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

• book using the online form on the Edexcel website

• 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.