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Showing posts from April, 2009

Citizenship Through Geography

Am back on the old laptop at the moment which has made me realise how easy the MacBook is to use!!

Have just finished answering some of the queries attached to the latest resource I am producing. Here is a Wordle of the manuscript to give you a flavour:

Details about the resource can be found here.

There has been talk of Open Source textbooks on the SLN forum at the moment. I really like this idea and there are some plans underway for Folens to provide online updates of their Geography@Work series. I will let you know more as this develops.

Wordle images created using www.wordle.net and used through a Creative Commons licnece

Twitter and the classroom take three

It's coursework time for Year 10. During the first lesson I like to over emphasise the importance of the Introduction.

The IntroductionView more presentations from geogrocks.

I also like to give some top tips for completing the project. This time I asked my Twitter network to share their top tip for completing coursework. This was a very last minute idea as I was about to start the lesson 10 minutes later. I receive a number of responses that I shared with the class. The engagement was excellent. In addition, the class seemed to value the fact that similar messages were coming from educators from around the country.

The class were then asked to write their own top tip in less than 140 characters.

The top tips shared can be found on the GCSE Coursework support blog

Think you to those who replied so promptly. In the future, with a longer lead in time, I think that this technique could be a very effective use of Twitter.

Doorstep Geography session feedback

Hi all,

The presentation is available on slideshare as well as the GA website. Both are presented here using Slideshare - a great presentation sharing website. To download the presentation visit the slideshare site by clicking the button.

Ga Conf09 W21 PptView more presentations from geogrocks.

And the task cards are here:

Ga Conf09 W21 BpptView more presentations from geogrocks.

One of the most interesting aspects of the workshop was seeing the results of your fieldwork adventures. Delegates were asked to take photos that displayed Manchester. I've put them all together and created a little movie of them - some very interesting images! Remember that pupils can use their own mobile devices to carry out this sort of fieldwork at home.


Doorstep Geography from David Rogers on Vimeo.


Created using iMovie on a Mac. Great Creative Commons website for music http://www.jamendo.com. Copyright free music to use in your classroom. The uploaded to http://www.vimeo.com.

Now to the feedback. This blog …

Textbooks workshop handout

What a week so far! Will get around to updating a number of blogs and conference posts tonight.

In the meantime, here are the handout notes for the textbook workshop. The notes details about the ideas and the pages used to illustrate the ideas.

The video will be available soon!

The handout is available here

Twitter in the classroom, again

Took a bit of a risk today in an effort to explore how Twitter can be effectively used in the classroom. Developing some ideas that have been written about by Ollie and Alan. I'm a little reluctant to use Twitter live at the moment as I don't believe that enough of my network are online at the right time! The other reason for the experiment is that I'm being observed as part of the Performance Management process tomorrow and I want my line manager top see the potential. By using a blog during my last observation they have been adopted by many other teachers.

First I sent the following Tweet:



I chose Year 7 as they are starting a new unit all about sustainability and climate change. I also teach 5 Year 7 groups this year so could use the results widely!

During the day I checked the responses. Some came through facebook. After exploring the possible causes and evidence (including the Prove It! game talked about in my GA Workshop) we moved on to causes. Most of the class mention…

GA Conference - Urban Earth

Had the honour of introducing Dan Raven-Ellison’s lecture plus on his Urban Earth project. I’ve known Dan for a few years now and never fail to be enthused by his energy and vision. I like the way in which he challenges the way we think.

In his talk Dan communicated the purposes of Urban Earth very well.

On reflection, there are many classroom uses for Dan’s work that I can think of. Some of these I have used.

1. Show the videos in class. The discussion about the how and why provides rich learning opportunities. For example, what is the objective of the film? How was it made and why were those techniques chosen? What are the limitations and strengths of this method? Could you design something better?

2. Plan and undertake Urban Earth walks around the school grounds or local city, village or rural space. One of the features of the walks is the engagement in familiar, and unfamiliar surroundings. For example, I tracked the evidence of Christmas during the Bristol walk. I found that (on 15t…

GA Conference and the iPhone - Part 2

Used quite a few trains to get to and from the GA Conference. A great little app that helped me to organise my journeys was 'National Rail'.

Although one of the more expensive apps that I use, National Rail provided me with live updates of trains available. This could be used in the classroom - what information is needed to drive this app? Where does the information come from?

GA Conference and the iPhone - Part 1

Thought I'd share a couple of the excellent ways in which my iPhone was employed at the GA Conference.

Beer o'clock

I received an email from Richard Allaway at the end of day 1. I'd earlier met Richard for the first time.

As you can see Rich's email contained a link to this:



The pin was the location in which Rich and some other colleagues were enjoying a post-conference ale. Needless to say I was able to use the map to join the others. What a great use of Google Maps, the iPhone and the GPS capabilities of the phone.

Thinking Through Climate Change - Lecture at GA Conference

Professor Stuart Lane gave an interesting lecture on climate change. Certainly called in to question how this subject is taught in schools.

A main point through the talk focused around using current events to illustrate the effects of climate change. If I think about it, this is a common method of communicating the possible effects of climate change to young people. However, the danger of doing this is that the events are often part of a more complex pattern, and nothing to do with climate change.

I was also interested in the language used. For example, 'possible' all indicating that it is very difficult to find 100% consensus on the subject.

Another interesting point was that those members of society that work the land have a better understanding of the changes happening. The majority of us are insulated from the effects of climate change and only really see the extreme events. The danger in using events to illustrate climate change was illustrated by using the following example…

Textbooks: Everyone's guilty pleasure

Not long finished delivering the textbooks workshop. Seemed to go down well.

The main thrust was that textbooks are not the creation of all evil. Rather, especially if learners are to develop into creative independent thinkers, we need to use textbooks in new ways. Creative use of textbooks can improve pupils' media literacy and make life a little bit easier for teachers.

Textbooks Everyones Guilty Pleasure WorkshopView more presentations from geogrocks.

PLTS and SEAL

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and the Social and Emotional Aspects to Learning (SEAL) are a big priority at our school at the moment. On further investigation, Geography is in a strong position as these aspects are already there! Having said this, the department will need to change the language used when teaching and make more explicit the links. I have produced a simple Scheme of Work cover sheet that allows existing Schemes of Work to be assessed. I don't think that there needs to be a radical and huge overhaul of units (yet again.....).

Overall, I quite like this aspect as in considering where PLTS and SEAL fits teachers ae being asked to consider what pupils should be learning. Through exploring this issue there could be a development in the emotional literacy of students and a move towards deper learning

It is also important to note that SEAL has been around for a while in Primary Schools so it's well worth getting in touch with your feeder schools to ensure …