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Showing posts from November, 2010

Encouraging Enquiry for Controlled Assessment

A little while back the department developed the approach to geographical enquiry below: After discussion, it became clear that pupils struggled with the first stage of enquiry: Asking questions.  At GCSE in trail Controlled Assessments, it was clear that if the questions were poorly defined, then the subsequent data collection, presentation, analysis and conclusion would suffer. Introduce some random objects. We noticed that quite often young people are expected to be creative without any form of warm up.  We introduce the objects and then ask the class to develop a range of geographical questions linked to that object.  Take the coat hanger for instance: Why is this coat hanger made in China? Where is China? Who made this hanger? Where are my clothes made? How could this hanger be reused? Is G-Star a globalised brand? Do G-Start use sweatshops? This activity can be carried out with any object.

Portsmouth PGCE Enquiry Session

This post supports today’s session.  The slideshare are embedded below – please feel free to get in touch if you would like to see where they fit in! Also, try to join the Partners in Learning Network for a lot of free resources, and follow the #ukiefuk and #itmeet hashtag for two conferences next week. Especially if you are interested in using technology to transform learning. Getting to grips with enquiry View more presentations from David Rogers . I’ve also included the responses from Twitter during the session, well worth adding to your followers list while you get started! Here is the video highlighted by Doug Belshaw that explains Twitter in education in just 60 seconds:   @GeoBlogs – Follow conferences with inspirational speakers e.g. #nc10 ; crowdsource ideas; get feedback on work. @paulhaigh – Split social into facebook and professional networking to another (e.g. twitter) and get personalised CPD for life @jobadge – Why bother with twitter? Hundreds

It’s half way through Movember!

I’m not a huge fan of some charity challenges.  Some mass Three Peaks events for example I consider to be irresponsible as well as unsustainable.  However, in a bid to use a little less titanium (from razor blades) and to get out of the house a little earlier in the morning, I’ve donated my top lip to Prostate Cancer.  I started the month cleanly shaven, and now it’s half way through! Thanks to the awesome support of some blog readers, £200 has been raised so far, and over £500 between our team members of ‘No Mo Fo’. In total, the UK has raised over £2 million for Prostate Cancer Charities . I’m always uncomfortable asking for donations, but if you’d like to click here.

Freshwater Awareness Week – new Mission:Explore missions free to download

14th-20th November is Geography Awareness Week and focus is on freshwater.  At the request of My Wonderful World - National Geographic’s campaign for geography, the Geography Collective created a booklet of 7 Freshwater Mission:Explore style missions.  You can download all 7 missions from the ' Learn about Freshwater ' section of the site here . ( Thanks to Rich Allaway for the words )

Win free bespoke missions to promote you / your business / your group on the Mission Explore website and App.

As regular reader will know, I’m involved with The Geography Collective.  Another of the collective, Daniel, has written this guest post: We are offering 10 organisations the opportunity to create bespoke activities for free on Mission:Explore . All you have to do is have a good idea. Mission:Explore includes over 1,000 missions. There are location specific missions like ‘ Share tee with the Queen ‘ and anywhere missions like ‘ Flash dance! ‘ which is sponsored by National Geographic Education as part of Geography Awareness Week . Missions can be located anywhere in the world and appear as sponsored by our parnters. Each mission usually costs £99 a year (much less on an ‘unlimited’ plan) and includes a bespoke activity, your logo, a link, some words about who you are and a waterproof sticker. Above is an example from Ed Stafford and here is one from The Workshop in central London. To win a bespoke mission all you need to do is: 1. Come up with a good mission idea

Microsoft’s UK Innovative Education Forum 2010 (#ukief10)

It was great to see Stuart Ball announce the UK Innovative Education Award winners over on the Partners in Learning blog earlier today.  It was around this time last year that I found myself at the beginning of a journey that is continuing to this day. I was expecting to be thrown into a corporate world where Microsoft would be force fed to me as the only option. This couldn’t have been further from the truth as what I found was an incredibly supportive community of teachers and professionals that talk about learning. This year I am also delighted that one of the Geography team that I work with is an award recipient! Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to finding out more about each project at the event on the 29-30th November.  If you haven’t registered yet, I would urge you to do so. So many congratulations to this year’s winners – whether you get to the European event or not, your Partners in Learning adventure is just about to begin! You can follow the teach

The dice lesson

I plan to talk about how a little less planning can lead to more personalisation and better learning outcomes at the Microsoft Teacher Meeting (#itmeet ) on the 29th of this month. The event is part of the build up to the Innovative Education Forum (#ukief10 ). Of course, planning is an essential part of the learning process and I’m not suggesting that teachers should stop planning. Far from it. One example is to use a dice to decide.  Divide the class into six teams. Ask the teams to decide upon a variable, in this case how to present the project; example key questions to investigate and the number of lessons and homework activities that should be devoted to the project. This can easily de adapted and encouraging negotiation, creative thinking and team building. Add the scraps of paper to the dice. Ask a student to roll the dice. Accept the outcome.

Got a smartphone? Then these are the gloves for you!

Regular readers will know about my fetish for good quality outdoor gear.  When in Edinburgh last week, I decided to introduce my son to the wonders of the gear shop, and came across these North Face Gloves .  They have two static patches on the thumb and forefinger, allowing you to use your iPhone while keeping your fingers warm.  I tested them in Iceland scrambling up a glacier – nice kit!