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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ewan McIntosh

Channel 4

21st Century Professional Networking: 10.30 at SECC

Blogged as it happened by "the geek at the back who's the only one with a laptop open..." ;)

Any errors in the semantics of what Ewan said are entirely mine...

Referred to Richard Teese Keynote from yesterday: "If you're a teacher you need a personal and professional network."
Proving that it works is an issue: no data which actually supports the idea that it's "worth it"
If used, it changes practice for the better. The users "know" that it does.

Not too many tools mentioned.
3 tools included, and "6 weeks deadline" to do it or you'll never do it...
Trying to satisfy students with the same materials that had been used in the 1980's - need to move the curriculum / pedagogy on...
"Don't tell the dinosaurs the meteors are coming "

BECTa research on use of social media (interviewed hundreds of learners)
Co-ordinating activity (and firming up plans)
News Map: Worldmapper.... 90% of AV output from LA based media

School closure campaigns: Facebook

Showed connections relating to the media and the classroom....
Media literacy: can't edit the Internet: once up it stays up....
Teachers as gatekeepers can be negative: look at technology or new pedagogy
Writing a small aspect of the way that people communicate.
Gatekeepers can also OPEN the gate as well as CLOSE it.
Digital immigrants / natives nonsense - children didn't grow up with the internet as it exists now
Everyone STILL has to learn.
Number 1 factor is the teacher.
The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.
S. Korea / USA - recruitment of graduates into the teaching profession: action research - teachers need to be involved in their profession and pedagogy.

The only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction.

Delivering for every child
Concern about the middle band: "only got 3 colours of paper..."

1. Ordinary tools, extraordinary effects
Tanya Byron mentioned that the technology itself is not transformative
Clay Shirky: technologically boring tools create change...
Filtering: also mentioned at Teachmeet: breaking up words, spelling errors...
"Small passionate communities" - online communities of practice
GLOW: small 'villages'

Digital media
Tagging: the new 'filing'... Media literacy: not safety

Small passionate groups creating themselves...
Geography: different new geographies...

For more, check out the SLIDECAST on SLIDESHARE...

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Want a new job ? Why not apply for my old one ?

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One from TeachMeet....
Will get my kids on these!

Unfortunately, the music got too annoying...

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Just digesting all the material from the Scottish Learning Festival.
A range of posts will appear over the next week or so (although I have another big project to finish first) on LIVING GEOGRAPHY.One good moment was seeing Val Vannet's presentation on the SMARTBOARD stand. She had made imaginative use of the various features of the Smart Notebook 10 software (which is very useful: I have it on my laptop even though I no longer have my Smartboard.
Interesting tip that I hadn't been aware of was the automatic conversion of Quicktime to FLV, which can then be viewed in the Smartboard document.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scottish Learning Festival
Head over to LIVINGGEOGRAPHY to see the latest posts on the last 2 days up in Glasgow.
Now en route back south, with some book editing ahead of me to pass the time (and also take a few piccies out of the window...)
One of the bonuses was meeting up with Val Vannet again and seeing her presentation on virtual fieldwork on the Smartboard stand...
Before you do, please check out the details on the new LIVING GEOGRAPHY regional conferences. They are going to be very exciting !

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If you're in Sheffield on the 31st of October get yourself down to the Showroom to hear my friend Rob Hindle read from his collection "Neurosurgery in Iraq".

This is Rob's first collection of poetry, although he did publish a sequence of poems on the Sheffield Flood, and has had material in various anthologies and publications. He is also a regular at local poetry festivals.

I have read the collection and there are some wonderful pieces in there, some of which also have added resonance: I too remember Connell's dog, and the washer women in the gipsy 'district' of Madrid across the road from where Rob lived for a time.
Some pieces are developed from blog postings, and there are quite a few geographical references in there too...

Rob Hindle writes movingly and powerfully of Spain and South Yorkshire and beyond, captured and then liberated in a language that sings – Ian McMillan

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Did you attend a CfBT COURSE last year for the new Geography KS3 ?

If you DIDN'T, you're a Geography teacher in the UK, and you don't know what I'm on about then please get in touch...

If you DID, here's some information that the National Subject Leads: Ruth Totterdell and David Rayner wanted passing on...

The CfBT project supporting the implementation of the new secondary curriculum has got further funding until April 2009.

During this period we will be developing some further video case studies for the website www.newsecondarycurriculum.org

We are also aiming to provide support for the implementation of the new PoS through further CPD sessions to local networks of teachers.

As a regional advisor I would be happy to lead another session for your teacher network.

The session could be customized to suit the needs of the teachers in your network group and to encourage them to use the new PoS as an opportunity to reinvigorate geography teaching. We are currently working on ways we can support teachers in getting started with GIS, in encouraging learning outside the classroom, and good practice in planning quality units of work.

Please do get in touch and let me know if you would like some help.

Mean while I am sending you an email you may like to forward to all the geography teachers in your network that has some links to new resources that will be of use in their key stage 3 teaching.

Here are some links to resources that we hope you will find useful in your planning;

The Geography teaching today website has some more resources to help you in your new KS3.

Do check out http://www.geographyteachingtoday.org.uk/ks3-resources/resource There are several new resource units for KS3 including ‘The Geography of my stuff’, which explores food miles, child labour and online purchasing and ‘Africa; a continent of contrasts’ which introduces students to the huge variation in geography that exists within the complex continent of Africa and focuses on Sudan and Ghana as case studies.

The GA has published the next two books in the Geography Teachers toolkit; ‘Into Africa’ and ‘British or European; who do you think you are?’. ‘Moving stories’ is already out. To buy on line go to http://www.geography.org.uk/shop/shop_newbooks.asp?section=newbooks

The Ordnance Survey Free Maps for 11-Year-Olds scheme is now up and running for 2008. If you haven't already received your invitation letter, which contains the unique username and password for your school, you will do so shortly. The closing date for all orders is 30 November 2008. For further information visit http://freemaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/freemapsfor11yearolds/.

Are you teaching Antarctica? Last year two geography teachers and two science teachers went on an expedition to Antarctica with the Fuchs Foundation. The teaching resources they developed plus some accompanying Teachers TV programmes are now available on http://www.fuchsfoundation.org/page/19/educational-resources.htm. In fact the Fuchs Foundation is planning a second Antarctic expedition on which there are places for four science or geography teachers, so check that out if you fancy a challenge for 2009!

Have you heard of ‘The Box’? it is a year-long project run by BBC News to tell the story of international trade and globalisation by tracking a standard shipping container around the world. A container has been painted and branded and a GPS transmitter has been bolted on. You can follow its progress on a map. There will be reports of the box’s journey and what it’s carrying to whom, telling the individual stories behind what makes the global economy tick. Currently it is transporting whiskey from Scotland to Shanghai! Perhaps a good way to illustrate globalization and brush up on a few atlas skills! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/business/2008/the_box/default.stm

Are you proud of your geography department? Do you think it teaches quality geography? The GA runs a Geography Quality Mark scheme. There are free Quality Geography conferences to provide a great opportunity to discuss and develop what we mean by 'quality geography' and to explore the nature, effects and impact of the Geography Quality Mark. The conferences are; Central London: Tuesday 3 March 2009 and Birmingham: Tuesday 10 March 2009.

More details from http://www.geography.org.uk/secondary/secondaryqualitymark/

Although the CfBT project has no further large scale events planned, the GA are launching a series of conferences focusing on Living Geography during 2009. Check the website at: http://www.geography.org.uk/events/regionalconferences/


Teachmeet Animoto for my Meme / Ning thing...

Here is my Animoto 'movie' thingy for Teachmeet 2008...

I did a quick 'riff' on using Nings to network, and how they are used for Professional Development.

Will also do a quick demo of NINGS and their features...

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Latest issue now available to download from GA website.
Features items on:
  • What does the GA do ?
  • An exploration of Geography within the curriculum by Professor David Lambert
  • Details on Conference 2009
  • Background to the Quality Marks
  • A report from Helen Cowlan in Brunei
  • Details on new resources for geography teachers
  • Primary Geography focus
  • My regular 'Webwatch' feature


Monday, September 22, 2008

Participatory Geography

One area that I have been getting involved with as part of my new role is the whole area of PARTICIPATORY GEOGRAPHY and LIVING GEOGRAPHY (of which much more to come in 2009)

David Rogers, fellow member of the SPC has produced a handy suggested "definition" on his blog. Here is his take on it from earlier this month.

a. Pupils involved in creating and evaluating the curriculum
Pupils making informed personal choices

c. Pupils informing and influencing their peers and family
Pupils contacting influential individuals and organisations

One person who takes this idea of participation to its extreme is a 'partner in Geography' of mine called Dan Raven Ellison. He has just completed a remarkable trio of adventures called URBAN EARTH. Read the description of his travels on the BLOG....
You can see Dan at the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers conference in OCTOBER (I'll be there too...)

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not had a bit of Jazz for a while.
Just came across this on YouTube while looking for something else..
Superb late night tune... Nice...

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Friday, September 19, 2008

The Cerne Abbas Giant was in the news earlier in the week.Image by Flickr user johnelamper, kindly made available under Creative Commons

The priapic figure on the hill had become more difficult to see, because vegetation and moss has obscured the chalk outline. A wet summer has been blamed, along with an absence of grazing sheep.
Volunteers started work to re-chalk the giant's outline.
It has one fairly obvious feature...

I liked a comment in a letter published in 'The Guardian' on Thursday.
A comment made by a boy, who asked his mother, "Why is his willy on upside down ?"


Quick Quiz...
Where does this come from ?

Hello. Hello morning. My, this is a grand way to start the day. Bit different from what it used to be, I can tell you. I can remember like it was yesterday. Coo, it wasn't half so comfortable. Took a bloke a good hour to get to work. As for the view - if you can call it a view - you needn't ask when you were getting near the town - you knew without looking. Still what could you expect with drab looking houses and ugly factories; not even a blooming place for the kids to play - poor little blighters. I tell you - by the time I got to work I was all in.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Noel Jenkins has added a juicy little post on how to GOOGLE UP your GCSE COURSEWORK

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Can you remember where you were on the 'magic' date of 08.08.08 at 8 minutes past 8.... ??
I was at Maine Road Football Ground, Moss Side, Manchester listening to the opening chords of "Shine on you Crazy Diamond"...
Here was the full set list:
Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Signs of Life, Learning to Fly, Yet Another Movie, Round & Around, Sorrow, Dogs of War, On the Turning Away, One of These Days, Time, On the Run, Great Gig in the Sky, Wish You Were Here, Welcome to the Machine, Us & Them, Money, Another Brick in the Wall (pt 2), Comfortably Numb, One Slip, Run Like Hell

Just read sad news of death of Richard Wright of Pink Floyd.
Out with the copy of 'Echoes' I think...
RIP Richard...


Thanks to Rich Allaway for making this... Very kind.
Feel free to copy and place on your own blog or elsewhere...

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Image by USGS from HERE.

Some more information on the use of GIS or Geographic Information Systems, which is part of the new KS3 PoS.
As I posted earlier, I spent Friday down in London, considering the sort of questions that teachers might be asking, and where the CfBT / GA / DCSF / QCA project could help...

First of all, how should we interpret what it says in the PoS.
It's clear that students should actually be USING GIS, and that this should be 'throughout' the Key Stage, rather than one view of it so that a 'box can be ticked'...
How can the use of GIS improve the quality of teaching and learning ? (a justification that could perhaps be used in some schools for NOT using GIS...)

We started with Fred Martin, who took us through the current state of play with GIS. These first 3 slides are taken from his presentation with thanks.
We then had David Rayner take us through some of the free online and software options (which are OK to get schools started...)

Ruth Totterdell, who set the scene for the day, also pointed out a few other locations for information on GIS:

The RGS project on GIS provides some useful reading, most of which is on pdf. http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Schools/Resources/GIS/Getting+started+with+GIS.htm

They also produced a comprehensive comparison table of the software packages.

Also look at the OS web site http://mapzone.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapzone/giszone.html.

All schools should also have the Becta booklet on ICT in Secondary geography, which is very useful.

There are a number of places that you can find examples of lesson plans. There are several on Juicy Geography, for example one on Stonehenge using Google Earth. http://www.juicygeography.co.uk/stonehenge.htm

Also check out the amazing website of the Geography department at King Edward VII, Fiveways, Birmingham (Paula Cooper’s school). http://www.ke5ways.bham.sch.uk/kegs/cpd/what_is_gis.htm . It gives some great introductions to GIS as well as some excellent lesson plans.

Most are based on Digital Worlds but there are some that use web based resources, for example census data http://www.ke5ways.bham.sch.uk/kegs/cpd/GIS/lesson_plans/mapping_census_data.pdf

For some useful ideas, try this TEACHERS TV programme as well...

Get in touch if you have GIS related queries...

Thanks to National Subject Lead Ruth Totterdell for much of the information in this blog post.
Thanks to Fred Martin for his insightful summary of "where we are now"
Thanks to National Subject Lead David Rayner for his recap on free and online GIS resources.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Enjoy my new FLICKR set for those needing some shop images, or doing coastal resorts. How many of these shops are designed for tourists rather than residents ?
You might be surprised...

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Visit Key Stage 3 Geography


Image by me...

A very pleasant day at the Royal Geographical Society on Friday for a training day for Geography Regional Subject Advisers. Thanks to Judy Mansell and co for hosting us...
The day was led by the National Subject Leads: David Rayner and Ruth Totterdell, and we also had sessions from Fred Martin, who provided an excellent overview on the use of GIS, and 2 GIS providers: Diana Freeman from the Advisory Unit with AEGIS, and James Sawle from Digital Worlds.
The CfBT support is focussing on the use of GIS technologies this year.
If you need some support with the use of GIS in your Key Stage 3 Geography teaching. get in touch, and I'll pass you on to the relevant adviser: if you teach in the East of England, you can get support from Katharine Hutchinson and I...

Perhaps the easiest thing is to have a TAXI DRIVER for a geography teacher ?
According to research by University College London, they have a particular type of brain...

Image from UCL via BBC website

And to wind down from my trip, I took my Spore creature, who I've called Ferenczvaros, out of the cell stage and on to the land !

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The TV Sitcom...There have been some classics over the years...
For those who aren't sure what they are:

A sitcom ("sit-com", "sit com") or, to give it it's full name, situation comedy is a genre of comedy performance in which recurring characters take part in humorous story lines centred on a common environment, such as a family home or workplace. Sitcoms were originally devised for the radio but today are typically found on television.

Who can forget "Fawlty Towers". Well, actually, most students have probably never seen it, as it was made before they were born, and how many of us watch TV programmes that were made before we were born ?

The 'golden age' of sit coms was probably about my youth: the late 70s, early 80s - unless you think otherwise of course. What would be the classics ?

"Terry and June" (perhaps not)
"The Good Life"
"Only Fools and Horses"
"Rising Damp"

How do modern sit coms tackle modern "geographical" themes ?
Extended or changed family structures ?
Immigration ?

Would we see a modern remake of Mind your Language or Love they Neighbour, and a latter day Alf Garnett ?

It's possible with the modern trend for sharing to see clips of most of these programmes, and even entire episodes split into "YouTube friendly" 10 minute chunks...
My interest was started by an article in The Times - link to read it here....
It talked about a remake of the classic Rising Damp, which featured Don Warrington (interesting to see that he is now in this year's 'Strictly Come Dancing' line-up...)

It's set to be written by Simon Nye, who wrote "Men Behaving Badly".

The series coincides with “room for rent” websites recording a big rise in advertisements over the past year as homeowners seek to offset living costs and first-time buyers find themselves priced out of market. Rigsby’s unlucky tenants were often students. Today lodgers are more likely to be migrant workers or young professionals saving to get on the property ladder.

The “guests” at the rundown North London establishment, the setting for In My Country, reflect Britain’s changing migration patterns. There are Polish workers on 18-hour shifts who fall asleep in a pile, a Kosovan refugee and an ex-Thai bride. Their “leader” is Navid, an Iranian immigrant down on his luck, played by the stand-up comedian Omid Djalili, who also contributed material to the series.

In My Country stars the comic Stephen K. Amos, playing Johnny, a Nigerian immigrant newly arrived in Britain, who wants to get ahead.

The executive producer of the show said:

We want to recreate a classic sitcom format but crucially as a take on 21st-century Britain. We are speaking to the immigration authorities to get real stories into the comedy.

What other geographical themes / connections can you think of ?


Thanks to Judith Rogers on SLN for providing the link to a set of over 20 ATLAS PUZZLES by National Geographic which can be completed on sreen (would work very well on an Interactive whiteboard too) which are completed to time...


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Credit Crunch - we all need cheering up a bit...

Interesting items on the news today that suggests we all need a bit of cheering up, and if you can do that you may be onto a winner.
One firm that has done this is THORNTON's the chocolate makers...

Another company proving 'resilient' in the face of the downturn is DISNEY.

Any other good news ?


Need a geographical 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....

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just renewed my FLICKR pro-account.
This website has to be in the top 10 of any geography teacher's bookmarks.
Over 2 billion images, many of them Creative Commons licensed...
Feel free to use MY IMAGES.
Don't forget you can put 200 images up for free and share them....

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Geography of Stuff

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.

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 ?

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Box clever....
Image by Flickr user splorp under Creative Commons

The BBC have branded a shipping container, and have fitted it with various GPS tracking devices, and are about to follow it as it travels around the world...

Last year, I produced a resource looking at the use of the SHIPPING CONTAINER as a box that changed the world. This came out of a book by Sarah Murray called MOVEABLE FEASTS. Click the logo below to go to the book's accompanying website...

Click THIS LINK to download a PDF from the Moveable Feasts site which looks at the birth of the shipping container...

At the moment, the BBC's branded box is in Southampton, but you can track it's progress on this MAP.
Its first journey is apparently a lorry trip up to Scotland to be loaded with whisky.... Mmmmm.... whisky....

There is a page with all the relevant information and weblinks.

I suggested on the Edexcel NING that teachers could perhaps use this as a method of exploring the idea of GLOBALISATION...

Richard Meadows instantly improved on my idea by suggesting that students could take it in turns to adopt a box for the week and produce a report when it is their turn containing information about where the box started and finished, which method(s) of transport were used to move it, what its contents were, how far it travelled etc. complete with information about the places that the box found itself in.
A nice concept from the BBC: hat tip to whoever thought of it.....
Perhaps there's some scope in producing a teaching pack with a blank map to follow and trace the route (or is that now a bit old fashioned with the INTERACTIVE MAP that shows the route anyway...)

Get in touch if you have more ideas on how to use this resource, or making the most of this opportunity to connect with geography teachers and students...

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Some more mapping-type things that I liked...

G-ECON PROJECT (another one from Infonaut blog)

I've been familiar with the outputs from the project, which is based at Yale for some time, and have used their excellent images which plot economic activity in various countries.
They have now added some other images, which can be viewed on the project's FLICKR SET.

Here are a few examples that I liked...
World elevation data mapped

World rainfall mapped...

FLOWING DATA has a very useful map of the spread of WAL MART. Visit and watch it slowly animate with the location of Wal Mart stores...

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This is a major science project which is re-imagining Manhattan, and going back 400 years to 1609, when there were only natural ecosystems occupying the area where New York now squats.
Plenty of useful educational materials.


Earth: the Biography
A nice site from the National Geographic stable. A re-branded Iain Stewart programme.
Try out this nice INTERACTIVE: can you keep the earth in balance ? Click the image to check your "Earth IQ" - after each correct answer, you'll be shown a short segment of the programme. Would make a good STARTER or "REWARD" activity.

Also a GOOGLE MAPS based HEALTH MAP of the world - for those who study HEALTH ISSUES.

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Thanks to Richard Allaway for the tip-off to this excellent desktop image.



Friday, September 05, 2008

SPORE - very exciting prospect !

Ewan is one of many who are excited about the educational possibilities of this game, launched TODAY.
SPORE explores ideas of evolution and the creation of societies and communities.

I have a copy ordered, but not received it yet...

"Spore is bringing creativity to the masses where you as a consumer watch something on TV and say I can do something better than that, I can make a better space ship than that and you go on Spore and you can make something very compelling and even better in terms of design and scope."
Thomas Vu, Spore Producer

The key to the game surviving is suggested to be "narrative density", which is a good thing to aim for when producing an educational resource I would suggest, especially if it's evident in what the students produce as a consequence...

Here's the creator: Will Wright at Ted Talks over a year ago...
The planetary editing phase looks particularly great !

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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.

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Classtools for the new term...Just a reminder of this excellent tool, which some of you may not have heard of, and others forgotten about. Click the logo to visit.
It's the work of Russel Tarr.
You can create a whole range of items which can then be uploaded to websites, or embedded into blog posts..
I'll create a few later perhaps so that you can see how they might be used...
Check it out !
My favourite price too...


Want to buy a map ?There's a company in Derbyshire called AQUA3 which sells maps, particularly LAMINATED MAPS.

For some time now, I have had an affiliate link to the site. I received my latest royalty cheque yesterday: for £11.08 (which will pay for about 2 months hosting of the website... every little helps !)

So, if you are thinking of buying some maps for yourself, or for your department, click the image below to be taken to the website, and I'll get a small percentage of anything you spend. As you can see, you'll get a discounted price....

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A new publication that can be downloaded from the BECTa site.

'Exploiting ICT to improve parental engagement, moving towards online reporting: An introduction for schools' (this publication with accompanying dvd is also available to order separately)

'Exploiting ICT to improve parental engagement, moving towards online reporting: Framework guide'

and the set of four posters to help you to assess your school's readiness for online reporting and determine priority areas of attention.


Report in today's Daily Mail.
You carefully sort out your recycling every week and put it in a separate bin...
But is it always actually recycled ?


Contacted yesterday by a graphic designer who wanted to use my picture of Rochester Cathedral on the front of a publication that she was putting together - fame at last !Click for biggery...

Ordered one of these last night...A WI-FI finder t-shirt...
One for Teachmeet and other similar events...


There has been plenty of relevant news over the last few weeks to keep us all up to date with new case study material.
  • 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.

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