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Showing posts from May, 2012

Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Free CPD Opportunity

It’s no secret that I think the people at Partners in Learning rock.  They are genuinely interested in learning and what teachers get up to.  It’s brilliant to see that Stuart is taking the tried and tested summer camp format to his home country of Wales.  As a fellow Welshman, I know that all of the best ideas happen there The focus will be on learning – head over to the Partners in Learning blog to find out more.

TeachMeet Pompey #tmpompey

The wonderful people at Action Stations have given us the run of Action Stations on the 4th July 2012 between 6 and 8pm.  There’s even the chance to shoot at each other.  Safely of course. It  would be wonderful to see you there.  You can sign up here and tweet using the hashtag #tmpompey

Guest post from our Headteacher: Impact of Mobile @ Priory

Over the next month or so, I’m going to attempt to coax various personalities involved with the Mobile @ Priory project to give their views.  First off is our Headteacher James Humphries (@jrchumphries).   Much has been said about the support (or lack of support) from senior teams, and I have to say that James has been very supportive over the project’s life so far, especially when you consider some of the madness that I try to encourage… Here, James writes about the impact of the project: Take a walk through our school to see what impact Mobile @ Priory has had on teaching and learning. The first thing you'll notice is that no-one is getting into confrontations about mobile phones. There are no stand offs between children and teachers or huddles of pupils secretively trying to check their text messages at break time. There is a healthy use of mobile technology for communicating and social networking. As a result, behaviour is better and pupils are much more prepar

Education Blog Awards 2012

Last year I was delighted that this blog won the Best Teacher Blog in the Education Blog Awards 2011.  I always find it hard to believe that other teachers read and value what is written here.  Anyway,  thank you to the kind person who has nominated this blog again. Whether or not you vote for this blog or others, I'd encourage you to nominate your favorites here (although it says vote for me, you really don't have to):   or here   Right, back to Eurovision ;-)

Education’s view of technological change?

I’ve just finished reading Lee Child’s most recent Jack Reacher book, The Affair.  In it, Reacher reflects on the introduction of technology and new computer systems into the US Army.  He says: ‘…it was happening slowly and cautiously, with a great deal of doubt and suspicion…’ Sound familiar? I’m happy to say that the description can not be applied to Priory Geography.

Let me introduce you to @PrioryBench #priorybench

Linked to the Mobile @ Priory project that I’ve been developing over the past year or so, the Design technology team led by teacher Alex Blandford came up with the idea of creating a bench that would tweet and tell the story of its transformation from neglected item to restored centrepiece.  Lee and Ian at Borbonesa have put together a neat folding project book as students focus on the 6 R’s of sustainability.  The idea is the bench will tweet out images during its transformation. During the secret classroom show case, the bench travelled to a few locations around the school, including the roof, the astro turf for break duty and the main hall.  It was amazing to witness the bench achieve celebrity status as young people scrambled to scan the QR code, created with the school’s laser cutter. Strand by for more….

Mobile @ Priory–the secret classroom

On Wednesday, we created a secret classroom in the school’s main hall.  Then we invited everyone to see it.  We were showcasing the work created during the second phase of the Mobile @ Priory project.  The aim was to create some embedded learning sequences that made use of mobile devices (including pupils’ own) so that the mobile device policy could be built upon.  Of course, in the tradition of guerrilla ( chalk graffiti for example) we wanted to hold a trade fair with a difference.  An overview of the project is represented in this graphic, I’ve tried to avoid any jargon or too many subject specific terms. I’ll try to describe the main findings before digging deeper.  I’ll post about each individual lesson separately, hopefully as a guest post from each teacher.  These findings are preliminary as we are still evaluating. Also, I’m keen to point out that the use of mobile devices is only presented as tool for learning.  Like any other tool, including glue sticks and mud, u

Create custom geology maps–#fschack news

I like iGeology (even got to see a Beta version of the 3D '# Augmented reality version hopefully coming soon) and I was thrilled to meet the team behind it and other British Geological Survey goodness.  One thing I really do love is the new(ish) ability to create custom geological maps that can be centred on a particular location. Such as this one based around Year 10’s fieldwork location:   At the moment, the options are limited to surface geology and earthquakes, but there is the potential to add all sorts of data in the future if there is demand.


Breakfast time at the first ever Field Studies Council Hack Day/Weekend, working on my lightning talk and feeling out of my depth (great toast though). 48 hours later and I was leaving the Slapton Lee FSC Centre buzzing with possibilities and genuinely fizzing with goose bumpy potential.  This post will be a little messy as I’m getting these ideas down as they form. I had no idea what a hack day involved before I stepped foot into the arena.  I was sceptical as so many ‘tech-ed’ conferences fizz with potential but rarely turn in to reality.  From the moment #fschack started, I was taken back by the positive fizz of excitement and hard work.  Plus, after being frustrated for years about the lack of good technology to use in the field, I left having seen at least a dozen worked up prototypes and apps.  Three of which I could see working in my setting now. I helped to set off the day by presenting some challenges from my perspective, then visited a few ‘bar camps’ which are 10-15

Digital Explorer mini-expedition: Oceans @de_Updates

Jamie and Sarah from Digital Explorer popped down to Portsmouth on Friday to work with some of our students linked to their excellent Oceans project.  The idea was to run a mini-expedition during which young people explored the issue of sea level rise. Firstly, we found some of the only sandy beach in Portsmouth and created housing developments.  Students were sored on how many developments were left standing at high tide.  Let’s just say, there weren’t many to make Jamie’s judging job too difficult…. Next, some experiments were demonstrated in order to explore the effects of polar ice melting and thermal expansion of our seas.  Both of these experiments were put together with simple equipment available from our science lab techs and shop bought. After some plastic combing, it was off to a classroom to work out the actual projections for sea level rise in Portsmouth and then a walk along some of the sea defences to reflect on whether Portsmouth City Council are doing e

FSC Hack Day - kick off

FSC Hackday challenges View more presentations from David Rogers . Feeling more than a little apprehensive and out of my depth at the moment as we wait for the start of FSC Hack Day.  This weekend event is being held at the FSC's Slapton Ley centre and aims to create technology solutions to support learning outside. I was given five minutes in which to outline some of the challenges from a secondary geography teacher's point of view.

@priorygeography–behind the scenes

I took a ridiculous amount of photographs yesterday, mainly of the 'unseen’ parts of the department.  I’m always wary of people’s imaginations about what we get up to, so maybe these will dispel a few myths @priorygeography VIEW SLIDE SHOW DOWNLOAD ALL