Thursday, 31 March 2016

Coming soon….


LOOK OUT! 'Teaching media literacy & geographies of consumption': Eeva Kemppainen's Finnish classic, translated & adapted with Ian Cook from followthethings.com, will be published next month.

Nightmare exam planning...

What a great idea… yoink :)
Thanks for sharing!



Trussell Trust website

The Trussell Trust website has been updated substantially, and is now a really excellent source of information on food banks, and the nature of the support that is offered from these places, which are seeing growing usage over recent months and years.

We have a shopping trolley in the school reception, and regularly take it over to the food bank near the school… a daily reminder to all who pass it that not everyone has food security.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Iceland and safety

Over the last few months in Iceland there have been a few issues with tourists ignoring safety notices in certain locations around the country, often to get a photograph or even take a selfie. They may also have contributed to a decision to close access to a well known plane wreck.

There has been a concern since the death of a tourist a few weeks ago at Reynisfjara beach near Vik.
Back in October 2015, we took 50 students to the same beach and I actually drew a line in the black volcanic sand with my boot and made sure everyone stayed the right side of it, even though there was a tempting cave just round the corner which seemed to be perfectly accessible, except when the 5th or 7th or 9th wave turned out to be much bigger than the previous ones...


The Tourism Task force has come up with a list of dangerous places where care needs to be observed.

These are named as:

Arn­arstapi, Detti­foss, Djúpalónss­and­ur, Dyr­hóla­ey, Geys­ir, Goðafoss, Grjóta­gjá and Stjóra­gjá, Gull­foss, Gunnu­hver, Fjaðrár­gljúf­ur, Jök­uls­ár­lón, Ketu­björg, Kolug­ljúf­ur, Krísu­vík­ur­bjarg, Látra­bjarg, Náma­skarð/​Leir­hnjúk­ur, Reykja­dal­ur, Reyn­is­fjara, Selja­lands­foss, Sel­tún, Skóga­foss, Sól­heima­jök­ull, Svína­fells­jök­ull and Víti/​Askja/​Drekagil.


They have also made available plans for their tourist industry development (PDF download from this link)

This would be very useful for those exploring tourism in an overseas location, or those following Travel and Tourism courses. The Tourist Board website contains plenty of data and other useful information.

Image: Alan Parkinson

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Tesco's new food brands...

Bought some potatoes earlier, which were from Redmere Farms apparently. The label said that it's somewhere in Lincolnshire, so I looked on Digimap for Schools, and couldn't find it...
The reason is that this is part of a new Tesco branding for their suppliers, which hasn't gone down well with some people, including the NFU and Soil Association.

Of course, this is just part of branding products in the same way as a lot of products are associated with fictional places.

Flyover Country

An app that might be of interest to those who are taking a flight over the next few months - I've stuck it on my phone for July.
Flyover Country is designed to help people recognise what they are flying over. It picks up a series of POIs (Points of Interest) which can then be viewed offline.
The level of detail varies depending on your location, and there may also be some variation in your actual flightpath from the route that is automatically marked in when you choose your start and finish points, but the concept is good, and the fact that it works offline is obviously important (unless you fly with an airline like Norwegian which offers free wifi)

Details on this CityLab post.

Thanks to Bob Lang for the tipoff.




FAO Food Statistics


An idea I shall be adopting for a forthcoming presentation...

Another AAG missed...

For many years now, I've wanted to attend the AAG. It's an annual meeting of Geographers which takes place in early April in an American city. There are hundreds of sessions across 4 or 5 days, and a great variety of opportunities for practical sessions, featuring ESRI and other organisations working in the field of geography. Many UK geographers head over there too, and there is a wealth of social gatherings and networking, and also the chance to explore the city in which the event takes place before, during and after the event.
This year's event is in San Francisco, and a project I'm involved in: GeoCapabilities has a number of sessions. I'd hoped that this might be the year, but it was not to be. I have to contend myself with looking at my colleague Sirpa Tani's excellent pictures on Facebook instead, showing bright blue skies and wonderful urban vistas. I was hoping to meet up with colleagues from around the world, and also have a chance to sit in on a session with the estimable Joseph Kerski once again.

I would particularly like to have seen Rebecca Solnit's session on her atlas project. I have 'Infinite City', her atlas of San Francisco (as it happens) which has over 20 maps. I'm drawing on one of them for inspiration for a writing project at the moment, and looking forward to the forthcoming atlas of New York.

I'll just have to follow the twitter hashtag instead: #AAG2016

I may even start a Kickstarter campaign, to raise funds to attend next year's event, which is in Boston.

This has a connection with the USA, as some years ago, I put in a (sadly unsuccessful) funding proposal with TERC in the USA, one of the outcomes of which was to do a comparison of outdoor learning experiences of students in Boston, USA and Boston, UK.

Workload around planning and teaching resources

Earlier this month, the Government through the Department for Education released a number of documents which attracted a lot of discussion. There was a White Paper on Education which was dissected by many, called 'Educational excellence everywhere', and also a document which was the result of work by the Planning and Resources Review Group.
This is called 'Reducing Teacher Workload', and can be downloaded as a PDF from the link above, if you have time to read it.

For many teachers, downloading resources from the internet has become part of their practice - I do it myself of course from time to time, just to see how other colleagues have approached a particular theme - there are over 4.5 million downloads a week according to the most recent statistics I could find from 2015, so probably even  more now, and there is now the option to sell your resources through the site.

I've just been updating a chapter I wrote a few years ago for a book by Routledge called 'Debates in Geography Education'. There's a 2nd edition on the way. My chapter is on technology in geography and geography classrooms, and I've just added in a quote from the workload document from John Hattie, who will be familiar to some teachers from his work on 'effect sizes' (I used it in the courses I ran for OSIRIS over the last few years, as he is a fellow OSIRIS speaker):

there are a million resources available on the internet and creating more seems among the successful wastes of time in which teachers love to engage
(Hattie, 2012, p. 64)
The thing is that I think it's vital that teachers create their own resources. It's an important element of getting to grips with ideas and unfamiliar content (perhaps with the new specifications coming up) and working through how that will translate into a sequence of lessons. Teachers know what works well with the students they teach from previous experience, and also have a knowledge of what resources are available in terms of classroom spaces, materials, technology etc. There is a difference between what teachers want and what they need. They need to engage with their subject, and continue to develop as curriculum makers.

As the late Ted Wragg, who wrote lots of common sense said, teachers need to keep creating things and coming up with ideas, it's what we're paid for...
And it's why a lot of us will spend hours of our holidays continuing to do that, as we have done for years...

And if you don't want to do that, then feel free to buy my 'quality assured' textbooks :)

Twitter as CPD

Preparing some materials for a few forthcoming events this morning: the GA conference at the end of next week, a conference at the RGS-IBG and a CPD session at my own school in just over 2 weeks time.
There is a social media theme running through them, and I was reminded of this presentation by Jenny Ferreira from a few years ago, where she kindly referenced my blogs and twitter account as being of particular value for teachers to follow.


Thought for the Day

"That thing we call a place is the intersection of many changing forces passing through , whirling around, mixing, dissolving and exploding in a fixed location"

Rebecca Solnit

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Pencil shortage...

Apparently there's a global pencil crayon shortage as a result of the recent craze for adult colouring books.

We have a few in the house. This is my favourite one, and have used this with my Geography Explorers club.
Mind you, there was also apparently a shortage of biscuits following the flooding in Carlisle and we've still managed to find Custard Creams.

Still seeking contestants...





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

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


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

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

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

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

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

New technology for the new specifications

I'm presenting at the RGS in about 6 weeks time... It's not too late to book your place.

Here's a Google Form that I've set up as part of the session to show how to use these to carry out a Poll. Feel free to fill it in though in advance... there are 2 questions.

Happy Easter...


Costa for Schools

I wrote this resource back in 2012, and have been asked to take a look at it again with a view to updating and adding further new content.
I'll be doing that over the next couple of months, and wanted to share it here again, as many visitors may not have been aware that I worked on this resource, and be preparing something on other aspects of the business of buying coffee….


Some of the resources are now on TES Resources too.

You can also request a Coffee Belt World Map poster, which arrives quite promptly as I checked and ordered one recently.

While researching, I came across this animation, made to play on Costa Express coffee machines while the coffee was brewing...


Costa express - Bean To Cup from Jeremy Hofmeister Mac Lynn on Vimeo.
A new interface for the Costa Express - a self service machine serving freshly brewed coffee – makes any negative associations with traditional vending machines a thing of the past.

Costa wanted its bean-to-cup machines to communicate more clearly their usp – fresh coffee made with freshly ground beans. The same quality product as gets served in a Costa café – just without the Barista. The machines also needed to work harder at delivering the Costa brand values and activities.
We refined the user interface by creating a ‘big button’ on a single screen that made coffee selection easier and faster. Rigorous user testing of the new interface ensured a more efficient selection process. Customers can also see what’s happening in the machine, via the interface, as their coffee is being made. Bespoke animations tell customers about the Costa brand and its CSR activities such as The Costa Foundation and Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Making Visual Hexagons

Visual hexagons have been going the rounds a lot in recent weeks, since they were shared on Twitter, and various options for creating them have been shared too.
I use an app called Moldiv, but there is also the option of using Word or Powerpoint.

Thanks to Mrs. Humanities for sharing this YouTube clip of how she makes them.


Saturday, 26 March 2016

Cycle hire visualisation - for GA Conference

Another logistics related video, ahead of my lecture in 2 weeks time at the GA Conference…


We are the city from Jo Wood on Vimeo.
Follow the last 9 months of bicycle number 12248, in green, as it is pedalled around London by 2,286 people. It finally came to rest in January 2013 where it now enjoys a more sedate life at the Museum of London.

During this 9 month period over 7 million journeys were made using London's public cycle hire scheme. These journeys are shown as red, purple and blue lines coloured according to the number of bikes available at the journey's origin and destination. The average change in bike availability over each day of the period is compressed into 25 minutes so we gradually see the city breathing as bikes move between the centre and edges of the scheme.

Structure is revealed in the chaos of millions of bicycle journeys by changing the length of the trails the bikes leave behind them and periodically hiding the less common journeys.

This video is an extract from the exhibit 'We are the City' shown at Digital Shoreditch 2013 and the Museum of London.

The Leadenhall Building - logistics in construction industry...

The Leadenhall Building from Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe on Vimeo.
The Leadenhall Building

“The Leadenhall Building” by Photographer Paul Raftery and Film Maker Dan Lowe, which follows on from the successful “Making The Leadenhall” released in 2013, completes the story of the construction of the building by taking the viewer inside to discover the interiors and panoramic views.

Shot over two years from different vantage points and through varying seasons and times of day, the timelapse film uses more than 320,000 images shot on DSLR cameras with a range of lenses (including tilt and shift, telephoto and extreme wide angle) to beautifully showcase the building and its impact on the London skyline.

Watch in 4K here - http://youtu.be/4YIwHeV5vhA

CREDITS
Directed and photographed by Dan Lowe and Paul Raftery
Commissioned by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Edited by James Simpson
Music by George McLeod
Colouring by Kenny Gibb at StudioRM
Motion Control by Justin Pentecost

http://danlowe.tv
http://rafphoto.com
http://www.rsh-p.com

Logistics Film… 3

Another film for CILT lecture at GA Conference…

By the way from Arcese Group on Vimeo.

Food Miles film

Another one here to coincide with my CILT lecture at the GA Conference…

SHORT DOCUMENTARY “VOEDSELLOGICA/FOODLOGIC” from CITIES on Vimeo.
With the project FARMING THE CITY and thanks to the support of Rabobank Amsterdam (VOEDSELVERBINDT AMSTERDAM), together with ZTRDG, CITIES has researched into the logistics of food from the surrounding countryside to the city of Amsterdam. The research focuses on the Horeca sector (Hotel, Restaurants and Cafès) and the possibility to supply them with local food. Local food is good for taste and health, but what about the urban environment? If every local producer would transport products directly to the clients, how much additional pollution would be created due to this (un)sustainable process?

CITIES looks into alternatives and the possibility to use local food as a tool to define new urban transport standards. Monday the 23rd of April, during the final event of the Food Debate Series “it’s food. Stupid!” at the Roede Hoed, Amsterdam, we will show our elaboration on the subject. CITIES’ new LOGIC OF FOOD proposes to bundle local products’ streams and screams for a collaborative effort from sustainable transport companies. Local products are the hidden potential of a new local economy, less globally connected and less dependent on markets fluctuations.

From from the 24th of April on, check the short documentary and follow us for updates about the implementation of the project on farmingthecity.net, on our Facebook page "farmingthecity" and on twitter "citiesonline".

We are Maersk

Working on finishing my lecture at the GA Conference in 2 weeks time where we're launching a new resource I wrote for CILT.

Here's a good Maersk film from Vimeo.
Maersk - We are Maersk from Molly Aida Film on Vimeo.

Friday, 25 March 2016

GI Learner meeting

A few weeks ago, I hosted the 2nd meeting of the ERASMUS funded GI Learner project at my school.
This offers a chance for young people to explore geographical information, and we are going to be producing a range of materials to allow students to develop their use of Geographical Information, and produce what is called a Learning Line.

Please follow our Twitter feed to find out more about the project.


You can also visit our website here.

We met at the Old Palace at King's Ely, and the GI Learner partners also had the chance to see a service at Ely Cathedral, and take a tour out to the Fens and the Anchor Inn, as well as meeting colleagues, and seeing what the school had to offer. Thanks to those who were involved in the project so far, and I look forward to developing some more materials once we return after Easter.



Follow the project as it develops over the next few years.
The next meeting will be in Salzburg in July...

Cruyff and memories

Earlier this week, the death was announced of Johan Cruyff, an iconic footballer, who was one of the most creative who ever played the game, and for a while the world's most expensive transfer fee.

It reminded me of a match that I watched when I was just 11 years old. I have the programme shown here.
It was the semi-final of the European Cup, and Leeds United were playing Barcelona in the semi-final of the championships.
I saw many matches under Don Revie, Brian Clough and Jimmy Armfield around this time, with the classic Leeds line-up, and saw all the classic players from this era, regularly watching all the home games at the time, driving up from Rotherham with my dad and his workmates.

Football back then was different to today in many ways, and so was the world...
The final against Bayern Munich didn't go very well, but I may now spend the rest of the night watching YouTube videos of classic Leeds Utd. matches.


What's your best sporting memory of a fixture that you attended?


I could also add the British Open Golf Championships at Lytham St. Annes in 1979, the year that Seve Ballesteros won the tournament, which I attended on a school trip, and saw all the greats of the time including Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Gary Player et al...

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Geography Review...


Earlier this week, I received a preview copy of the latest book by Danny Dorling and Carl Lee.
The book is called ‘Geography’.
Published by Profile books, this is the latest in a series of books which explore topics, in a similar (but completely different) style to the successful ‘Very Short Introduction’ series, and have previously explored ‘Politics’ and ‘Social Theory’ for example.
Geography is of course impossible to pin down easily in one small book, as it has an ambition which is ‘absurdly vast’, as Alastair Bonnett said in his own book on the subject, but Danny and Carl give it a good go.
The introduction sets the scene for the story to come, exploring the rapidly changing world which geographers try to explore, and tell the story of through their work. In my teaching, I am always looking for the compelling narrative that will draw learners in, and provide opportunities for them to reach their own informed conclusions.
The first chapter in the book: ‘Tradition’ explores the development of geographical thinking, and introduces some of the key ideas that lie behind the subject, and provide the distinctive nature of what it means to use a ‘geographical lens’ to examine the world. It takes the reader on interesting diversions to Damascus, DNA trails, the contested introduction of the term ‘Anthropocene’, Potosí, Sir Joseph Banks and the sad decline of British coal mining.


Geographical questions are never stand-alone. All the questions we ask lead to other questions. Often the answers are elusive. Geography is about joining up the dots that help make up the big picture. Connections are everywhere. The distinction between human and physical geography is often a false schism: they are intimately connected, the unifying factor being the energy that flows through all that we do, see and know.

The book is structured around a series of chapters exploring some key geographical ideas which, when connected, help to explain a lot of the world’s functioning.
Globalisation, Equality and Sustainability are these three big ideas, and there are plenty of brief vignettes to help illustrate each of them in the chapters that follow. These provide food for thought, and prompts for investigations with students (this would be a perfect summer reading book for those about to embark on a course of geographical study – perhaps Year 11s who are about to start one of the new ‘A’ level specifications in September).


There are some similarities in themes to Carl’s previous book ‘Everything is connected to everything else’, which was arguably even more ambitious and sprawling, and is available online here. (I recommend you check out the website if you haven't already seen it)

The book ends with a chapter called ‘Mapping the future’, which connects with one of the other strengths of geography. It is a subject which connects with the future, as well the past and present. It explores themes of environmental protection, global population growth and other challenges (and opportunities) facing the planet.

The book has a few black and white images but, as with all Danny Dorling’s books there are plenty of supporting web resources. These include links to large versions of the new maps that Ben Hennig has produced for the books, including one which is very useful for those exploring globalization as it shows the route of ships from Dalian in China to the ports of Europe.

There's also a section of useful weblinks, which I'm pleased to say gives a mention to this very blog.... and puts me in esteemed company too...

Thanks to Carl for sending me a copy in advance. It was a swift and enjoyable read, which opened up some nice avenues to explore further, and I’ve passed it on to my colleague to enjoy. Definitely one for the geography library for your department, or for your shelves at home.

National Park report

Downloaded and read this today... a very useful document, which is creative commons licensed for free use of text...


Digimap for Schools webinar just after the Easter break

Details to sign up here...

Digimap for Schools is an excellent resource for fieldwork at all levels. You can prepare for trips and use the annotation tools to present data findings once you and your pupils are back in class.

In this webinar you will learn about maps and tools available in Digimap for Schools that can be used to help support your pupil’s fieldwork. Including:

- how to add a CSV point file as annotations to your map

- how to other types of data as annotations

- how to view historic maps for urban change studies

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

New OCR 'A' Sample materials

A sample Chapter that I wrote for the new OCR 'A' GCSE Geography textbook for Hodder is now available to download as a PDF.
It covers parts of landscapes and coasts chapters.
 
There are various discounts available for orders of the Hodder books made at the GA Conference, so make sure you have your budget organised before you come along and save hundreds of pounds potentially...

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Risky Cities

Lloyds Risky Cities index has been produced.
Looks ahead at risks facing the world's cities, and provides a Top 20 for various kinds of threats.
The riskiest cities include Tokyo.



Saturday, 19 March 2016

Vote RRS SASTRUGI

My name suggestion has been added to the website now...

Boaty McBoatface is the leader at the moment, but I think my name has a little more gravitas... th

Like it here....

Snowdonia Images from last weekend's fieldtrip

Extra lights to go with the aurora...

A possible new case study for tourism was suggested a few weeks ago by a story that I read via my Twitter feed from Iceland.
It refers to the demand for Northern Lights tours. I was fortunate enough to see the Aurora in October on a visit
People going on these Northern Lights tours are making use of glow sticks as part of the experience.
They are also, according to this article, littering the countryside with them, although it's not clear whether this was why these appeared in the area mentioned, or perhaps were dropped accidentally...
Either way, it's part of a few stories which have appeared regarding the behaviour of tourists, as the scale of the industry reaches an unprecedented scale.
There were pictures of people walking on ice floes at Jokulsarlon and climbing over no entrance signs at Gullfoss despite the ice covered path... Mind you, I did something similar myself the first time I visited…. to get a better picture… although it was not quite the same conditions as last month.



Here's hoping that the landscape of Iceland isn't too much affected by the current rise in tourist visitors I'm looking forward to my next visit.


Banksy StoryMap

Another reminder of the power of this ESRI tool…

Remembering Doreen Massey

Doreen Massey – 1944-2016

Doreen Massey, who sadly died just over a week ago, was someone who inspired generations of geographers to see the world differently, and introduced many to ideas of space and place, and the way that the world ‘works’, underpinned by geographical ideas connected with power geometries and geopolitics.
Reading Doreen’s work was an invitation to challenge your thinking and immerse yourself in her ideas.

The first time I met Doreen was a few weeks prior to starting my role as Curriculum leader with the Geographical Association, back in 2008. I met David Lambert, and we drove to the Open University for a meeting with Doreen and colleagues: Clive Barnett and Joe Smith. Coming straight from the classroom to my new role it was exciting and challenging to be involved in discussions regarding forthcoming support for teachers. I didn't know at the time, but I would later be employed by the OU for 18 months to run their VITAL CPD portal through 2011-13.

I also travelled down to the BBC to watch the recording of an episode of  ‘Thinking Allowed’ on the subject of psychogeography, with Will Self, Doreen and Richard Sennett – I blogged about it here.

Later that year, I attended an Interdependence Day seminar at Sheffield University, convened by Dr. Tariq Jazeel, and Doreen’s work had influenced the speakers, particularly her ‘World City’ book. 2008 was obviously a year of ‘immersion’ as in December I attended a lecture on spaces of optimism in a globalised world.

On New Years’ Day 2006, she was a part of the ‘G Team’. Alongside David Lambert, Dan Raven Ellison and one of Dan’s students: Hannah Boucher, they were guest editors for the Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme for New Year’s Day, and developed sessions which shared some of the power of


Doreen recorded a lovely short essay piece on the meaning of the global sense of the local, and this has also been used in other contexts beyond

At the GA Conference in 2010, I was excited to watch her keynote lecture, and was asked to write up my observations on the lecture for the GA website.  They can be seen here.

I was wearing a Google t-shirt with a location pin design and the words ‘I am here’ on the front and chatted with Doreen about where exactly ‘here’ was.

We introduced Doreen to our Mission:Explore books at the Derby conference, which were part of a major push to introduce them to people.
Doreen was also happy to get involved in supporting us. She was happy to wear a hoodie and flick the ‘V’s at Bryan Ledgard as he took her photo. 


Hoodies also featured in one of Doreen’s articles.

Doreen was Honorary Vice-President of the Geographical Association, and she was both critical and supportive of the work of the association. I received a number of e-mails from former GA colleagues last weekend sharing memories of her. There will undoubtedly be some celebrations of her work as part of the forthcoming GA conference. She will continue to influence future generations of geographers yet to be introduced to her work.
Within hours of the announcement of her passing, there were many memories of her inspirational ideas from people across the world, who remembered particular pieces of writing, or meetings with Doreen, often an introduction to thinking differently.

My colleague Claire and I raised a glass to Doreen last weekend… We trust that she is in a better place… and space...

Friday, 18 March 2016

On order.... another book on stuff...

I'm updating my Geography of Stuff SoW for next year as I'm teaching it through...
Just dug out my copy of 'Confessions of an Eco Sinner' which I've been using for donkey's years...

Data Skills


A new area of the RGS-IBG website.

Something I'll learn more about at the RGS-IBG conference in May which I'm presenting at....





Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Dan Raven Ellison's new Bitesize clips

Sooner or later, Dan was going to join the pantheon of TV presenters to rival Bernard Clarke, or Elliot or Jonathan Raper…
Now there's a new batch of Bitesize clips. As it happens, I was involved in a rival bid to this set of films, but it's Dan who tells us about map skills and glaciers in the Lake District.

Here are some of the films.

Mapskills



Glacial Landscapes

and Climate Change

and Plate Tectonics


Very proud…

Oh, and he does statistics too….


RGS-IBG Conference on new specifications


A conference coming up at the RGS-IBG in May, and I will be presenting. The day is organised by the Historical Association and SSAT in association with the RGS.


Hope to see some of you there....

Guilty pleasure...

This is one of the few things I watch on TV... just something about it that appeals to me... A spot of history and travelling around the back roads of the USA...


What's your guilty pleasure? (Keep it clean)

Sway....

Thanks to Jason Sawle, I've been investigating Sway....

Anyone else using the tool for Geography? If so how?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

New from Carl Lee and Danny Dorling

Out in a week's time, a new book by Danny Dorling written with Carl Lee. I'm a great admirer of both of these folks' work, particularly as the mapping in the book is created by Ben Hennig.

Geography: Ideas in Profile.

Geographers have a tradition of being curious explorers of both places and ideas. Where does that highway go? Who lives in this big house and why? How did we arrive at where we are? When are we going to learn to live together? Can you really consume more and more and does it really make you feel better? 
Geographical questions are never stand-alone ones. All the questions we ask lead to other questions. Geography is about joining up the dots that help make up the big picture. Connections are everywhere. 
Geography gives shape to our innate curiosity; cartography is older than writing. Channeling our twin urges to explore and understand, geographers uncover the hidden connections of human existence, from infant mortality in inner cities to the decision-makers who fly overhead in executive jets, from natural disasters to over-use of fossil fuels.
In this incisive introduction to the subject, Danny Dorling and Carl Lee reveal geography as a science which tackles all of the biggest issues that face us today, from globalisation to equality, from sustainability to population growth, from climate change to changing technology - and the complex interactions between them all. 

See the book's page on Danny's website here, with links through to websites and other information, which is what Danny always provides for his books very usefully.


Edexcel Pre-release materials - discussions now on the Ning

Back in 2007… in another lifetime it seems now… I started a NING for the 'new' Edexcel 'A' level specifications.
Nearly 9 years on, it's still in operation, thanks to sponsorship by Jon Wolton, and is now sharing discussions regarding the pre-release materials for the Synoptic Issues and Research Essays. At the time of blogging there are 25 of the 4000+ members online, on a Tuesday evening, discussing what they are doing to start preparing students appropriately.


Iceland Academy

A good series of videos from the Icelandic Tourist Board, which would be useful for those who are visiting, but also for those who want to know more about the country.

Leeds Food Waste Cafe


Year 7 are currently exploring this idea…
I had 2 students come up with the great idea to feed people before their presentation, and then reveal that what they'd just eaten was made from out of date food.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Glocalisation - I'm loving it...


Thanks to Miss Stockings for the lead to another McDonalds resource for glocalisation.

Richard Allaway has previously shared images of meals that he has eaten in various McDonalds restaurants he has eaten in where the standard menu that is familiar the world over (the globalised version) is adapted for the local market (glocalisation) 

According to this very useful Open University page, glocalisation (which Blogger 'helpfully' keeps correcting to globalisation whenever I type it) is related to the following:

‘Glocalisation’ combines the words ‘globalisation’ and ‘localisation’ to emphasise the idea that a global product or service is more likely to succeed if it is adapted to the specific requirements of local practices and cultural expectations. The term started to appear in academic circles in the late 1980s, when Japanese economists used it in articles published by the Harvard Business Review. For the sociologist Roland Robertson, who is often credited with popularising the term: ‘glocalization means the simultaneity – the co-presence – of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies’ (Robertson, 1997, p. 4).‘Glocalisation’ combines the words ‘globalisation’ and ‘localisation’ to emphasise the idea that a global product or service is more likely to succeed if it is adapted to the specific requirements of local practices and cultural expectations. The term started to appear in academic circles in the late 1980s, when Japanese economists used it in articles published by the Harvard Business Review. For the sociologist Roland Robertson, who is often credited with popularising the term: ‘glocalization means the simultaneity – the co-presence – of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies’ (Robertson, 1997, p. 4).

The resource is a food blog called Travelling McDs, which is written by James McGowan who records the meals eaten on his global travels, which are quite extensive.
He has eaten a number of meals which are adapted for the local palate, or to celebrate some aspect of the local culture.
Worth checking out - there are plenty of alternatives to the Big Mac here...

Image: McDonalds at Disneyland Paris - image by Alan Parkinson

Let's get Ellis to Svalbard

Ellis o' Connor is an artist, photographer and printmaker who has just come to the end of a residency in the north of Iceland, where she has been producing some wonderful art. Follow her Twitter feed to see her recent work and travels.
She is now fund raising to continue her Arctic adventures.

Reaching The Pole from Ellis O'Connor on Vimeo.
A funding campaign for an expedition and residency around the Archipelago of Svalbard with the Arctic Circle Organisation. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/reaching-the-pole/x/13227827#/

If you fund it, you can receive a piece of original artwork.

Back to the Ice

Catch it while you can on iPlayer.


Peter Gibbs goes back to Halley base in Antarctica, accompanied by Matthew Teller.

Here's a StoryMap that's been produced as well.

Only GeoCONNECT

Still seeking contestants…


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Magnum force...

Fairtrade Fortnight brings attention to various programmes which are aimed at supporting farmers, and encouraging consumers to buy products from particular locations. Another similar programme is Rainforest Alliance certification. This is part of the 'Follow the Frog' programme.
There are some interesting resources and ideas.

Magnum have released a new website which goes FROM BEAN TO BITE.
Well worth exploring.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Festival of Geography with OCR at the RGS-IBG

OCR are putting on a festival of Geography at the RGS-IBG in June.

We are very excited with this brand new AS / A Level event we are organising in association with the Royal Geographical Society. The aim is to help teachers explore the new content in our new AS/ A Level Geography qualifications.  We are extremely honoured to have the keynote speaker confirmed as Nick Crane – RGS-IBG President, writer and broadcaster. Nick is perhaps best known for presenting the fantastic BAFTA-winning BBC Two TV series Coast. 
The main aim of this one day event is to support you in getting to grips with new AS / A Level content, create an engaging and supportive atmosphere as well as passing on lots of useful and usable ideas and resources leaving you feeling inspired. 
As an AS / A level teacher - are you trying to get your head round the new topics? Do you enjoy bouncing ideas around with other teachers? Would you like to explore teaching and learning approaches and resources for the new topics? This one day event at the RGS-IBG in London will offer talks by experts in their field, this will tackle the new place and carbon cycle content. We are offering a choice of three workshops, which include: Disease dilemmas, Exploring oceans and Future of food, where there will be lots of discussions and activities working through the content.

Festival of geography

09.45–10.00  Meet and greet (tea & coffee)
10.00–10.30  Overview of the day – Mark Smith (OCR)
10.45–11.35  Talk 1 – Changing spaces; Making places
11.35–11.50  Break
11.55–12.45  Talk 2 – All ‘things’ carbon
12.45–13.30  Lunch
13.35–14.25  Workshop 1 (Disease dilemmas/Exploring oceans/Future of food)
14.30–15.20  Workshop 2 (Disease dilemmas/Exploring oceans/Future of food)
15.25–16.10  Keynote address - Nick Crane
We also have a number of organisations supporting the event, their representatives will be able to give you support and advice and potential resource links. These organisations include: ESRI (GIS), The Ordnance Survey and the Field Studies Council.
In many of our discussions with teachers there have been lots of questions about the Investigative Geography part of the A Level and as all of your OCR Geography Subject Specialists will be on hand to provide advice and support, links to teaching and learning resources and talk through any potential fieldwork plans you have as a centre.
Places are booking up fast and we would love to see you there! There will also a goody bag with lots enticing geography related ‘freebies’ for you to take away.
 Early bird booking ends on the 30th of April - visit the page to book your place.

World Book Day

Tomorrow is World Book Day.
We have been asked to bring a favourite book to school, for a photo opportunity.
Here's the one I'm taking.
"Arctic Dreams" by Barry Lopez

It was released 30 years ago, and still sets the benchmark for similar books. Written with efficiency and mastery, it describes travels in the Arctic, and the relationship between people and the landscape.

If you haven't read this book, then you have missed out on a masterpiece.
Here's one of many memorable quotes, on the value of maps and the work of Yi Fu Tuan (one of the first times I'd come across his work)

"Even a good map, one with the lines and symbols of a hand-written geography on it, where Tuan's 'spaces' have been turned into 'places' masquerades as an authority. What we hold in our hands are but approximations of what is out there. Neatly folded simulacra".

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Good news earlier...

Thought for the Day 2

“Anyone out there who’s in....school, working it out, suffering — there are days you’re going to feel sad. You’re going to feel angry. You’re going to feel scared. That’s nothing you can choose. But you can make stuff. Make films. Draw. Write. It will make a world of difference.”
Pete Docter, Oscar acceptance speech for "Inside Out"