World Tsunami Awareness Day

Coming up soon... along with other geographically important days... Perhaps we need to compile a calendar of these...

Try this Teaching

A redeveloped version of the Cheney Agility Toolkit which I've used in the past, and created by Amjad Ali.
There are plenty of pedagogical ideas here.

Before the Flood

Leonardo di Caprio's new climate change film premieres today on National Geographic and a range of other channels...
You can watch it here too (not sure how long the link will last)

Still time to order your Greater London National Park map...

Still time to order your Greater London National Park map.... Available in several formats...

Operation Gold Rush - tonight

Operation Gold Rush starts tonight (30th October) on BBC2. It features Dan Snow, Kevin Fong and Felicity Aston (who I 'worked with' when producing educational materials from the Pole of Cold expedition.

The programme explores the story behind the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896
I remember reading about the Chilkoot Pass some years ago, and it's an iconic location.

Image copyright: BBC

GeographyPaul - a new resource option

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

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

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

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

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

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

AAG mention our GeoCapabilities project

There's also a mention for the StoryMap that I created...


Just watching Norwich being thrashed by Brighton... a reminder of one of my favourite pictures that I've taken - click for biggery....
Image: Alan Parkinson

SAGT Conference 2016

The SAGT Conference is taking place in Coatbridge near Glasgow today.
It's a great event, which I've attended regularly since 2004. I can't be there this year, but am following via the tweets #sagtconf16 and seen that lots of friends and colleagues are there, having a good day of geography, including Darren from the OS, Anne from Edina and Mary Biddulph, representing the GA.

Check out the twitter feed to see what's happening today.


A few resources that I picked up from following the Tweets.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs visitor management

There are also some new downloads of case studies. 

There's a YouTube channel too.

Download as a 30 page PDF.

New Digimap for Schools Resources by Will Tuft

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

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

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

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

The Impossible Burger

Survey of London

Interesting mapping project, mapping the area of Whitechapel.
It also comes with a YouTube video to explain how to use it, which is helpful...

Need cheap VR headsets? Head for Tiger

My colleague Claire has found Google Cardboard-style VR headsets for sale at TIGER for just £2....

Practical Pedagogies 2016

Planning my session for this conference, which I'll be heading to in a week and a half's time.This is the hand out for delegates which I will be using, and will also create a Dropbox of all the resources from my session.

Watch the #pracped16 hashtag for more.

Have also made an ArcGIS Social Media map to display Tweets for the conference - just trying to get it to work now...


A trip down to Southwold for the day and walked from the north in Easton Bavents, down to the Walberswick Ferry.
I wrote about this area for a Tutor2U Geography resource and good to see some of the changes since I was last in the area.

Image: Alan Parkinson

The Perimeter - quarter of the way through

Good to see Quintin Lake being featured on BBC News.
I've been following this from the start, and will hope to join Quintin when he passes through my area....

The Crystal Reef

Via Shailey Minocha - a 360 degree VR panorama experience...

Georges Perec - literary geographer

Thanks to Darran Anderson for posting a link to this PDF version of this book (which may not be there for ever) but has a complete great Georges Perec book with plenty on the ideas of place and space and exploration.

One Day Without Us

A few years ago, there was a day of action in the US when migrant workers made a point about the contributions they made to the country / economy. Just checked, and it was actually 10 years ago - wow, time flies...
In the UK, we can't get through the day without relying on products and services which are produced at least in part by migrant workers, and any of our public services are similarly reliant on migrants.
There are now plans to hold a day to focus on this issue in the UK.

It started out on Facebook, and is now spreading to a wider area.

The day is planned for next year, so time for this to grow, and gain more publicity and awareness for the cause. This remains an emotive and controversial issue, as the recent furore over supportive comments by Gary Lineker and others shows.

New Werner Herzog film...

A few years ago, while working for the Geographical Association, I produced some materials for a Werner Herzog film on Antarctica: Encounters at the end of the World.
There's now a film exploring volcanoes: Into the Inferno.

Out in a few days on Netflix...

Air Traffic Visualisation

Topical, with the announcement of the Heathrow expansion to come…

Route One

A year ago, I was getting ready to head to Iceland… this year, this is the closest I'll get… Some familiar places in the first few hours of this video…

Mining the past...

I'm spending today trying to finish off the workshop session I'm leading at Practical Pedagogies in just over a week's time down in Toulouse, and am revisiting a presentation that my colleague Claire and I did at the GA conference in 2015. For those who may not have seen it, it's embedded below, and shows some of the work we did that year in our department…

New GCSE Toolkit now in stock

Available from the GA Shop and written by Becky Kitchen.

New 'Pixar' short - on Vimeo for a limited time

And awesome landscape and story as always… but bleak… via SLATE.
Made by Pixar animators.

Have you bought your copies yet?

Guess the island answer - La Reunion

For the last few weeks, we have had visitors in school, from a mystery island in the Indian Ocean. I posted the mystery image from Google Earth Pro a few days ago, and also had it on Twitter, and other social media.
The mystery location is La Reunion, and we were able to explore it using a large map, and also use our visitors as a source of information on the country.

Global Prosperity Index - out in a week or so's time...

Dollar Street

Gapminder have just launched a new version of their DOLLAR STREET tool, which enables comparisons between countries. At a time when we are moving away from the idea of developed and developing countries, it's useful to have a visual tool of the range of data to show comparisons between places.

The tool has a range of stories, and is based on over 30 000 photos, taken of over 200 families in 40 locations. Families can be ranked within the world as a whole, or smaller areas, and by indicators including toilets and teeth.
It provides an alternative visual way of showing diversity in quality of life.

See Anna Rosling Rönnlund's TED talk too


New Global Learning Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope to see some of you there...

ESRI Story Map Competition

We are in the International Year of Global Understanding.

The International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU) Story Maps Competition is a contest aimed at young people from around the world to help raise awareness of the global implications of local everyday actions. Our world faces social, cultural, and economic change, as well as a changing climate. Human actions play a key role in creating such worldwide challenges. However, human actions also provide solutions. If individuals know what their day-to-day routines mean for the planet, they can take appropriate action. Global understanding helps overcome the knowledge-action gap and supports policy decisions that promote sustainability. 

ESRI and EuroGeo are putting on a StoryMap competition for students - there are two age categories.

Competition entry guidelines for students aged 15-19
 • You may work in groups of up to two (2) persons, both being not younger than fifteen (15) and not older than nineteen (19) (age eligibility to participate in this category will be determined by Contest Applicant’s age on the closing date of the Contest, December 31, 2016).
• Your Entry must make use of one of the Esri Story Maps apps.
• Your story map should connect the local action with its global implications.
• Your story map should focus on one of the six (6) official IYGU themes:
1. Eating, drinking, surviving
2. Moving, staying, belonging
3. Working, housing, urbanizing
4. Communicating, networking, interacting
5. Wasting, recycling, preserving
6. Sports, entertaining, recreating
• Your story map should be concise.
• It should be based on maps, with accompanying multimedia (pictures, data, visualizations, video) and text in which you present your story of how you connect locally and globally.
• The story map should not only describe phenomena (what, where) but also explain them (how, why, effects).
• Your story map may focus on future perspectives of your theme.
• All “Applicants” must submit their maps via ArcGIS Online and must use data that is available for public consumption (“Open Data")

Danny Dorling on Social Inequality

Remembering Aberfan

Fifty years ago today.
A minute's silence this morning...

Two crowdfunding opportunities to support

There are numerous Kickstarter, Indiegogo and similar crowdfunding opportunities out there...
A couple that I've supported in the last week or so are outlined below.
The first is the map for the Greater London National Park, which is available in various formats. If you're an educator you can order a copy of the map for just £4, or several - you'll want more than one... These would make wonderful displays or gifts.

The second project I've supported this week is from Alex at CITEE t-shirts.
I've already got a Norwich shirt, and it's excellent - I've now ordered another one for just £20, and you can too if you're quick. There are hundreds of cities around the world to choose from, and they are comfortable and striking for the geography teacher in your life (which might be yourself). You also get to support two small businesses rather than larger companies. Alex does posters of the city maps as well...
A limited number of early bird shirts left as I post this... I got an early early bird one :)

Mini Metro - an interesting game...

Play on Firefox or Safari

Good for transport management (ish) :)

BritIce Map

A really great resource for those teaching GLACIATION - turn layers on and off to see the details of particular features.
Thanks to Jason Sawle for the tipoff.

A Plastic Ocean

Another session on the OCR Consultative Forum (of which more later) was from Jo Luxton, who is involved in the making of the film: A Plastic Ocean. This film has taken many years to produce, and involved filming around the world to uncover the truth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and other gyres.

Check out the website to find out more about the film.

Jo passed round a few jars, which contained a range of plastic items, all of which had come from the stomachs of baby albatrosses.

Chris Jordan's film 'Message from Midway' came out some time ago, and introduced this idea, along with his Hokusai wave made from plastic pieces, but this was a powerful experience to actually handle the plastic items and see the range of them for real, such as the inkjet cartridge shown in the image here.
Jo asked for our ideas on how to use the movie, and encourage the use of the film to teach certain areas of the curriculum.

This is something which we cover in our unit on the Story of Stuff with Year 8.

Urban Timelapse

Via Stephen Matthews

Drone footage of Iceland

Another Vimeo link. Drone filming of Iceland - it's a year ago since I was getting ready to head out there... Will be blogging some of the things we did, a year on, next week.
Meanwhile, enjoy the film...

ICE & FIRE | an aerial film of Iceland from Bjarke Hvorslev on Vimeo.

North - a film about Svalbard

From the same Vimeo account as 'Union Glacier'...

North from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.

The Water Diaries

As I arrived late for the OCR Forum meeting today (of which more later), I missed out on a session by Fearghal O'Nuallain
It explored his WATER DIARIES project, which explores water's story through the story of adventure. It uses adventure to tell compelling stories about water and provide curriculum focused content.

Follow Fearghal on Twitter so that you can follow his future adventures, or check his blog.

Worth taking a look...

Here's a teaser for the Altiplano film...

Altiplano - Teaser from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.

Norilsk Story Map

An excellent piece of work on a frozen city which is worth exploring...

Year 9 Event at Leeds University

Looks like an interesting opportunity for teachers in the Leeds area.

Free event for Year 9 pupils at the University of Leeds
Discovering Geography
Thursday 15th December 2016
Wednesday 18th January 2017

Discovering Geography is a free event for year 9 students who are thinking about Geography as a GCSE choice. In the morning, they will take part in two interactive workshops, one human topic and one physical topic, which demonstrate two exciting aspects of contemporary geography. In the afternoon, our undergraduate students will take them on a campus tour and answer their questions about university.

To book places, email Pre Carbo ( for an application form.

Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. 
Refreshments will be provided in the break, but not at lunch time, so pupils must bring a packed lunch.

9:30 – 9:45
Arrival and welcome
Workshop 1: Physical/Human Geography
Workshop 2: Human/Physical Geography
Lunch (pupils bring packed lunches)
Campus tour with undergraduate ambassadors
Q and A with undergraduate ambassadors
Feedback forms

Are foreign businesses a curse or blessing in Africa? (Simon Manda)
Foreign investment can create opportunities for people in developing countries, but this is not always the case in many parts of Africa. This interactive session explores how large-scale businesses in agriculture are ‘grabbing’ lands away from small-scale farmers in Africa, compromising the farmers’ way of life.

Exploring Earthquakes with GIS (Rachel Oldroyd)
This computer-based practical session will introduce students to the ever-growing world of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This activity has been designed to integrate GIS technology with a popular geography topic.  In this session students will have the opportunity to use free, web-based GIS software to explore and map real-time earthquake events.

Thought for the Day

"Be careful going in search of adventure - it's ridiculously easy to find." 
William Least Heat-Moon

New Tim Moore

Looking forward to the latest Tim Moore book - always enjoyable travelogues…

29 years ago... the Great Storm

29 years ago, people in the South of England were waking up to the effects of this event.
Liam Dutton has shared a video looking back at the storm.

Here's a video on the Storm which I helped to make by providing the concept and working on the three programmes which provided part of. It was very much made from my ideas, with the storm being the narrator and looking down on the landscape it was moving through… Enjoy...

Lego idea

I like the extension from carbon being life's building block

World Food Day 2016

Climate is changing.
Food and agriculture must too.

Today is World Food Day, and coincidentally I am spending it writing some resources about Food, which are going to be up on the GA Website before too long.

Here's the FAO video to accompany the resources that are available on their website.
We explore Food with Year 7 and 9 - it deserves a place on any geography curriculum.

Rubbish Seaside

Enjoying the look of these Rubbish Seaside prints (via Dr David Jarratt who is well worth following on Twitter for those interested in academic links with the seaside and related activity)
They are linked with the idea of rebranding… and are a more sophisticated take on the ideas adopted by Viz magazine in their famous take on Skegness' Jolly Fisherman.

USGS Visualisation of Hurricane Matthew's after effects...

Guess the island

Some people reading this may already have seen this discussion on other social media, but would anybody be able to guess this location. The image was produced using Google Earth, complete with the photorealistic atmosphere added in the OPTIONS (or PREFERENCES if using an Apple device)

We have visitors from this place in school at the moment, and will be exploring it with them tomorrow.

OU and Google Expeditions

A few weeks ago, I was visited by Shailey Minocha and Ana-Despina Tudor and took part in a research project, which has been written up, and there are some images and other details on the blog - use the search phrase 'Google Expeditions' to find everything I've written in the search box top left.

We have also entered a research paper which excitingly has my name on it (my second ever academic paper) for possible inclusion in the GA Conference programme.

This is an exciting new technology for use in education.

Planet Earth II - coming soon...

A new trailer for a much-anticipated new BBC series featuring David Attenborough.

OS Colouring Book - now out...

Mine's arriving tomorrow...
Looking forward to it....

Parag Khanna's Connectography Map

Thanks to Bob Lang for the tipoff to the map developed to accompany Parag Khanna's Connectography book.
Connectography map connects with my work on logistics for CILT.

Matthew resources from Matthew

Thanks to Matt Podbury for being quick off the mark with a range of materials for those who would like to teach about Hurricane Matthew as opposed to other case studies, or to prepare for those who want to follow the slow recovery of places like Haiti, which have been hit terribly hard. Gapminder foundation tweeted diagrams showing how the hurricane had hit places with varying levels of development. The New York Times has shared some amazing maps.

A couple of excellent RGS videos...

Nicholas Crane gave a lecture last night related to his book on the history of the British Landscape. As a member and fellow, I can see the whole lecture, but there is a preview for everyone available below.

It's also getting close to the deadline of this year's 'Young Geographer of the Year' competition, and here's the Director Rita Gardner giving her thoughts on how the UK has changed... (the theme of this year's competition)

New Google Expeditions lessons

Produced by my old friends Digital Explorer - a range of lessons for Geography and STEM subjects - can be downloaded for free from TES Resources.

Filed away for my Virtual Geographies unit that is in the planning......

A month today...

Better start working out what I'm going to talk about... see you there!

Earth Null School

Good to see a striking image using Cameron Beccario's Earth Null School tool on the front cover of the latest 'Teaching Geography'.
Available to download from the website by subscribers, and hard copies arriving soon if they haven't already.

Hurricane Matthew

There has been plenty written elsewhere on the current damage being caused by Hurricane Matthew through the Caribbean and now up along the SE seaboard of the USA. It has caused significant damage to Haiti, where apparently almost all buildings have been damaged or completely levelled in some areas. People will be affected by this for decades to come.
There is an ESRI StoryMap here which uses some of the social aggregation tools to map the impact of the storm as it continues to gain and lose strength as it works its way northwards.

If you are going to be exploring the impact of this natural hazard or discuss with students, could I suggest the resources that I wrote for the British Red Cross
They are designed as a toolkit for exploring the impact of any major hazard event: during and after (short term and long term), so although they have a focus on the Nepal Earthquake, they are relevant for all major natural hazards.

2nd thought for the day...

If place really is a meeting place then ‘the lived reality of our daily lives’ is far from being localised – in its connections, its sources and resources, and in its repercussions, that ‘daily life’ spreads much wider. Where would we draw the line around ‘the grounded reality of the everyday’? That’s one question ‘thinking geographically’ might throw up. But there’s another. If we imagine place as the meaningful side of space, that implies that ‘space’, the ‘global’, the wider world, is in contrast somehow abstract: not real and lived; not meaningful. 
Doreen Massey, 2002

Thought for the Day

‘To live is to live locally, and to know is first of all to know the places one is in’
Edward Casey, 1996

Are you a citizen of the world?

Behind the desk in my classroom is one of Richard Allaway's display posters, with quotes linked to geography. There are several sets of them, and they are recommended for your classroom.
They can be downloaded from here.
It's the one opposite, featuring Socrates.

In a recent speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May said

"...if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don't understand what citizenship means."

Theresa May studied Geography at one of the world's great universities (rated number 1 in the world in fact at the moment) and one would expect that she might have come across the idea of scale, and that it is possible to have a connection with a place in numerous ways simultaneously, and that all places are essentially transitory and in constant motion in any case, whether that be by cultural shift, or the slow crawl of the tectonic plates on which they sit. We are all citizens of lots of places. The person who perhaps explained this best was the late Doreen Massey, who has featured many times before on Living Geography.
There is a useful piece on the Royal Geographical Society website which references Doreen's work on Kilburn 

Read this document too (PDF download)

Dr. Mary Gilmartin says this is:

‘a pretty ordinary place’, that is so connected to Ireland and India and Pakistan through colonialism and migration that it is ‘impossible even to begin thinking about Kilburn High Road without bringing into play half the world’ (Massey 1991). The same, Massey claims, is true for any place you can think of. If places are connected in this way, so too are people, which gives a new sense of possibility to the concept of a global citizen. 
Writing in 1885, geographer Petr Kropotkin expressed his version of global citizenship: ‘we are all brethren, whatever our nationality’.

Of course Doreen's work on Kilburn came after Theresa May graduated...

The Washington Post has a pertinent article here.
And this David Shariatmadari piece in The Guardian earlier in the week connected this notion of citizenship with the Brexit vote, which will remove one element of all UK residents 'citizenship' and also means that when I go to Toulouse over half term I'll be forking out rather more for my cold French lager...

I don't understand a lot, but I understand what geography means...

Why not discuss this idea, and the words of Theresa May with students who are exploring citizenship, or global governance or similar themes in the new 'A' level perhaps?

Palin and Morris

Tonight on BBC2, there is a programme featuring Michael Palin interviewing Jan Morris: one of the most remarkable writers on places there has been, and who has had an amazing life, including being the reporter who broke the news that Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit of Everest as part of the team. Watch it to discover plenty more about this amazing person if you've not heard their story before...

UK Geography Chat tonight

 There is of course only one essential Fieldwork resource that you need :)
 "may just be the most revolutionary geography-related book ever published" - Geographical Magazine - Winner of the GA Silver Award - National Trust Outdoors Books of the Year Winner - Hay Festival 2011 - Runner-up Education Writer of the Year 2011 - Shortlisted for Innovation Award by Council for Learning outside the Classroom

 ‘I absolutely LOVE this book, drawing a cow-pat emoji is a must-try! It’s so important to encourage kids to enjoy our UK National Parks from an early age and instil a love of the countryside that will last all their lives thus helping to secure the future of our protected landscapes’ - Julia Bradbury, BBC Presenter

Where would you choose? Map Practice 35 years on....

35 years ago, Brian Turk had a Map Practice book published which featured a range of activities for GCSE Geography students.

The book included a series of Ordnance Survey map extracts for students to explore, along with images and other types of map. Each extract was no bigger than 8-10km across, and came with a brief description of the landscape that was being shown, followed by some map skills questions, some practical activities, and for some, ideas for some more extended writing about the processes and landforms being shown.

Brian had selected 19 extracts from across the UK to represent a wide range of different landscapes, and allow for the students to practice a range of mapskills, including photo interpretation as well as the construction of cross sections, sketch maps, identification of drainage patterns etc.
I'm currently writing a few updates for subscribers to Digimap for Schools, and am going to create a series of short versions of Brian's activities, to make the most of the new options for displaying Aerial and Aerial X (which adds the labels) imagery, and the annotation tools.

If you were choosing 10 map extracts to represent the UK, where would you choose?

I'm thinking that there's at least got to be:

- an iconic coastal location
- an upland glaciated area
- a large urban area, displaying some aspect of modern cities
- a rural urban fringe undergoing change
- a river estuary
- a National Park
- a tourist honeypot....

What / where would you choose? Feel free to tell me just one or more than one....

Given my own personal history geography, I'd probably be looking at including:

- part of the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye
- the Norfolk Coast
- the Peak District around Stanage Edge
- the mouth of the Humber, including Spurn Point
and a few other places...

Feel free to put in your suggestions into the Google Form below, and I'll share the results in a few week's time...

Primary Geography article

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

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

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

You can add a subscription to your membership easily too.

Whatever the weather...

Via Geoawesomeness

I have the Dark Sky app on my phone. Now you can interact with the map layer.

Tutor2U Resources for AQA Geography

As a possible additional resource for those who are teaching AQA Geography, you might want to take a look at the Tutor2U Geography resources. 
The team have been working on a range of new resources, and I've been involved in writing some of them, with the help of Andy Day, who I worked on the CUP Schools Textbook with too.

The Tutor2U team offer a range of support for students and teachers, including Flying Start Student workshops, and a blog with regular updates and study notes.

The packs listed above will be dispatched very shortly I understand for those who have already ordered them.

Tattoo Geography

I was interested in this story about people who had tattoos to explore their history. This article focusses on tattoos after Hurricane Katrina.

Too good to be left to the historians...

A few weeks ago, a book was published, (and) written by Russel Tarr: History teacher extraordinaire, coding legend and creator of Active History (which my History colleague plunders regularly)

I had to order a copy as, although I'm not a History teacher (as I hope you'd gathered by now)... I am a teacher, and someone who has used Russel's ideas in the geography classroom for many years, whether they be ClassTools sheets and interactive elements or pedagogical approaches. I've also taught a bit of KS3 History in my time (I remember having to teach about the Vikings and the Norman Conquest some years ago, and did my best to turn it into Geography)

Russel has now collected many of his ideas into this book, which can be purchased from your usual online retailer.
It's a 'print-on-demand' style edition, which limits the formatting options, and also means that the only colour photos are on the front and back cover, but this isn't a problem, as it's the ideas which are the important building blocks of the book, and these are clearly laid out. It's good to see that pp.18-19

The photos are a combination of students at work, students' work itself, and screenshots from the web based content and handouts that Russel has produced. Most of the ideas in the book could be followed without any additional cost, and the book connects their use with the particular pedagogical thought behind his activities, some of which have proved a little controversial in the past (see p. 46)

The book is split into 10 sections which range from knowledge, to display, to particular skills such as essay writing. This format works well, and provides a variety of strategies for teachers of all subjects and levels of experience from the NQT to the experienced teacher looking for a new angle on teaching new topics.

This book would be a great addition to any geography department's professional library, and form the basis for some discussions relating to pedagogy, and the teaching of some of the more controversial topics that we have to guide students through - my current conflict teaching on Israel-Palestine requires a balance which connects with some of Russel's ideas for teaching political and social history. A quick flick through the book gave me a rough tally of about 40% of the ideas and tools that I'd already used in my teaching- ranging from hexagons (get yourself a Fiskars hexagon cutter as I have and use Russel's web tool which provides hexagons the same size ready for cutting out) to designing accessories for Playmobil (or Lego in our case) figures.

The ideas will need a little adaptation of course to take them from a historical focus to a geographical focus.

The book is currently a #1 best seller in 'History of Education' on Amazon, and has also given me an additional impetus to collate some of my own favourite tools and ideas into a book perhaps at some stage...