Thought for the Day

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Winston Churchill

SAGT : Saturday...

Images by Val Vannet
Top: Manning the GA stand
Middle: Collecting 'Commended' award for Peter O' Connor's GIS book from Malcolm SAGT President
Bottom: John Halocha collecting 'Commended' awards for "a different view" and Secondary Fieldwork Pack by Paula Richardson

Here is my presentation from today's WORKSHOP sessions at SAGT....

As always, one of the most well received sections of the talk was Tony Cassidy's FACEBOOK idea (and the work of Liz Smith's students...)

The day kicked off with registration, a coffee and then over to man the GA stand, and catch the keynotes....

Also, here is the detail on the BIRD ON A WIRE music composition...

Left armed with a bag full of SAGT rock for the GA staff...
More to come in other posts...

SAGT - 5th year running...

SAGT is the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers.
For the last five years, I have attended and presented seminars on a range of topics. The first 3 years were when I was still teaching, the final 2 as a member of the GA staff...

The trip up started at York as usual, and then I passed a range of familiar landmarks on the trip up the A1 and sundry other roads: Scotch Corner, Angel of the North, Alnwick and Border Books, Berwick on Tweed, St. Abbs Head, Tantallon Castle, North Berwick Law etc...
More to come in future posts...

Apparently in 2010, the conference will be heading to GLASGOW for 3 years...

Interactive Climate Change map....

Thanks to Paul Cornish for the tip-off to this map...
Produced by the Met Office...

The Future of Work

A new presentation from the creator of "Thirst"...
Via Simon Jones on Twitter...

New CPD conferences for 2010

After the success of the "Living Geography" events in London, York and Wrexham, a new set of dates have been released for next year.

Raising the Profile of Geography in your school offers a series of workshops for Secondary teachers.

This time, I will be joined by Ruth Totterdell and John Lyon as co-presenters.
Full details available on the GA website by following the link above.

I'm holding out for a Hero...

Well, perhaps...
At the moment, I'm tempted by an HTC HERO phone.
This has had some good reviews and feedback, and I wondered whether any visitors have one of these.
Would be interested in hearing any views: positive or negative which might help me make my decision...

Image from HERE


Masdar - first residents set to move in to a new eco-city in Abu Dhabi.

Journey Journal

Unpacking the first batch of Journey Journals....

“Anything that encourages us to ‘open our eyes’, appreciate distance, difference and diversity, and the possibility of a different viewpoint is good news. Like all the best ideas the Journey Journal is simple and straightforward. I am sure children of all ages will enjoy this and gain a lot from it”.

Professor David Lambert

Chief Executive

Geographical Association

"The ideal document for all aspiring geographers to keep alongside their passport."

Dr. Nick Middleton, Geographer, writer and TV Presenter

Available to order shortly from the GEOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE ONLINE SHOP.


Language of Landscape Survey - prize draw

The Ordnance Survey Free Maps for 11 Year Olds are arriving in schools - you may already have had yours...
When you get the maps, you will also find a couple of (much sought after) hard copies of a publication called "The Language of Landscape"
The booklet is supported by a series of downloads from the NATURAL ENGLAND website.

I have created a SURVEY MONKEY SURVEY for those who have got their maps, and have also made use of the "Language of Landscape" to help students use the maps: whether inside or outside the classroom (or ideally both...)

Click Here to take survey

If you have used the maps and the book, please fill in the survey.

All completed questionnaires by 1st of December will be entered into a Prize Draw to win a copy of the KS3 Teachers Toolkit title: "Look at it this Way", a copy of the Geography Collective's "Journey Journal" and a few other geographical goodies....

Young People's Geographies

One of the projects I have been involved with for the last few years is Young People's Geographies.
This is a project funded by the Action Plan for Geography, led by Mary Biddulph and Roger Firth at the school of education of the University of Nottingham.

It is now in its 4th phase, and this blog will contain the updated information on the progress that we make.

Teachers have been recruited for the next phase, and we will be working with two excellent teacher educators in Graham Butt and Charles Rawding.

The launch event for the next phase is the 4th of November.
Check out the YPG website for more details on the project - some recent updates have been added, with thanks to Anne Greaves.

Word Magnets

This is a useful resource from TRIPTICO
Word magnets takes a text input and takes each word separately.
These can then be dragged and dropped into place, and a range of backgrounds are provided.

Coming soon to a venue near you...

ASH is a band....

They are currently doing an A - Z tour of the UK, with venues including my home town Rotherham.
Where would you send them ?

A = Ashburton ?
B =
C =
D =
E =
F =
G =
H =
I =
J =
K =
L =
M =
N =
O =
P =
Q =
R = Rotherham ?
S =
T =
U =
V =
W =
X =
Y =
Z =

NESTA: Harris Commission Report and YPG

Down to London yesterday afternoon for an event called "Learning about Learning".
It was for the launch of the interim report of the Harris Student Commission.
The Harris Federation features a range of South London schools, called Harris Academies. There are currently 9 Harris Academies with plans to expand the number further...

The event was held at NESTA. A good venue. Presentations were made by Lord Harris and other people, plus members of the student commission. It was great to have the chance to speak to members of the commission about their views on education...

There was also a short input by Michael Gove: Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Interestingly, this pointed out the importance of teachers as subject specialists....

The Interim Report document can be downloaded from the HARRIS FEDERATION site

Would be really interested in hearing from people about the geography being taught in Harris academies...

There are also large overlaps with the work that the GA has been doing as part of the Action Plan for Geography on a project called YOUNG PEOPLE's GEOGRAPHIES.
I was involved in the first two phases as a teacher, and with the most recent phase as a GA staff member.
We are about to kick off the 4th phase...

"The project can celebrate the fact that teachers are genuinely engaged in effective curriculum making and exploring new and innovative approaches to learning and teaching geography alongside their pupils. They are actively involved in re-conceptualising the relationship between subject knowledge and pedagogy and are taking ownership of their geography curriculum."

From the evaluation report for YPG by Gill Davidson

Some very interesting content to digest...

Norfolk Coast Management Plan

Going to be taking a look at this at Hunstanton Town Hall on Wednesday next week...
See you there ?

To Hull and back....

Just worked out a presentation for March next year with the PGCE cohort at Hull University.
In 1986-1987, I completed my PGCE at Hull University with the late (and great) Vincent Tidswell.

I will be going back over 20 years later, to speak to the current cohort..
I've been to Hull and back...
More in 2010...

'ello 'ello 'ello

The National Crime Map site: CRIMEMAPPER is now available, after the appearance of the various county maps since the start of the year.
Now you can investigate the geography of crime in your (or another) region...


Image copyright: Disney-Pixar Studios

Here's another superb image from the Disney Pixar film: "UP", which I saw yesterday and is a wonderful film, with plenty for the geographer...
It shows the setting for the action for most of the film: the TEPUI of South America.

Why not take the opportunity to explore this fantastic landscape, perhaps as part of an AMAZING PLACES scheme of work...

More to come on this for SAGT....

BETT 2010

Just been having a quick look at some of the resources that are coming up at BETT 2010. As in previous years, I will be putting together a list of some of these for a supplement to be published in the Education Guardian nearer the show time...

If you have any particular recommendations for products, whether software, or hardware that will be featured at BETT 2010 and would be useful for GEOGRAPHY TEACHERS, please get in touch or add a comment below.
Would be interested in seeing what you are looking forward to seeing.

One event you really need to get to is the TEACHMEET. This year there are likely to be several of these, thanks to the increasing spread of this type of CPD.

Don't forget to visit us on the Geographical Association stand either. We will be in the Subject Association area, which is Q42-2
I will be there on the Friday, and possibly one of the other days either side too...

Coincidentally, I then got an e-mail about registering for the show just as I started writing this post...
The TCK TCK TCK website

Reminds me of the old one about Bono during the "Make Poverty History" campaign and the clicking the fingers thing...

Part of the countdown to Copenhagen Climate Change summit....

Joe Moran Blog...

Joe Moran has written a few great books that I've read in the last few months, including "On Roads".

Joe's blog is also rather good, and has plenty of interesting material.
A recent visit, prompted by a Twitter comment led me to the following items of geographical relevance.

  • Boring map squares: based on Mike Parker's "Map Addict"
  • Suburbia: the five best things to come out of suburbia

Also led to another blog which talked about Roy Bayfield visiting an imaginary place: ARGLETON, which is one of the features on Google Maps.

Noel Jenkins has been exploring a new interest in the last few months, and he provided a link to an excellent blog which combined urban exploration and geography in a cool way.
Check out the work of Bradley Garrett.


Over to Hunstanton to finally catch Pixar's "UP", and what a superb film...

Warning: some small "spoilers" in this post, but you really should go and see this film if you haven't...

The first fifteen minutes are remarkable, and not only tell the whole of Carl and Ellie's life together, but also set up motifs such as the house picture stuck next to Paradise Falls which recur through the film, and remind you of the persistence of the childhood promise: "cross your heart"....

The official website has a range of nice content and games which my son likes, and my daughter loved Doug...

The landscapes and settings are also superbly created: the storm "cumulonimbus" and the sequence where the dogs fall into a ravine and the raging waters at the bottom, and my son shouted "YES" when Muntz leaves with his handful of balloons...

There are, of course, several geography themes: the faceless developer who wants Carl's house as it is being surrounded by typical urban development being one.
The latter part of the movie is set in the tepui of South America: the plateaus, which were the inspiration for Lost Worlds, and also produce the world's highest waterfall: Angel Falls. Carl's destination is Paradise Falls...

The dogs are undone by the weaknesses that dogs have... The dog cleaning the skeletons in Muntz's museum can't help have a nibble, the waiters can't resist the hot dog served up to Russell, who also swears by his explorer GPS - good to see that he gets a new one in the montage in the end credits.

More on the PIXAR WIKIA here.

Go and see it if you haven't...


This game has had some great reviews, and also gone down well with my Twitter network...
Saw it at a very good price earlier while doing the weekend shop, so took the plunge, and my daughter and I have been playing it for most of today...
It's great fun, and lots of chance to do some lateral thinking...
Get scribbling...

Spent a few hours playing this game this weekend and it's great !!

Journey Journal

Spent some time yesterday with Dan Ellison pinging e-mails backwards and forwards with the rather wonderful designers at Can of Worms putting the final touches to the Journey Journal before it went off to the presses for the first print run of 3000 books.

Journey Journal is a rather wonderful book for upper secondary / lower secondary age pupils.
It is designed to be used when on a "journey" of some kind, perhaps as one of the millions of days which are taken as authorised absences every year, or maybe on a foreign exchange / activity / cultural trip.
It's a quirky and creative way of recording the visit, and encouraging young people to take notice of their surroundings.

Coming soon to an educational establishment near you.

Get in touch via the GEOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE website for more details of how to order....

A Tale of Two Cities

Just read the final chapter of Carl Lee's "Home: A Personal Journey of Sheffield"...
He mentioned a report from a while back, and managed to find it on Google Books.


Some interesting urban geographies of Sheffield and Manchester...

A-Z of...

Thanks to Simon Renshaw for showing me an A-Z of Leicester produced by geography undergraduates....

This is an idea that could be usefully be extended to other contexts.

What or where would you do an A-Z of ?

Blog Action Day

Going to be lazy as I haven't got forever, and it's BLOG ACTION DAY
The theme for 2009 was CLIMATE CHANGE.

Ollie Bray has handily posted today, with a range of free climate change resources.

LOGICITY is a game which allows you to manage a city to attempt to run it in a sustainable fashion. Hadn't seen that particular one before...

Nice stuff...


Spent the day in Somerset today. An excellent hotel in Ilminster, followed by a short trip to Dillington House for the Somerset Heads of Geography event.
Thanks to Sam Woodhouse for inviting me to keynote the event and present a workshop.
Thanks particularly to the delegates who attended this year.
My presentations will be available on the Somerset VLE I understand, after the event, but get in touch if there's anything else you need from me...

Had the first opportunity to see Noel Jenkins in action too, talking about some of his projects in a session called "Place, Space and Interface". Noel showed the work of some 6 year old bloggers, who had been working with Dan Lea: an AST working in Ilford.
Also saw the QR Code reader in action.

A very nice lunch too...

One of the things I shared was Tony Cassidy's Facebook idea, and the work of Liz Smith. This seemed to go down better than most of my stuff...

Toolkit finally...

After an 18 month gestation, I finally got my hands on my KS3 toolkit book
It looks great...

Also good to see the whole 10 book series together at the same time...

Wrexham Living Geography

Many thanks to those who came along on Tuesday to the North Wales leg of the Living Geography events at the Ramada Plaza in Wrexham.
The resources are mostly available at my SLIDESHARE site. Will add some more over the weekend when I get a moment...

Many thanks for the contributions that were made on the day, and to Jeff Stanfield and Ruth Totterdell, my co-presenters, and Lucy Oxley for her organisation.

Also good to have some celebrity endorsement of the GA's manifesto from Dr. Kennedy from "Neighbours"...
Any delegates who would like further information or resources from the day, don't forget to get in touch...
Coming soon: new events for 2010.

Embedding YouTube and Flip videos in the classroom

Got this idea via Paul Cornish and his Teachers TV programme.
Produced a user guide for how to embed YouTube videos, made with Flip, with a worked example...
Just been filming a few clips and adding them to YouTube ready for some events next week...
View more presentations from GeoBlogs.

Also broke a tooth earlier, and waiting for the inevitable throb of pain - fingers crossed it's OK at the moment, but my proposed travels for this week are shown below, so not sure how I'll fit in a trip to the dentist :(

OPAL Survey

OPAL is an air quality survey.
If you want to take part, all you need to do is visit the Field Studies Council site, and order your survey forms.

It's a national community-led survey of air pollution, run by Natural History Museum and Imperial College London, running from September 2009 to January 2010.

"To get involved, all you need is safe access to 2-4 trees - trees in playing fields, parks or in the countryside are all suitable. By looking for a small number of easily recognised lichens growing on tree trunks and twigs, you can find out more about levels of air pollution in your area, and whether air quality is improving or deteriorating locally."

Class sets of survey packs, each including a free lichen guide, tree identification guide and workbook, can be obtained from the Field Studies Council.

I have ordered some packs, and will be taking part with local school children. Over 400 survey results have been completed at the time of writing, and none of them have been in East Anglia, so it's time I put Norfolk on the map...

Some maps showing data that has been collected so far, have been placed on the OPAL website.

Not another Ning...

Apologies to those who feel there are "too many rooms" already..
If you're teaching the Edexcel BTec Travel and Tourism specification, you'll find some help here hopefully.

Twitter ye not...

TwitterSheep tells you about the people who follow you on Twitter.
There are almost 600 people who follow me (some of them are even real people...)

TwitterSheep produces a tag cloud based on the descriptions they gave in their biography...
Good to see geography, teacher, learning and education prominent there...

Geography Teacher Poem

Thanks to 'davevade' on SLN Forum for linking to this intriguing poem...

The geography of "Up"

Going to see this at the weekend. Very geographical...

Teacher's Toolkit

Thanks to my colleague Paul for letting me know that the Toolkit books, including the fabled, and possibly apocryphal "Look at it this Way" are actually in existence, and are now sitting in boxes of fifty in the GA warehouse, and can be ordered from the GA shop.


Editors’ Preface
Chapter 1: Look at it this way: What are your views on landscape?
Chapter 2: Medium-term plan
Chapter 3: Lesson plans

First Footsteps
Are we nearly there yet?
The Road to Nowhere..
Gone with the Wind?
Made in England
First Class Landscapes
Journeys through Landscapes
Living on the Edge
Mountains on my mind
Chapter 4: Glossary
Chapter 5: Links for further ideas and resources
Chapter 6: Assessment framework

The resource contains:

  • CD-Rom with resources needed for each of the lesson plans.
Thanks to those people who helped in a major way with the book. I'll be sending a copy to you...

Coming soon: some more out-takes from the final book.

Evening Standard

The Evening Standard is becoming a free paper, presumably one of the many that get thrust at you as you walk through London these days. I did see someone making use of one the other week though: it was raining on the way to the Barbican and they were using it to keep their head dry...

Imagine being a newspaper seller for years, and being used to standing at your pitch, and then losing that attachment to the place where you have been, observing the changing world...

An audio slideshow, but with some pictures is available to view on the BBC news website.

Which other jobs have this same "place attachment" and longevity ?

Teaching could be one of these I suppose... teachers get very "attached" to their rooms...

uMapper Interactive Map

UMapper now has a range of additional tools.

I have already blogged about the GeoGames tool...

There is now a new one which makes an image into an Interactive map.
Give it a go...

Extreme Ice Survey

Extreme Ice Survey website is a cool resource. Do you see what I did there ?

The project involves time-lapse photography in a number of locations to explore the changing position of glacier ice.

Thanks to Tom Barrett for the reminder...

Ready to wave...

My Google Wave application has now been processed...
Find me under the name Geo Blogs.
All I need to do now is work out how it might be beneficial for the development of geography curriculum development...

Pinball Britain

On the Ordnance Survey website at the moment is a pinball game sponsored by GARMIN.

Play the game to have a chance to win a Garmin GPS system....

Place attachment

Here's a question that seems to have an obvious answer:

Does where you live make a difference to your life ?

I used to discuss this with students...
  • Why do you live where you do ?
  • Who decided where you live ?
  • When it's your turn to decide where you live, where will you live ?
Of course, the place where people live has a huge impact on not only their current life, but also their future life choices. Why is that ?

When people live in a particular place, they obviously develop an attachment to that place.

What might be the nature of that attachment ?
More to come...

Check this idea out (via Waitrose)

Just been writing some material, which is partly related to the idea of FOOD MILES. Came across a resource on the Cambridge Plant SCIENCE website which is quite nice - it's geography of course... but that's by the by...

Then got to thinking about WAITROSE.
In each / (most ?) store, they have a Waitrose Community Matters scheme.
At the check out you will be handed a GREEN TOKEN along with your receipt.
Near the exit you will find three transparent plastic boxes with details of three schemes in the local area. Each month £1000 is shared out between the three causes, and the amount each receive is proportional to the number of tokens that have been placed into each box.

In many stores, there is an obvious "favourite" cause, which has loads more tokens than the rest.

Why not hand students a token at the start of a lesson where there is going to be a variable outcome at the end. At the point where the decision is made, they place their token in the relevant box. The boxes could perhaps be taken into each class in the year group which is being taught that same lesson, so that the year group's views could be collated...
Results could then be presented in a display area which was set up to show the results of these year group polling activities.

Travel Writing Competition

If you're going to be writing about places, why not enter your explorations of a special place into a competition which is being organised by the British Guild of Travel Writers.

The theme is: "A very special place"

Mike Parker on Radio 4

Mike Parker recently published a book called "Map Addict". He was also kind enough to contribute an article to the recent GA Magazine.

Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 featured Mike. He can be heard here, talking to Fi Glover (link may expire) Saturday Live also has a resident poet, who responds to events on the show:

Extract from poem read out on the programme

Please hear us sweet OS
In this, our humblest confession
Oh font of this great nation's topographical obsession
Five thousand years of history waiting to unfurl
You, simply are, the greatest mapping system in the world

HHL Day 2

Yvonne Roberts was one of the speakers at the 2nd day of Handheld Learning 09. I wasn't in the building, but was following remotely via Twitter, and the conference hashtag #hhl09

She quoted that 65% of students say they still copy off the board. I also found this quote in an earlier article that she wrote.

Education in the state system in England is a 19th century folly. It has been moulded by an arcane set of rules and concepts that have no evidence base and certainly very little proof of success. It was based on schools producing canon fodder for the world wars and manual labour, in the main, for the mines and factories. Sitting in a classroom for an hour writing down what the teacher says, mute and unquestioning, does not work with the grain of most boys' temperament – and it's not all that appealing to girls either. It's also no preparation for the modern, fast paced, constantly changing world.

What's required instead, is problem solving and collaborative learning; pupils asking questions, encouraged to bring their life outside the class into school – skills with computers and the internet for instance, work to keep their curiosity alive. More genuine participation; more mixed ability; a better focus on the individual child so no one drops behind, their lack of progress camouflaged by the ridiculous notion that in education, "one size fits all". It's happening in a growing number of schools but this change goes uncelebrated because of the dictatorship of the DCSF, fearful of educational "mavericks".

Yvonne Roberts

On the same day, Ollie Bray wrote a good post on his blog about some research into the way that young people interact with technology.
Here's a summary:

  • They personally own 8 devices (including MP3 player, PC, TV, DVD player, mobile phone, stereo, games console, and digital camera)
  • They frequently conduct over 5 activities whilst watching TV
  • 25% of them agree that “I’d rather stay at home than go on a holiday with no internet or phone access”
  • A quarter of young people interviewed text or IM (instant message) friends they are physically with at the time
  • They have on average 123 friends on their social network spaces
  • And the first thing the majority of them do when they get home is turn on their PC
What are the implications of this for teachers of geography, who share a learning space with double digit numbers of these young people many times a week....

Teaching Geography

The Autumn issue of Teaching Geography is now available to download by subscribers from the Geographical Association website.
The paper copies should also be arriving in the next few days if you haven't already received it. On looking through you may notice in particular, a nice article describing the creation of a miniature landscape inside a burger box.

This is the last issue in the old format before a redesign and relaunch for the Spring 2010 issue.

Photo Sketch

Thanks to Neil Winton for leading me to this fascinating idea.
Draw a sketch and it creates an image...

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from tao chen on Vimeo.

Made in Oxford

Via the FLICKR blog came a link to MADE IN OXFORD.
A collection of photos of a particular city.
Why not start one of your town or city ?

Building windmills

Just browsing a new set of resources posted by Ollie Bray.
He describes a CPD event in Scotland called BUILDING WINDMILLS.
The name comes from a Chinese proverb which is quite neat:

"When the winds of change come, some build walls, others build windmills"...

Check the presentation out, and let me know what occurs to you...
There was also an excellent presentation from Andrew Brown, which included some useful examples of CROWDSOURCING content. Follow the links from Ollie's blog post to find the further content...

Independent Schools Regional Conference - 22nd October

This event takes place later this month...
SW Regional ISWG Conference
Thursday 22 October 2009, starts 10:00am
Queen's School, Taunton.
Lectures and workshops aimed at those teaching KS3 to A Level. Contributors include Simon Ross, Dave Holmes and Bob Digby.
Six free places are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

To try and claim one of those places you need to e-mail Paul Baker.
Contact via the GA Ning

Other details on the event are as follows:

“Taking a wider view – enhancing your school geography”

This Conference is open to all those teaching 11 to 18 year olds and will focus on updating geography, fieldwork (including overseas), writing in geography and map skills. The course will be run by David Holmes and Simon Ross, who are teachers and authors as well as experienced INSET providers. David also has 10 years experience as a senior examiner at both GCSE and ‘A’ Level. Delegates will receive a CD of resources and good lunch, plus refreshments throughout the day.

There will be a number of workshops and practical sessions throughout the day; depending on numbers, delegates may be able to choose several from the following:

· What’s happening in school geography at a national level – how does this affect me and my department?

· Improving writing in geography – making it count for assessment.

· Using the school grounds as a valuable (and often under used) fieldwork asset.

· Enhancing the value of overseas fieldwork – practical ideas and managing the entire process

· Lesson ideas for updating practical map skills

· Using GIS without knowing doing GIS – strategies to use in the new controlled assessment.

It could be you...

If you haven't already picked up on this from previous blog posts, Rick Cope over at GeoPacks has been posting a monthly free resource to the website HERE.
These are all high quality resources, and well worth downloading. Registration with name and an e-mail is required.

The latest freebie is the FIERY FINGER OF FATE which helps you pick a particular student: an alternative to Russel Tarr's excellent Class Tools SLOT MACHINE perhaps ?

Thanks to Rick for his generosity...

Handheld Learning Conference

Down to London today for the Handheld Learning Conference 09, held at the Brewery, the Barbican. It was a free open day, and a chance to meet with a few people, and work on the train on the journey there and back.

Wild Knowledge, who the Geographical Association have worked with on a number of projects were there exhibiting, and talked about their browser based interface which works well with a number of devices, including a nice touch screen mini tablet which they were demonstrating. With the introduction of 'GEARS', this also means that student work can be collected offline, and then uploaded on return to the school or college or learning base.

Wild Knowledge website is worth a visit to see how this technology might be used in your mobile learning projects.
It was also a good chance to meet up with a few old friends and meet some new ones, including a few Twitter contacts. There were others I unfortunately didn't get a chance to meet with as they were embroiled in presenting or participating in sessions. How did I know where they were ? Because the Twitter hashtag #hhl09 was being used by those at the event, and this allowed me to follow the

Ollie has posted a range of blog posts since the event, and during the event, which bring the area of new technology in the classroom. I'll mention them in a later post...

Found objects

A nice idea for a fieldwork activity is to use JOURNEY STICKS
Victoria Ellis blogged about her use of these, and also provided the picture above.

Kenny O' Donnell led me to this ARTICLE on the URBAN TICK blog

Takes the same idea of FOUND OBJECTS and might be an interesting context for a fieldwork activity...

The Journey Journal

The Journey Journal is the latest product of the GEOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE.
It is a passport sized journal, which can be used with students who are being taken out of school for an authorised absence.
Could also be used with foreign visits: perhaps language trips as well as the obvious geography fieldtrip connection.
Also useful with adults... why should children have all the fun ?

Everyday Geographies: Primary blog

An e-mail I just received reminded me of my colleague Wendy North's EVERYDAY GEOGRAPHIES blog.
This hosts a range of ideas and resources that primary colleagues and secondary colleagues alike would find useful...

Wendy has just been added to the list of Primary Geography Champions, and would be a valuable contact for those teaching in the Yorkshire and Humberside area in particular.

TES Education Show

The TES Education Show today. Early start for the train down to Olympia.
Met up with Dan Ellison to talk about the new Geography Collective product: the JOURNEY JOURNAL, and also a first meeting with Joe Dale. Joe was presenting in the slot after me.

Here's the handout that I used...
and a slightly edited version of the presentation I used...

Thanks to all the teachers who contributed: you were all credited and thanked...
Many thanks to those people who came along and participated, and to Indra for the picture of me demonstrating Richard Allaway's "sink or swim" activity...

Urban Earth West Yorkshire

A reminder of the latest opportunity to get involved in an Urban Earth adventure.
This will take place on October 10th in West Yorkshire.

The West Yorkshire conurbation includes Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Wakefield. Covering an area of some 592km2 this is going to be a 27km, 9 hour walk starting in the morning and finishing as the sun disappears over the horizon.

The precise route including start, finish and middle points will be decided closer to the time. It will start and finish close the public transport so that you can join in without a car and on a small budget.

Let's make this a big one. If you know anyone in West Yorkshire, invite them along to capture this massive urban area...

Visit the NING to sign up for the event, and see other Urban Earth goodies...
Such as this video made in Sao Paulo:

Find more videos like this on URBAN EARTH

Rio 2016

Announced at 6pm last night was the destination of the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
Rio de Janeiro

Latest Worldmapper Images

The latest Wordmapper maps have been launched, and have been featured in various newspapers and the BBC NEWS page.

The latest batch of maps explores population density, and shows the impact of the major cities in a number of countries. Check out the WORLDMAPPER maps and get "a different view" on the world.

Waving, not drowning...

While I type this, I am still waiting for my Google Wave invite to be processed...

Not sure that I'll end up using it, but am going to give it a go of course..

Birds on a Wire

An article from the DAILY MAIL led me to one of the most creative things I've seen in a while.
It describes a musician called Jarbas Agnelli, who saw birds perching on wires, and thought of them as musical notation. The VIMEO video below shows the result of his response...

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

The final piece is really melodic and has a nice feel to it, and the accompanying images have been pitched just right...

Mark Keall evening for Norfolk geographers

If you're in the Norwich area on the 12th of October, the Norfolk GA branch is holding the annual Mary Keall evening.

Mary Keall taught Geography from 1928 to 1964 at the
Blyth School.

Mary travelled widely and her teaching was enriched by the experiences she gained. After her death in 1986 the Mary Keall Fund was set up with donations from her former colleagues, family & friends, to help those who wished to extend their geographical knowledge by travelling.

In recent years the fund was administered by the Norfolk GA and this year the final recipients were students from Sewell Park College, formerly the Blyth School.

This evening you can see and hear reports from those students on their fieldwork in Iceland and Ashley Hale, the current Head of Geography, will talk about some of his recent ‘geographical adventures’

Mon. 12th October 2009

7.30 pm

Sewell Park College – left turn off Constitution Hill travelling out of Norwich on the B1150

Free to members. Guests £3

Further details + directions (if needed) from David Stannard

01603 453118

"How to be an explorer of the world"

Finally got hold of my copy of this today. Had first seen it in the hands of Dan Ellison. The book has "connections" with a range of other books, such as the MisGuides, and the Rough Guide to Experimental Travel.
The book, by Keri Smith, suggests a range of actions which involve the reader interacting with the world. It's one of several books in a similar vein that Keri has produced.

Looking forward to using some of the ideas.

Can be ordered from AMAZON (and other online retailers)

The geography of the radiator...

Today is apparently "Central Heating Day": the day that for many families, the heating goes back on.
How has Central Heating changed our lives ?
An interesting BBC Magazine article...


My son can't wait to see the latest Pixar film: UP, which has been a long time coming.
The plot involves a balloon salesman who ties balloons to his house and sets off on a journey.
There is also a young companion called Russell who makes a lot of having a GPS device so that they will never be lost, although he then loses it...