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Showing posts from January, 2011

Mission:Explore – it does exactly what it says on the tin.

It’s almost a year since The Geography Collective launched Mission:Explore as a book .  Since then, we have created a website and iPhone, iPad App . 2011 is going to be even bigger for us.  There are a number of projects in the pipeline, including the launch of books two and three. These are available to pre-order and will be targeted at those that travel and those that go camping .  Just as a reminder though, Mission:Explore is not just for kids ;-) Image: Bryan Ledgard

What could be the impact of The White Paper on Geography?

This will be of interest to Geography Teachers and Geography Activists. This post is a window into a mind that is  making its mind up and is informed by talking to colleagues through the Portsmouth RGS network, the Geographical Association’s (GA) Secondary Phase Committee and the Geography Department in which I work. It was some thinking done for the Education Committee Meeting of the GA for a presentation. I subsequently wasn’t able to speak to the whole group, so have posted the thoughts here. I would like to draw you attention to the possible actions toward the bottom of the post. What follows are thoughts in progress. Overall - my Blog My philosophy: Gove isn’t in my classroom, department or school. But neither is the GA / RGS / LA / Although the White Paper doesn’t mention technology or creativity, that doesn’t mean that will stop.  In fact, maybe it’s a positive as maybe technology has become the norm so doesn't need to be mentioned ;-) We need as a profess

To Infinity and Beyond PowerPoint

This post is primarily aimed at the PGCE students who came along to the session this afternoon. I know that I may have bombarded you with alternatives to PowerPoint tools, so I’ve put everything together in one place. Remember, please get in touch if you need some help! Why PowerPoint? The main tip is to think carefully about whether PowerPoint is the correct tool to be using.  Would it be better to: Get pupils outside? Use a worksheet, model, demonstration, video….? What to do next? •Start a Blog •Read teacher blogs – some of the links below are great places to start. •Get on to Twitter •Come along here on 8th March – Free RGS Network Meeting You could also check out the Partners in Learning YouTube channel for ideas of how Office can be used. For example, this Innovid shows you how to add interactive text boxes . What other resources are there? Remember the caveats given during the session – talk things over with your school mentor, and if you’re unsur

BrainPOP UK in an App!

I find the short videos produced by BrainPOP UK very useful when I need to get an idea across quickly.  I’ve even used their videos in the run up to GCSE examinations for quick revision. As we try to make Geography relevant to young people our department often takes time to explore events in the news.  The Haitian Earthquake or Icelandic Dust Cloud of doom are good examples. This is where a very useful feature of BrainPOP UK comes in: their free spotlight video.  Although not as good as a subscription, this allows geographers to explore. In the caser of the Icelandic Dust cloud of doom, the video explained the different types of volcanoes.  Now this feature is available as an iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad App. The app allows you to view the current free video and take a little quiz.  Although this summative style of quiz is not always appropriate, it can provide a quick summary of a students understanding on a simple topic. This week’s video is all about bogies! I should l

Guest Post: Space Explorers, Space Creators

The latest edition of the Geographical Association’s Magazine is available to members for download today .  One of the articles was written by my colleague Jo Debens (@GeoDebs ).  I asked her to provide a summary of the article for this blog.  The project is up for a European Innovative Education Award later in the year. If you would like to read the article in full, grab a copy of the GA Magazine, or come along to our lecture at the GA Annual Conference in April. Space Explorers : Space Creators My name is Jo Debens and I am a Geography Teacher at Priory School Specialist Sports College in Portsmouth. This is a large city comprehensive school on a difficult site and was one of the many schools destined for the ill-fated Building Schools for the Future project. The original aims of this project were to enable and empower young people at Priory School by developing their confidence with communication, to increase their understanding of spaces, and to use student voice to influen

Looking toward 2011

It’s going to be a big year 2011 not withstanding the wedding of the year to look forward to in August (that’ll be mine, not our future King!), there are many exciting projects to look forward to.  In previous year’s I have made a habit of publishing goals.  In retrospect, these always seem either a little ambitious (nothing wrong with that) or aren’t completed. Another complicating factor is that I never really know where the year will lead, or what opportunities may present themselves.  I remember being a teenager determined to spend all of his pennies in the holiday slot machines of our Tenby campsite, passing up the opportunity on the way to spend some time with two girls climbing. I soon learnt to take opportunities, although sometimes this can leave me spread a little too thin. As a consequence, this year I’m focusing on a small number of projects that are in addition to the normal .  Here are some events and projects that I am looking forward to in 2011 (and in no particular o

The GA’s Annual Conference

April each year is time for the Geographical Association’s Annual Conference. At 2010’s conference in Derby, The Geography Collective launched Mission:Explore: And I was involved in a number of workshops and a Mission:Explore field visit . The conference is always a great opportunity to catch up with the Geography community and there is usually a great buzz. This year the event will be just up the road, and I’m going to use this post to highlight a number of workshops, lectures and events that are of interest. This is quite scary for me, as I usually like to see where events end up! The full programme is available to download here. I’ll also be tweeting during the conference using the #gaconf11 hastag . Thursday 14th April This is the pre-conference event. The main focus is a think-tank style meeting of Geography activists and members of the GA.  I’m very much looking forward though to the free Public Lecture which is being given by Mike Parker, the author of Map Addict .

Will 2011 see me complete a 365?

Last year I started a 365 using Wordpress and got a little distracted half way through, so I’m starting again in 2011 . This time I’m using Posterous as I can connect to it using the iPhone and email – meaning that I may have more of a chance of keeping it going! This is the first photograph taken during a geocaching session in Goring-by-Sea. Follow the progress here – and feel free to berate me for slacking off!

No man is an island. Looking back at 2010

As we begin 2011 it’s time to take stock of what happened in 2010. Looking back at the review of 2009 , 2010 has been a mad, crazy year! It’s a year in which collaboration has been a key factor.  It is also a year in which I have been holding on by my finger tips as the pace at times was relentless.  This feeling will have an impact on my plans for 2011. This post reflects upon the connections and professional adventures over the past twelve months.  As this is mainly for my own reflection, I have decided to do this by acknowledging the role that other people have played. I always remember being called in to the Head’s Office during my GCSE years for underachievement. I do always feel that I am sometimes coasting. I’ve tried to pick out highlights of 2010, mainly as they popped in to my head! I know that not everything or everyone is mentioned individually, but believe me when I say that if I’ve had a conversation with you this year, than you have been part of the adventure and I t