Time for a glass of wine...

Early start for Bristol tomorrow... (resources to be added here shortly...)
But first, a glass of wine, with the excuse that it's named after a line of latitude...

The "Lucy" effect...

Noticed an increase in blog visitors over the last few weeks, since the start of the new term really...
I put it down to growing awareness of the wonder that is "Living Geography"...

Turns out, that when I looked at the search terms that a lot of these visitors were using in order to click through to the blog, there were words like Lucy, Verasamy, Daybreak and Weather Presenter...

And the increase coincided with Lucy joining the team on Daybreak on ITV.

A bit disappointing, but probably related to earlier posts about my visit to Sky weather centre, and how Lucy was a former pupil who did 'A' level Geography....
Oh well... while you're here, have a read of some geography stuff...
And you can follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyWeather

Journey of a Lifetime: Dubai to India

Spent half an hour earlier in the week listening to the latest RGS-IBG grant funded "Journey of a Lifetime"
Each year, someone has the chance to make the journey.
If you're interested, I'm afraid the deadline was the 24th of September, but that gives you plenty of time to prepare an application for next year... I think I might have a go next year (seriously...)

Nick Hunt has spent time in Dubai following the lives of Indian labourers who are suffering from the downturn in the fortunes of Dubai.

Image from Flickr user JOI and shared under Creative Commons

The BBC has a website which currently hosts the programme on LISTEN AGAIN.

Vampire Energy

While you're sleeping... the energy drain in your house continues... think of it as VAMPIRE ENERGY....

From Good Magazine - follow them on Twitter @GOOD

Britain from the Air

Have already blogged on the subject of the new Royal Geographical Society exhibition in Bath...

There's now  a BBC audio slideshow, featuring some of the images, and the voice of Dr. Rita Gardner.
Click HERE TO VIEW the slideshow, and if you're near Bath, go and take a look at the exhibition.

Blog Action Day: theme is WATER...

For the last 3 or 4 years now, I have been involved in posting something on BLOG ACTION DAY on the particular theme of the year.

The theme this year is WATER. 
The Vimeo video sets the scene...

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Change.org|Start Petition

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.

Our Goal

First and last, the purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue.
By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue.
Out of this discussion naturally flow ideas, advice, plans, and action. In 2007 with the theme of the environment, we saw bloggers running environmental experiments, detailing innovative ideas on creating sustainable practices, and focusing their audience's attention on organizations and companies promoting green agendas. In 2008 we covered the theme of poverty, and similarly focused the blogging community's energies around discussing the wide breadth of the issue from many perspectives and identifying innovative and unexpected solutions. Last year, the conversation around climate change brought our voices around the globe to discuss an issue that threatens us all and mobilized tens of thousands of people to get more involved in the movement for a more sustainable future. This year, with the theme of Water, we are eager to shed light on this often-overlooked topic.

And come back to Living Geography to see what I write...

#w3g and the AGI

Am doing a day's work before heading off for the dentist.. ouch... and then over to Stratford upon Avon this evening ready for an event tomorrow, which is the precursor to the annual AGI Geo-Community meeting.

As a blogger since 2003, on all things geographical, I thought that it would be good to offer my services as a 'guest blogger' and also see how I could connect what was being discussed and presented at this more 'industry-related' forum with what students in the classroom might be presented with, and the ways that teachers would interact with the material.

Opportunities in a changing world is the title of the event, and this would also refer to the work that geography teachers do in terms of 'selling' the subject of geography to students, and stressing its future vocational potential. Richard Waite's message on the AGI website talks about the opportunities that there might be in the future, although most of us are waiting for some big decisions on cuts to be announced next month.

I was interested in this area further due to the recent strategic partnership between the Geographical Association (my employer) and ESRI UK (a major sponsor of the AGI Geo-Community) and provider of software and data for many of the exhibitors present at the event.
A PDF download of the details of the strategic partnership can be downloaded from HERE.

So I shall be going to as many of the sessions as I can, and blogging and tweeting the various events, also as a precursor to what I hope will be some more similar activity for the GA Conference in April 2011.

Follow me on Twitter: @GeoBlogs if you don't already...

Oh, and why was Shakespeare not allowed in any of the pubs in Stratford ? Because he was 'bard'....

One for a rainy day...

Like today...

Walkers crisps have added a competition to bags of crisps: WALKERS RAINY DAYS

Thanks to Chris Green for pointing out the possibility of using this for an activity..
The basic idea is that having registered your bag code, if you are lucky you can choose a location by grid square and you get a time slot to choose.
Each time it rains a certain amount, you could win £10...

If it has rained 1mm or more in your 3-hour timeslot on your chosen 4km² grid-spot, you will win £10 (€10 in ROI).
To reach 1mm or more of rain, you are looking for continuous rain for three hours that you can readily feel on your face and will make the ground wet, or a slight shower that lasts for 30 minutes and causes puddles to form. It is worth remembering that a steady drizzle of three hours may not actually give 1 mm.
The winning grid-spots will be verified against data provided on a daily basis by the Met Office, and all such rainfall results provided by the Met Office will be final for the purposes of the prize allocations. No correspondence will be entered into with consumers in relation to any disputed rainfall or rainfall data.
So which are the wettest grid squares in the country ?
What would be the best ones to select if you wanted to increase your chances of winning ?

Students could be asked to choose from a list of places or postcodes, or rank them in order of their "rain-potential" ??

New BGS App...

A good free app from the British Geological Survey: thanks to Victoria Ellis for the tip-off...

Get it from the App store...

Your Czech's in the post...

An intriguing book I read about yesterday...
It's called "The Englishman who posted himself and other curious objects", and recounts the life of W. Reginald Bray, who did what he could to test the boundaries of the Post Office and what could and couldn't be sent through the mail...
I like this letter that he sent above... it was returned to sender...

He actually sent himself through the mail (although as he wasn't from Czechoslovakia the title of this post actually makes no sense...)

This sent me off on a tangent that I will follow up a little further...

Congratulations to latest Primary Quality Mark holders...

The latest schools to have successfully undertaken the GA's Primary Geography Quality Mark process have been announced on the GA website...

2010 Awards

PGQM Gold Award
    At Gold level, the award is in recognition of the schools capacity to embed excellent and innovative geography throughout the school:

    Brindishe Primary School, Lee Green, London
    Burwash CEP School, Etchingham, East Sussex
    Christ the King Primary School, Llanishen, Cardiff
    Epsom Downs Primary School, Epsom Downs, Surrey
    Gospel Oak School, Camden, London
    Harrold Priory Middle School, Harrold, Beds
    Leighton Primary School, Crewe, Cheshire
    Perton First School, Staffordshire
    Sharnbrook John Gibbard Lower School, Sharnbrook, Beds
    St John's School, St John, Jersey
    St Joseph's Catholic Primary Schoo,l Redhill, Surrey
    St Paul's CE Primary School, Winchmore, London
    St Saviour's CE Primary School, Little Venice, London

      PGQM Silver Award
      At Silver level the award is in recognition of the implementation of whole school approaches that support excellence in geography

      Ashcott Primary School, Bridgewater, Somerset
      Cawston Grange Primary School, Rugby, Warwickshire
      Copnor Junior School, Portsmouth, Hampshire
      Dr Thomlinson Middle School, Morpeth, Northumberland
      Earlham Primary School, Forest Gate, London
      Edward Francis Infant School, Rayleigh, Essex
      Gig Mill School, Stourbridge, West Midlands
      Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Halifax, West  Yorkshire
      Limpsfield CE Infants, Oxted, Surrey
      Lyndhurst First School, Worthing, West Sussex
      Mengham Junior School, Hayling Island, Hampshire
      Nevill Road Infant School, Stockport, Staffs
      Newton Farm Nursery, First & Middle School, South Harrow, London
      Seer Green CE School, Seer Green, Bucks
      St George's CE Primary School, Battersea, London
      St Josephs RC Primary, Highgate Hill London
      Turvey Lower School, Turvey, Beds
      Walton Priory Middle School, Stone, Staffs
      Weald Community Primary School, Sevenoaks, Kent
      Wigton Infant School, Wigton, Cumbria
      Wybunbury Delves CE (Aided) Primary School, Nantwich, Cheshire

      PGQM Bronze Award
      At Bronze level the award is in recognition of a commitment to 'ensuring lively and effective learning in geography':

      Appley Bridge All Saints CE School, Appley Bridge, Lancashire
      Audley Primary School, Caterham, Surrey
      Avonmouth CE Primary School, Avonmouth, Bristol
      Christchurch CE Junior School, Ramsgate, Kent
      Donhead Prep, Wimbledon, London
      Findern Primary School, Findern, Derbyshire
      Gaywood Community Primary School, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
      Hartside Primary School, Crook, Durham
      Hollywood Primary School, Hollywood, Birmingham
      Hoylake Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Hoylake, Wirral
      Meir Heath Primary School, Stoke On Trent, Staffs
      Newark Hill Primary School, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
      Our Lady of Lourdes, North Finchley, London
      Roding Primary School, Dagenham, Essex
      Ryelands Primary School & Nursery, South Norwood, London
      Selwyn School, Plaistow, London
      Sketty Primary School, Sketty, Swansea
      South Walney Junior School, Barrow In Furness, Cumbria
      St Austin's RC Primary School, St Helen's, Merseyside
      St Bernadette's CP School, Brighton, Sussex
      St George's (VC) CE Primary School, Wrotham, Kent
      St Gilbert's RC Primary School, Eccles, Manchester
      St Joseph's RC Primary, Watford, Herts
      St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Waterlooville, Hampshire
      Stirchley Community School, Birmingham, West Midlands
      Taylor Road Primary School, St Matthews, Leicester
      The Greville Primary School, Ashstead, Surrey
      Thomas Russell Junior School, Burton On Trent, Staffs
      Whittington CE (A) Primary School, Oswestry, Shropshire
      Winsham Primary, Winsham, Somerset
      Woodley Primary School, Stockport, Cheshire

      Tokyo Time Lapse

      Another in the (not-so) occasional series of wonderful time-lapses that have been put together to represent urban spaces.
      The latest is based in Tokyo and has been put together by Samuel Cockedey
      As always, thanks to Vimeo for hosting and providing an embed code...

      inter // states from Samuel Cockedey on Vimeo.

      Have you lobbied your MP yet ?

      The Geographical Association is asking geography teachers, and others with an interest in ensuring that geography keeps its place in the school curriculum, to lobby their MP.
      The reasons for this are fairly clear, when one considers that there are many schools now which don't offer Geography at GCSE level, and there are also pressures on curriculum time lower down the school. At Primary, student experiences of geography are patchy, although there are many excellent schools, a growing number of which hold the Primary Geography Quality Mark as a way of celebrating their commitment.

      Lobbying your MP sounds like it might involve a lot of hard work, but it actually takes just a few minutes.

      Visit the GA's website page on LOBBYING YOUR MP.

      Print off the letter that has been written as a template for you to use.
      You might want to add your address, and also edit it to add your own thoughts.

      You can also print out and include a copy of the latest document, written by John Hopkin and David Lambert.

      Put it in an envelope - the address is on the website...
      Then, importantly, please TELL US WHICH MP YOU HAVE CONTACTED so that we can keep a track of who has been suitable "lobbied"...
      Thanks in advance for your support with this.

      Happy about maps...

      Thanks to the good folks at the Princeton Architectural Press for sending me copies of two rather wonderful new mapping books...

      "The Map as Art" by Katharine Harmon ( I already have a copy of her excellent book 'You are here')


      "from Here to There" by the Hand Drawn Map Association...

      More to come on these books shortly....

      "I sense that humans have an urge to map - and that this mapping instinct, like our opposable thumbs, is part of what makes us human...."
      Katharine Harmon

      iPod lesson plans...

      Great to see Chris Green developing his iPod touch / geography project.
      The latest addition is an idea relating to earthquake preparation, with reference to the recent Canterbury earthquake in New Zealand.
      I like the way that the relevant apps have been put into a folder ready for the lesson...

      Rock concert...

      Latest video from the latest Cape Farewell expedition to Svalbard
      Did something similar in a frozen Water-cum-Jolly-Dale in the Peaks some years back... amazing sounds...

      On your bike..

      Image from HERE - with thanks....
      Some new resources for Primary colleagues have just been added onto the GA website.

      The resources are called MAP IT, BIKE IT, WALK IT, and have been developed by a Sheffield SUSTRANS group in association with the GA.

      Here's a brief description of the project.

      The project was piloted in Sheffield in 2010. The lesson plans and resources included in this section will help you to adopt and adapt this project for your own school.

      The school catchment area is something that occupies a large part of a young person's personal geography. It contains their own home, the homes of their friends, shops and services that they use, spaces that they play in, clubs that they may be part of and of course the school that they go to. Then there are the places that connect all these together, spaces that may be just passed through or experienced in many different ways.
      Because of this familiarity, not to mention the practical reasons, the area around your school is a great place to get outside and explore students' personal and emotional geographies. Whenever possible let the work be student-led, as this will make it more informative and enjoyable for everyone.

      Why not check out the resources and see how you could make use of them with the students that you work with.

      Next GeoVation challenge

      GeoVation challenge number two is set to be launched next week.

      The last one was on the theme of FOOD, the next one is on the issue of TRANSPORT.

      Do you have an idea that will help people get from A to B (perhaps via C) more easily ?

      Reminds me of the Douglas Adams quote on Bypasses that I used to use when teaching about the famous Keytown bypass... except I localised it to a local scheme that students would actually be affected by being sat in their cars in endless queues at....

      Bypasses are devices which allow some people to drive from point A to point B very fast whilst other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people of point B are so keen to get there, and what's so great about point B that so many people of point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.

      Douglas Adams: "The Hitch-Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy'

      The future's bright...

      Thanks for those visitors who may have followed my request to vote for the Mission:Explore Places to Play map...
      As you can see below, it appears that we won !!

      Help us get a project off the ground...

      If you have visited the LivingGeography blog today and want to help - it will take you 3 minutes...
      Go to the the ORANGE site.
      Register an account (just an e-mail account required), and then give a big thumbs-up to:
      Thanks in advance - voting closes at midnight tonight....

      Hello Dubai

      Enjoying reading this book at the moment...
      Extracted some good sections on globalisation and the changes that have happened in the area, as well as some sense of the gathering financial problems, given the period during which it was written, as well as the nature of the relationships between the different groups of people who gravitate there...

      3 words to describe the place in the title are: Skiing, Sand and Shopping

      What would be your 3 words to describe Dubai ??

      Canterbury Earthquake

      One of the particularly valuable resources for geography teachers is the ability to access newspapers in remote places.

      The Press is the local paper for Christchurch in New Zealand.

      It has a range of resources and articles relating to the quake.

      One of the particularly useful resources is an INTERACTIVE STORY MAP.
      This contains a range of stories (over 350 in total) identified by pins...

      Some good cartoons in Wellington's Dominion Post too... Grabbed a few of those for a future session...

      Amy Barcz from Auckland has sent me another link from this same location: an 'animation' of the hundreds of quakes which occurred in the area during the whole seismic event...
      Impressive to see the number of quakes that happened in a short period of time...
      Christchurch Quake Map uses Google Maps - works on iPhone and iPad too, which is nice...
      Thanks for the link Amy...

      Food: Ravinder Bhogal's beans...

      Another new food programme started on Channel 4 last week.

      This one was fronted by Anna Richardson, and featured Jay Rayner and Ravinder Bhogal.

      A useful segment in the middle of the programme explored the journey made by green beans, with Ravinder travelling to Kenya.

      First sentence of report:
      "Every choice you make in a supermarket has consequences - sometimes on the other side of the world... We want you to know the facts so that you can make informed decisions..."

      Fits with the Fred Pearce book, "Confessions of an Eco-Sinner", which also focussed on Kenyan beans.

      Beans take around 72 hours to get from farms near Nyeri to the UK. High altitude of this area provides cooler environment which helps bean retain moisture and warm climate enables 2 crops a year to be grown.

      Majority of Kenyans in most regions are employed in agriculture. Picking starts early in morning - women employed to pick. Around 40kg of beans picked - wages are higher than the national average. Farmers and pickers have to be careful to keep beans straight and unblemished - they are graded on the basis of size and appearance, which means that other beans which would taste as good are not able to be sold.
      Kenya is a water-scarce country and growing beans involves large amounts of water.
      One green bean needs up to four litres of water to produce.
      We pay £1.99 for a bag of beans, from which the farmeer would receive about 16p.
      The farm featured in the program has, however been developed using the money from the beans, which are a lucrative crop.
      The beans are graded then taken to Nairobi by lorry. It's a race to get them to the airport so that they can arrive fresh in the UK. They arrive at the cargo village at the airport, which is where the beans are refrigerated and then packaged at the pack house, which processes 10 000 kg of beans a day. Waitrose are supplied every day with fresh deliveries, other supermarkets less often. The beans are washed in a jacuzzi of water and chlorine then topped and tailed and packaged in bags.
      They are usually flown on passenger flights in the hold using available space.

      36 million kg of green beans a year are consumed in the UK, and the majority come from Kenya by air freight. The export is worth £70 million a year to Kenya - also export passion fruit and tender stem broccoli
      Has overtaken tourism, and beans called the "green dollar"

      Met a small farmer and his family, and
      Choosing to buy green beans is therefore a dilemma between the support for the farmers and the economy of Kenya, and the environmental consequences of their production.

      Programme is available on 4OD for a while.

      Image by Alan Parkinson, which I know has Egyptian beans.. 

      Two pieces of news from the Royal Geographical Society

      The first is the opening of an intriguing new exhibition called BRITAIN FROM THE AIR

      If you are in, or near Bath, it would be worth visiting the city centre street gallery...
      A useful quote by Michael Palin when opening the exhibition:

      “All too often, chasing far away places, we forget just what beauty we have on our doorstep and just how rich and diverse a country we live in. I can think of no better time to celebrate Britain's built and natural landscapes."

      The second is an opportunity to work at the Royal Geographical Society, our partners in the Action Plan for Geography.
      A "Manager Schools Programme" post is advertised, with details on the TES website.
      Do you have the desire and ability to onnect the best that has been thought and written in geography with the classroom?

      If so, take a look at the ad....

      Holt - who goes there ? You should !!

      Teaching in, or within easy travelling distance of Norfolk ?
      Check out the courses and opportunities available at Holt Hall Field Centre in North Norfolk.
      One of the few remaining options for residential trips for Norfolk schools.
      Always used staff from Holt Hall for my 6th form field visits.

      After the shaking has stopped...

      Two new earthquake-related items today...

      The first relates to the FAULT LINE LIVING expedition that I have blogged about several times before. The crew have moved from Iceland down into Italy, and recently posted an excellent movie and set of images on their WEBSITE from within the red zone of L'Aquila 

      The next one relates to the CHRISTCHURCH quake.
      My friend Simon sent me a few copies of 'The Dominion Post' which is a local paper to where he now lives in Wellington, and there are some great resources on preparation and the aftermath of the quake...

      And while we're on the earthquake theme, there was a report in the papers this week that London and the SE are overdue a large quake which could kill hundreds of people, according to seismologists.

      Fish fingers !!

      Like this video a lot...
      Thanks to Race around the world

      No voiceover, no questions, still room for some curriculum making...

      Available on this ZAMZAR link until Sunday morning...

      China One-Child Policy - several Al Jazeera videos

      These are quite useful short videos on some impacts of the One Child Policy, which is under review at the moment...

      Impacts of the policy

      Ethnic exemptions to the one-child policy

      The City of Yicheng...

      All from the AlJazeera English YouTube channel, which has a range of useful videos...

      Global Competency

      Reading an interesting posting on the SSAT blog by Professor Yong Zhao

      Global Competency is an emerging skill...

      Although writing was invented in many societies thousands of years ago, the ability to read and write, or what we call literacy skills, became necessary for all citizens much later. It only came after technology made written materials universally accessible and transformed the society into one that heavily relies on the written language.
      Similarly, although human beings have engaged in activities across geographical, political, religious boundaries globally for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, it is only until recently when such activities began to be undertaken and participated in by the common citizens. Before what Thomas Friedman calls Globalization 3.0, which began around the year 2000, only a small portion of the human race were able to participate in boundary-crossing activities (Friedman, 2005). As a result, only this small group of people needed to be equipped with the knowledge and skills that enable them to function beyond their own borders.
      But this is no longer the case. In 2005, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman announced that “the world is flat,” that is, the world is no longer separated by geographical distances or ideological barriers.According to Friedman, we have gone through three versions of globalization. Globalization 1.0, which began around 1492, saw the shrinking of the earth from size large to size medium. In the Globalization 2.0 era, which saw the arrival of multinational companies, saw the earth moving from size medium to size small. Starting around 2000, Globalization 3.0 began and now the earth is going from size small to size tiny.
      In this increasingly tiny and flat world, everyone could theoretically be engaged in business or other types of transactions with someone else from any part of the globe. In other words, global boundary-crossing activities are no longer restricted to a small proportion of the human race. They have become a universally accessible possibility. Consequently the ability to participate in these boundary-crossing activities has become necessary for all citizens. And that ability is what we refer to as ‘global competence.’

      Spot the difference...

      Top: Lynn News headline
      Bottom: EDP Headline

      The Norfolk crowds of an estimated 70,000 people were apparently the biggest of any stage, and the race may return to Norfolk next year. My former colleague Mike Douglass is a keen cyclist and took his group down to the Tuesday Market Place in King's Lynn to watch the roll-out.

      Tour of Britain Chief Executive Hugh Roberts said:

      "We thought this was one of the best parts of the whole of Britain to cycle, and I thought that King's Lynn was a perfect place to start the race. It's very historic and could almost be the definitive starting place. We thought that bringing it here would help emphasise the activity of cycling because of the lovely lanes and roads in this part of the world. It showed the Norfolk countryside in the best possible light..."

      Love Outdoor Play ? Support Love Outdoor Play

      This would bring out lots of geographical connections...

      Love Outdoor Play is a new project by the Geography Collective, and was launched earlier this week...

      More than 30 respected authors, charities and explorers have come together to say that a ‘big society’ needs more children playing outdoors in our streets, parks and communities.
      “Having the freedom to play outdoors improves the well-being of children and their communities. Together, we are building a visible community to support reasonably safe exploration, adventure and play. Wherever you see a Love Outdoor Play sticker or symbol, you’ll find people who welcome play and are looking out for young people” is the manifesto for the Love Outdoor Play campaign which launched on Tuesday 14th September.
      “We are asking people to take a very simple action. Make or get a Love Outdoor Play sticker and put it up where you live or work. Research shows that in many communities we’re afraid of what other parents will think of us if we let our kids out to play or walk to school. By putting a sticker up you not only show that you support outdoor play but can start a conversation about how play can be improved for children where you live” explains Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of Love Outdoor Play’s organisers.
      The Love Outdoor Play symbol is available under a creative commons non-commercial share-alike license. As long as you are not making a profit from the symbol and credit Love Outdoor Play anyone can use the symbol.
      Authors The Geography Collective (Mission:Explore), Lenore Skenazy (Free Range Kids), Sue Atkins (Raising Happy Children for Dummies), Sue Palmer (Toxic Childhood), Nicola Baird (Homemade Kids), Bethe Almeras (Grass Stain Guru) have come together with explorers Benedict Allen, Olly Steeds, Jake Meyer, Alistair Humphreys and Bonita Norris in an effort to get more children playing outdoors again. The campaign is also supported by Play Scotland, Play England, the Campaign for Adventure, Digi Mums, Play Association Tower Hamlets, Institute of Outdoor Learning, Alliance for Childhood and the Association of Play Industries. A full list of supporters can be found here.
      Anyone can join the campaign and help to crowd fund stickers at here.
      Play is part of the life of a community, and also relates to geographical ideas of space, exclusion and identity.
      Play is learning, play is communication, play is vital...

      Microsoft Forum

      You have a limited time to secure a place at the Microsoft UK Innovative Education Forum 2010

      Following content is borrowed from David Rogers... (I could type it all out myself, but....)

      The 7th Microsoft Innovative Education Forum is a one-day conference, free of charge to all teachers and educators who wish to attend and will look to address the theme of ‘Connecting Learners, Connecting Teachers.’
      This forum aims to connect Teachers with Teachers, Educators with Educators. Allowing you to share expertise and learn from each other. Giving insights into how you can connect your students with technology and connect them with their learning.
      This year the Forum is being held at the Hilton Deansgate Hotel in Manchester on the 30th Nov.
      We have a packed agenda with Keynote speakers at the event will be the world renowned Prof. Sugata Mitra famous for his ‘Hole in the wall’ project and Michael Furdyk CEO of the young person’s online community , Taking IT Global.
      In addition, Delegates will be able to choose from a range of practical workshops covering areas such as using free software and Web 2.0 technology, games based learning and managing innovation in schools.image
      Workshop 1- TakingITGlobal - Mandeep Atwal, TIGed UK
      Workshop 2- Outdoor learning & technology - David Rogers, The Geography Collective
      Workshop 3- From the cloud to the classroom, making innovation stick! - Guy Shearer, Head Teacher, Lodge Park Technology College
      Workshop 4- Creative use of technology in the classroom - Dan Roberts, saltash.net community school
      Workshop 5- Office 2010 in the Classroom – Stuart Ball – Microsoft Partners in Learning
      Workshop 6- Kodu Games based learning - Nicki Maddam, Hartsdown Technology College, Margate
      Find out more details about each workshop here>>
      What’s on your mind?
      For the first time we are holding an Innovative Teacher Meet, 29 Nov. at 7:30pm
      Join us for drinks, canapés and a series of TeachMeet style pitches from leading teachers at Hilton’s vibrant Cloud 23 bar, providing 360-degree views of Manchester.
      Share with like-minded teachers in a series of 3-minute open pitches.
      Also, find out who are Microsoft’s 2010 Award-Winning Innovative Educators. The awards will be presented at this event, to Teachers who have submitted projects that illustrate the innovative use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Not only will they receive award recognition, but have the chance to be invited to The European Education Forum being held in Moscow next year. These project will be on display at the event.
      Don’t miss out, register todayhttp://uk.partnersinlearningnetwork.com


      I shall be there at the Teachmeet and also the main event...
      See you there...

      Tour of [insert place here...]

      Earlier today, I headed out to the coast at lunchtime to watch the Tour of Britain passing through, along with a large number of professional cyclists who are familiar from the Tour de France and other great european classics...

      The Tour of Britain is following a route which starts in King's Lynn, where I taught for 20 years, through the village where I used to live and then on around the coast before looping back inland and heading for Norwich, before a finish back by the coast at Great Yarmouth.

      This would be a useful context for exploring the LOCAL AREA.
      Imagine that the Tour of Britain is passing through your home area...

      Plan an appropriate route for it to take that would perhaps have some of the following characteristics:
      - A long straight stretch (or more) for sprints
      - A steep incline (or more) for King of the Mountains points
      - Points of interest and towns to pass through


      Here are a few images that I took at lunchtime...

      Bramall Lane

      Had a night out at the footie on Tuesday night, while over-nighting in Sheffield...
      First football match for some years. I used to go to Millmoor regularly to see Rotherham play in the 90s, and in the 1970s was a regular at Elland Road to see the classic Revie-era Leeds... Also saw Huddersfield a few times in the 80s when studying in the town...
      It was a local-ish derby against Scunthorpe. Just under 20,000 in the crowd, and an entertaining match which could have gone either way but ended up with Scunthorpe winning 4-0.
      Lots of temporary retail opportunities around the economy of sporting events, and entertaining tannoy announcements..." would all stewards please go to Phase 5", which basically meant "stand up"... Might be a useful teaching tool... "Smith ! Go to Phase 5 !"... oh, and they ran out of pies at half time... who ate all the pies ?

      Thanks to Nick, Ian and Andrew for their company, and to the folks in the GAC stand for teaching me some new words beginning with the letter "F..."

      PGCE Tips - now with added 'thud factor'...

      Got my hard copy of the wonderful PGCE Survival Guide yesterday....
      You can still order yours (or alternatively download a free PDF) from the CLASSROOM TALES link.

      Check out my contribution: CHOP ONE RED ONION...


      Via SLN Forum

      An online handbook of climate trends across Scotland

      iPods in Classrooms

      There are a few projects that I am following, which involve class-sets of iPods being used...

      Mr. Mayoh's BLOG describes some of the issues he has encountered with the introduction of a class set of technology like this.

      Chris Green is also using a set of iPods with his FRIDAY GEOGRAPHY project, and some great outcomes from that already, identifying the pace of learning that comes with the use of apps and the operating system of these devices.

      These come on top of the iPad project I blogged about earlier...
      Plenty to ponder...

      GA NING: a global membership

      Just preparing a brief report on the GA Ning for Education Committee.

      There are 50 countries represented on the GA Ning now: a developing global community.
      JOIN NOW !

      From King's Lynn to India...

      Just watched an excellent little 15 minute programme on a development education project which has some nice ideas for cross-curricular primary projects. Good to see a former colleague in the video too :)
      Features the work of my friends at NEAD.

      Happy Roald Dahl Day


      The next few days will be ESRI days.
      We are preparing for the new courses that we are running for teachers in 10 locations around the country.

      The courses make use of ESRI's DIGITAL WORLDS software. You can come along whether or not you already have the software. You will be introduced to the main tools, and given chance to plan something in your own school.
      So next few days will be spent putting together the delegate packs, and running through all the resources...

      Full details on the courses are available on the GA WEBSITE.
      Download the FLYER or BOOK ONLINE.
      Different prices depending on whether you are a GA member / already own the software....

      Cape Farewell: a voyage around Svalbard

      The Cape Farewell voyages aim to bring a cultural response to the issue of Climate Change.

      Previous voyages involved Anthony Gormley, and Rachel Whiteread, who was inspired to fill the turbine hall at Tate Modern with white cubes.

      When teaching the now sadly ex-Pilot GCSE Geography course a few years back, I used the Cape Farewell pack that the Geographical Association produced.
      The blog posts that relate to my studies of this EXTREME ENVIRONMENT are available by following THIS LINK to the blog: you'll see student work and a range of other resources which I hope you might still find useful...

      The latest Cape Farewell expedition is going to follow the route shown on the map above, and it has JUST SET OFF... you can follow if for the next few weeks by visiting the CAPE FAREWELL WEBSITE, or following CAPE FAREWELL on TWITTER.

      New uMapper features

      I have blogged about uMapper various times before. It's a web-based mapping solution which has recently undergone an update over the summer, and now offers even more features.

      uLearn provides a Map Service giving schools access completely free of charge to the richest possible set of (current, historical & aerial) maps. This is the set for Derbyshire.

      New tools we have created now make it really easy for teachers to use the best online resources to do with their school’s locality.

      There is an overwhelming (and ever increasing) number of resources available on the web. The problem for teachers is finding the most appropriate resources within the time they have available for lesson preparation.

      uLearn can now help. The uLearn Library now contains a large number carefully selected resources that will support teachers in their Local Studies. For those who need it we have organised the resources into ready-made Sets. For those who want to make their own selection, new ‘Favourite Set’ tools make it supremely easy for teachers to create their own sets from the Library.

      We have created a Set of resources providing information that teachers in every Authority will find relevant. But, Authority by Authority, we are adding further Local Studies resources that are specific to each individual Authority – ‘Local Studies Favourite Sets’ bespoke to the Authority.

      Because a number of schools there have already expressed an interest, the first Authority we have done this for is Derbyshire. Bespoke resources for more Authorities will be added in the coming days.

      I have created a Quick Guide providing an instant overview of the maps and resources for Derbyshire. At the top of the Guide there is a link to a few useful Tips on how to manage the resources.

      We provide a cross-curricular breadth of Local Studies resources so that the skills learners develop in their Geographical investigation are immediately transferable to their learning in other curriculum areas (e.g. History and Citizenship) and vice versa.

      It's well worth checking out the latest features. This could be the low cost mapping solution that your school needs...