Sunday, 25 March 2012

OS Custom Made Maps

For £16.99 (or less with various discounts that you can find online), you could have your very own Custom Made OS map.

You can choose from a flat or a folded map.

You can choose a 1: 25000 or 1: 50000 scale

I recently won a competition organised by OS Leisure (follow their Twitter feed @osleisure for more) and the map opposite is the one that I ordered...

It's a rather wonderful thing... and unique...
A few people have mentioned my Toolkit book and the Landscape in a Box idea in the last few days...

Paul Berry from Devon mentioned it in a very nice blog post where he also expanded on it by bringing in a few other ideas that have also featured on these pages: Rory's Story Cubes and the use of tiny figures. At Glastonbury in 2010 when working with the Geography Collective, we played 'mini hide and seek' with tiny figures around the Children's field that we were working in, to play around with ideas of scale.

If you subscribe to Teaching Geography, you can get the original article.

Noel Jenkins has also posted another response to using Landscape in a Box, along with some soundscapes.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Discover:Explore launching today...

A new way to look at the Scottish landscape... As part of the Cultural Olympiad, the Geography Collective worked on a project called Discover:Explore. That project goes live today...

Are you ready to discover THE GREAT GLEN, with all its hidden places and extraordinary stories?
Discover Explore is an exciting new game that enables you to discover ‘fun’-tastic locations throughout the Great Glen, complete daredevil missions, reveal hidden stories and win super duper badges!
Would-be explorers begin online by searching for locations and missions set along the Great Glen in Scotland.  Location chosen, they download an explorer pack with all the missions and head off on an adventure to unlock the stories of that location and find the answer to the online questions.  On returning from the location, explorers must log back in to Discover Explore and upload their answers to the missions in order to win their badges!
More to come later, once the site is up and running.....

Image by Tom Morgan Jones

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

New Badger Book

At the start of the year, I spent rather longer than anticipated putting together a book for Badger Publishing. It brought together some of the ideas I'd been working on for a while, along with a few more that were kindly  lent to me by colleagues (who are all acknowledged in the book, and will also be listed here once I have my hands on a physical copy of the book....)

The book will be useful to those who are preparing students for external assessments, but I would say that a lot of the ideas are transferrable - they are basically good geography....

The book is now available to pre-order (it will be out in April)

GCSE Grade Boosters: Geography Contents

  • Introduction – what does a C grade geographer look like, and how can students raise their grade to a C and beyond.
  • Memorable geography – a range of geography activities which can be re-versioned for other topics or particular pupils; includes thinking graphs, lucky lines, maps from memory, and ideas funnel to name just a few.
  • Students as experts – establishing students as experts and joint creators of resources.
  • Enquiries – how to introduce, explore and communicate the Big Geographical Questions.
  • Controlled assessment – how to approach controlled assessment, complete with examples to illustrate the support that can be provided.
  • Revision techniques – graphic organisers, memory techniques and the power of blogging.
  • Help from the examiners – exam specs and question types – where and how marks are gained and lost.
  • Memorable vocabulary – key vocabulary for exam success plus techniques for learning it.
  • Exciting new tools – word clouds, triptico, google docs and google earth.
  • Geography after the exam – why a good grade in geography can take you places.

Author: Alan Parkinson an experienced and award-winning teacher with an international reputation for creative and innovative teaching. He has worked with thousands of teachers at hundreds of CPD events in the UK and Europe. This title draws extensively from the experience of successful schools around the country.
  • A wide range of activities to make the topics covered memorable. Activities can be used for class, group, pair and homework tasks. They can be versioned by you for other topics or particular pupils
  • Support for exam preparation including a distillation of examiners reports to pinpoint common errors and show
  • how easily marks are lost and gained, as well as revision and memory techniques that have been shown to work
  • Help with controlled assessment and how to approach it to get the best results
  • The key vocabulary for exam success plus techniques for learning it
  • 80 page photocopiable book with re-versionable activities on accompanying CD-ROM. 
A perfect gift for Easter.... :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Thought for the Day

"This era will not be about scaling the highest mountains or racing across the polar ice as fast as possible. It will be about forging a deeper connection with the places we travel to and sharing our insights into these places.... from wild landscapes to the centre of cities new discoveries are now possible."
Tristan Gooley
from The Natural Explorer

Fits nicely with the Mission:Explore ethos...

Check both out...

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Learning about the oceans...

I received details yesterday of the 3rd Oceans Academy event, which is going to take place later in March, organised by Digital Explorer.
It will take place at Hamble and Southampton, and I am looking forward to meeting the other colleagues who are taking part and learning a lot more about the world's oceans.

I shall, of course, be blogging and tweeting the event while there, and will be plenty of follow up.

Remember that you can download, and request a copy of the KS3 and GCSE Oceans resources that I produced for Digital Explorer a few months ago. They have been very popular, and hundreds of copies have been distributed.
Following in the steps of David Rogers, who blogged about the experience last year...

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Natural Explorer

Tristan Gooley, who wrote the Natural Navigator has a new book out shortly....
It looks like an interesting book for explaining the importance of looking carefully at the landscape, and learning about it through experiencing it...