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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GA CPD Courses for 2013-14

The details of the CPD courses being offered by the GA in the new academic year have been released, and are available for booking now.
Visit the website for details of all the courses.

I'm delighted to say that I will be leading the following days... at various venues around the country from the middle of November through to June 2014...
Hope to see some of you at one of these events...



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Monday, June 17, 2013

Last post

For all future geographical information, please visit Living Geography.
Thanks for reading for all these years :)

Friday, June 07, 2013

Some news...

Over on LivingGeography - another chapter about to start...

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

40 years ago today...

40 years ago today, an LP was released which 'broke the rules'...
Tubular Bells was the work of teenage Mike Oldfield. He was backed by Richard Branson, who decided to create a record company called 'Virgin Records' so that he could release the album. Mike played all the instruments, and multi-tracked them. He created a continuous piece of music, rather than a lot of singles.

I first heard Tubular Bells when I was aged 10 or 11. My uncle Steven had a copy, and played it all the time when I went round to my nana's house. I loved it so much that I bought my own copy.

I have probably played this album well over a thousand times in my life. I have seen it performed live several times, and was also present at the world premiere of the 3rd version of the album - getting very wet on Horse Guards Parade.
Oldfield has also recorded other albums which together have formed the soundtrack to my life for the past 40 years.

Ommadawn is my 'train journey' album - 'Hergest Ridge' is my 'relaxation' album, and 'Crises' reminds me of my visit to Norway, and listening to 'The Lake' by the most wonderful glacial lake on a balmy evening...



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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

LocateStreet

Here's a mention for a new Geography game called LOCATESTREET 

This is a 'variation' on GeoGuessr, with various points being offered for guidance, although the Elevation option doesn't offer that much help...

You can choose to play on a Global basis, or other scales.

You are presented with 4 options of location to choose from, and if you pick the correct option you can earn bonus points for clicking on the actual location on a map...
The site takes you to some fairly out of the way places... I seemed to end up on rural roads, and in cul-de-sacs on industrial estates quite often.

Hardcore players should choose the GLOBAL option... and discover that South America looks a lot like Australia in places...
Choose the COUNTRY option, and explore a range of countries from a list, which includes the UK. This offers potential for a CITY based search for example.
There are also some US based Thematic search options.

The game is addictive. Had to stop myself playing on it last night....
If you get one of the highest scores so far you can enter your e-mail to be added to the High Score table. May be an incentive for some to use additional 'support' to search for business names etc., but that wouldn't be in the spirit of the game...

Also, while playing, I've come across a few random sights.
This looks like some sort of hawk diving into a field to catch something ?


And what is this bloke doing standing in the road ?


The game was developed by Nick Burkhart of Chelonia Labs in California.

As with GeoGuessr, there are various clues that you can look for to help with locating yourself in fairly random housing estates.

Telephone dialling codes tend not to be blurred out. 020 will tell you that you're in London.
If on a main road, head for junctions where there'll be road signs.
Look at the vernacular building materials - some places have distinctive stone or house designs.
Become familiar with the basic geography of London, which features heavily in the UK option.

Be aware though, that they can be misleading. I spotted a Yorkshire registration on a motorbike, which ended up being up in the far north of Scotland, flipping tourists...

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Friday, March 29, 2013

GA Conference 2013

I'm preparing my contributions to the Geographical Association Conference today.

The conference will be held at the University of Derby, which is my favourite of the three venues. It runs from the 4th to the 6th of April.

The first day of the conference doesn't involve any of the usual workshops.
I will be heading over to the Association at Work session to grab a bite to eat, and chat to Ian Cook (who features in this month's 'Geographical' magazine coincidentally) to talk about a Follow the Things project I'm doing between now and the end of June.

Later that afternoon, it's the public lecture from Ellen MacArthur, followed by the GA Awards. I know that something I worked on has won an award, and there may be a few more in the offing too...
Then it's the wine reception, followed by a few drinks with esteemed geographer colleagues...

Friday is the main day of the conference, with sessions from early in the morning to late in the evening. My draft schedule is as follows:

9am
Lecture 2
Oceans for the Geography Classroom from Jamie Buchanan Dunlop. I've worked with Jamie on three different projects this year for Digital Explorer.

10
Workshop 6
Ian Cook – Follow the Things 
A controversial choice as this clashes with Bob Digby's Presidential Lecture, but I'll be going along to get ideas and pointers for the work I'm doing with Ian. I'm sure there'll be a big turn out for Bob's lecture so I won't be missed...

11.45
Workshop 11 – SPC
I'll be going along to support SPC colleagues in their workshop.

Lunch, and a chance to network with colleagues. I'll also spend some time on the Discover the World stand to share ideas on the mission booklet which we've put together with them.

1.50
Lecture 7
David Lambert
My old boss talking about the thorny subject of progression in Geography - what's not to like.

2.55
Workshop 20
APPening Geography 
I'm up on this one. Katy Shipman and I will talk about apps, and their use in geography. We'll ask people about their favourite apps, and explore how they can support learning.

4.30
Workshop 26
I'm up on this one as well.. going to be a busy couple of hours !
Two Hundred Heads are better than one
I'm going to act as master of ceremonies, and introduce two sessions by Tony Cassidy and John Sayers. They are both on the theme of collaborative work, and the importance of sharing. 

5.35
Lecture 13
Urban Vignettes - Emma Rawlings-Smith and other colleagues who are involved in setting up a website with writing on urban areas. I'm hoping I can get across in time to join this one.

SPC Meal - down into Derby Centre for a pizza and a chat with colleagues...

GeoBeerMeet - over to the Brunswick Inn near the railway station for a gathering of teachers and some fine ale...


Sign up for the event on Google+ here

After the GeoBeerMeet I shall sleep soundly, knowing that my major contributions to the event have been concluded.
The second main day of the conference is on Saturday.

9am
Lecture 13
Digital Earth - a lecture by Karl Donert, related to an EU project which I am involved in, and which has taken me to various European locations... which is nice :)

10.10
Keynote – the changing Arctic
Terry Callaghan lecture - an important element of the conference is the chance to develop knowledge and skills in new areas. This is an area that I've been focussing on with some reading, and will develop further for some writing I'm planning in 2013 and beyond.

11.45
Mission Explore fieldtrip - a quick trip out, with a trial of some of the missions in the book

1.50
Forum
Bringing knowledge back in
A range of contributors from the various UK nations...

If you're going along to the conference, come and say hello.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

John Muir Trust Mission Booklet

For the last few months we've been working with the amazing folks at the John Muir Trust to put together a booklet of missions which marries the Mission:Explore style of missions to the aims of the trust, which are to encourage young people to experience the landscape, and care for wild places.
John Muir was the father figure of nature conservation, and quotes from him have been included to connect the missions with some of the ideas that he had over a century ago.
The resource is part of the celebrations for the Year of Natural Scotland, 2013


You can get to see the missions on this GRAPHICLY page. It will be available in other locations shortly, and I'll add the links to those as they emerge.

Here's a slide that I've used in many of my presentations...
Get out and about this Easter... and don't forget to take the opportunity to Mission:Explore...