If you have a TOP TIP of your own that you would like including in the next set of TEN, please get in touch via my PROFILE.
My presentation at the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers' Conference in Edinburgh at the weekend.
GIS (ArcView) training
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
November 19, 2008 is ESRI’s international GIS day. To mark this, three innovative geography departments are offering training in their school, suitable for teachers at any level of experience with GIS. You will have a chance to see how they use ArcGIS software with pupils and to receive hands on training with GIS.
The day will run from 10am – 3.30pm and is free. To register for the event, please email the appropriate teacher.
Hertfordshire Dr Peter O’Connor, Bishop’s Stortford College firstname.lastname@example.org
Hertfordshire Dr Peter O’Connor, Bishop’s Stortford College email@example.com
Herefordshire Jenny Barlow, Lady Hawkins School, Herefordshire firstname.lastname@example.org
A windy night followed, and in the morning it rained on and off most of the day.
For the second year, the conference was held at Edinburgh Academy. First thing was to grab a coffee and man the GA stand with the other publications, and to start handing out over 150 free satellite image maps of the earth from space, and also have conversations with the 290 odd delegates. The maps were donated by the GeoSphere project.
At 9.30 the publishers’ awards, presented by John Vannet, were announced. In the Book category, the GA picked up both the awards that were available. A ‘Commended’ award went to ‘Caring for our World’ by Fran Martin and Paula Owens, and the WINNER in the book award went to the Teacher’s Toolkit. Margaret Roberts collected the awards.
It was then across to the Hall for Malcolm McDonald’s Presidential Address, and the morning lecture by Dr Iain Stewart. I left during this to set up my seminar room, and meet a few familiar faces from south of the border, and heard the story of the night train from Euston, where one of the delegates who shall remain nameless realised that they had the word ‘seat’ on their ticket whereas the others had ‘berth’. The weather was now fairly miserable, with strong wind and rain. Into the science area, to deliver the first of my seminars. Seemed to be well received. My basic messages were related to the change from traditional to social media, and how that could be used in the classroom. There were references to the BECTa Web 2.0 report, and the possibilities of being gratuitously creative, but importantly to ‘teach’ students the importance of crediting sources of material sourced online. Some familiar faces in the room too, which is always nice.
Iain Stewart has just started the morning keynote lecture: "Unnatural Hazards: Creating Cultures of Catastrophe", and popped back to get sorted for my seminars.
The GA earlier picked up 2 SAGT awards.
The Primary / Early Years publication "Caring for our World" by Fran Martin and Paula Owens picked up a 'Commended' award in the book category, and the Teacher's Toolkit was the WINNER in the book award.
Both available from the GA SHOP.
The site contains a number of innovative lesson ideas and activities that have been generated by project team members, all of whom are members of the Geographical Association and/or the Royal Geographical Society with IBG.
The site contains 10 projects ideas organised into curriculum areas - a further 15 will be added in the coming weeks.
Then it was onwards, and into Northumberland: a pause at Barter Books in Alnwick (love it) and tide in, so Holy Island cut off. Berwick on Tweed for lunch, then onwards across the Border, and pootling up the single carriageway sections. A quick trip down the coastal route to Dunbar for fuel and a photo opportunity.
Within 20 minutes of this photo, the sky was pitch black, and it was pouring with rain through the outskirts of Edinburgh, and down through Leith to work round the tramworks in the centre of the city. Into Edinburgh Academy to set up the GA's stand...
Now in hotel about to go into Edinburgh for food and a drink.
Some great articles in this one, including:
- Alan Kinder on the Teachers Toolkit
- Emma Johns and Phil Wood on the new GCSE specifications
- Eleanor Rawling on planning the KS3 Curriculum
- An activity looking at Polish migration into the UK with all downloadable resources from the website
A nice starter question could be "Who has visited 120 countries but doesn't have a passport ?"
Just listening to Dan Ellison talk on US Public Radio from last night.
You can download an mp3 of the talk, which I strongly recommend that you do.
Dan starts by referring to Doreen Massey and her work on perceptions of urban spaces and also the representation of places. He started by walking across Salisbury and exploring its ecological footprint.
He also talked about the issue of surveillance, and the issues with photography, and how he worked out the route for the walks based on inequality.
Photograph taken every 8 paces, and then turned into stop-motion films.
Also explored school geography, and how the media over-represents certain areas of cities.
Online CPD.... I urge you to listen !
Earlier in the year, I attended an Advanced Google Earth day at the RGS-IBG: I blogged about it over at the Google Earth User Guide Blog. I then read a comment on a post on Ewan McIntosh's blog relating to new social media. The comment was by Jamie Buchanan Dunlop
I think that youth disenchantment with mainstream media is a good starting point. It is not disenchantment with the media, but more the commentators that is the problem. The young people, whom I have had the pleasure of teaching, are more likely to value the views of a peer rather than a politician.
The current citizenship (and GEOGRAPHY Jamie...) curriculum in England should provide pupils with the skills and values needed to investigate the world and become involved. Technology then becomes an enabler for communication between different parties, a motivator as it's oftern fun and an oppportinity to involve wider audiences.
I think that video is not as exciting as mapping as a tool for active citizenship. Of course digital maps can contain video, but maps provide a template for investigating issues and laying out the plans to solve them.This led me to Jamie's DIGITAL EXPLORER site
Read THIS POST first...
So I now have a new perspective and narrative to explore relating to the use of new media.
This video by John Gardiner explains how to add navigation buttons into placemarks, so that users can work through a series of placemarks in order...
Going to have to have a go at this when I get a chance. One for February 2009 when I'm leading a Google Earth day....
Forgot to mention a particular useful booklet, which is available as a PDF download. It explores the impact of CLIMATE CHANGE on plants. Click the image of the report cover to go to the download page.
Today, I was directed to the nef BLOG.
The "triple crunch" referred to is the "interlinked climate, credit and energy crises"
Worth following in the weeks and months to come...
You can visit the WIKI and sign up
The Teachmeet will take place at the very nice venue that is the National College for School Leadership...
There was an interesting piece in the Guardian today which summarised what Shirley Williams: one of the judges learned from the teachers about what they thought.
Some key points that might be worth considering:
"The things that stand out in a special teacher are enthusiasm and innovation... someone who realises teaching is not just the handing down of knowledge from on high... The really good teacher is somebody who makes learning something challenging and fulfilling. Obviously, the national curriculum is quite a corset and tends to limit children's innovatory capacity by being too closely tied to tests.... What we are looking for is teachers who refuse to be stultified."
The teachers were asked for their views on what they wanted to change...
"Teachers felt very rigidly directed ad rigidly regulated, and they... long for more room - room for their own ability, their own discretion and their own judgement..... there is also a yearning for a greater degree of stability...
They feel there isn't enough time to see if a particular innovation works... there aren't anything like enough pilot schemes.
The link between testing and league tables is insufferable and doesn't reflect outstanding teaching...."
Thanks to Stephen Schwab on SLN for pointing out this article (and accompanying book...)
Where's the most scenic place you've taken a "comfort break ?"
The loos at the Flodigarry Hotel on the Isle of Skye are rather good, as are the toilets at the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market, Norfolk. In terms of views, there's a pub near the Ribbleshead Viaduct which I always enjoyed using, and perhaps the most scenic was a wee I once had on the way down from the Folgefonna glacier in Norway... But perhaps that's too much information...
Thanks to Flickr user Robert UK for the nice image.
And for those who aren't sure what the BGCI is, it's BOTANIC GARDENS CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL.
We were discussing the role of plants in the issues of food security and climate change, and the discussion encompassed pretty much the whole scope of geography by the time we had finished.
Several BGCI reports were mentioned which might be of use to other geographers. There's a very useful report on MEDICINAL PLANTS
Click the link to go to the DOWNLOAD PAGE.The V&A currently have an exhibition of design from the COLD WAR, and had some good stuff in the shop. I picked up some Cold War badges, and also a replica of Civil Defence Handbook No. 10: takes me back to watching 'Threads' years ago...
Thanks to Paul Sturtivant for the following tip off from SLN.
Try the SHOW / WORLD site. This contains a range of map animations where countries are animated according to particular
Here's an embedded map on WORLD POPULATION - as you can see, they are animated topological maps in the style of WORLDMAPPER.
RESCUE GEOGRAPHY explores an area of Birmingham and includes personalised mapping,
BBC News report
Take a look if you want to be challenged a little, and perhaps inspired.
There is an exhibition on at the moment in Birmingham, if you're in the area.
Going to put some of the questions here for you to test your skills on - answers are on the final slide...
Here's the first round of the quiz: a round I called "THE FIRST ROUND"...
Comment if you want more rounds.... 2 teams got 10 out of 10....
One recent project, which attracted a great deal of national press attention related to the use of NINTENDO DS consoles and the DR. KAWASHIMA BRAIN TRAINING GAME. Visit the LTS page where you can read about the project which involved Dundee schools, and the work of Derek Robertson and colleagues.
Here is Derek on BBC News: I watched this at the time:
Picked up my local paper today, and there on the front cover was a report on a local school which have bought consoles for use later this year. It will be interesting to see what the reaction to the scheme is locally.
A coincidence here is that I'm going to be at the school tonight as I'm running a Charity Quiz Night for the King's Lynn branch of Soroptimists International, which is held in the hall at the same school. Hopefully, I can arrange to go and take a look at how the project goes...
This adds a slight complication for some possible entrants, but the reason that we have asked for this format is that we need the final "master tape" that is used on the big screens to retain as much as possible of the original picture and sound information. Other video formats would be compressed, which would remove picture detail and result in a lower quality video.
The other complication would be the problem of compatibility if we allowed entries on CD, DVD, USB sticks etc. We are taking your suggestions on board.
We appreciate the effort that anyone entering a video is going to make, but it will be well worth it to see your students' masterpiece in the centre of Manchester, Leeds etc.
Here is a 60 second video I shot this morning on the promenade at Hunstanton
Imagine that on a big screen: the quality would be fairly shocking (I know that it's been reduced for YouTube display, so perhaps I'm being slightly disingenuous, but you get the point :) )
For more details on MY WORLD IN 60 SECONDS, check out the GA WEBSITE
Since then it has grown dramatically. Many colleagues have added their photos, sometimes occupying large swathes of their home area. A few selective images of mine were also added. Support was added by the ORDNANCE SURVEY, who could see the benefit of geolocating images which related directly to the OS MAPS that they produced.
A few days ago, the magic MILLIONTH image was uploaded to the website.
All the images are free to use in the Geography classroom.
Plenty of other resources are also available on the GEOGRAPH website, such as OS map symbol keys.
Well done to all involved in the site, and all the photographers who contributed towards the 1 MILLION plus images...
This is an area which the GA are working on at the moment, in a project that I'm involved with.
What are your thoughts on the difficulties of, and the arguments for, teaching about the current issues of Global food supply, and local case studies.
I 'twittered' him (as you do) this week when he was down at the Handheld Learning Conference in London, and have managed to catch up with quite a few of the presentations and various information from the events that have been happening there via the web.
Ollie has now posted his presentation and it makes interesting viewing for those people who are perhaps interested, or even sceptical, about the use of gaming in the classroom.
The plan is to do a NIGHT WALK based around the GA Conference, which will take place in Manchester in April 2009.
Read about Dan's earlier walks in THIS ARTICLE in the Henley Standard.
More on the walk nearer the time...
This post is for Blog Action Day on Poverty.
I spent the day today in Norfolk, just a couple of hundred yards from my old place of work, at the Students 4 Global Action conference. This was hosted by the Park High School, and organised by NEAD. It was good to work with Sandy Betlem again.
I ran 2 workshops exploring LOCAL CULTURAL DIVERSITY in the context of the local area, and the forthcoming Olympics. Below are a few of my slides, and the presentation will go up on Slideshare when it's been edited a little.The material was a combination from the GA's Teachers' Toolkit: Jenny Brassington's BRITISH OR EUROPEAN and John Widdowson's MOVING STORIES, and explored the idea of IDENTITY. Also a few slides from Tony Cassidy in there, and material from the WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE website.
What was their identity ?
What is Britain's identity ?
What is Norfolk's identity ?
There were some great, perceptive contributions from the students concerned, and there is a little more feedback to come when I get a moment.
It was also a chance to use my FLIP video camera...
I videoed some of the student work, and some of the Action Planning presentations that took place at the end of the day.
The link with Poverty is that some of the other workshops tackled this issue, and Christian Aid were presenting at the event.
More to come tomorrow, but it's late and still got a few other bits to do...
Snippet from BECTa RESEARCH REPORT on the use of WEB 2.0 ("the social web")
The research found that over half of teachers surveyed believe that Web 2.0 resources should be used more often in the classroom. However, the majority of teachers questioned had never used Web 2.0 applications in lessons, despite being frequent users of technology in their personal and professional lives. Their main concerns involved a lack of time to familiarise themselves with the technology and worries about managing the use of the internet in class.
What use do you make of the social web ?
What barriers are there to its use ?
Probably a little early to start planning this yet, but if you have any thoughts on the issue, add a comment and it will feed in to a proposed session at the Geography Teacher Educators' Conference in Southport in January 2009.
One approach is to use animation. This wonderful piece of work by Seth Brau is an example of what could be done.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights from Seth Brau on Vimeo.
The content for the Diploma in Humanities and Social Sciences is currently being designed and developed by Creative & Cultural Skills, to be launched in schools for 2011. It aims to provide a new way of teaching Humanities and Social Sciences, offering learners an innovative way to access these areas through practical learning as well as theoretical teaching, which maintains the rigour of subjects but also offers a broad understanding in a multi-disciplinary context.
An online consultation has been launched to provide additional consultation with a wider range of stakeholders including teachers, the HE sector and employers.
A consultation is now underway, so if you want your say on the new diplomas, go to THE ONLINE CONSULTATION HERE.
More information on the diplomas is provided at this link (there are different surveys for different groups: if you are a teacher, take the teacher survey)
In April 2008, the Government announced its plan to develop Diplomas in humanities, languages and sciences that would be first taught in 2011.
What are Diplomas?
Diplomas have been designed for 14-19 year olds. They are broad qualifications which aim to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to prepare learners for further study, work and life.
“The Diploma is about learning a range of widely applicable skills and knowledge, set within a ‘specialised’ context – a specified group of sectors and subjects. The Diploma offers a unique blend of general and applied learning. Applied learning – acquiring knowledge and skills through tasks or contexts that have many of the characteristics of real work – is at the heart of the Diploma.” (The Diploma: an overview of the qualification, QCA, 2008)
The Consultation Process
The Diploma development process has been designed to ensure that all stakeholders have an opportunity to help shape the content for new qualifications that will meet the needs of young people and society. This survey aims to explore the extent to which existing humanities and social sciences qualifications meet the needs of learners, employers, teachers, those with a specific subject interest and Higher Education institutions. The Diploma development process is led by Creative and Cultural Skills, the sector skills council for the cultural industries. However, the research and consultation process is designed and managed by the Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick. This research and consultation is funded by QCA.
This BBC NEWS article has the details.
Q. Why did the golfer wear 2 pairs of trousers ?
Monday to Wednesday of this week sees the HANDHELD LEARNING CONFERENCE at the BARBICAN. Over 1000 delegates are attending, and some people that I know are amongst those presenting on how they make use of the range of devices that is now available.
Ollie Bray presents a session on:
A young leader’s perspective - making games based learning work in the secondary school’.
Check out OLLIE's BLOG (I've mentioned it before) for plenty more on Guitar Hero, Graphic Novels and other creative uses of the media in the classroom...
Some visitors to the blog may not be aware of the support that is available for all UK geography teachers through the Action Plan, which is a major additional level of support in addition to all the existing Geographical Association projects. Below are some of the slides that I used in my presentation on the Action Plan. If there's anything here that you would like more information on, please get in touch !
According to a survey jointly commissioned by the GTC, 99% of teachers in their second year of teaching see themselves as 'very' or 'fairly' effective teachers. Strengths identified were forming relationships with pupils and good organisational skills.
They felt CPD opportunities are key to their continued progress. The area they most wanted to develop was their subject knowledge.
The report emphasises the importance of continuing indidually tailored CPD for new teachers beyond their first and second year, so that no beginner teachers are left unsupported during the first few years.
If you are in the first few years of teaching Geography, or you're an NQT or PGCE student and a GA member, please e-mail me via the GA website and I'll send you an invitation to join the NING social network that has been established by the Geographical Association to help early career teachers share information and find solutions to issues that may arise.
The concept is to do a walk across an Urban Area and record it in some way. Dan uses a technique which involves him taking an image every 8 paces, and then using animation software to produce a continuous stream of stop-motion imagery.
Dan has already walked across London, Mumbai, Mexico City and Guadalajara, and the resulting videos are starting to emerge on the URBAN EARTH website. They were also featured in the Webwatch feature of the latest issue of GA MAGAZINE.
Join Dan in Bristol on the 15th of November.
Sign up to start your own walk.
Walk the walk...
Applications will be accepted until Wednesday 26 November. Applicants must be over 18 and be UK residents.
For more information go HERE.
Plenty of exciting ideas here, and the applications that he mentions are all cheap !
Of course, you first of all need an iPhone and they aren't cheap... You can get them free on certain tariffs, but I don't have £500 a year to spend on my phone.
Of course, they may well come down in price.
Ollie will be doing some seminars at the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers conference in Edinburgh on the 25th of October, as will I. If you're coming along you'll also find me manning the GA stand in between times...
Eighty Days Revisited
A new look at an old adventure
In Eighty Days Revisited we may not be going back to the Reform Club or ballooning over the Rockies, but we will be returning to the scene of one of the best-remembered sequences of any of my travel adventures, the dhow journey From Dubai to Bombay, episode three of Around The World In Eighty Days. As we sailed agonisingly slowly down the Persian Gulf on board one of world's oldest surviving traditional sailing ships we formed a unique relationship with our Indian crew. Mutual incomprehension gradually gave way to friendship and affection, as we accepted the fact that our lives, and the success of our journey Around The World In Eighty Days was in the hands of this band of ragged, under-paid sailors from Gujerat.
After a week at sea together, I found our farewell at Bombay to be one of the most emotional moments on all of my travels. As I said on film at the time : "It's almost impossible to accept that I shall never see them again".
Well, twenty years after we waved each other good-bye in the crowded waters off Bombay I'm trying to prove that nothing is impossible by setting out on a search for the crew of the Al-Sharma.
With the same cameraman who shot the original dhow journey we shall re-visit Dubai and meet those who found us the dhow in the first place, and then on to Bombay, now Mumbai, to see if, in the intervening twenty years that great teeming city has changed in more than just name. From Mumbai we take the over-night train north and west to the little town on the Indian Ocean from where many of Al-Sharma's crew hailed.
What happens here is far from certain, but I'm hoping to make contact with as many as possible of my old ship-mates. If all goes well we'll renew a unique friendship by sitting down together to watch, marvel and laugh ourselves silly at our adventures of twenty years' ago, when, together, we made our slow but happy way from the Middle East to India.
This return journey, the first I've ever attempted, will be as much of a challenge as the originals. There are plenty of if's and but's on the way, but, for me, and hopefully for you, this promises to make Eighty Days Revisited all the more exciting.
Michael P, September 2008
Make your own WORDLES.
What GEOGRAPHICAL USES can you think of for it ?
David Rogers has already done a blog post with some ideas HERE.
Let us know how YOU use WORDLE !!
I know, for example, that today, he set off for a trip to Africa, and that he spent this morning drinking coffee and packing.
How do I know that ?
Because we both use TWITTER: a 'micro-blogging' tool which allows users to post to the web from the twitter website, or from their mobile devices, and share their response to the most basic of questions: what are you doing now ?
If you're already online, a quick TWEET is very easy to do.
To get the most out of TWITTER, you might want to download a free HANDBOOK.Tom Barrett, an avid user, and someone who I met at TEACHMEET08 has posted on the VALUE OF USING TWITTER, and there are lots of similar blog posts.
The COMMONCRAFT SHOW FOLK have produced this rather good YOU TUBE video:
It's also FREE of course ("my favourite price")
So what else could persuade you that this might be worth your valuable time ?
Well, Barack Obama is on Twitter...
and BBC Education team are on there....
Also check out TWITTERVISION: a 'mash-up' which displays TWITTER posts on a world map - compulsive for trivia lovers - can't guarantee that it'll all be 'suitable for work' as they say...