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Monday, March 31, 2008

Jaime Lerner: the architect / mayor of Curitiba in Brazil: the sustainable city...

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

GA Conference 2008 : University of Surrey, GuildfordJust sorting out my luggage and various pickings from the conference, which was based in the AP building of the university. This was one of the dry moments, there were lots of wet ones...

Will post more details later in the week once I have more time, but just wanted to make a link to the BLOG of the TEACHER's TOOLKIT workshop which I was particularly involved in.
Alan Kinder opened the session, then 4 of the authors talked through some of the ideas...

Thanks to those who came along to the session...

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

GGiP Primary Scheme of Work
Well done to all concerned with this....


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just packing stuff ready to head over to Guildford tomorrow for GA Conference. Got a lot to cram in the car.
Listening again to REM at Royal Albert Hall from last week, and was reminded of this rather fine concert from my "youth"...

31 May 1989 - National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England
support: Blue Aeroplanes
set: Pop Song 89 / Exhuming Mccarthy / Welcome To The Occupation / Turn You Inside-Out / Wolves, Lower / Orange Crush / Fall On Me / Feeling Gravitys Pull / Swan Swan H / World Leader Pretend / Finest Worksong / Get Up / Pretty Persuasion / Auctioneer (Another Engine) / It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
encore 1: Stand / Sitting Still / King Of Birds / You Are The Everything
encore 2: Harpers / Summertime / Begin The Begin / Perfect Circle / Dark Globe / After Hours


Also doing a bit of planning for new projects.
Made a difficult decision today, not to apply for a wonderful opportunity at the University of Exeter: Ted Wragg Research Fellowship. Thanks to those who had helped me with my preparations.

Came across this excellent video which set me thinking about my SAGT presentation in October.



Nice work by Blair Erickson.

Also an interesting journal called AETHER.

OK, off to watch The Apprentice...
Hopefully see some of you at the GA Conference on Friday and Saturday. Come and say hello !

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Enjoyed this...

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Just browsing WEB ARCHIVE of my website. Interesting to remember how the site looked in 2002.

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Norwich Plastic Bag Free Day

This Friday, the 28th of March, in association with the Norwich Carbon Reduction Trust.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008


White Easter...

For those colleagues in the west of the country who haven't seen any of the white stuff. Some scenes from my village this morning...

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Saturday, March 22, 2008


Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at MagMyPic.com


Friday, March 21, 2008

Just been invited to speak at the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers (SAGT) Conference at the Edinburgh Academy in October. This will be my 4th consecutive year at the conference, having earlier presented sessions on digital learning resources, Google Earth, Blogs, Podcasting and Nings.
Here is the draft title for the session:

Perhaps see some of you there. I'll post the details of how to register when they come out later in the year. It's always a super conference !

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Had some filtering issues in the last few days. A new filter blocked the NING Study Support network that I use with my 6th form students, and also VOKI, which is used in a lot of schools by Geography and MFL colleagues to bring students work to life in a way that will resonate with students familiar with computer games and Wii avatars etc. Apparently the people in charge of the filtering couldn't see why I would want to use it...

Recently came across MAG MY PIC.
This produces an even wider range of magazine covers than my favourite BIG HUGE LABS site.

Also TABBLO: can make comics and photo cubes from here.

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Delivered assembly on Mark Beaumont's round the world cycle adventure to 6th form students today, and they generously donated £58 towards Mark's charities. Mark also generously donated signed photos for the winners of a prize draw.
If any colleagues want to use the presentation that I used to raise money for Mark's charities, get in touch, and I'll give you the 4Shared location.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Geography Film Festival Our World Festival
STILL TIME TO BUY TICKETS !!


Go to the GA website for details of the festival, which takes place on the day before the GA Conference 'proper' starts. It's worth starting your conference early to take in the conference.

The GA site has details of the films that are going to be shown. Each session costs just £3 !

And of course, you need to CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS !
Support the FESTIVAL.
See you there !

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Life after PeopleSeveral articles on this in the paper recently, on the same theme as WORLD WITHOUT US, which is on my bedside reading pile.
What would happen if every human being disappeared ?
This program looks at what would happen...
Get a flavour at the MINISITE.

You can see the programme on GOOGLE VIDEO



It's on the HISTORY (go figure...) CHANNEL on EASTER SUNDAY (and other showings)

Which famous building has crumbled to rust here....

Looks to be interesting viewing...

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Following a very successful event in 2007, the Geography Department at the University of Leeds are running another day for teachers. For all the details, CHECK THE WEBSITE.
This year's programme includes sessions on:

1) The fate of urban public space
2) What's happening to the rainforests ?
3) The UK energy debate
4) Who says computers and water don't mix ?
5) The geography of retail dynamics
6) Current challenges in the relationship between (physical) geography
at school and at university: A need for a new perspective ?

Hopefully see you there !

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Also check out some great resources at the THINKINGEOGRAPHY blog of Dr Andrew Lee, which I have mentioned before. This includes the recent addition of a superb new resource using Google Earth in an exciting and original way, which I have missed out on using this year as I have just finished my China unit, but would be good to have some additional materials for next year.
This is the LIFE TRIPS WITH GOOGLE EARTH section.

Here's the description from the website:

LifeTrips with GoogleEarth is a new website attached to a Wikispace which allows you to look at the lives of people in different cities. Using Google Earth it tracks the day paths of people who live throughout the world and helps people connect with people in their own city, or in a city across the world.

The site can be visited by anyone, though school students, in association with their teachers may contribute to the site by registering, and then publishing material to the wikispace.

This website provides an index for the Wikispace in which the site’s assets reside.

LifeTrips with GoogleEarth is an invitation to communicate.

Check out the movies on people who live in BANGKOK, and the instructions are also provided on the website. This is a super resource.

Also has a great blog, with posts such as THIS ONE.

One to check out...

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GGiP Primary Scheme of Work
Available to download from tomorrow at the GGIP site.
Here's a taster movie...

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Finally launched today. It's a bit of ANOTHER TB remake: main Harbinger theme is TB opening, and final track is the final part of Part 1 of TB in disguise. Some good sweeping sections though, and I like 'Aurora' in particular. Would be good to see live, followed by some other tracks with improvised electric guitar freak-outs... It's been too long...

Coming soon to a Powerpoint presentation near you...

Just downloaded some live sections too from the premiere which was held in the Guggenheim in Bilbao. What an event that would have been. Visited the Guggenheim in 2006, and it's fantastic. Some images coming when I can find them...

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Holt, who goes there ?
Well, I did yesterday.... (the Georgian town in Norfolk that is...)

Saw great Peter Blake exhibition at Bircham Gallery, and also snapped up a bottle of Arran malt from Larners.
We used to go to Bircham Gallery when it was in... Bircham...
Some great Howard Phipps etchings too (as seen at the top of the post). Very landscape oriented, which fits my recent preoccupation with all things landscape...

Holt is one of those places which is experiencing a lot of gentrification. Featured in the new textbook for Edexcel AS from Oxford as part of the Unequal Spaces unit: Inequalities in East Anglia. There are certainly some major differences in HOUSE PRICES in different areas, such as Burnham "Mark-Up" Market. Good in a way, as my house is worth a lot more than it would be in some other parts of the county and country.

Tea and cake at Byfords, which has changed a lot since we started going there over 10 years ago.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

On sale now...

Or head over to the ECONOMIST website to view a number of special report pages.

Thanks to Anne Logie for the tip off....

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Just got my copy of Panicology by Simon Briscoe and Hugh Aldersey Williams.
This explores some of the areas where we are apparently beginning to worry. It's a variation on the theme in James Martin's book
Check out the WEBSITE for some tasters and links.
A particularly useful section of the book looks at the number of deaths per 10 000 people in 2005 from various reasons. This follows a very useful SCEPTIC's TOOLKIT, which would be a particularly useful format for GENERAL STUDIES students (as well as Geographers) to adopt when using sources of information.

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The Summer Floods 2007
Have been asked to present a session for the GA's Manchester Branch in September.

There have been several recent additional articles which would be useful for those exploring this.
The first is the announcement that the floods were not due to global warming but in a sense to "the wrong type of rain", which led to huge amounts of saturation excess overland flow.
This comes out from a report by the CEH (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
Read the BBC article first.

Then head over to the CEH to read the articles there, and the Hydrological appraisal of the flooding.

This page also has a link where the full report can be downloaded (an 11.5 Mb PDF)

Also check out the NERCs explanation of this flooding type, which is called PLUVIAL flooding (as opposed to fluvial...) (Thanks to Simon Oakes for the tipoff here...)

Pluvial' flooding is defined as flooding that results from rainfall generated overland flow before the runoff enters any watercourse or sewer. It is usually associated with high intensity rainfall events (typically >30mm/h) but can also occur with lower intensity rainfall or melting snow where the ground is saturated, frozen, developed or otherwise has low permeability resulting in overland flow and ponding in depressions in the topography. The focus for this call is on urban pluvial flooding arising from high intensity 'extreme' rainfall events. In such situations urban underground sewerage/drainage systems and surface watercourses may be completely overwhelmed. Examples include the recent June and July 2007 floods in England where pluvial flooding is thought to have been an important element in urban areas. Pluvial flooding may occur alone or be combined with other forms of flooding such as fluvial flooding, flash flooding (from a watercourse) or sewer derived flooding.

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Excellent student-produced video on the Environmental Impacts of Migration...


Find more videos like this on AS/A2 Geographers at KES

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Reading and filleting James Martin's "The Meaning of the 21st Century".
It's a challenging and useful read, although some content is repeated several times.There are some excellent details on the BLOG here. An interesting post on ageing populations.

Keep an eye out for a film related to the book too.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Well done to Tom Biebrach for winning a national award for his connections with a school in Kabundi in Zambia. He has BLOGGED about this - some very useful IMAGES and VIDEOS.
Read the article HERE.

Judges were struck by students’ comments that following the project they could now see the relevance and importance of studying geography.

“You have to be able to experience things,” said Mr Biebrach. “You can’t study the weather only by looking at a book. Our students have been able to study issues about Africa by speaking to children there.”

Well done to Tom and all involved in the project.

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"Down London"

To London today on early train for course on delivering the new Edexcel AS course.
Thanks to Simon Oakes for his calm and erudite delivery of the material, and plenty of ideas. If you're visiting the blog for the first time after this course, welcome !
All my progress is being flagged up on the GEOGRAPHYPAGES website.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Geography Film Festival Our World Festival


Go to the GA website for details of the festival, which takes place on the day before the GA Conference 'proper' starts. It's worth starting your conference early to take in the conference.

The GA site has details of the films that are going to be shown. Each session costs just £3 !

And of course, you need to CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS !
Support the FESTIVAL.
See you there !

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

BBC3 Upstaged
Well done to the team of Geographers who took part in Upstaged today.
Good to see some familiar faces, particularly Dan trying to change Britain, and make us all a bit happier !
Going to catch the results show later... Good to see Noel cheer-leading. Won't mention that again in the future...

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Image by Flickr user Maggie Jones

Banksy is an artist who specialises in adding public artworks to the sides of houses and other buildings in urban settings. He is very secretive, and his artworks are sometimes painted over by people who don't realise they are art. His latest work is of 2 children saluting as a flag of Tesco (in the form of a carrier bag) is raised.
What is this trying to say about the impact of Tesco on our lives ?

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Noticed this the other day on the way into work. Nice ad, but is the tagline going over a lot of people's heads ?
Not our 6th form demographers...
...although it did skim their foreheads a little....

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The World Without Us
Reading this on the recommendation of a colleague.
Interesting ideas on what would happen if humanity suddenly disappeared...
Posted about this book a while ago...

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The Poles are Coming
BBC2 - 9pm on Tuesday 11th March

This looks to be excellent, and there is a good write up in most TV listings pages.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

What's going on here ?
Answers on a postcard....

Urban Age
A marvellous new resource for those looking at the world's cities.
There is a supporting WEBSITE.
Also check out THIS OBSERVER ARTICLE.

Also an article on the FOOD CRISIS.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

David Attenborough
Got a nice surprise yesterday: entered a ballot for RGS-IBG members earlier in the year, and a ticket arrived in the post !
Image by Flickr User Bryan Ledgard (made available under Creative Commons)

Monday 31 March at 18.30
RGS-IBG Balloted lecture Members only
Wallace and the birds of paradise
Sir David Attenborough
David shows film footage and describes the various species that so obsessed Alfred Russel Wallace, who was the first European to see the display of the spectacular birds of paradise.
Please note that this lecture is balloted. One ticket entry per member.

Anyone else successful ?

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Have you engaged with the Action Plan for Geography ?
Been on website, took part in Curriculum Making course, took part in SGQM, Chartered Geographer, had Geography Ambassador visit ?
Take a minute to fill in the online survey...

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fred Pearce: Confessions of an Eco-SinnerRead this article in the Telegraph last week the night before the CfBT conference, and instantly ordered the book it came from: which arrived this morning.
The article tells how Fred traced his son's mobile phone's component parts back to source, and in doing so, explored the world of consumption and the damage that our desires creates.
His son Joe, who he describes as a "lanky geography student" died suddenly in 2005, and the book traces some of Joe's possessions.

The chapter on China features some incredible descriptions of the growth of factories to satisfy the western (and growing eastern) demand for consumer products. This would be very useful for lower school as well as new AS / A2 spec planning.
Also a super chapter on Kenyan beans, and why you might want to carry on buying them.
Read the article, and then you'll probably want to order the book. Amazon have it at £7.79 instead of £12.99 (please click through from GeographyPages home page)

Fred is also a Geographer of course, and those doing new Edexcel on the issue of water may be interested in another of Fred's books: When the rivers run dry. He has also written many articles which can be sourced online. The NEW SCIENTIST blog post also has links to other stories which are further developed in the book.

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Just signed up for a 30 day FREE TRIAL of the Heinemann Video Gallery resource. Over 300 video clips sorted by KS3 topics (old QCA units)

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Just ordered, thanks to Ollie Bray's 'heads up', an Elonex One Laptop.
These are available in 2 versions: one for just £99, and can be reserved by paying £10 now.
The slightly more expensive version clocks in at £119, and has Bluetooth and a little more memory. Wireless access, mp3 player etc. Small and compact and look forward to trialling it as my 'teacher planner'. Ollie is also going to post an evaluation.

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FOOD MILES ASSESSMENT (can be adapted to other topics)


Instructions for task. Click to enlarge, or download and paste into a document...

Just coming to the end of a unit with Year 8 on Food Miles, and we have an assessed task. This comes from the work of my Buckinghamshire colleague Christine Lloyd-Staples.
She has produced the original levelled description for this task which we use, which offers a range of formats for a display piece on the issue of FOOD MILES. The students have previously prepared and delivered a 3 minute news bulletin on the issue, considering the various economic, social and environmental aspects (which together form the 3 legs of the sustainability stool).

Thanks also to JD's FLICKR TOYS, which as I have mentioned in other blogs is one of my favourite sites for a spot of 'creative subversion', or as David Lambert has termed it, the teachers who are 'pedagogically adventurous'.

The task is to create one of two ICT related ideas:

a) a Movie poster for a film related to food miles
b) a cover for a Magazine on the issue.

The second option gives more scope, and this is the recommended one.

For some ideas of similar movies on related themes, check out some of the posters below:

Coffee ? (Black Gold)

McDonalds ? (Supersize Me)

Fast Food (FastFoodNation)
Here's another good image that I thought would work well.

Flickr User: A.J.French

Here is my first draft of the magazine cover:
Original image by Flickr user Mr Jaded

Decided to change the colour and placement of some of the labels.
A gallery of the finished articles will appear on this blog for peer assessment by students in another school.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Who do we think we are ?

Alerted to this via an RGS-IBG newsletter.
A new website which explores issues of identity, diversity and citizenship. Familiar themes to Pilot GCSE Geographers !!

Who do we think we are? (WDWTWA)

Is a new, DCSF-funded education project designed to engage primary and secondary school teachers in the exploration of identity, diversity and citizenship with their pupils - in their schools, local communities and nationally. The project is a direct response to the recent Curriculum Review on Diversity and Citizenship, undertaken by Sir Keith Ajegbo, which recommended that all schools participate in a high profile, national event - titled Who do we think we are? Week - where the main activities would be

"…investigations and celebrations by schools of pupils’ histories and their community’s roots and of the national and global links that they can make.”

A new consortium of partners has been set up to help support the delivery of Who do we think we are? week - led by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the Historical Association and citizenship consultant Paula Kitching.

Key areas of work include:

The design and launch of a new website www.whodowethinkweare.org.uk - structured around four WDWTWA themes:

  • School and community
  • Relationships, belonging and faith
  • History and settlement
  • 'Britishness’, national identity/values and the 2012 Games
  • The creation of an online database and ‘Ideas Hub’ – signposting existing resources and support for the learning and teaching of identity, diversity and community
  • Curriculum Development Programmes to support targeted work with schools and young people in four local authorities: Barking & Dagenham, Bradford, Bristol and Cheshire
  • The development and promotion of the national, week-long WDWTWA activities programme (23rd-28th June 2008) - during which schools will be encouraged to collapse timetables and explore identity and diversity as cross-curricular concepts - through subject 'join up', extensive on-site enrichment activities and off-site visits to museums, archives and community-based projects, etc.

Check out the website: more to come at the end of March 2008

One to watch...

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Literacy Outcomes in Scotland

Thanks to Ollie Bray and Ewan McIntosh for some fascinating discussions on the new Scottish Curriculum for Excellence guidance on literacy which extends the reading matter to that of blogs, social networks, games, comics and other online / 21st Century 'text's which young people would relate to (although not all of them will be Beboing away necessarily)
All sounds like Scotland is yet again ahead of England in this matter...

Would love to explore some of the geographical implications of this, and how it could be translated into an ICT-rich curriculum.

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