Monday, 21 April 2014

John Muir Day

Celebrate his legacy today...
Earlier this year, we published a book as part of our work with the John Muir Trust
Download it as a PDF here.....

"These missions are great, you can really see the spark they've generated with teachers." 
Carol Walker, South Lanarkshire Outdoor Learning Development Officer

Sunday, 20 April 2014

GA Conference - IoW Map

A good interactive map of the Isle of Wight which has been developed by the MEDINA Field Centre on the Isle of Wight.

About a year ago, I led a session for the GA on Fieldwork in Geography, and spoke to Keith from the centre about the Interactive map of the Dorset Coast that has a range of layers.

A year on, they have now created their own version of the map.

Check out the other RESOURCES.

myVolcano app from the British Geological Survey

A new free app from the British Geological Survey.

Find out about volcanoes, but also contribute to citizen science and crowdsourcing, especially with regards to volcanic ash.
May be useful if and when one of Iceland's volcanoes decides to erupt again...

Saturday, 19 April 2014

GA Conference - Discover Geography

Launched to coincide with the GA Conference, and developed by Discover the World Education in association with the GA, a new resources site DISCOVER GEOGRAPHY.

Registration is required to access any of the content on the site.

GA Conference - the official photos

For many years now, the official photographer at the GA Conference has been Bryan Ledgard, who has also been designing the GA's books and journals for some time.
This year, the official photographer was Bryan's daughter Rose, and she's done a cracking job...
Check out a sample of the photos which have gone up onto Flickr...

Here's some young geographers admiring a rather fine book for example....

Image copyright: Rose Ledgard / Geographical Association

GA Conference - Masarang

Thanks to Alex Murchie for the details on the MASARANG project, which he talked about at the conference, along with Chris Durbin.
This is a conservation project in Indonesia.
Alongside the project website itself, there is a set of teacher resources, which promises 25 ways to bring Masarang into your lessons.
These include materials related to pictures, and also on the production of Sugar Palm.

Next week....

I'll be doing something based around Fashion Revolution Day.... will you ?
April 24th marks the first anniversary of the collapse of the garment factories at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Proper Geography

From the British Pathe YouTube release...

GA Conference - blog feedback...

It wasn't just me writing about the GA conference - there's a whole range of other bloggers who have been sharing their thoughts.
Here are links to some of the blogs that I've come across via Twitter.
Feel free to tell me about yours if you have one...
V2: 20th April

David Rogers has several posts about the Conference currently at his blog.
Rachel Norman posted her favourite sessions, Margaret Roberts included, on her Geographical Enquirer blog.
Hannah Holden blogged about her time on the Future Geographers' day, and was particularly impressed with Dan's Guerrilla Geography presentation

Garry Simmons blog here

Meanwhile, Rayburn Tours put a video on YouTube..

GA Conference - New Primary blog...

While at the conference, I was introduced to a newish PRIMARY GEOGRAPHY blog, with postings from people like Anthony Barlow.
There's already a few ideas on there that I'm going to use.

GA Conference - Missions

Thanks to all the delegates who came along to the conference, but also took the time to complete some of our special missions.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

British Pathe archive released to YouTube

Tweet earlier today from British Pathe

There are, therefore, thousands of historic videos now available to Geographers.
I don't sadly have time at the moment to do this justice.
Here's a small selection of architecture films that one blogger has identified for those exploring urban themes.
So much scope here... 
Please add any really good Geography films that you find as comments below...
Or add them to the GOOGLE SHEET here.

Here's some maps being made in 1961 for example...

GA Conference - David Rogers' Lecture

#gaconf14 New curriculum lecture from David Rogers

I was unable to get to this lecture as it clashed with something else I had to be at, but it had great feedback...
Here's the slides that David used, although as with all these online resources, you really need to hear the speaker to bring them to life completely...

Now listening...

GA Conference - Centre of Excellence Award for King's Ely

After the Association at Work day and AGM, the GA Conference opens to the main group of delegates with the Public Lecture.

This time it was given by Professor Iain Stewart, who talked about the artificial division between Human and Physical Geography, and also the importance of energy sources, such as fracking.

I was also there Claire and Jane from my department to pick up the Centre of Excellence award, that we had received from the GA this year, associated with the Global Learning Programme. The 'official photo' will be added here when available, but here's an iPhone snap for starters...

Congratulations to all the award winners, particularly Sharon Witt and Andrea Tapsfield.

The official pic by Rose Ledgard

Image copyright: Rose Ledgard / Geographical Association

Google celebrates 63 years of the Peak District...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

London Curriculum

Have you heard of the London Curriculum ?
I hadn't until a few hours ago...

A conversation with a colleague at the GA Conference today led me to the project, which is designed to support the National Curriculum.

We are using London itself to inspire new key stage three resources and activities in the capital’s schools. The Mayor of London’s Education Inquiry recognised the huge opportunity to enrich and strengthen education in London, by drawing on the city’s rich heritage. We are now entering the pilot phase of the London Curriculum, scroll down to find out how you can take part!
You can find the London Curriculum guide and subject summaries for English, art and design, music, history and geography at the bottom of this page.
The London Curriculum will support the new National Curriculum, while helping young Londoners to better understand and engage with their city. The London Curriculum aims to improve:
  • Subject knowledge and skills – helping teachers bring subjects to life by making illustrative and inspiring connections to the city, its people, places and heritage.
  • City knowledge and skills – helping London students to become experts in the places, people and events that shape their city.
  • Connection and contribution – helping students connect with London and other Londoners, to make more of the opportunities and help shape their city for the better.
The teaching resources are being developed by a partnership of subject specialists, cultural and heritage organisations and London schools, to support learning in and out of the classroom.

How will the pilot work?

We are currently developing the London Curriculum resources with around 30 pilot schools in London, before they launch for all schools in June 2014, ready for the new school year. At present the materials are aimed at Key Stage 3 and cover English, history, geography, music and art. You can find more detail in the guides at the bottom of the page.
London Curriculum pilot schools all over the city are enjoying inspiring educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom based on the resources we are developing. Their pupils are discovering the rich architecture of the city, exploring London's global heritage from the Roman times to the present day and learning about musicians inspired by the capital, from Handel, to the Kinks and Dizzee Rascal. 
Head to the WEBSITE page, scroll down to see the link to the GEOGRAPHY DOCUMENT (PDF)

The project will be launched in June / July ready for use in the September 2014

I wonder whether schools in cities other than London might want to develop something similar for their own locations too, based on the structure used here...

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

GA Conference - Writing's on the Wall

Presentation used in workshop 'Writing on the Wall'.

See my teaching blog: GeographyTeacher 2.0 for more on the work that I did on Touching the Void.
Download the resources from Scribd and Slideshare here...

Sheet created by my HoD Claire

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Earthquake comparisons...

Thanks to Ben King for the tipoff to this really useful resource...

History will teach us... er... something

I try to keep aware of what is happening in subject communities beyond Geography... mainly so that I can subvert their ideas for Geography though.
I became aware of Michael Fordham's History blog recently, and he has been adding some interesting posts on what the changes to the GCSE might mean for planning, and talks about it needing a 'five year plan' to integrate KS3 with the new GCSE - some good ideas here, and a well designed blog.

Stats and I-USE - preparing for GA conference session

One of the workshops that I am taking part in at the GA Conference is related to to the I-USE project, which is one of the EU projects I'm currently taking part in. This is aimed at developing teachers' ability in statistical literacy.

Statistics were also in many people's minds earlier this week when the new GCSE Subject Content guidance for Geography was released.

Appendix: Use of mathematics and statistics in geography 

The list below outlines the range and extent of mathematical and statistical techniques considered appropriate to geography GCSE. The following should all be covered in any specification. Examples in bold are to aid understanding and suggest range, and these are not compulsory. 
Cartographic skills 
 use and understand gradient, contour and spot height on OS maps and other isoline maps (e.g. weather charts, ocean bathymetric charts) 
 interpret cross sections and transects
 use and understand coordinates, scale and distance
 describe and interpret geo-spatial data presented in a GIS framework (e.g. analysis of flood hazard using the interactive maps on the Environment Agency website)

Graphical skills 
 select and construct appropriate graphs and charts to present data, using appropriate scales and including bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, line charts, histograms with equal class intervals
 interpret and extract information from different types of graphs and charts including any of the above and others relevant to the topic (e.g. triangular graphs, radial graphs, wind rose diagrams, proportional symbols) 
 interpret population pyramids, choropleth maps and flow-line maps

Numerical skills 
 demonstrate an understanding of number, area and scale and the quantitative relationships between units
 design fieldwork data collection sheets and collect data with an understanding of accuracy, sample size and procedures, control groups and reliability
 understand and correctly use proportion and ratio, magnitude and frequency (e.g. 1:200 flood; and logarithmic scales such as the Richter scale, in orders of magnitude) 
 draw informed conclusions from numerical data

Statistical skills 
 use appropriate measures of central tendency, spread and cumulative frequency (median, mean, range, quartiles and inter-quartile range, mode and modal class)
 calculate percentage increase or decrease and understand the use of percentiles
 describe relationships in bivariate data: sketch trend lines through scatter plots; draw estimated lines of best fit; make predictions; interpolate and extrapolate trends
 be able to identify weaknesses in selective statistical presentation of data

We'll explore these at the meeting and make sure that we cover them.
Finally, here is David Rogers' view on the changes, which makes interesting reading as does the GA's thoughts on the document.

Also some really interesting thoughts from Carl Phillips here.

Come along to the I-USE workshop at the GA Conference 2014, on Wednesday next week at 9am - we'll be talking about support for statistics.

Follow us on Twitter @StatsinEdu for more details

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Top 100 UK Education Blogs

See the list in the latest UK EdChat Magazine @ukedchat #ukedchat

New day and time for my GA Conference workshop

We've had a change to the timing of our GA CONFERENCE workshop.

WRITING ON THE WALL will not now take place on the Wednesday morning.

It will now take place on Tuesday the 15th of April between 1.50 and 2.40 pm

Come and see 
One slight advantage of the changed timings is that we are no longer up against Margaret Roberts, which means that we may have more people coming along.... although it does mean we're now up at the same time slot as Andy Knill and Angus Willson.
Come and see Gary Dawson, Kathryn Stephenson and myself.

It also means I will be able to take part in the I-USE workshop on the Wednesday morning.

Also keep an eye on the GLP STRAND - don't forget my GLP CPD course

Friday, 11 April 2014

National Trust Shifting Shores report

A useful report for those teaching about COASTAL Management.
Published by the National Trust, and takes a look at the next 100 years of coastal change.
Click to download as a PDF - update of 2005 report pictured below

Thursday, 10 April 2014

GA Conference Missions

A first look at the special Mission:Explore missions that we have prepared for delegates at the GA Conference.
See you there...