Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Asteroid Impact: Risky World

This is being passed around the web a lot at the moment...

Risky World starter ?
Happy New Year !

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas to all my readers...

Image by Ronald Lampitt

See you in 2009

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

Image by Eric Schockmel under Wikimedia Commons

New film from Danny Boyle: "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE"...

There's an associated feature in today's Observer, which looks at the area of Mumbai called Dharavi where the film was made...

There are some very useful descriptions of some of the inhabitants of the area, which could form the basis for classroom activities, and help to build up a picture for students.

Interesting detail on the financial surplus that Dharavi creates, which compares sharply with the huge debt that the UK has...

Other movies with associations with being filmed in 'slums':

City of God
Michael Jackson's video for "They don't care about us"- filmed in Rocinha
City of Men
Favela Rising
Line of Passage
The Constant Gardener
La Haine (?) - not quite slums...

Have I missed any ?
How do colleagues use these films ?

Check the GEOGRAPHY PAGES page on Favelas.
How accurate is the portrayal of favelas ? (Guardian article)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Planet Earth Online

A new website from the NERC: PLANET EARTH ONLINE.
Plenty of relevant material for AS / A2 topics....

Training course in Slapton

Thanks to David Holmes for passing on details of a course which is being put on by the Field Studies Council in February, specifically for centres doing the Edexcel 'A' Level Specification.

Innovative approaches to fieldwork within the NEW Edxecel specification

In February 2009 FSC Slapton Ley is offering an exciting INSET opportunity for teachers following the new Edxecel A Level specifications.

The two day course will provide an insight into how to use innovative approaches to fieldwork to deliver the new specification, along with how to make the best use of ICT materials.

To find out more please download the course leaflet below or contact the centre directly on 01548 580466.

Flyer pictured below: visit the EDEXCEL NING page for more details.

If you're doing the spec, join the NING !!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Ice, Ice Baby

Nice presentation on Iceland from Alan Doherty...

Iceland - Just ice
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: moraine ice-margins)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The disappearing High Street

A casualty of Urban rebranding schemes ?
How can it be made "vital" and "viable"....

An excellent audio-visual SLIDESHOW of a High Street, part of an excellent resource (try the tabs) on the BBC Magazine page.
Living Geography is happening on your High Street right now. Why not go down there and come back with a photostory: no more than 5 images, capture your High Street, before it disappears....

I've set up a FLICKR GROUP called "The Disappearing High Street", and kick started it with a few images from HUNSTANTON.

Add your pictures...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Urban Earth: for unequal spaces...

One of the most creative geographers I've had the pleasure of working with over the last few years is Daniel Raven Ellison.
Earlier this year, he visited London, Mexico City and Mumbai and walked across them, taking an image very 8 paces to create these compelling movies for URBAN EARTH.
Below is the MUMBAI film....
A Newcastle Urban Earth event is planned for the 25th of January 2009 - more details later.

Thanks for the mention in the end-credits too Dan... Unless if was a different Alan P...

Credit Crunch Geographies

Just putting this resource together at the weekend.
Has anyone else spotted any trends in the Credit Crunch that have been reported in the media relating to geography: these could relate to employment, consumer products, lifestyle changes, population change or other aspects...
Add comments below, particularly if there is an article which accompanies it, and provides some additional detail...

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Urban Splash in Sheffield

A useful description of the plans for rebranding these flats...

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

BETT 2009 - technology for Geography

A nicely written piece in yesterday's Education Guardian: the annual supplement for the BETT show. I've written the Geography preview for the show for the last 3 years. The image of the Nintendo DS with Sim City being played is mine too.
The ONLINE VERSION is now available.
Check out the rest of the BETT Preview too.
I'll be at Teachmeet and will be manning the GEOGRAPHICAL ASSOCIATION's STAND in the SUBJECT ASSOCIATION area on Saturday the 17th of January.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Interdependence Day Seminar

Sheffield University Geography Department - 18th November - 4.15pm
Thanks to Dr. Tariq Jazeel for inviting me to yesterday's seminar by Dr. Renata Tyszczuk from the Architecture department of the University of Sheffield on the Interdependence Day project , which looks at the nature of global environmental change, as we enter the era that has come to be known as the Anthropocene : one of human landscape- alteration and environmental instability.
It explored interdependence as framework for discussion on human alteration of the world.
It also featured the Mappae Mundi project
This project is currently being developed with partners at the Open University and is a cross-disciplinary venture between Geography and Architecture, between `writing the earth´ and `making place´. Its ambition is to `put stories back into maps´.
Renata talked about 2 events at the Royal Geographical Society, and the publication “Do good lives have to cost the earth ?
Also passed out some broadsheets from the Interdependence Day meetings, including an excellent article: “London Inside Out” by Doreen Massey, which was familiar to me from her book “World City”.
Talked about 2 story-based pieces:
We don’t know when it’s coming in (PDF download)
Relating to clothing, and connections the British Antarctic Survey, and the charity clothing shop where items were sold.
We don’t have a survival kit (PDF download)
New maps for an island planet, and ideas of provisionality and uncertainty.Thanks to Dr. Jazeel for the invitation.

One of the other groups that attended the Interdependence Day project day was RED REDEMPTION.

They have produced an intriguing CLIMATE CHALLENGE GAME, which can be played online.

Remember that your students are 'all' playing games - everyday geographies...

Ning Groups

We now have 13 groups on the Geographical Association's NING. Some are shown below:
Once you've signed up for the Ning, feel free to join an existing group, or suggest another group that you would like us to create !

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

David Lambert, Chief Executive of the GA is delivering a lecture at Sheffield University tomorrow tonight.
It's part of the Centenary Lecture Series.

Department of Geography Centenary Lecture
Geography in schools: misheard or misplaced?
Professor David Lambert (Chief Executive of the Geographical Association)
5:30 pm Richard Roberts Auditorium

I shall be in the audience, and will be doing some live blogging and also posting updates to my TWITTER FEED.

If you want to JOIN IN, then JOIN TWITTER if you haven't already and CLICK TO FOLLOW ME on TWITTER.

Will also add BLOG POSTS HERE, and depending on my internet connection (which should be OK in central Sheffield) will also upload some PICTURES....

Coming up on the 8th of December is another rather fine lecture which I shall also attend:

Department of Geography Centenary Lecture
Beyond critical - some spaces of optimism in a globalised world
Professor Doreen Massey (Open University)
5:30 pm Students' Union Auditorium

Monday, 3 November 2008

GIS Resources

Those people who are concerned about how to teach about GIS should visit the ESRI site for plenty of materials.

First of all is a powerpoint which explains ALL ABOUT GIS

Another page has links to a load of resources, including an interactive movie outlining the connections that you have with GIS through the day.

Check these resources out !

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Re-presenting Urban Space

Just listening to Dan Ellison talk on US Public Radio from last night.

You can download an mp3 of the talk, which I strongly recommend that you do.

Dan starts by referring to Doreen Massey and her work on perceptions of urban spaces and also the representation of places. He started by walking across Salisbury and exploring its ecological footprint.

He also talked about the issue of surveillance, and the issues with photography, and how he worked out the route for the walks based on inequality.

Photograph taken every 8 paces, and then turned into stop-motion films.

Also explored school geography, and how the media over-represents certain areas of cities.

Online CPD.... I urge you to listen !

Thursday, 9 October 2008

What not to do in an earthquake...

Find more videos like this on Edu4drr

Because NINGS are cool...

Dubai - wealth at the expense of....

The Guardian's G2 section yesterday had an excellent report on the inequalities that exist in Dubai between those who are financing and occupying the multi-billion pound developments, and those who are creating them.


A quote that almost echoes the construction of the Pyramids: "We need slaves to build monuments"

There is also a photo story that accompanies the piece on the Guardian's WORLD section (click MULTIMEDIA and then PICTURES). Would be very useful for the idea of INEQUALITY and UNEQUAL SPACES.

If you're reading this in Dubai, and would like some quality Geography CPD delivering, please get in touch !

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Ocean Currents

Slideshare show by Ollie Bray, who gets about a bit....

Chris Jordan Photography

A series of remarkable images can be viewed at Chris Jordan's WEBSITE.
The series called Running the Numbers explores the scale of consumption in the USA, and visualises the quantity of cigarettes, paper cups etc that are disposed of...
The image below (which is just a small part of a much larger images, visualises the commercial aircraft movements over the USA in just 8 hours: over 11 000 trails...)

The Biofuel Song

This is a great resource for those augmenting an exploration of BIOFUELS.
Listen to the song, which is excellent, and then perhaps produce a lyric which provides the alternative viewpoint...

"Bio fuel, will only help the hungry !
Bio fuel, brilliant idea !", for example... (and not a very good example at that...)

Nice work by livebroadkast
Do you prefer the straight, or are you a sucker for the dubmix !

NING Update

The Ning continues to develop in a very pleasing way.
Plenty to keep everyone involved. Loads of discussions and sharing...
Thanks to all those who are members, and if you aren't yet, then go HERE and sign up.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Getting Ready to Teach Event

Arrived in my inbox today:

We appreciate that it is not always easy for you to attend face-to-face training events away from your school or college. With this in mind we have developed this event, the first in a series of online events to support your new GCE 2008 specification.

This interactive 1-hour event is designed to:

• amplify the key points from the recent GCE 2008 Geography Getting Ready to Teach events

• identify and resolve subject specific FAQs

• provide an open online forum to help resolve subject specific queries.

Participating in online training sessions is a simple process – and you can use the session to train a whole department. Prior to the event you will be sent an email with a web link to check that your PC can run the event and a link to the virtual training room. You will also need to ensure that your PC is sound enabled and are advised to log-in to the event 15 minutes before the start. This is so we can make sure any potential connection problems can be ironed out.

Once in the training room and the event has started, you will be able to see the presentation, hear the presenter and ask questions through the onscreen chat window. Questions will be answered live with the answers collated and used to populate our Ask Edexcel online Q&A facility.

To participate in this training session please do one of the following using the event details below:

• email trainingbookings@edexcel.org.uk

• book using the online form on the Edexcel website www.edexcel.com/training

• call the dedicated GCE enquires team on 0844 576 0025

When booking, please quote the event code, your name, centre name and centre number.

Date & Time

Wedesday 1st Oct 2008

16:00 – 17:00

GCE Geography


Saturday, 20 September 2008

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Flooding Hazards Lecture

Printed off handouts and final touches to presentation for lecture at the Roscoe Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester tomorrow at 5.15pm.
Full lecture and notes will be available to download after the event. I will add to SLIDESHARE.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Need an idea fast ?

Try the Geography Event Generator !
Thanks to John Davitt for the original idea at his NEW TOOLS website, which is well worth a visit. I blogged about it last week...
I contacted John and sent him a set of 20 'geographically-related' ideas and possible ways of presenting the work, and he very kindly produced a custom-made GEOGRAPHY GENERATOR.
Press the button that says CLICK HERE, and you'll get a new idea for how to teach, or present a particular topic.

If you make use of this tool, e-mail and let me know...
Also, if you have ideas for other similar topics and/or methods of delivering them, please get in touch, or let John know direct, as he's collecting more ideas....

Monday, 8 September 2008

Gold Farming

A new unit, written by Simon Oakes, is now available on the Geography Teaching Today website. If you have not checked out this website before (which is possible I suppose....) you need to go there now.
The GEOGRAPHY OF STUFF is good for the growing area of "Living Geography" as it tackles issues that are very much related to students' daily lives. It also ties in very nicely with areas growing out of the Pilot People as Consumers unit. Although for KS3, it could potentially be extended...

A related area is that of GOLD FARMING.
I am very much interested in the idea of the employment of people who are essentially carrying out repetitive task in virtul gaming environments in order to create 'virtual wealth', which is then passed on to people who can afford to pay for it, but can't be bothered to play the game themselves..
This BBC ARTICLE provides more detail on this fascinating employment example. But what SECTOR does it fall into ?

Friday, 5 September 2008

Rural Change from Above - now and then...

Britain from Above from the BBCGot the hardback book of the series yesterday in my friendly local multinational supermarket at half price.
The website has some nice additional features now, such as some clips and additional resources.
A pity that the Google Earth layer comes up with a page error...

Interestingly, there is a link through to a series of vintage programmes which have an aerial photography theme.
Click the link HERE, or the image below to visit the website area.

For the first time, BBC Archive has gathered together more than 60 years of broadcasting from the air.

Watch as cities grow, motorways are introduced and the sea continues to batter the coast. The aerial recordings provide a glimpse into Britain's past and ever changing landscape.

The aerial story of the UK has been narrated by some of our most beloved personalities. In programmes taken from the famous series Bird's Eye View you can hear poet John Betjeman narrating a personal, idealised journey across Britain, and read never-before released correspondence from the great man himself.

This collection captures views of the landscape that in many cases no longer exist, such as the thousands of miles of countryside that were torn up to make way for new motorways.

There's a fascinating programme from 1969 which explores how the countryside was threatened by development. Nice jazzy music by John Dankworth... Forty years on, what has changed ?

And to finish off our BBC connection, why not head over to the BBC MOTION GALLERY, where there is a collection of ROYALTY FREE aerial clips to download.

Glastonbury Timelapse from the BBC

For those looking at the impact of music festivals...

Disaster Movie

Don't forget to visit GEOGRAPHY AT THE MOVIES for inspiration and resources.
One that might be useful is the DISASTER MOVIE posted by David Bibby (effect ?)
Click the image to watch or download (35Mb file)


A possible location study for you...
The Hull University Geography department have produced an online guide to the island of TENERIFE, which has a great deal of geographical interest in it. It's designed for students who are visiting Tenerife on field trips.

A second project that folks doing Edexcel Geography may want to make use of is one called MEMORIES OF HULL, put together by PhD student Tegwen Roberts. Even if you are not familiar with Hull, the particular method that is used is interesting.
It uses a series of photographs, and people are then invited to write down their memories of that particular location. This could be adapted as a method of collecting information about change in urban areas. Pictures could be stored on an electronic device and then showed to people near the location, to ask for any memories that they might have...

Also don't forget the classic materials on the EROSION OF THE HOLDERNESS COAST.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Starting to teach...

OK, so some of us are starting to teach the new specification this week. Exciting times !
Don't forget the Edexcel Geography NING, where 240 people are now sharing ideas and resources (well, some of them - don't be shy !) and gaining the benefits of NETWORKING.

There has been plenty of relevant news over the last few weeks to keep us all up to date with new case study material to supplement the new textbooks.
  • Crime maps published by the Metropolitan Police and other police areas
  • The arrival of Hurricane Gustav and evacuation of New Orleans
  • Thanks to Alix on SLN for tip-off to excellent article in The Guardian on the CHAR dwellers of Bangladesh.
The Jamuna river is often called the "Jamuna braid". It is 22km at its widest point and it splits into estuaries and channels, diverging and reconnecting to create a shifting landscape that is part land, part water. It is in the Jamuna braid that most of Bangladesh's chars are located. The chars - islands made of river silt - are strange land formations that inhabit the space between land and water. Every year in Bangladesh, new chars emerge out of the river's changing course; and as they appear, old ones are returned to the water, swallowed by the river as though it is collecting on an old debt. The story of these chars, and the people who inhabit them, is a catalogue of migrating loss, of land earned and forsaken.

Extract from article by Tahmima Anam

Associated with this is an excellent picture set with informative captions that has been placed on FLICKR by the BBC WORLD SERVICE.
The FLICKR set is one of several, and features the inhabitants of the BOU DOBA CHAR.

Just developing a theme on this for my SAGT Presentation in October on Geography and the Media, and this is going to go in there....

  • Also check out the book: THE BOTTOM BILLION. This has been recommended to me by a couple of people, and also some members of the NING.

This looks at the important information that although we often talk about the dramatic rate of growth that is taking place in the developing world, we need to remember that of the 5 billion people in the developing world (with 1 billion in the developed world), it is the 'middle' 4 billion that are seeing the greatest improvement: the bottom billion are not sharing in this: see the graph below for a visual on that...

An associated resource is a nice FLASH based resource produced by the Royal Geographical Society, which asks students to work out where all the world's billionaires are located.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Flood Simulation Game

Thanks to John Barlow and his new departmental blog for guiding me to FLOODSIM.

This is a flood management simulation produced by the insurers Norwich Union (or AVIVA as they are being 'rebranded'...)

The landing page for the game features some rather 'good' simulated pictures of inundated city centres, including Manchester, York and Norwich.
Head over and have a go...

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Ning action...

The NING is now closing in on 200 members...

Try the BUILDING THE BEST CITY game - can students create a sustainable city design ?

Saturday, 12 July 2008

It's a NING thing...

...and it's growing.
Now over 150 members at the EDEXCEL NING.
Resources have started to come in following an appeal for members to post them. We now have a Scheme of Work for Rebranding Places thanks to Natalie Garthwaite, and Daniel Mace has posted Going Global powerpoints. Thanks also to other members who have added contributions and started discussions.
If you haven't joined, then get along there now.

Article on using NINGS to support students (and teachers) is also included in the latest edition of Tony Cassidy's CITAL NEWSLETTER.
Check out the blog HERE to download the document.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Rural Urban... The Business of Farming

Down on the farm.

Over to Hall Farm, Wickmere (between Aylsham and Holt) today for a 6th Form Student Day organised by Holt and District Farmers Club.
Took minibus full of students - weather was fine - in fact I've got a sunburnt neck... - and had a farm tour which included 7 stops where we had talks from Bernard Matthews representatives, cattle managers, farmers, potato marketers, agronomists and people from British Sugar. Thanks to Bill, a potato farmer himself, who took us round.
There was a very nice glossy booklet full of very useful information on management and economics of the farm to take away with us, and at the end of the trip there was a free HOG ROAST, which was much appreciated by all (I had a cheese and cucumber sandwich...)
Below is a sample of pictures for a taster of the day...
If you teach in a school in Norfolk it is much to be recommended, especially as it is "my favourite price"...
Good to meet up with several colleagues from other schools, and thanks to Miss Muncaster for her excellent navigation on those windy country roads with the grass growing down the middle... Here is a sample of some of the pictures I took, with some more in my new FLICKR set. Feel free to use appropriately (Creative Commons licensed)

Thanks to all involved in the organisation of the event...

Thanks to all involved in the organisation of the event...

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Year 13 Revision Topics

OK - just the SYNOPTIC to come...
The A2 Human paper was fairly straightforward...

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Life Expectancy Increases

Via Val Vannet's HigherGeogBlog.
What reasons can you come up with for the changes shown on these maps ?
What changes can you see ?
Are there any areas which have experienced a larger / smaller than average increase in life expectancy ?

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Gratuitous award picture ;)

Going Global book by Guardian

Flick read through this book the other day. Published by "The Guardian" - looks to be rather useful for the, er... "Going Global" unit... £9.09 from Amazon rather than £12.99 in bookshops.