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Showing posts from April, 2010

Atlantic Rising

I have been aware of the Atlantic Rising project for a short while now through a recent Tweet and post on the SLN Forum.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been having a look at the website and thinking of ways in which the work can be used in the classroom. If you are unfamiliar with the project, the video below has a brief recap as well as details of the school photography competition. Launch of Atlantic Rising's school photography competition We will be setting the competition for Year 8 as homework this term, as our unit is coasts and we all live right on the coast. We will also be using some of the useful case studies available on the main site.  For example, there is a nice write up of a coastal protection scheme in Ghana .  We will compare the experiences in Portsmouth with those there. One of the most useful resources are the photo and video galleries.  These help tell the human story as well as the interaction between people and their environment. 

Some other blogs that help learning

In my last post I wanted to mention blogs that are authored by individual teachers.  However, I thought that one or two ‘corporate’ resources are also worth a mention. These are blogs that I consider to do much more than sell their product or service, but genuinely provide practical tips for transforming learning: Teaching Ideas and Resources is run by the lovely people behind the UK Partners in Learning. Stuart and Kristen regularly provide simple and effective ideas that can be used to great effect in the classroom.  I have only been active with their community since November 2009, but am now wondering how I ever got by without it! Tom , who runs the Northern Ireland PIL network, has a blog that is also well worth a follow. TED Blog : I have been a fan of TED talks for a while, and have even attended a TEDx event at BETT this year.  I like the format of short but inspirational messages, great to use with tutor groups. I could go on forever, especially about Geography related m

It’s worth taking a look at this blog…..

While away last week on a residential, I received a Twitter DM from Arjana Blazic , a teacher from Croatia.  I met Arjana at the European Innovative Education Forum in Berlin. She has a great linking project that is well worth a look! The reason for the DM was that Arjana has ‘tagged’ this blog as part of the ‘It’s worth taking a look at this blog’ project. My mission is to insert the picture below and to suggest 10 blogs that are well worth a read, and then to tell the authors about this nomination. It was a very difficult task as there are around 20 (ish) blogs that I read and draw inspiration from. All of these blogs give me inspiration on a daily basis: Webb’s Wide World – by Jan Webb Why did the Chickenman Cross the Road? – by Dan Roberts Urbanity – by a Geographer ;-) Ollie Bray – the person responsible for my blogging adventures Nick Dennis - Mrs Debens’ GCSE Geography Blog – put together by Jo Debens Living Geography – by Alan Parkinson Experiences

Introducing Friday Afternoon Geography

Proud to announce that Friday Afternoon Geography has hit the market. This is the third publication that I have authored. It's aimed at GCSE classes for revision, although the activities can also be used as starters, plenaries and in-betweenies! Published by Philip Allan . If anyone has come across it, I would be grateful for any feedback.

Mr Rogers: could do better?

A lovely tip I picked up from a colleague is to get classes to write their own reports.  I also always ask the class to pass a few comments about me.  I’ve just finished my Year 10 reports for this year has have enjoyed reading the comments: I think that I’m getting the balance right, although I must improve my random moods! :-) So what do you think? Could I do better? I think always…..

Why connected teaching is the way forward

As a geography teacher it is really important that we cover what is happening now.  The recent events in Iceland are an excellent example of an opportunity to introduce ‘Floating Topicality’ (a term coined by Jeff Stanfield the Hampshire Geography Inspector) into the curriculum. This post aims to demonstrate that this is a relatively straight forward process if you are a connected teacher.  I define this to be a teacher that involves themselves in continuous CPD through online communities. There are plenty of great resources being put together by teachers out there.  I had to focus on getting some guidelines for Controlled Assessment together so didn’t have time to find resources myself.  The lesson went like so: As the class entered the room a Flickr slideshow of Iceland volcano images was playing.  In addition, a playlist of volcano related tunes were playing thanks to my Twitter network.  I also added a live feed via tweetdeck searches: #ashtag and ‘volcano stranded’.

I want to break free! Presentation makes slideshare spotlight

I woke up this morning from a nice email from the folks over at slidehare . Turns out that their Education editorial team decided to spotlight the presentation given at the GA Conference last week. Sweet :-) You can view the presentation below, and the blog post that went along with it is here . I Want To Break Free View more presentations from David Rogers .

Competency based learning – some vague thoughts

Competency based learning is a hot potato.  I was asked to sit on an expert panel at the GA Conference last week that discussed this issue. There were two very good examples of competency based learning provided from Gillots School, Henley on Thames and Bremrose School in Derby . Both schools gave good examples of how geographical learning can be central to such initiatives and how the decision, and implementation of, their schemes were as a result of their learning context. Below are some thoughts about competency based learning that I have. I am not an expert by any means on competency based learning and would welcome any stories where it has been a success or challenge. Lots of GA members are concerned about the erosion of Geographical skills and knowledge as a result of these approaches. The GA should be supporting Heads of Geography to ensure that project based learning is centred around geographical themes. I think that there is little point in arguing against comp

Mission:Explore at the GA Conference and beyond

Photographs Copyright Bryan Ledgard unless otherwise stated and used with permission Photograph copyright of David Rogers I went out for a wander the other day with my son in order to complete some Mission:Explore missions. My last post explored the launch of Mission:Explore .  This post will explore some practical applications of the book in the (Geography) Classroom. Below is a description of how I have used the book to support learning. Technorati Tags: Mission:Explore , The Geography Collective One use is the development of data collection and methodology.  for example, look at the two missions above.  How would pupils go about collecting the proof.  Could different mints result in different results? Why are there three attempts?  With the introduction of Controlled Assessment in the UK , it is even more important that pupils are able to collect and critically evaluate their data. By using missions, the difference between qualitative and quantitative informati

Mission:Explore at the GA Conference - 1

Mission:Explore was launched at the Geographical Association's 2010 Annual Conference in Derby. This is how we do a book launch: We had a fantatsic 3 days, getting lots of people and organisations engageed with what we are doing. In a nutshell, Mission:Explore's 102 missions aim to provide accessible, inclusive and engaging explorations to (re)engage young people with geography. One of the highlights of the weekend was getting the legendary geographer Doreen Massey to take part in one of our Missions. See the photographic proof here! If you want to know more about the work of The Geography Collective, or wish to get involved with Mission:Explore's new iPhone App, visit or email me at

Geographical Association Conference – Workshop Resources

Thank you to all those who attended the 2 workshops on Friday.  The resources for each are below.  If you view them on Slideshare, you will also find the acknowledgements and links to further resources. Both workshop inputs centred around expanding geography's influence.  The morning session run by Tom from the Secondary Phase Committee gave some political advice, while my session in the afternoon aimed to give some practical approaches. The main points were: Pinky and the Brain never took over the world because they planned too much.  Planning is important, and the department that I work in has detailed schemes of work.  Many of the ideas presented appear in them.  However, every now and again I think that it is essential for good learning to plan a little less, take a risk and let the pupils take charge.  An example can be found here . What is important to remember though is that Schemes of Work should be living, organic documents that change often, otherwise and lea