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Showing posts from August, 2010

Love Play Outdoors , a campaign from the Geography Collective

The logo for the Love Outdoor Play campaign is looking good! the Campaign goes live in September. We are already gathering momentum, and details of our supporters can be found at this blog post. There, you can also find out how you can support the campaign. You don't have to be a large organisation, but I personally feel that all teachers should be supporting the cause :-)

What I plan to do with Year 9

This post is the third that outlines what I plan to teach during the first week back.  The expectations and general points are the same as the Year 7 and Year 8 posts. Year 9 start to look at Restless Earth – in particular the interaction between people and volcanoes. Now, this is a shrewd move within an optional subject.  However, the first lesson bout two things: 1. Exploring pupil’s own imaginations and knowledge of volcanic eruptions. They have been on the planet for at least 13 years, so it’s likely that they know something about it! 2. Allowing the pupils to know a little bit more about me. The room is set up as in the previous two posts, with an activity on the board and myself greeting the students at the door. This image will be displayed: This is a Wordle of a Wikipedia article on the Iceland volcano .  The tasks are: a) To spot the topic. b) To suggest ways in which this information could be better presented to suit the subject. (for example, use red writ

My first lesson with Year 8

This post follows on from a similar post about Year 7 . Year 8 explore rainforests during the first term, and end the Autumn term with some on-site Guerrilla Geography . The expectations and seating plan are similar to the Year 7 post, so I won’t go in to too much detail here. Please remember that this is the planned lesson, what actually happens will depend on how things go! As pupils enter (and I meet at the door), the image below is displayed. (found on this blog and created by Orno Verde ). The task is to figure out what the unit will be all about.  I’m not expecting single word answers here, but a more in depth answer. I’m also going to ask pupils to write down a forest experience, as there are clear parallels between British and Tropical forests in terms of structure and processes. These will be shared during the register. After the register, seating plan and a reminder of expectations I set the homework which is to create a rainforest poem.  The poem must link visually

Guerrilla Geography

I have written about the use of ‘ Guerrilla Geography’ in the department before.  Here are three, Key Stage 3, mini-units that were developed during the Curriculum Away Day at the end of June. They were written collaboratively. At the moment, these are incomplete as ‘Schemes of Work’ are living documents. Also, taken out of our curriculum context, they may seem random.  However, they link into our existing curriculum. Year 7 – Photo Orienteering and Little People . Year 8 – Developing the reliability of evidence and exploring the natural habitats of our urban school setting . Year 9 – How do we feel about our school space and how do we get others to listen ? Feel free to use the ideas (which are not necessarily my own), but if you do it would be great to know how you get on.

Love Outdoor Play

As a Mountain Leader, general outdoor nut and father, I think that playing and exploring outside spaces is an important part of learning and life.  My son (aged 1) and myself (aged 32) spent an hour yesterday exploring the communal gardens that surround our flat.  In fact, he took me for an adventure as I didn’t sway his decision making in any way.   This resulted in finding and watching a squirrel eat some nuts, the crossing of the gorge of doom and battling with the living tree of madness (it was windy!). We at The Geography Collective support playing outside and will be launching a new campaign in September. This is our manifesto: “Having the freedom to play outdoors improves the well-being of children and their communities. Together, we are building a visible community to support reasonably safe exploration, adventure and play. Wherever you see a Love Outdoor Play sticker, you’ll find people who welcome play and are looking out for young people.” Find out more by rea

Meeting Year 7 for the first time……

This post outlines my rough plan for meeting Year 7 for the first time.  It is hoped that readers will find something useful here.  Before the description begins – I must add that this is the rough outline – we’ll just have to see what happens at the time! The first unit is called Amazing Places and the aim of the first lesson is to define what makes a place amazing.  This takes two forms, the first has a 140 character limit, and the second a 50 word target. Before the lesson, exercise books are placed on the desks and the Flickr slide show below is played on screen while music plays – usually a mix of the Manics, Sterophonics, Tom Jones and Feeder.  I will meet each students at the door, telling to sit where they like for now. The task on screen is to think of at least 10 adjectives about the places being described. Personally, I always have something to do and keep the start of my lessons very similar.  I expect students to come in and start learning, the first lesson is no excep

Do we always need a map?

A few events today have made me reflect upon promoting the use of technology in the classroom.  This thought provoking post by Tom Barrett and dropping my son off for his first trial session at nursery.  The trailers for the forthcoming ‘ School Season’ on BBC had also made me ponder. The illustration above illustration by gapingvoid (which I spotted thanks to Doug Belshaw ) also added into the mix. What have I been pondering? Should we always be using tools such as Google, Bing, Twitter? But first an anecdote. Or two. I have a large collections of maps and guide books.  The guide books I use to avoid other people.  Let me explain, when travelling abroad, I find it very useful to know where all the other Lonely Planet readers will be eating, drinking and looking.  I then avoid those places. Part of the fun is stumbling through the local language, choosing a restaurant that has no English menu (or for that matter photographs of its food, why is it that Brit’s abroad need

It's almost time for kick off!

GCSE results are published tomorrow and mark the beginning of my 'wind-up' period for the new academic year. It's going to be another challenging year, with lots to do. In an attempt to remain focused, I'm publishing the main foci for the year. This way, it will be possible to review progress and reflect. There are, of course, a trillion other goals to go, but..... 1. Maintain the drive to improve standards at Key Stage 4. 2. Involve young people in the co-construction of an off-timetable day. 3. Apply for the Geographical Association's Secondary Geography Quality Mark. 4. Think seriously about my next step.....

Using social media to expand classroom boundaries

This post is aims to consolidate most of the information on using Social Media in the classroom.  Regular readers will find much of this familiar. The overview of the project is contained in this Virtual Classroom Tour submitted to the UK Partners in Learning network: Pirates and Social Networking View more presentations from David Rogers . The original lesson evaluation and story can be viewed at this post . This webinar given to European teachers and initiated by the Croatian branch of Partners in Learning also sums up how Twitter can be used to support learning. In particular, additional applications of the method are discussed. The webinar was recorded live, and starts 6 minutes into the recording, so you may wish to skip there! The file is available to download here . This post describe how the same methods were used to explore the Haitian earthquake. I have tried to share the technique widely, through this blog and also through face-to-face training sessions,

Ordnance Survey maps available in Bing

More to follow on this feature (and apologies if it's not that new). I've just discovered OS maps in Bing Maps. This virtually qualifies as pornography for geography teachers.......... Very exciting. now off to find out what I can do with it until my son wakes up from his nap.

Why teachers will always be needed, even in the Google Bing generation

This article in today’s Independent perfectly sums up why teachers (substitute with the term that you prefer) will always be needed. The chief of Google expresses his concerns about privacy in the online age. One reason is expressed in the article (I have added the emphasis): "I think we need to change people's mindsets through education rather than legislation but it's definitely something that we need to talk to our children about," Also, as quoted in Ian Gilbert’s book ‘Why do I need a teacher when I’ve got Google’ the 63336 answer: '”Teachers express things in a way Google can’t. They make dull subjects seem interesting, whereas Google just supplied the facts, not all of them correct” The content available through Google and Bing’s selected search results need interpreting.  How would you deal with this , for example? In order to help young people stay clear of privacy issues, we also need to get away from the blunt ‘ban/block it’ attitude

Microsoft Summer Camp – first reflections

This is the first in what I hope will be a few posts resulting from the Microsoft Summer Camp (#mscamp) event this week.  Dan Roberts and Graeme Eyre have fired off posts about the event. What I present here are some reflections aimed at comparing the two events and coming to some general reflections about #mscamp. Similar to those about the Google Teacher Academy last month.  Before I start, I’d like to make clear a few points, caveats if you like. In the words of @innovativeteach , it’s because I’m Welsh ;-) : I’m not naive enough to think that Microsoft, Apple and Google’s education branches won’t be pushing their products. I don’t have a problem if they do as long a learning is at the forefront and they avoid brainwashing rays. I know that they are not suddenly going to start working together, although it would be cool if they did in terms of learning. These reflections are from the point of view of a middle leader in a large secondary school.  I’m not in the positio


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Places and Music

One of my favorite lessons of the year centres around exploring places and music. The photograph above was put on Twitter yesterday and I asked for suggestions of music that would match the photograph. Suggestions were: Green green grass of home. Tom Jones. @ dawnhallybone I can see for miles. The Who. @ ebd35 On the road again. Willy Nelson. @ ebd35 Homeward Bound. Simon and Garfunkel. @ jackieonions Big Country. Big Country. @ psbenson It's a wonderful life. Black. @ psbenson A horse with no name. America. @ psbenson My personal favorite has to be this suggestion by @ schola foris : So what's the point? How we feel about places can be expressed in the soundtrack that we imagine about that place. Show students a selection of photographs on your local area and play different music over the top. How does that make them feel? Which soundtrack is most suitable to that place? Try walking around your local area while listening to different music - how do you feel? Try it wit

Help me get Twitter into a textbook

This photograph was taken the last time I was in Snowdonia.  I’m aiming to use the connections of Twitter for a textbook activity.  All I need is the answer to the following question: ‘What is unique about Mount Snowdon?’ Feel free to respond through a comment below, or through Twitter by tweeting me @daviderogers (don’t forget the ‘e’!) Many thanks :-)

Popular posts....

It's always interesting reflecting on what people are reading. Since December 2009, I've used Google Analytics to keep track. This blog is a space for me to reflect, the fact that people read it is a bonus, but not my goal. These are the twenty most popular posts in the last eight months. Just in case you missed them. 1. Why connected learning is the way forward . The use of online networks in developing learning resources for the Iceland eruption. 2. It's worth taking a look at this blog. A list of blogs that I find inspirational. 3. PLTS and Sea l. Link to a planning document. 4. OCR B Controlled Assessment . The planning behind our department's journey through Controlled Assessment. Reminds me that we need to reflect on this soon.... 5. How Google's Wonder Wheel and Timeline can help improve learning . Includes a brief video of the tools in action linked to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. 6. Revamping Settlement Together . A collaborative Scheme of Work

‘Analogue’ learning

Thought I would share a quick example of ‘analogue’ learning. I’m currently working on a project and most ideas come to me when I am away from the computer.  My mind doesn’t work in a logical way, so I create notes: Technology, in particular mobile apps, allow me to take notes wherever I am.  I use Evernote for this as I can take photographs, voice memos or just write.  I’m even using the app to make notes on what I’ll say for my Groom’s speech next year at my wedding. Just thought that this was a nice example of tech and non-tech tools working well together.  When implementing new technologies in our department, I’ve always strived to keep the non-tech in the tool box, the question is how to share, although sometimes just having conversations is good enough?

Get running Rogers!

I’ve wanted to start running for a while now, especially as many of those connected to me via Twitter run.  I’ve never got on with running, even in my hyper-fit teen years.  I asked for some tips and advice via Twitter.  Thank you to all who replied, here are the responses: The most common advice was to buy some good running shoes, to start small, and to run little and often. @ Keith_Fowler recommended Run , a shop in Worthing (who have a great, simple website). I’ll be heading there next week. Go even when you don't really want to. Use an App to record (added incentive) go steady - it gets easier - @ dughall . This is good advice which I can relate to through other outdoor activities. Start small - short distances , work up to longer distances - start with running 5 mins then walking 1 min to build stamina.  I love my Nike+ keeps me motivated to run further, faster, and more often! @ jdeyenberg Get decent shoes, do little and often. works for me, then slowly build it

How Internet Explorer 8 Accelerators can support learning

I’m very fickle when it comes to internet browsers, and I have no real affiliation to any.  I also don’t use extensions or plug ins and I’m rubbish at keeping bookmarks or favourites! I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while since Microsoft’s Fun Free Friday event a while back. One feature in particular struck me as being simple and effective in supporting learning.  These are the Accelerators that are part of Internet Explorer 8. To me, this is a great example of where learning takes centre stage as the tool uses both Bing and Google tools. I’ve created a screen cast that attempts to simulate a typical student search experience. Like a similar post , I’ve chosen the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. I also make no apologies for the rough and ready nature of the screen cast. As mentioned before , if I can’t run with a tool after a period of not using it, then it’s value in a classroom could be questioned. I do apologise, however, for the slow running nature of the internet conn

Life after the Google Teacher Academy

I was planning to write this post before the excellent conversation via Twitter between myself, @tonycassidy , @colport and @DrAshCasey . More thoughts to come on that after some further reflection on Tony’s post . On the theme of CPD, the aim of this post is to develop some thoughts on the actions that should take place after last month’s Google Teacher Academy (GTA). The GTA falls into the ‘individual’ category – the event took place during holiday time and the expenses had to be met by the attendees. One of the features that I like about the Google Teacher Academy is the commitment by participants to share the information with others.  I don’t see myself as a member of an elite club. One criticism of most CPD is that it often adopts the one-size fits all approach.  In terms of the delivery of the day, the GTA was in danger of falling in to this trap.  The delivery style of the many sessions were very similar, and there was little time for true reflection and face-to-f

How can CPD be made really effective?

Often, it seems that CPD is still seen as courses away from school.  This isn’t a problem, but what happens when the participant returns to school often is.  What happens is that the learning often stops at the end of the conference / course. It goes without saying, that for CPD to be really effective, the learning gained must be passed on and engaged with after the event has closed. I have found that this hasn't been the case during three recent encounters with high quality CPD.  This post aims to provide three short case studies. 1. Microsoft Partners in Learning Stuart and Kristen do a great job with the UK arm of Partners in Learning (PIL).  I got involved this time last year after being spurred on to enter their Innovative Teacher Award by a blog post by Ollie Bray. So far I have attended the UK Innovative Teaching Forum , the European Innovative Teaching Forum and the Microsoft Fun Free Friday . I have already discussed how conversations always centred around lea

3 MiFi initial review

For the past two years I have been using a Vodaphone mobile internet dongle .  It’s done well and I have no complaints.  The main restriction was that I could only connect one device.  This meant that with iPhone tethering I could accommodate only 2 devices. Firstly, why do I need mobile internet? I commute 38 miles to work, quite often by train.  I find that having mobile internet allows me to be productive. Mobile dongles are an effective way of negotiating internet filters for staff use in planning and preparing lessons. This is my main use of mobile internet – I often had the dongle on the go all day, 5 days a week when at work. I am often at conferences and events that have either poor, or non-existent wifi. So why the 3 MiFi ? The device allows me to connect up to 5 devices – great for collaboration at work when we want to use blocked sites. In comparison, I feel restricted by the single dongle.  Now I could get together some colleagues, head out onto th