<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d33662887\x26blogName\x3dGeography+and+all+that+Jazz\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://geographyjazz.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://geographyjazz.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-3273195495134634114', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Saturday, January 31, 2009

This is an interesting one, and thanks to @angelamaiers for letting me know about TWITTER SHEEP.
This produces a tag cloud of the sort of people who follow you: your Twitter 'flock'...

Quite pleased with the emphases that my Twitter 'flock' seems to have.

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just been watching "Whatever happened to the Likely Lads" on Gold
Classic TV from my youth.
Good to see Tony Haygarth too...

At the same time, was trying out a Twitter tip-off ZATTOO. It's basically TV on your laptop... Presume it's a bandwidth hog and needs broadband but just watched the first part of the News at Ten perfectly.

Oh, and don't forget your COMIC RELIEF red nose, and to "do something funny for money" on Friday the 13th of March.


BETT was a couple of weeks ago, and finally found time just now to finish a reflective post...

OS Stand: image by Alan Parkinson

Saturday at BETT.
Wandered down Hammersmith Road in the sunshine, and at half past nine, half an hour before the show started, there were queues forming outside, although not as large as earlier in the week. There were also several people sitting with their laptops outside the Wetherspoons pub - the pub may have been closed (or at least I think it was), but the WIFI was switched on ;)
Exhibitor entrance was calm. Wandered through the main halls with space station style announcements: "the time is now 9.40 - BETT 2009 will open in 20 minutes".I liked the software produced by iBoard. This is primary software which had some nice activities. Tried a few which had been made available during the show. I liked this GOODEY'S MODEL style activity.
TWITTER is getting a lot of attention at the moment, and rightly so. It's been responsible for most of my recent discoveries of web based resources.
At the Teachmeet, Drew Buddie suggested that "Twitter is my Google", but then he does have around 2000 people both following him, and that he is following. He has also made over 16,500 'tweets'.

The plane crash on the Hudson last week was covered in all the media. This Twitpic was posted by a Twitter user who was on one of the ferries that was used in the rescue operation...
Had a German visitor to the stand with a twin school in Blackburn. He particularly liked the GA city guides.

Had a chat to Diana Freeman of Aegis 3: GIS software which is used in a lot of schools. Diana kindly provided software for a session that I ran at the GA Conference in 2007.
This now has some additional features, which I shall blog about more later, but one key additional feature is the streaming of OS 1:10 000 or 1:50 000 maps of areas into the worksheets.

NEN: National Education Network: this looked to have links to useful resources. It is an amalgamation of existing web services and 'grids for learning'. Ollie Bray beat me to it with a good post which picked out the geography content in particular. Plenty of interesting things there.

Also a long chat with the nice people at ESRI: Peter O' Connor's GIS BOOK was being publicised, and there was a lot of interest.

Missed David Roberts, who wandered past in one of the few busy periods of the day. Catch you later David !

Brainpop: spoke to the good folks at Brainpop, who also sponsored the Teachmeet
Showed them MISSION EXPLORE - still hopeful of an 'outcome' here...

I also picked up on a Digital Urban blogpost, which mentioned something that was available in the main hall: Pico Projectors

Thanks to Alf from the Historical Association for his company on the day. I presume you've finished your book now....

Steve Sidaway showed me Txt tools, and a project of the University of Aberdeen project, which involved a real-time simulation of flooding. Students were told that they could receive texts at any time over a 3 day period, and at any time, and had to respond. The system can also take an RSS feed from a website / blog / NING and create a text message at a pre-determined interval, assuming there has been some change to the feed in that time. TXT Tools is well worth checking out. More on this in a future blog post...


New Eden Channel on Sky

Sky Channel 522



The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have been preparing resources for a joint SfE / GA conference which was being organised for the new GCSE specifications, but has unfortunately been cancelled.

One focus area was that of Avalanches

What pedagogy could be used to teach about avalanches ?
What approaches to delivering 'content' so that it sticks, and becomes part of the learning process, and can also be assessed in a way which allows students to achieve ?

The first area that has to be tackled is to look at the specs and see what will be part of the assessment.

Edexcel ‘A’: Avalanches and their management

a. The physical and human causes and effects of an avalanche in a named location.

b. Prediction and prevention of the effects of avalanches by forecasting, the design of buildings and defences, planning and education.

So let's choose a location first of all.

Where would be appropriate ?

The Alps are a popular ski destination, and have been for many decades. There are many ski resorts, and the area is also a possible case study for other elements of geography: it could be used to deliver work on climate change, impact of transport network enlargement with the tunnels beneath the mountains, glaciation, impact of tourist development.

Wikipedia page has useful maps....

Check out an old favourite: the VIRTUAL MONTANA site for more on the Alps.

Also something in this GOOGLE BOOK SEARCH result.

How about a starter video courtesy of YouTube

Location: The Alps
Too wide ?
Narrow it down to a region of the Alps, based around a particular resort that has an avalanche risk, and has perhaps managed it in particular ways.

To protect skiers, resorts will employ PISTEURS. These are people employed either full or part time to keep an eye on the snow condition, and the development of the SLAB.

They may well use explosives to clear small accumulations of snow before they have a chance to develop into cornices or larger accumulations.

If we look at the second part of the specification section, it refers to prediction and prevention. This is an opportunity to introduce the HAZARD RISK EQUATION, which forms part of some 'A' level specifications, such as the new Edexcel specification.

There are a range of AVALANCHE RISK flags which are used in areas.

These flags could be generated in advance of the lesson...
Here are some that I created and placed on SLIDESHARE in advance of the conference....


Friday, January 23, 2009

Just caught up with this story in my clippings file, while sorting out resources for a conference next week.
It's from the Guardian from December 2008


Egypt has banned the import of all GPS-enabled devices, claiming it is a military-grade technology that can be used to help pinpoint government buildings or be used by terrorists.

As a result, Egyptian buyers will not be able to use GPS even though the iPhone will cost them the equivalent of £463, compared with a maximum of £149 in the UK, plus contract.

Apparently they're also not that keen on bloggers....

Labels: , ,

Listen to the Lough...

Labels: ,

You can't escape ASSESSMENT... but you could e-Scape assess.....
The GA has been involved, with Goldsmiths College, in an exciting trial of a new method of assessing student's geographical work, using handheld technology (PDAs) to create a digital portfolio, which is then assessed using a method called 'comparative pairs'. This is a more robust method of comparison between individual pieces of work than the traditional method of moderating pieces of coursework. It was suggested by Alastair Pollitt, former head of research at Cambridge Assessment, based on earlier work in the 1920s (see later)

The final report on the trial, written by Fred Martin with David Lambert has now been made available on the GA website, along with further details on the project.

The trial involved schools taking part in a field visit to Porthcawl, and exploring the issue of rebranding on their return. There are links to other projects which involved the use of handheld technologies, and also the idea of media landscapes. The report also mentions a range of other field investigations which Fred Martin produced.
An e-portfolio was created as a result of the process, and this was judged by comparing each portfolio with all of the others, and saying in each case "which is best" ? The software that was used was an online system, which meant that judging could take place at a time and place to suit the judges within the (fairly tight) timeframe that we were given.
Over time, the software decided that there were some pairs that didn't need to be compared (if you take the 'best' and the 'worst' piece from a sample, you don't really need to compare them to see which is best as it's fairly obvious...)

As one of the judging team, I have to say that this whole process was a fascinating insight into the techniques (and in some cases, deficiencies) of the current systems of assessing large numbers of exam candidates. I certainly learnt a great deal about the way that assessment works. A related issue is that this could form an approach to the management of controlled assessment, as the software on the PDAs could be set up to

The appendices in the report, which can be downloaded from THIS PAGE of the GA website would reward closer reading by those who are interested in an alternative approach, which also taps into the

The later appendices contain too many 'hard sums' for me, but I think they say that I was a reasonable judge - was I more Craig Revel Horwood than Bruno Tonioli ?

For those who also want a little more, Tony Wheeler has published a useful summary of the whole process on the FUTURELAB website's FLUX section, and there is also a TEACHERS TV programme on e-assessment. Mobile phones are mentioned here too (iPhones perhaps ?)

This includes a useful analysis of the comparative pairs method, and the reason why an e-portfolio makes the judging of this a possibility....

Alastair explained how Louis Thurston had developed this theory of assessment in the 1920s, based on simply comparing one piece of work directly with another. Alastair argued that abstract assessment criteria did not help in the process of marking, as examiners inevitably convert the abstract into concrete exemplars, increasing variability and unreliability. So why not just compare work directly? If enough comparisons between two different pieces of work are made by enough judges, a very reliable rank order emerges (the one that always wins moves to the top, the one that always looses goes to the bottom and the others spread appropriately between). I understand that QCA use this system already to monitor inter-board comparability, basically to ensure an ‘A’ in maths from OCR is the same as an ‘A’ in maths from Edexcel.

The problem lies in the scale of the award. With twenty paper scripts and half a dozen judges it can be done round a table, but when there are thousands of scripts and dozens of judges it becomes a logistical impossibility. However, with the advent of web-based portfolios, like the e-scape set of portfolios, are available anywhere and anytime each assessor has an internet connection. Multiple copies can be viewed at anytime, making the paired process possible in a high-stake assessment for the first time.

Labels: ,

iPhone in Geography Education

Could this just be the best new piece of technology that is available for geography teachers ?
A growing number of geography teachers are discovering the joys of the iPhone.
Increasingly, the ways that they use them in their geography lessons and fieldwork are also being added to blogs and other online materials, perhaps because teachers who own iPhones are more inclined to use technology in their teaching ?

Some examples of teachers who are using this include Ollie Bray, who has posted a series of useful tutorials on how he uses particular apps for the iPhone.
I would also recommend John Davitt's iPhone app: the RANDOM ACTIVITY GENERATOR, which is demonstrated here...

Do you have an iPhone ?
Do you use it in your teaching ?
Please get in touch...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A great geographically related song from the end credits of WALL-E: "Down to Earth"...
Has been nominated for an Oscar we discovered today...

Here's another "hydrologically-themed" track which is a classic live favourite. Hopefully will get to see PG again this year...

and finally another beautiful track from WALL-E with Peter Gabriel's touch on it. Used this as the mood music for an SAGT presentation:

Labels: ,

Regular readers will be aware of my interest in fine single malt whisky.
Earlier this week, there was an exciting opportunity to secure a bottle of the latest Ardbeg.
Ardbeg is my favourite whisky, and also World Whisky of the Year. Supernova has incredibly high peat content, and I managed to order a bottle at 9.01am, a few hours later, all the bottles in the limited release had sold out...
Will tell you what it tastes like when I get  it...
If you're good I'll let you sniff the cork...

Labels: ,

Next week, I am spending 2 days in Stockport at the Geography Teacher Educators' (GTE) Conference.
This will be my first time attending the conference...
Discovered this excellent presentation by Dan Sutch, who is part of my Twitter network.
View more presentations or upload your own. (tags: futurelab models of innovation)
Will be adapting some ideas from here to my purpose... More on that next week....


Will be spending an hour this weekend sat by the conservatory window doing the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
Why not do your bit to collect data on changing geographical patterns of the most common species. You don't need binoculars, just a cup of tea, half a packet of ginger nuts and an hour of your time...
Visit the RSPB website to download a data collection form.


Helpless from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

This video by Keith Loutit is incredible...
Features the building of a sand whale as part of a campaign by Australian Greenpeace

One for teaching about coasts / environmental issues ?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Teachmeet Review

By the time we got through the door, there was hardly a seat to be had: so I stole someone else's. Ollie Bray had been throwing something together at the last minute, and with a minute to go he started copying a 180 mb video file from a memory stick and kept his fingers crossed that his name wouldn't come out first (as it happens, he was the last person up!)

Check out my FLICKR images of TEACHMEET.

Grabbed some free beer tokens, and a seat with John Davitt, who had a stuffed camel with him, for reasons that would become clear later.Image of camel by Flickr user cloudberrynine - Humph is sat on a pile of GA Magazines, which is nice...

Around 250 people had signed up, and there were also others following on the flashmeeting, and a large MONITTER display showed the Twitter 'tweets' that had the relevant hashtags #tmbeet09 etc

John showed us the LEARNING SCORE resource.
This is a very powerful resource, which visualises the planning of a lesson sequence by dragging and dropping elements which can then be seen in different formats. I saw this demonstrated the day after on the Heppell stand.

Ian Usher introduced the evening, and talked through the the way that things would work for those who were unsure. There were a few comfort breaks during the evening, which featured presentations lasting either 2 or 7 minutes. John Davitt kept time on his countdown timer, and anyone who over-ran had the stuffed camel thrown at them.

Ian Stuart joined the Teachmeet from Islay: speaking about the 2020 Unconference on the Isle of Islay.
John Davitt demonstrated his Random Activities Generator (RAG)This is a downloadable APP, to be used on the iPhone. Soon to be available from the iTunes APP store: check out the demo. What I loved was that when you shook the phone, another idea was displayed...
GeographyPages hosts a Geography Learning Event Generator, created by John which has been downloaded around 3000 times, and was featured at Teachmeet at SLF.
There was a great moment when one of the random combinations came up with:
"How Hitler was defeated as a Blues Song..."

Tom Barrett talked about the idea of linking Twitter and Google Earth. Twitter network - challenging the students to find them on Google Earth. Also using it to map weather data and temperature data which would come in 'live': this needs a particularly large twitter network for it to work. I'm going to try a live request tomorrow all being well. He also talked about the multi-touch Smart Table, which was demonstrated downstairs at BETT.

Greg Hodgson of Chalfonts Community College showed some Art activities from his college's VLE, which looked at Images, Movement and Interactivity. The college appointed an
e-technician for supervising the VLE: increased traffic to the VLE - link to post recently on the use of VLEs. Demonstrated Photoshop Tennis...

Drew Buddie talked about Twitter and the Glogster site, which produces multimedia posters (I have shown this to teachers in Suffolk before)

Ian Usher showed the Microsoft ZoomIt application.

Ollie told me about an excellent simulation that had been undertaken at the University of Aberdeen. Had a chat with Steve Sidaway from txt tools who had set up the simulation text system. Also possible to have RSS feed turned into a text message apparently, and an update sent when a website or blog is updated.
Russel Tarr's CLASSTOOLS slot machine spun for the last time with the clock ticking up to
Ollie Bray, who was the last person up. By then he'd had a few lagers, but completed what a lot of people said was one of the highlights of the evening with a mention for Graphic Novels and Google Earth.

Ollie said the day after that someone had come up to him, and said that they had really enjoyed his presentation, then said that they had no idea what he'd been talking about as they couldn't remember...

Down to Pizza Express in the basement for a v.nice pizza (was pretty hungry by 9.30) and a chat to Eylan from Brainpop.
Check out the FREE content, and then request a free trial...

Met up with Doug Belshaw finally after some years of Twitter following and other virtual exchanges.

Thanks to all involved in organising and sponsoring Teachmeet.
Will be at Teachmeet Midlands later in the year...

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I like this...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Workshop on Learning outside the Classroom, due to take place on Tuesday 20th has unfortunately attracted little interest, and will not now take place.
If anyone wants to see the resources that were going to be used, they are available on MY SLIDESHARE SPACE (along with plenty of other resources), and are embedded below for your perusal...


Monday, January 12, 2009

Tune in to Teachers TV at 7am, 4pm or 8pm tomorrow for a programme which features Head of Geography and Chartered Geographer Sally Sumner talking about blogging, and inputs on other collaborative online tools from Tom Barrett. Will be well worth watching...

Will also be available to download once the programme has been broadcast...

Labels: , ,


Get your students in on this year's competition.
More details at the GEOGRAPHICAL MAGAZINE website.

The theme this year is ARCTIC.

Sponsored by Explore – the leading adventure holiday company, this year's winners win a place on an Arctic expedition, prizes for your school and more. The competition is open to young geographers throughout the country under the age of 18 years

We want you to carry out a project that involves a journey to the Arctic. What would you take with you and why? What would ensure your journey’s success? Your project should reflect a thorough investigation into the geography of the Arctic and a realistic portrayal of a journey to the North Pole. We would also like you to include one luxury item for your journey and an explanation of your item of choice and your reasons for choosing it.

Your entry can take whatever form you think is most appropriate – be it a written report, a short video film, a photographic essay, an audio file or a mix of all of these. The most important thing is that you plan and research accordingly for your Arctic journey and most of all – make sure to be creative and have fun!

Prize: 16–18 years

WIN! A place on the month-long expedition Arctic Adventure to East Greenland in July 2009, courtesy of BSES Expeditions.

The winner will depart in mid-July and will begin with a complicated journey via Iceland and southern Greenland. The expedition will involve three phases in the field – the science phase will build on long-term work in the area, including geology, survey work, fluvial and glacial studies, ornithology and invertebrates; in the trekking phase, groups will explore the mountains and undertake challenging journeys along ridges and through valleys to explore rarely visited areas; and in the mountaineering phase, groups will be trained in snow and ice techniques such as crevasse rescue, in order to undertake multi-day journeys on the glaciers and explore these untouched glaciers and mountains.

This is a chance of a lifetime to go on one of BSES’s extraordinary expeditions and to visit an amazing place that most people just dream about! To find out more about this expedition, visit www.bses.org.uk

Terms and conditions of expedition

• You must be aged 16–18
• Must be available between mid-July and mid-August 2009
• Winner will be thoroughly interviewed by the expedition chief leader, and participation is strictly subject to his approval
• All participation is subject to a satisfactory medical check by the expedition chief medic
• The winner is responsible for their own travel and other associated costs to and from the UK point of departure/return for the expedition
• The prize does not include any personal kit, such as rucksack, sleeping bag, clothing and the like
• The winner must have a good understanding of the English language

Prize: 13–15 years and 12 years and under

WIN! A five-day Arctic Ice Adventure to Sweden, courtesy of Explore – the leading adventure holiday company

Based in the northern outpost of Kiruna, your adventure starts with a dogsled safari. With teams of huskies attached to each sled (along with a skilled local doing the driving!), we ‘mush off’ into the wilderness. There’s also the option of snowmobiling cross-country and over frozen lakes towards Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest peak. And every night, there’s the chance to enjoy that most traditional of Swedish activities: a sauna.

On a visit to Jukkasjarvi, we overnight at the world-famous Icehotel, where everything from the chandeliers to the glasses for your drinks is made of ice. We can also play Father Christmas and ride our own reindeer sled, and enjoy a range of optional activities – from snowshoeing and ice-fishing to cross-country skiing.
You’ll love: • Trying a Swedish sauna • The thrill of dog-sledding • Meeting Sami reindeer herdsmen


All winning schools will receive a library of books worth £100 each, courtesy of Dorling Kindersley.

The Advisory Unit: Computers in Education will provide the schools of the winners of the 13–15 year and 16–18 year categories with a full site licence of AEGIS 3 –
their award-winning education geographic information system. There will also be further prizes from Ordnance Survey.

All finalists and their teachers will be invited to an awards ceremony at the RGS-IBG on Tuesday, 26 May 2009.

For more information and to download an entry form, you must be registered on www.geographical.co.uk. Click here to do so. If you are already signed up to the site, simply log in and click on the tab 'Members area'.


"I've got the whole WORDLE in my hands..."

Rob Chambers has been at it again, and launched a new blog looking at Cross Curricular uses of ICT

One tool which has obvious use for this, but has plenty of geographical use, is Wordle, and Rob has provided a link to an excellent presentation on how to use this tool.
This is well worth referring students to....

Show me what you manage to produce with WORDLE...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cultural Geography

Just been adding some sections to the EDEXCEL GEOG NING which now has over 420 members. Come and join us if you haven't already....
Noticed that one of the options for the GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH topic (which is Unit 4) is:

Option 4: The World of CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY (Extract from Edexcel Document)

Culture is a complex concept, with multiple meanings but universal importance to human populations. In many parts of the world consumption is the dominant, but not the only, culture. Culture varies spatially and has a distinct geography, with some areas being relatively homogenous while others offer greater diversity. Large urban areas often produce diversity, which is reflected in the population, services and built environment of cities. Attitudes to cultural diversity differ, both personal and political/national.

Cultural Patterns
Globalisation is seen by some as a key process in driving culture towards a global model, and media TNCs and communications technology aid this process. However, the pattern is complex and localised cultures do survive and new cultures can still be generated. Culture, to some extent, determines our attitude to the wider environment in terms of consumption, conservation, exploitation and protection. Attitudes to the environment differ between cultures; however, the dominance of today's consumer capitalism is difficult to resolve with pressing environmental concerns.

1. Defining Culture and identifying its value

Enquiry Question
What is the nature and value of culture in terms of peoples and places ?

2. The Geography of Culture

Enquiry Question
How and why does culture vary spatially ?

3. The impact of Globalisation on cultural diversity ?

Enquiry Question
How is globalisation impacting on culture ?

4. Cultural attitudes to the environment
Enquiry Question
How do cultural values impact on our relationship with the environment ?

Some of this has a real overlap with the PILOT GCSE, which once again suggests that there are some links between this spec and the pilot making it a good 'follow on' course.
For some ideas, check the CULTURAL LABELLED posts on my PILOT BLOG (which has now been closed to new posts)


A video from American satirical site "The Onion"

New Portable Sewing Machine Lets Sweatshop Employees Work On The Go

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

GA Magazine

The latest edition of the GA Magazine is now available to download from the GA website (you need to log in first...)This is a particularly good issue, but then I have to declare an interest: I edited the issue, along with David Rayner.
In addition to the usual features, such as a particularly good Webwatch, there are some feature pieces on the concept of INTERDEPENDENCE.

The middle section was the bit I edited.
Highlights of the issue include:
  • "Thinking inside the box": an article on the BBC 'box' project by me
  • "Connecting Classrooms": an article by Graham Goldup on a project to develop a school link with Arusha, Tanzania & Brighton schools
  • "Windwards Revisited": an article by Martin Crabbe on the ongoing links that he has maintained following a trip to the Windward Islands in 2005
  • "Interdependence Day": a summary of the report by Joe Smith of the Open University
  • "Food glorious food - but for how much longer ?": an article by me on a TDA CPD unit that I'm writing - contrary to what it says in the magazine it's not quite finished yet....
  • "Cheap food and global interdependence" by Peter Jackson of the University of Sheffield
  • "Into Africa" - Emma Cook talking about her toolkit book
  • "A Thorny Issue" - Louise Ellis talking about her toolkit book
There is also an outline on A DIFFERENT VIEW: the Manifesto for school geography which will be launched at the GA Conference.

Thanks in particular to David Rayner, Graham Goldup, Joe Smith, Peter Jackson, Martin Crabbe, Louise Ellis and Emma Cook

Labels: ,

Monday, January 05, 2009

The European Union has produced a 'heat map': Global Accessibility

This is based on travel time to major world cities.
Image copyright: European Communities, 2008

The map comes from a WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009: Reshaping Economic Geography

This has a series of documentary clips called "GEOGRAPHY IN MOTION".

95% of people live on 10% of the land

Labels: , ,

OFSTED "cracking down on dull teaching..."
Extract from BBC NEWS article

Ofsted chief Christine Gilbert said her inspectors would give more advice on why pupils may not be paying attention. Ms Gilbert told the Guardian newspaper teaching was wrongly divorced from behaviour, and disruption emerged when pupils were "bored and not motivated".

Ofsted's most recent annual report, published in November, warned that secondary school pupils were too often set tasks that were not demanding enough and that teaching in primary schools could be "pedestrian".

Ms Gilbert said work that she had previously been involved in suggested there was a strong link between boredom and poor behaviour.

She added: "People divorce teaching from behaviour. I think they are really, really linked and I think students behave much better if the teaching is good, they are engaged in what they are doing and it's appropriate to them.

"Then they've not got lost five minutes into the lessons and therefore started mucking around."

She said behaviour in England's schools was generally very good, but that "low level disruption" occurred when children were not motivated, and that this could snowball.

Ms Gilbert said schools would be given more information on how to improve.

"We need to be much clearer in our recommendations of what to do in terms of their teaching and learning."

The GA can, of course, offer plenty of advice on exciting geography teaching.

Plenty of blog comments on this story already...


Sunday, January 04, 2009

A good friend of mine starts his new job at ACTION AID tomorrow...
To celebrate, here's an Action Aid video from their current campaign to encourage Tesco to pay the women who pick their apples in South Africa an extra 5p per hour.

It's also 20 years since the publication of the classic CHEMBAKOLLI resource. Steve Brace, who now works at the RGS-IBG was involved in producing this resource.

There is also a very useful video produced by THE ELDERS: a project which was started by Peter Gabriel: one of my favourite artists. This explores the issue of the FOOD CRISIS: an area I have been exploring...


A Christmas message from Kenya via the DFID site.


The tagging game: 7 facts about me
Been tagged by Ollie Bray for a blogging 'game'.
The aim is to tell people "seven things you didn't know about me"
So, in the hope that anyone finds this interesting...

1. I am very myopic. Take my glasses off me and I'm like a mole in a bokeh existence. (That's not an invitation...)

2. I used to do quite a lot of climbing before I had kids and realised that I'd been taking a few risks. If you look carefully on the image below you can see me en route to the classic Cioch
 on the Isle of Skye, which I reached, along with the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Along with a few
 friends, we formed the BOILED ONIONS CLIMBING CLUB, which completed a lot of routes in Wales, The Peak District and on Skye. I used to be quite good...

Images of Cioch Slab and Inaccessible Pinnacle by me....

3. I'm a bit sad about clipping geography stories out of newspapers and keeping them. I left 14 bulging lever arch files of newspaper stories behind when I started my new job, and they're probably in a skip now...

4. I've only ever owned Citroen cars. Over the last 20 odd years I've had 3 BXs, 1 AX, 3 Xantias and my current C3 (which is currently very Shiny having had a Shiny hand car wash) 

5. I was the school Scrabble champion.

6. I own and use a sat nav.

7. I broke my left arm when I was 10 years old by falling out of a tree. It hurt....

Who to tag ?
I'll go for 7 other people who have geography blogs (and who may also have a spare 10 minutes in the next week or so - apologies if you've already been tagged, and unlike those old chain letters, don't feel obliged to do this - nothing bad will happen if you don't...)

2. Victoria Ellis of GEOGTASTIC
3. Jo Blackmore of GREAT GEOGRAPHY
5. Kenny O' Donnell of the ODBLOG
6. David Rogers of, er, DAVID ROGERS

Labels: , ,

Millions of Christmas Cards will be coming down in the next day or so as we get to 12th night....
Don't forget to recycle them, rather than chucking them in the bin...
As always the WOODLAND TRUST is coordinating a recycling campaign.
One tonne of recycled cards saves 17 trees...
Take cards to WH Smiths, Tesco, TK Maxx and other partners...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 01, 2009

900 up....

Will be revisiting some classic old posts from the first 900 over the next 100 or so posts..
Please let me know of any favourite tip-offs from the last few years...

A rather comprehensive slideshare presentation produced by Jo Blackmore: a DME basis for an investigation of Liverpool City Centre - a model that could be adapted for other cities: on the nature of City centres...
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

Labels: , , ,

Just finished putting together my CGeog Log for 2008, and discovered a quote of mine on the CGeog section of the RGS-IBG website.

Why become a CGeog (Teacher)?

"The CGeog is a qualification which spurs you on to improve your own professional development, and maintain the curiosity about the subject. Teachers should also be learners, and the CGeog provides a framework for that process, as well as recognition when it is achieved."
Alan Parkinson, CGeog (Teacher)

Why not apply to become a CGeog this year as a New Year's resolution ?

Got through a fairly hefty amount of CPD in 2008, but looks like there's even more to come in 2009.
Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.