Geographical Association, including the Living Geography courses, NQT Conferences, GIS courses with ESRI, New Fieldwork courses and plenty of others. In that time, I worked with hundreds of teachers, and learned a lot about my own practice.
When I returned to teaching full time in 2013, I didn't have time to do them, and stopped, and a 'new' generation of presenters has taken over including Catherine Owen, Ben Ballin, Garry Simmons and Becky Kitchen.

Now, I'm back leading an event for the GA, with a new course, which has the added advantage of being 'my old favourite price': FREE. So you can come along for an afternoon discussing technology and global learning, and networking with other colleagues, and leaving with some new ideas for you I hope.

It's being put on in Bury St. Edmunds, so it's a handy location for those in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and S. Norfolk, and perhaps even parts of Essex.

It's on the theme of the GLOBAL LEARNING PROGRAMME, (which is funding the course) and has the context of a global village.


It also connects with an online course which I wrote last year for the GA, and is called Exploring our GLOBAL VILLAGE.

There is a connection with the golden record that NASA attached to the Voyager spaceships before they headed out to the edge of the universe. I was interested in a recent Kickstarter project to create replicas.

I hope to see some of you there...

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Primary Geography article

I have an article in the most recent issue of Primary Geography journal.


Steve Rawlinson asked me to write about digital connections, and ideas from my current school.


Thanks to colleagues including Martin Bramley and Richard Whymark for their thoughts, which were included in the final piece.
It can be downloaded by subscribers, and physical copies are on their way too.


You can add a subscription to your membership easily too.


Monday, 5 September 2016

New British Red Cross resource

A new resource that I wrote for the British Red Cross has now been published, and placed online for download. It's taken almost a year from the original start of the project, which John Lyon asked me to do before he retired from the GA. During that time it has grown and become a major resource.

It's 130 pages long, and packed with ideas for teaching about natural hazards and humanitarian aid.

Free to download from the British Red Cross website.

“We urge all geography teachers to download this free resource and encourage young people to think about the humanitarian impact of natural disasters. This invaluable resource pack has been created with the technical input from the British Red Cross combined with the expertise of GA teacher consultants.”
Rebecca Kitchen, Secondary Curriculum Leader at the Geographical Association

Introduction and curriculum links

Learn about how the resource has been designed to support your teaching and how the content maps to the geography curriculum for KS3, GCSE and A Level.

Session 1: Natural disasters

Session 1 is an introduction to the Natural disasters: earthquakes resource. It sets the scene by introducing the topic of natural disasters alongside general ideas of risk and hazard.
  • What do we mean by natural hazards and disasters and how can they be classified?
  • Which natural hazards are the most common?
  • What impacts will different natural disasters have on individuals and communities?

Session 2: Earthquakes

After a general introduction to natural hazards and disasters, this session moves on to look more specifically at earthquakes, with a focus on tectonic hazards.
  • Where do earthquakes happen, and why?
  • What were the causes of the Nepal earthquake?
  • How can people who live in areas prone to natural hazards prepare themselves for future events?
  • Could the Nepal earthquake have been predicted?

Session 3: The impact of a natural disaster

Session 3 focuses on the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster like an earthquake and the work of local and international Red Cross teams to support people affected.
  • What was the immediate impact of the Nepal earthquake?
  • What was the immediate humanitarian response to the earthquake?
  • How were local and international communities involved in this response?

Session 4: Recovery and resilience

After a natural disaster the Red Cross supports the people affected as they start to recover and rebuild their lives.
  • What are the longer term impacts of a natural disaster and how do people recover?
  • How resilient were individuals and communities in Nepal to the earthquake?
  • How can communities increase their resilience – what about the school community? What might make a community more or less resilient?
  • What lessons can be learned from each event so citizens are better prepared for them in future?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Media Literacy and Geographies of Consumption

Here's the latest resource that I have worked on (a little - I gave some guidance on the contents and Finnish translation and activities)

It's been developed by Eeva Kemppainen and Ian Cook, who I've worked with previously.

Developed for Pro-Ethical Trade Finland

This guide sets out an approach to teaching media literacy and the geographies of consumption that has been developed by the NGO Pro Ethical Trade Finland (Eettisen kaupan puolesta ry), with funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland.
A subvertisement workshop involves interpreting and subverting the messages made in product advertising.
With their teachers, students are shown how to critically read advertisements brought into the classroom and encouraged to work out:
• How images and texts are designed to convey a message about a commodity
• How advertisements convey relationships between people, places and things
• What claims advertisements make about the origins and uses of commodities and what information and imagery is missing
• How advertisements can be altered to convey alternative messages
• How and where subvertisements can encourage critical readings of advertisements?

Children and young people are bombarded by diverse commercial messages on social media, on the street, on TV, in movies and in games. Teachers can help students to learn the differences between journalism and marketing as well as develop their capacity to critically interpret what they see and hear.

Would be useful for Cultural Geographers and also connections with Changing Places units as well.




You can download a copy of the whole guide in English (unless you want it in Finnish) as a PDF file.

For more on the previous work that I have done with Ian and Eeva check out the Follow the Things education page.

Friday, 12 August 2016

New 'A' level textbook published

Breaking into the summer break for some important news

The AQA 'A' level Geography textbook that I worked for over 2 years on editing and co-writing (and re-writing) is now in stock at the publishers! Order your copies now.

Thanks again to everyone who helped with the project!

Image: Caroline Walton from CUP

Friday, 29 July 2016

Working in Portugal

Monday, 25 July 2016

National Parks Week

National Parks Week is the National Parks family's annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about Britain's breathing spaces.
It runs from Monday 25 to Sunday 31 July 2016.

The theme for National Parks Week 2016 is adventure
. With diverse landscapes, activities and events there's an adventure waiting at whatever scale suits you! 


One way to ensure that adventures take place is to get hold of a copy of Mission:Explore National Parks.
Available from all National Park shops for £5 or 500p....

I'm off to the Norfolk Broads later in the week for my National Park adventure...

Saturday, 23 July 2016

'A' level textbook gone to print

After two years and thousands of hours of effort, the 'A' level textbook for the new AQA specification has now gone to print. It will be published by Cambridge University Press. This is great news, as it means that the book will now be out several weeks before other similar books, and also ahead of the end of the summer break, so teachers will be able to have access to it in the crucial few weeks before the start of the new academic year.

I was the series editor for the book, and also the associated materials. You can see the names of the author team on the cover image below - a great team, helped by a large team from CUP.


You can find out more about the book (and order your copies) here.

Friday, 17 June 2016

10 years of the Edexcel Ning

Over ten years ago, while working as a Head of Geography at a school in King's Lynn, I came across the Ning platform, short for Networking. It offered a free (at the time) platform which had the features of all sorts of other sites in one:
- bulletin board for discussions
- chat room
- hosting of image galleries
- hosting of videos, with embed codes
- numerous groups with membership
- profile pages

Documents could be attached to discussions and this allowed for a community to develop, which could chat, share ideas and join groups around sub-themes.
I built a Ning to support 6th form students and it worked well - in fact I did my first teachmeet presentation back in 2008 on Nings.

In June 2007, faced with the changes that were coming at 'A' level, we opted for Edexcel as the most forward thinking of the new specifications. They were introducing new ideas for the time, including ideas such as Rebranding Places, and a unit on Cultural Geography. We were teaching the OCR Pilot GCSE Geography at the time, and so the Edexcel spec was the best follow on for a forward thinking and creative department like the one I led at the time. I had a background in supporting teachers through my GeographyPages website, which was still getting many thousand of visitors a day. I didn't want to have to resource and prepare a whole new 'A' level course by myself over the summer, so I started a NING called New Edexcel Geog.

The NING is now, I've just realised, 10 years old!
It's been a decade of teachers helping other teachers.
Thanks to Jon Wolton for funding the NING for the last 6 years or so.
There are over 4300 members now.

And thanks to anyone who has ever shared a resource, or joined a discussion.

We're now preparing for the New New EdexcelGeog from September 2016

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

New OCR GCSE B Geography textbook


It's now just over two and a half years since I went to a meeting at the offices of Hodder down in London, to start the process of writing a set of textbooks and support materials for the then-as-yet-written OCR GCSE Geography specifications for first teaching from September 2016.
The authoring team of Jo Payne, Jo Debens and myself were joined by Simon Ross, and we had the editing talents of David Rogers helping to steer the project, as well as Ruth Murphy from Hodder and numerous editors and other publishing professionals at various points during the project. Earlier today, the postman brought me a package, and I finally held the results of hundreds of hours of effort in my hand.


I wrote quite a few chapters in the end, and also helped to create the digital support materials, and the answers to all the various activities that have been included in the book. These all form part of the support materials that are available.


More details about the books are here, where you can find out about the various options for ordering. There are various options for discounts and inspection copies if you look at various sections of the website.

Thanks to all those who helped me with writing the books in various ways, including Ian Ward, Bryan Ledgard and Richard Allaway for the use of their images in my chapters. I managed to get quite a lot of my own pictures in, which was nice.

If you're teaching OCR specification for GCSE, please consider making our book(s) your set text. Order plenty just in case… It would be a pity for it not to sell a lot after all that effort...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Free 'A' level CPD course

Geography teachers are invited to a one day workshop at the University of Manchester on 24th June, 2016 to support the launch of the new A-Level Geography Syllabus.

Parallel lectures run by Geography@Manchester researchers will deliver the core Geography of space and place theory, the carbon cycle and arid land Geography, the areas of the new syllabus which are perhaps less familiar to some teachers. 

In the afternoon, teachers are invited to a round-table discussion to consider how to translate the new learning to the classroom, in turn generating tangible lesson ideas.

The workshop will be opened by Professor Martin Evans who led the new A-Level consultancy on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society.

This workshop is FREE to attend.

Please book your place by 20th June and indicate which of the three workshops you would like to attend by choosing the relevant ticket.

Coffee will be served with registration from 9.30am in the Foyer of the Humanities Bridgeford Street Building.
WHEN
Friday, 24 June 2016 from 09:30 to 15:00 
WHERE
Humanities Bridgeford Street, Ground Floor Foyer, University of Manchester

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

British Red Cross coming soon….

Amongst all the other stuff that I'm doing at the moment, is a resource that is currently half way complete, and which I hope to complete before the end of the month. It's a new resource toolkit on natural disasters for the British Red Cross, which has a focus on the Nepal Earthquake, but looks at the issues linked to humanitarian aid by agencies, particularly the work of the British Red Cross, following natural disasters. It explores the impacts over time, and has resources for KS3, GCSE and 'A' level students.

Here's one of the resources that I came across during my research below. You can search this blog for more on Nepal as well using the box in the top left.

I'm grateful to Rachel Hay for her substantial support and sharing her own personal story of being in the earthquake.

Here's another traffic CCTV video too, which shows the everyday traffic before the earthquake.

 I'll let you know when the resource is available, and how you can get hold of it.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Still seeking contestants for Only GeoConnect

Still seeking contestants…



At the GA Conference in April 2016, I'm going to be presenting a special geographical version of the quiz, with the usual rounds.

I am seeking 4 more (to make 6) 'contestants' who would like to come and have a go at my geographical game show.


This is a first-come first-served opportunity, but if you wanted to get together a few other people and let me know that you had a team that would be great too.

I'll also be hoping for an audience, and of course you can all play along to, as I'll give you some score cards that you can use to write down your answers.

This is on the Saturday afternoon, and would make a good end to your GA conference 2016 experience

If you want to get involved drop me an e-mail, or contact via @GeoBlogs on Twitter

I have 2 volunteers so far and 2 people who are helping me run the event.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Good teachers need good textbooks...

Here's one I co-wrote...

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Practical Pedagogies 2016

I was due to present at the first running of this event last year, but was unable to go as it clashed with my trip to Iceland, and return to full-time teaching, so had to pull out.

Russel Tarr has pulled together another excellent programme of events which will take place in the first week of November, and this time I can make it.
I will be presenting at Practical Pedagogies 2016.

The full programme is HERE.

My session is called 'The Power of Geographical Information', and is described below:
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The Power of ‘Where’: Geographical Information in the curriculum

Geography is an academically robust subject which spans the social and physical sciences and promotes a lifelong interest and fascination in how the world works.
Nicholas Crane, President of the Royal Geographical Society
Abstract

Geographers are interested in spatial patterns, and the growing availability of, often real-time, location based information brings new depth to teaching geography. Students don’t only consume this information, but they also produce it themselves, and it is also used after natural disasters to aid the relief effort.

The workshop will explore how this renewed focus on the ‘where’ can bring new ideas to teach familiar topics, but also broaden these activities into other curriculum areas. It will include ideas from several ERASMUS-funded projects, a resource on transport geographies, a project for the British Red Cross and work completed in the classroom by pupils.

You’ll leave the session with some practical pedagogical resources to adopt and adapt, and ideas for personal innovation, as well as introducing some free tools and mobile apps.


Matt Podbury has shared some of the other Geography names who will be presenting at the event over on his fine GeographyPods site.

Monday, 15 February 2016

GA Conference Beermeet 2016

We now have a confirmed venue and poster....
See you there...

Sunday, 7 February 2016

40 000 views

Thanks for visiting and reading...

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Time for Geography

A new blog has been started for Geography teachers, and no it's NOT one of mine...
Time for Geography has been put together by the three Parkers: Rob, Tim and Howard.
It's a nice looking site, and promises a range of resources including videos and exam support materials.


You can also follow the @timeforgeog Twitter feed. There is also a Facebook page that you can like for updates.

I look forward to seeing how the site develops...

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Ben Hennig at Berkhamstead

There's a chance to see the wonderful Ben Hennig (and his cartograms) as he is speaking at the GA's branch at Berkhamsted school later this week. It's free to attend the event.



Tuesday 19 January 2016, 7pm Centenary Theatre, Berkhamsted School
Dr Benjamin Hennig: Visualisations of the Anthropocene –   investigating humanity’s impact on the Earth

Ben Hennig joined Oxford University’s School of Geography and the Environment in September 2013 as a senior research fellow. He works on spatial data analysis and geovisualisation. His research interests include social and spatial inequalities, humanity's impact on Earth, global sustainability and new concepts for the visualisation of these issues. Ben was educated at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. After working as a research assistant and departmental lecturer in human and urban geography at the Urban and Social Geography Working Group of the Department of Geography, University of Cologne (Germany) he joined the Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group at the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2008 where he completed his PhD in 2011 as part of the Worldmapper project with research on visualising the social dimensions of our planet. He then worked as a research assistant and then as a senior research fellow at the Department of Geography in Sheffield before he joined the University of Oxford. Further information about his work can be found on his personal website: www.viewsoftheworld.net

All lectures are held in the Centenary Theatre of Berkhamsted School (Kings Campus), Kings Road, Berkhamsted, HP4 3BG. Entry is free.

I worked with Ben on a number of projects, including the LondonMapper project - check that out.....


Image created by Benjamin D. Hennig. You are free use the material under Creative Commons conditions (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Get involved in #geogshare

A New Year brings with it new challenges and opportunities.

2016 brings new specifications for GCSE and ‘A’ level first teaching, alongside the last year of the existing specifications. The creation of resources for these new specifications will result in thousands of teachers duplicating effort. Local and world events will inevitably take place, which will stimulate teachers into producing resources to help students understand them.

Following a suggestion by Tony Cassidy that we could share our resources to reduce this duplication, we have come up with a range of ways to contribute to a new initiative called #geogshare which mirrors similar projects run by other subject teacher communities.

There are (at least) three ways that you can get involved in #geogshare.

1. Twitter / Blogs

Post a link to a resource, or a blogpost where a resource has been shared

Use the hashtag #geogshare when you post it, so that a search will bring it up, and they can also be storified from week to week, and shared here.


2. DROPITTOME

Drag and drop a resource or two into the box on this page:

https://dropitto.me/GeoBlogs



You'll need to DM on Twitter or e-mail for the password

This will send your resources automatically to the 3rd (and perhaps the preferred and most sustainable) option.

3.

A GEOGRAPHY DROPBOX has been set up at:

https://www.dropbox.com/home/GEOGRAPHYDROPBOX

again, e-mail myself or Tony Cassidy, or DM us on Twitter to be added to this folder...

This will give you access to the folder, and the ability to edit and add materials, as well as download copies for yourself.

You will find a series of folders, which you can place materials into to help organisation.

There is a link to a Google Doc, which can also be viewed here

https://goo.gl/N7n1UM where you can place details of the resources that you are adding, which will allow you to search for relevant resources as the Dropbox (hopefully) starts to fill up.

We would like to suggest that you post one resource a month, but feel free to post more frequently (perhaps once a week) if you feel able.

Perhaps you could add ‘contribute to #geogshare’ to your New Years resolutions.

Another year for standing on the shoulders of giants.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year...

Stay tuned for plenty of geographical interest....