2.5 million page views

Been counting up to this for about 8 months now since we passed 2 million views, but 2.5 million views is the next big milestone in terms of public engagement with the LivingGeography blog.
Thanks to everyone who's been visiting the blog (even this is the first time) and particularly those who've subscribed - click top right to join those and get a daily e-mail of any new posts...

Route 125 - Adventure Landscapes

It's just occurred to me that I've been missing a trick in my Adventure Landscapes unit that I teach to Year 7s in the Michaelmas term. I've not been using Dan Raven Ellison's videos made during his Route 125 project with his son Seb a couple of years ago.
There are plenty still available online, although the original site to accompany them disappeared some time ago....
Google "RAV4 presents Route 125" as a Google search will uncover a range of the talks.

Great work by Dan on Countryfile tonight too....   Watch on catch-up on iPlayer.

New blog for OCR B Geography teaching

So I seem to have started another new blog. 
It's been a very wet couple of days down here in Devon, so have put my time to good use by pressing PUBLISH on a blog that I've been putting together for a few weeks now.
I wrote sections of the 2 OCR books for the 9-1 OCR specs. Having spent a couple of years on that project, I then never got to use the books, as my teaching was focussed on KS3 last year. However, with my new timetable for 2017-18 I am going to be teaching GCSE again, and will have a Year 10 group for OCR 'B' GCSE Geography.
The blog will share the resources that I create, or adapt from the work of my colleagues.
It will also have links to other useful resources that I come across. There's a useful set of links down the right hand side of the main blog page, including the very useful Facebook group, which has been supporting teachers for over a year now, and has over 400 members.

Man vs Earth

Dan in the Financial Times

He's not dispensing advice on hedge funds... although he is a fan of hedges... 

A nice article on Dan's recent spiral walk into London as part of the campaign for London as a National Park City.
And it's good to hear him described as "generously bearded"... I'll use that when I next introduce him...

David going for the ton

David Rogers is spending the weekend competing in the Lakeland 100 race
This is a 100 mile ultra marathon around the Lake District. 100-ish miles, over 6300 meters of ascent and 2 nights of no sleep in under 30 hours.
The furthest David has run before is 50 miles.

The Lakeland 100 'Ultra Tour of the Lake District' is the most spectacular long distance trail race which has ever taken place within the UK. The circular route encompasses the whole of the lakeland fells, includes in the region of 6300m of ascent and consists almost entirely of public bridleways and footpaths. The route starts in Coniston and heads South before completing a clockwise loop which takes in the Dunnerdale fells, Eskdale, Wasdale and Buttermere before arriving in Keswick. From here the route heads to Matterdale and continues over to Haweswater before returning via Kentmere, Ambleside and Elterwater to the finish at Coniston.

The route does not pass over any of the 'popular' Lakeland summits. Instead, it weaves its way through stunning valleys, coutours picturesque fells and cuts it's own line through the amazing Lakeland topography. The Lakeland 100 will take you to places in Cumbria you may never have visited before and it's likely you'll wonder why.

If you had a bit of spare change and wanted to throw it his way, he has a donation page here.

Good luck David! 

You can follow David on the live tracking here. 

The One Device

My latest read is called 'The One Device' and unpicks the story of the development of the iPhone and explains how it all came about.

There are plenty of unfamiliar elements to this story, and others which are familiar from our 'Story of Stuff' unit.

What's inside your iPhone and how did it get there?

Everest: a dangerous place for many reasons

I've previously blogged this New Statesman article which has an interesting idea by the writer Jan Morris.
She suggests that Everest should not be climbed anymore, but should become a memorial and a sacred space, which in the words of Jan is:
"left alone there in its ethereal majesty, out of bounds to all human beings and never to be violated again by the crudities of fame, profit, sectarian rivalry or national pride".

Given the income that is generated from climbing permits, and the employment opportunities for the local Sherpa people this seems unlikely. In the 'death zone', there is a real chance that the human body is going to be affected in a way that cannot be predicted, and the end result of that is that a high percentage of those who attempt to climb Everest perish, and there is little chance of their bodies being recovered due to the difficulty of getting to them. There are around 200 bodies on Everest apparently.

This story refers to a body known by many climbers as 'green boots'

I've written before about the use of particular bodies as signposts by climbers, and also the problems of removing the bodies from the mountain. There was also the controversy surrounding the search for, and images that were taken of, George Mallory.

Matt Podbury has created an excellent scheme of work on Everest at GeographyPods: called 8850, which I make use of each year. This is well worth seeking out and seeing how it might fit with your existing plans.

The most recent Everest climbing season was as deadly as ever. There were also various conflicting reports over the disappearance of the famous Hillary step: one of the final obstacles for climbers attempting to reach the summit.
This BBC article describes the disappearance of oxygen bottles from high altitude camps, which could be another issue to investigate: the ethics of climbing and behaviour are interesting in such places.

It's also another chance to remind you to get a copy of 'Thin Air' by Michelle Paver too - a wonderful ghost story based on Mallory and Irvine's ascent...

And finally, I can't have a post on Everest without including the obligatory link to the video of the track by Public Service Broadcasting...

Sand... Another resource we're running out of...


This is a game which has been produced as part of the GOODCITYLIFE website, which also has links through to other mapping projects. It has a series of maps and projects, including Happy, Chatty and Smelly, and links to relevant TED talks.
One of them is the Urbanopticon, which is a sort of variant on GeoGuessr.
Give it a go...

An interesting Head of Geography post...

Sadly not one it seems I'm qualified to apply for, but I was interested in the announcement today that a Head of Geography is going to be recruited for the Government Science and Engineering (GSE)

As the site with the announcement says:

The work of government concerns people, communities and environments in specific places, often with strongly differentiated spatial characteristics. Analysing and responding to these patterns requires understanding of how and why economic, social and environmental processes play out differently from place to place, at scales from local to global.
Geography and geographers offer government distinctive benefits. Geography is distinctive for its spatial analytical skills, for its ability to transcend scales, and for its integrating capabilities across multiple disciplines in the natural and social sciences.
Technological advances e.g. the proliferation of locational data – such as that used and generated by mobile devices – has put geography at the heart of ‘big data’, adding to the already valuable toolkit of the discipline.
There is a link made with the Chartered Geographer programme. I've been a Chartered Geographer since 2007, and publicised the programme widely since. A quick search of the database and list shows no civil servants currently, although the list is not necessarily completely up to date, as my biography is an older one. This could be very good news if the profile of the subject is raised. As a member of the Action Plan for Geography team, I enjoyed the latter part of a period when there was some investment in supporting school geography.
I would hope and expect that whoever gets this important role has been supporting geography previously... and shares how they have been doing this. There may well be plenty of geography graduates out there, how have they been supporting geography previously?
Also, the post is on a part-time voluntary basis only...

Better late than never....

If you haven't seen this show, it's an American version of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where retired celebrities explore different possible locations for them to live, and encounter cultural differences to 'humorous' effect...

In Better late than Never, there are 4 American celebrities plus a comedian who accompanies them as a 'fixer' and stooge for their pranks.
There's a former American footballer, William Shatner from 'Star Trek', Henry Winkler and George Foreman (of boxing and grills fame)
In the programmes that I saw they were in Japan and Hong Kong, and although they are a little 'staged' they contain some useful captioned information and background to life in Tokyo: bullet trains, etiquette, food, capsule hotels etc. which would make useful low-level information for a unit on Japan. They're generally suitable for KS3 age range, but you might want to watch first as my opinion on what's suitable might not be yours... They're definitely not to be taken too seriously though...

Dan's London spiral walk comes to an end...

I've been following my Mission:Explore colleague Dan Raven Ellison's spiral walk into London, to connect with the campaign to make London a National Park City. Raising a glass to Dan as he enjoys a well-deserved rest... until his next adventure...

Out to sea

One of the benefits of the holidays is the chance to take some photos with my proper camera, and  photo editing apps. My photos are shared on my Flickr account, where you'll find 19 000 and counting, shared under CC license. This was taken yesterday: a lovely little yacht heading out from Exmouth harbour.
Image: Alan Parkinson, made using Enlight

Geography Paul's Five Things

Paul Turner has set up a new newsletter, which he will be making available on Mondays. You can subscribe to it. The first one was released this week, and there were some interesting contents.

Franklin expedition exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

The Sir John Franklin expedition has been in the news for a whole now, with the discovery of the two vessels in the last few years.

This New Scientist article brings the story up to date.
A new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum looks excellent...

Simon Reeve Theatre tour

Simon Reeve has announced a range of talks in the new year, to talk about his travels.

He's coming to a few places close to me, so will perhaps go along and see him.

Place Names Map

Came across this a couple of weeks ago, but forgot to post it, and just been reminded of it. 

As we all start our summer travels, we will no doubt visit places that are new to use, as well as those which we visit regularly because they make us feel secure. The Key to English Place Names is curated by the University of Nottingham, and provides a meaning for place names.
Made by the Institute for Name Studies.

The names of villages and towns frequently refer to particular people(s), social and administrative activities, landscape, birds and animals, crops and vegetation, and most of them are well over a thousand years old. In other words, they can tell us something important about the history of those places, and how they were perceived, which would otherwise be unknown. 


Tickets are now available to book from the Eventbrite page.
I've booked to present something at the event. Probably on curriculum making and subject knowledge.
There are still chances for you to do the same.

7300 and counting...

Yes, that's 7300 posts on this blog... and it's just one of 10 or so that I run to share geographical ideas on curriculum and pedagogy, and resources, and books....
There'll be plenty more to come I hope, but if you want to see what's already there, use the SEARCH box top left, or scroll down on the right hand side, and click on a LABEL to see what I've written about each topic. Whatever you're teaching, I guarantee that there'll be something you can use, and that you'll find a new website...
Every day, I see people Tweeting a new discovery that was on here months ago - click SUBSCRIBE top right and enter an e-mail and you'll get a daily summary of any new additions to the blog...
There'll be a slightly reduced rate of posting as we enter the summer holidays now, but there's always geography happening because, we're all Living Geography...

GA Conference 2018

I've started to go through my issues of 'Classroom Geographer' for a forthcoming series of articles, and have identified a useful page with advice for the GA on how to develop their conference. I'm sure Lucy Oxley does a good enough job these days without this interesting advice from 1973.
I've put in several sessions for potential inclusion in the programme, and will definitely be involved in some SPC sessions. 
You'll also get to see the Classroom Geographer work that I've started to do...

Superhero Origins

I've blogged before about superheroes as a way of exploring globalisation, particularly cultural globalisation.
This ESRI StoryMap is a nice piece of work.
Thanks to Jason Sawle for the tipoff...

The Sound of the Suburbs?

I've been "finishing off" a resource today for Anne le Brocq of Exeter University, to accompany her excellent Ice Flows Game. 
I've been deep into sea level rise, Larsen C calving an iceberg, and the formation of ice on a large scale.

My next project to finish is for the Royal Geographical Society. It's well underway, and just needs some tidying up over the next few week, along with some work on coastal landforms and processes to accompany it. It's about the suburbs, and earlier on I asked on various social media for impressions of the suburbs as a location, a space, and a cultural phenomenon...

Thanks to those who offered their thoughts... The diagram will be used for illustrative purposes, and to prompt a little discussion...
I've also started to collate a Spotify playlist, so if anyone has any suggestions for songs inspired by the suburbs let me know... I have quite a few already...

Google Maps - hyperlapse around the world

This popped up today as trending... and it's a cracking little film to show off some of the possibilities of Google Earth, which is already being touted as Google's best option for a social network platform that people might actually use...

Coverack - making the news

A lot of people were woken by thunder and lightning on Tuesday night. We had two phases in Norfolk: one around 12.30 and one around 5am. The latter brought the heaviest rain and some lightning strikes very close to the house...
Lightning can be tracked on Lightning Maps website or Blitztornung. 
I've just driven across the county, and came across a number of FLOOD warning signs, and areas where soil and stones had been washed across the road and left on the carriageway.
I made a map of this particular village this morning with my Digimap for Schools subscription.

Coverack in Cornwall seems to be the place that is most badly affected by flash flooding, although there was flooding across the SE, particularly in Kent, and localised issues elsewhere, which are causing problems for travellers today, particularly around Stansted airport.
It would be useful for students to perhaps compare this with Boscastle, or work out why this may have happened in this location. What were the factors that combined to make the effects so bad in this particular place?

The BBC has a page which is collating local news, and there is plenty on social media feeds too currently...

The Carbon Cycle - an explainer video...

Phoenix House

A find via Inhabitat website
The Phoenix House is in Hawaii, and apparently has an amazing view of the lava flows on the volcano.
It's available to rent on Air bnb


I wonder what other amazing locations there are tucked away in the Airbnb listings.
I've written previously about the impact of Airbnb on cities...

Jarrow - a long walk

Another book that I have on the pile for my summer holiday reading is the new book by Stuart Maconie. I've enjoyed his previous travel books which include a social history of the North, as well as other parts of the country, and their light-hearted approach to exploring the places that Stuart passes through, usually at a leisurely pace. This time, he walks the route of the Jarrow marchers: 200 men, who walked the 300 miles from Tyneside to London in 1936 in protest at the damage being done to their towns and industries.

The book was written about a walk which marked the 80th anniversary and explored the changes that have happened to the country since then, but also how austerity and the north/south divide remain 'the same'.

It's all geography of course, as well as social history, and I'm looking forward to reading it...

Countryside Classroom

Picked up a postcard for Countryside Classroom at the Education Festival a few weeks ago (of which more to come in a future blog post) and just now had time to look at it, and follow the link on it.
This is a project which aims to connect teachers with the outside world...

Global reach of Premier League teams

A Twitter interactive which promises to visualise the tweets which are sent by fans of different Premier League football teams (as they were when the visualisation was created). How global is your team, or compare two teams, or see which are the most popular. Change the scale and have a play. Useful for globalisation, or geography of sport type units. Made by Twitter.

Rural Crime

The Geography of Crime had its moment in the sun as a unit which a lot of schools taught for KS3 to introduce ideas like GIS very often. It's less common now, although I know that a lot of schools still teach this topic.

Rural crime is on the rise. It's often a different type of crime than urban crime, and sometimes it's suggested that the number of CCTV cameras in towns and cities may drive crime further out.

This could form part of a crime unit, or contribute to the idea of rural/urban comparisons.

The National Farmer's Union has produced a very useful report on the nature of Rural Crime, which can be downloaded from this link.

Campo Santo's FireWatch Game...

This is the trailer for the game, which I bought a while ago during a Steam Sale (there are quite a few of these during the year)
I intend to work on some resources based around this game, and the book 'Fire Season'.
I'll also reference events such as the recent Canadian wildfires and those which have affected other parts of the world too. In a warming world, these events are likely to become more common.
Fire is currently a sensitive issue, so it may be that I wait a while on this project.

Natural Flood Management - a research survey to get involved with

Natural Flood management was in the news over the winter, when the town of Pickering was apparently 'saved' from serious flooding by alternative types of channel management which were less about building walls and more about working with the catchment to change the way that it responded to a precipitation event.

This new Research survey from Kate Smith at the Countryside and Community Research Institute uses some interesting visualisations to explore the River Isbourne. It provides a Google Tour with plenty of management information which makes it a self-contained case study for older students potentially.

It could however also be used by teachers of older students in particular as a useful, practical and detailed end of year activity (it being the last week of term for many as I post this)
Start up the survey and you will be prompted to download a KMZ file which will open in Google Earth / Google Earth Pro (the desktop version that you needed to download not the new web browser version)

Why not download the tour, and take part in the survey too, so that you help out in the way that these sorts of resources are used for future dissemination of research ideas...

Weathertrending - a new weather blog

A new blog for those interested in weather is now up and running. As a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society, that includes me of course.
It's called Weathertrending.
It's written and created by Sara Thornton and John Hammond, who have been on our screens for many years as BBC, ITV and Met Office weather forecasters and presenters.

The blog promises daily Quickcasts and discussions on weather issues, as well as relevant forecast and weather stories, such as a look ahead to the potential impact of stormy weather on the weekend's British Open Golf.

You can follow the pair on Twitter too @weathertrending

The format would be a good one to engage students with: perhaps they could record their own Quickcasts, or produce a short discussion of a weather-related topic, or look ahead to a forthcoming event. I remember using an activity where we looked ahead at the weather and provided some specific forecasts for specific members of staff.

Mr.... is planning a barbeque at his house on Friday night. Should he get his sausages out, or plan something else instead ?
Mrs.... is hoping to play golf on ..... night. If there is a risk of thunderstorms this will not be possible.

I look forward to seeing how the site develops...


Working on a new Education resource today.
It's for the Ice Flows Game developed by Anne Le Brocq at Exeter University and which I've blogged about a few times previously.
Anne has sent me through some very exciting stickers which I'm going to be using as prizes for engagement with the materials once they become available. More details to come...

Erasmus+ Happy 30th Birthday

Erasmus is 30 years old.

It's facilitated the meeting of millions of teachers and students from across Europe, and I've benefitted from it in many ways over the years. I first got involved with Erasmus through Karl Donert, the President of EuroGeo, and who has spent many years travelling Europe.
He asked me to take part in a project called digitalearth towards the end of my time with the Geographical Association. He was keen to get the GA to engage with this European network of teachers, and there was the first of a few opportunities to do that with this network. The digitalearth project has had a great legacy...

This took me to Salzburg, back in January 2011, for the first of many meetings and training courses. I found myself in a 3 day meeting with university professors, Headteachers and people with particular skillsets I'd not encountered before. It was a little scary, but also exciting, and we had some interesting cultural events as part of the meeting - a pattern that has been particularly important as my Erasmus participation has continued...

Image: Michaela Lindner-Fally

I've spent several months of my life since in various cities around Europe. I've worked at Salzburg University quite a few times, running courses with teachers from lots of different countries, learning from them as much as they learned from me. It's been one of the most valuable aspects of my professional career...

Here's a picture from Simo Tolvanen, one of a large group of Finnish teachers I had the pleasure of working with at Z-GIS in Salzburg.

I've visited Stockholm - sailing there on a boat through the frozen Baltic and stopping in at Estonia en route. I've scaled snowy peaks, eaten fine foods, seen art and heard guggenmusic, baked in the heat of an Alentejan summer, swum in the Mediterranean, walked on a frozen lake, wandered unfamiliar cities in the early hours of the morning, and discovered a hidden bottle of Ardbeg whisky in the most unlikely of hotels. I've seen Romanian tower blocks, sung Finnish karaoke, navigated out of an underground car park in Ghent, and seen the Acropolis at sunset and two Olympics stadia...
I've been involved in 5 Erasmus Funded projects and a range of Erasmus funded courses... and several other failed bids for project funding...
I hope to be involved in a whole lot more adventures in the future....
My school is currently involved in an ERASMUS funded project called GI Learner 

Thanks also to Jaime Araujo who has got me out to Portugal a number of times to worth with AENIE.

I recommend you find out more about the scheme and try and get involved.. assuming UK partners will still be welcome after Brexit... 

In the upstairs room at Zum Eulenspiegel, Salzburg 

Thanks to everyone I've had the pleasure of working with over the years, sometimes numerous times, and particularly to Karl Donert, who started it all off for me and supported me when I was out of work back in 2011...

Grave attraction

When did you last visit a graveyard?
Some people choose to visit graves as a way of feeling close to famous people. I remember some years ago when my children were younger, and my son wanted to visit the grave of Roald Dahl when were in Great Missenden some years ago, and felt happy that he'd seen it and had a connection with his favourite author at the time.
This BBC article describes the trend for visiting the resting place of famous people.
One of the most famous is the Pére Lachaise cemetery in Paris, where Jim Morrison, the lead singer of The Doors is buried, along with lots of other people of course, such as Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust.

This book was found in Norwich library and provides guidance on how to find the graves of people all over the UK...

There was also an issue when Pokemon Go came out that people may have been entering cemeteries to 'catch them all' and not showing the same respect that they might have been expected to.

Barbara Ellen, writing in the Guardian, suggests that this is nothing new, and that there has been a historic trend for this dark tourism, or thanatourism as it's also called (I've written about it before) for some years.

I also remember when teaching about 20 years ago using a video shot in and around Cairo showing many people living in tombs in the City of Dead.

Last weekend, I visited Cley Contemporary 17 in Cley next the Sea on the Norfolk coast, and there was art in amongst the gravestones, and pathways cut amongst the graves.
So calculations of Rahn's Index are not the only reasons that geographers might be interested in such places.
To finish, why not complete this mission from our first Mission:Explore book....
One for all tapophiles...

EA Water Quality Data

For those exploring water quality as part of river studies, the EA has made available an alpha of a new service sharing water quality data from the sampling network. Thanks to John Curtin for sharing this news on Twitter. I tried it for my local area and discovered a sampling point on the River Nar that flows through my village, just a few hundred yards from my house, under a road bridge.
I took a look at the data, and there's quite a lot of detail and it is provided over a period of time, so any trends can be seen...


CB1 is the name given to a newly created area, close to the train station, which has had some interesting press recently.
Such areas are often called quarters, although cities can have more than four...
CB1 is described as an urban mixed-use development.

It has not gone down very well with some people, who say that it is not a good 'first impression' for visitors to the historic city to see as they step out of the railway station. One 'issue' that Cambridge has had for decades of course has been that the railway station is quite some distance from the historic centre of the city. There is a walk, or a bus/taxi ride required to get to this area.

Oliver Wainwright has said that this is a 'future slum'.
The local Cambridge News newspaper asked whether this was a suitable description or not...

One to add to our Cambridge 'Changing Places' fieldwork option for sure... alongside other recent changes such as the Research Park around Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Butterfly Count

David Attenborough is asking us to count butterflies, so I'm going to count them, and you should too.... There's an app here which you need to put onto your smartphone... there's Android version too...

@savebutterflies is the Twitter feed

UK County Word Cloud - still a chance to take part

I'm keen to get up to at least 1000 entries on my UK County Word Cloud project - why not give the link to students to get involved with in a final week of term activity.
The aim is to collate thoughts and images for each UK county.

Click and enter your ideas and press submit.

Here's a preliminary result for the county of Kent...


There has been a History edition of this event for a few years, and the Geographers have now decided that it may be a good format to adopt... Save the date, and follow the Twitter feed and hashtag for more information as time passes... Will be hosted at the University of Birmingham.

Landmark Buildings Stamps

A new set of stamps showcases some classic landmark buildings from the UK...

Ghosts of the Japanese Tsunami

This is coming in August. It looks really rather splendid, although the extract is harrowing and terrifying... Read the extract from the London Review of Books.
There's also a programme on BBC Radio 4 that is well worth listening to.

It's part of a planned new unit on Japan, which I'm pulling a few things together for... Will share the outcomes of that thinking here of course.

Rebuilding Ely

We ended the year at my school with Year 9 by completing a project following the first run through of our joint Physics-Geography project on the development of the city following a tsunami.
Here's the instruction sheet, produced by Ned Kittoe of the Physics department... The end results have shown a variety of interesting outcomes...

A thaw point...

There are many stories relating to the Arctic that have been integrated into my teaching over the last few years.
As permafrost starts to lose the permanent bit of its name, and melt, there are a few 'issues' that seem to be more certain to happen as time passes...
Bacteria are released which could contain dormant diseases, and result in new pandemic threats, in a warming world.

These include anthrax spores.

There's also the issue of carbon and methane release
There's a sense that things are accelerating and changes that we were told might happen by 'the end of the century' might happen within the next few decades.

DVD Confessional...

As we move into the final week of term for many, I'd like to invite you to confess your DVD sins....
If you show a DVD, please tell us which one(s) you use. I used San Andreas in my final week of term, as seen in the previous blog post...
Let's see which movies are popular with Geographers this year. Dante's Peak anyone?

San Andreas

Last week I spent some time watching the film: San Andreas as part of the end of year work that we offered.
I watched the film through, to find some useful sections, and also some sections to bleep out as there's one or two fruity words peppered in there...
Reading an article by an earthquake engineer, who talks about the issues with the film. I've turned these into a worksheet where students are asked to spot the issues as they watch the film, and also to consider whether it matters that the film isn't completely accurate, as it's just a piece of entertainment.
There was also some useful guidance from Paul Berry on his Devon Geography blog back in the day.

Which films are you planning to show next week in the final week of term?

Beside the seaside

A 2nd fieldtrip a couple of weeks ago took me to Hunstanton, where we took 80 Year 7 students.
While there, I had a chat with a local guy who has spent years sorting out the stones on the beach, and has been featured in several newspaper articles. I'm going to be writing about the town and the cliffs as part of a project over the summer. More to come on that - I had a meeting earlier today.

Image: Alan Parkinson

Coffee in a warming world

An interesting story on whether coffee is likely to lose its taste in a warming world.
This has a connection with the work of Jennifer Ferreira
She has an excellent coffee related blog, which is worth taking a look at.
BBC News has an excellent feature on this, which is packed full of geography.
Ethiopia has a problem in particular it seems.

Also, don't forget the Costa for Schools resources that I wrote a few years ago, and updated with new additions earlier this year.... It's a pity my name is not listed anywhere on the website that hosts them...

FSC Geography Fieldwork resource

The FSC have put together a really useful resource on fieldwork, which provides guidance on different tools, approaches and resources for those planning fieldwork opportunities for students. There is a particularly useful GIS section, which includes some useful resources. Well worth checking out.
Sections for GCSE and 'A' level Geography... and the all important GIS section too.

IceFlows - the game

I've spent quite a bit of time over the last week or so working on a new resource to accompany the IceFlows Game which was developed by Anne Le Brocq of Exeter University.

Follow the Twitter feed @iceflowsgame to find out more...
The game is available online, and also as an app.

It is taking shape now, and should be completed by the end of the month and available for download.

The game models the processes going on in ice shelves and ice sheets, and there are plenty of associated resources that will form part of the pack, to help explore the implications of them melting away. With Larsen C close to breaking off to form a huge iceberg, this is an area that is likely to make the news in the coming days....

Why not take a look at the game in the next few weeks as an end of term activity

Larsen C finally calved a huge iceberg yesterday, just as I was finishing the first draft of the resource pack.
There is a tool to measure just how big it actually is by comparing it to a map. Made by Christopher Möller, and can be viewed here. 
Here's the iceberg with Norfolk and Suffolk for scale - that's a big chunk of ice...

Meaningful Maps - more research involvement for King's Ely

After the publication of the paper on VR in Education that I blogged about recently, there's a further project that we're involved with. In the last few weeks, students from several year groups have been involved with the Meaningful Maps project by drawing a map of a place that is important to them. These have been completed by some of my colleagues at Kings Ely Junior, and also King's Ely Acremont (thanks to Sarah Stevens for a big pile of maps)

The project is being organised by Stephen Scoffham, Peter Vujakovic and Paula Owens.
The website is now up and running, and it will develop as more maps come in during the pilot phase of the project which we are involved with.

VR Research Paper now available

A research paper that I am the co-author of has now been made available on the Open University's Repository. It explores the role of smartphone-driven virtual reality field trips, and connects with the visits made by Shailey Minocha and her colleague Ana-Despina Tudor to my school: King's Ely.
Click the DOWNLOAD link to see it. You may also have been in Shailey's GA Conference session where this was presented, following by a workshop where she supported Richard Allaway.

School's out for summer

OK, so I've just finished my 25th year in the classroom....
I've got about 8 weeks of summer ahead, and as usual I can't just sit and do nothing, so I've got quite a few things lined up to do, all of which you'll be able to read about here once they're finished...
  • Finishing an education resource pack to go with the Ice Flows Game (a GA consultancy job)- that's my first job to do and it's going well...
  • Writing project for Norfolk County Council on Hunstanton and coastal erosion
  • Three resources for the Royal Geographical Society on Suburbs and some 'A' level materials for their Data Skills in Geography project (already started these some time ago, so just finishing off now)
  • Writing for the Innovative Geography Teaching Grant that I've been awarded by the Royal Geographical Society, on a project with Peter Knight of Keele University. The website is already up and running here.
  • Moderating Primary and Secondary Geography Quality Mark applications once again, with a trip up to Yorkshire.
  • Drafting ideas for education materials in support of the Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition in 2018 for Felicity Aston and colleagues
  • Writing journal articles on my explorations of the contents of 'Classroom Geographer'.
  • A few other little bits and pieces
Also got 3 weeks of time away in there, to travel, read and take photographs.

Started the relaxation yesterday, with a visit to Cley Contemporary 17, then down to the beach at Cley before heading inland for a pub lunch in a quiet village watching the world go by with a pint of local ale...

Have a great summer everyone, whatever you're up to.... there'll be the odd blog post here between now and September to clear the 'Drafts' folder, and share a few pretty pictures and interesting news stories....

Image: Alan Parkinson

CPRE Norfolk report on the future of Norfolk

Heard some sections of an interview earlier this week on BBC Radio Norfolk with members of CPRE Norfolk.

They were launching a new report called A Vision for Norfolk, which looks at a future for the county's amazing countryside.
A useful resource for rural futures/changing places.

Debates in Geography Education - 2nd Edition

Published in September we hope, in time for the new academic year...
A 2nd edition of 'Debates in Geography Education'.
I've updated my chapter to reflect recent changes in the use of technology in the classroom (and beyond)

Flickr - half a million

Quietly ticked over the half million mark on views of my Flickr images - plenty of albums and images which are available under a Creative Commons license.
Why not get your own free Terabyte of storage and upload your own images to share with geography colleagues...

Two Teachmeets to sign up for...

You wait ages for a 'decent' geographical Teachmeet to come along, and then two come at once...

The first is being put on by Perse School Geography department in Cambridge in September 2017.

If you want to go along, you need to e-mail James Riley, using the e-mail address on the image above.
The second is organised once again by David Rogers, and hosted by the Royal Geographical Society. It will take place in November 2017.

Last time this was put on, in late 2016, I went along, and ended up introducing all the speakers as David was ill. Hopefully this time I just have to turn up and do a quick 6 minutes...
If you want to come along, you will need to get an Eventbrite ticket, and you can also sign up to present at the same time during the process of registering.

The event was sold out last time, and there are limited speaker slots too, so don't delay...

This is a free event, and you don't have to be a member of the RGS (or a geographer) to come along....