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Showing posts from August, 2012

New from Geography All The Way

I have been a great fan of Richard Allaway and Alan Parkinson for a long time now and I’d safely say that (amongst other geography greats like Tony Cassidy, Noel Jenkins and Daniel Raven-Ellison) they have had a heavy influence in my outlook and teaching.So, it;s great to see that the pair have ben collaborating to produce a series of eBooks aimed at teachers of the International Baccalaureate.   Having downloaded the free Extreme Environments book, there seems to be a wealth of material relevant for those teaching at any exam level and even at Key Stage 3 in the UK.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next instalment.I especially like the interactive reviews, such as the one pictured above, and can see this as being a great revision tool for our own GCSE students.  I’ve already added the book to Priory Geography’s iPads and iPhones.

Looking forward to 2012_13. The end of being a habitual underachiever?

As we near the beginning of the 2012_13 academic year and a new role, it seems like a good point to take stock, reflect and possibly think about some goals.  I will add that this is a post mainly for me – a place to return to at some point in the future.  It’s also here as putting out some ambitions here feels a little committing. First of all, I should explain why I consider myself an underachiever.  I remember being called in to the Headteacher’s office during my own GCSE course and being informed that I was on the underachievers list – I fell as if I may have stayed on there for a while.  I should also add (and I feel comfortable sharing this now with the wider world) that the turning point of my life was when my fantastic mother left a physically abusive marriage with four children.  We moved from what could only be described as a mansion in the Welsh mining valleys to living in a single room within a refuge run by the marvellous women’s aid in West Wales.  This was fortuitous for…

A brief reflection on a four year mission

Just like Star Trek, Priory Geography’s mission continues, but today saw another milestone as we have increased the A*-C grade by almost 30% in that time. It means that the department is no longer failing its students and allowing them to meet roughly what is expected of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a teacher of Geography and not exams and I’d rather young people left with a passion (or at least an interest) and greater understanding in the world outside of their front doors and connected to them via the internet.  They aren’t my results, but it’s a good feeling anyway.It’s one of the final pieces of the jigsaw and although there is still work to do, it’s time for that malt that’s been waiting for a while…….Well done to my fantastic teamJo and Sam.  One of the best things about the 3rd September is getting to work with you again.Beers on the 7th

Featured in @AnthonySalcito ‘s Daily Edventures blog #dailyedventures

A few weeks back I was asked by the Microsoft Partners in Learning team to answer a few questions about myself and role.  The interview is now available to read.

Discover the World PGCE / NQT Iceland trip

Just thought I would highlight this opportunity from Discover the World aimed at PGCE students and NQTs to explore Iceland in April next year.  I’ll be involved in helping to link the visit to the school curriculum and will deliver a workshop about removing barriers to fieldwork.  Details can be found here and the itinerary here.  I especially like the look of Day 3.  The visit is being run in partnership with the Geographical Association, and there is a discount if you are a member.I’ve been involved with Discover the World for the past 12 months or so, helping to write the award winning Volcano Study Aid.  Look out for a new study pack about the Hardanger region of Norway coming soon.  Together with the Cold Environments study aid, the company are beginning to build up a very useful and free resource for teachers.  I’m always impressed by the team’s desire to focus on the learning and in supporting teachers add value to visits.

BYOD video

I like this video which would be useful for starting / continuing discussions about BYOD.

Running and other such challenges….

In January this year I started running, mainly thanks to what Kenny had been up to last year.  The aim is to run 500 miles this year, and I’m getting there.  In order to provide some motivation, I’m trying to put some challenges together over the next twelve months or so.  Mainly this is to retain a work / like balance as well as get fit and get back to taking part in some madness from time to time.I’m aware of charity fatigue in in asking for too much, so I’m going to mix up the running and other challenges.  So far the plan in to:Complete the Great South Run for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in October 2012. As a teacher I’ve worked with some young people who have battled against these and they are an inspiration.Complete the Brighton Marathon for Sussex Search and Rescue in April 2013.  I’ve chosen Sussex Search and Rescue as they are a lowland rescue organisation that are 100% voluntary and, like the Mountain Rescue Teams, not funded by the tax payer.  I’m also going to hopefull…

Engaging with the emotion of place

As I argued at the GA Conference earlier this year, geographers should engage young people with the emotion behind places as well as the bare facts of a case study.  Inspired also by this video of Dan Raven-Ellison speaking about imaginary places and how people affects places, I stitched together some thoughts during a visit to Pooh country which are shared below.  I’ve also been heavily influenced by Noel Jenkins’ work on places This idea probably isn’t original, but I thought worth sharing.My family’s visit to the Pooh Sticks Bridge led me to the following passage:‘By the time it came to the edge of the Forest the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and, being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly.’ From The House at Pooh CornerWhat a fantastic description of the changes that occur to a river.  I also like the resultant explanation, although not exactly geographic.  This passage presented two t…

Grid Lens for iPad and iPhone

It’s been a while since I had the chance to blog, mainly due to having a holiday and general mental lie down.One App for iPhone and iPad that I’ve played around with recently is Grid Lens.  In a geographical setting, this would be very useful at recording learning, such as little notices and other Guerrilla Geography tactics.  It would also provide a useful means to record fieldwork techniques in a different way.Essentially, Grid Lens lets you create comic book style story boards.  Here is an example created with my three year old:Grid Lens allows the user to take an individual photograph by tapping the relevant frame.  The App also has integrated Twitter, Facebook and Email support.  This would allow students to easily share their creations, or save them to the device Camera Roll for automatic upload to Dropbox, if you have this configured.