I've been working on an online course that is going to be hosted on the Geographical Association's website. It will be arriving on the website for the Autumn term, as Curriculum 2014 gets underway, and is going to be suitable for KS3 Geography.
It is linked to the GA's involvement as a major partner in the Global Learning Programme.
A number of courses and conferences have taken place this year as part of the Global Learning Programme's first year, although not as many as expected. I attended an event for Primary colleagues at the Oval earlier this month.
My course explores some ideas for using web tools to develop global stories. One element of the course is a draft outline scheme of work.
This draft outline for a Global Learning scheme of work, which will be fleshed out over the next few months, has been put onto Google Drive, so that it is collaborative in nature. If you'd like to get involved in the development of the scheme, please get in touch. I'd be keen to hear feedback on what I'm suggesting. You may have ideas for how to develop specific sessions.
Here are some details:
The scheme of work starts with Carl Sagan’s
famous description of Earth as a ‘pale blue dot’. Students are asked to explore
the idea of the ‘global village’ that is the Earth. Who lives in the village? What
inequalities are there within the population of this village?
Having populated the village, there is then
a need to explore the identity of its residents, using the notion of the
‘cultural iceberg’. The population of any village is not stable, and possible
reasons for changes in the structure of the village are explored. These mirror
the changes in the structure of the global population, and some of the
challenges that it faces.
The final part of the scheme of work is a
possible assessment piece, or final presentation. It takes its inspiration from
the gold disc that was attached to the Voyager space probe that was launched.
Students will be asked to choose images and text which represents our global
community today, rather than those which were thought of as being
representative back in 1977, when Voyager was launched.
Over to you :)
I shall let you know when the unit goes live on the GA website.
A new set of stamps from the Royal Mail features 10 fish, to show some sustainable species, and others that are threatened. Lovely illustrations. Did any of these species feature in your menu that was good for the planet ? Which fish species would you put on stamps if you could choose...
A rare chance to work with Richard Allaway of Geography all the Way fame, on an IB Geography course in the UK takes place in 3 weeks time.
The course is held at Heathrow Airport, and is on a Saturday so no cover needed (probably)
Worldwise Week (formerly Geography Awareness Week, is organised by the Geographical Association. This year's resource pack is available, and would provide some good ideas for those wanting to continue the theme of this year's conference 'Crossing Boundaries' with some end-of-the-school-year extension work.
“Our aim is to provide unbiased information about London's social, environmental and economic issues.
“These maps are like fancy pie charts, and if something is twice the size of something else it is obvious. We just want to spark a debate about the differences in one big city.”
Professor Danny Dorling
London called me on Thursday this week, and I went down to the RGS to meet with Ben Hennig.
Ben and I are working on some educational materials for a project called LondonMapper - a website which officially launched today, funded by the Trust for London.
The educational materials are being funded by an Innovative Geography Teaching grant that we have been awarded by the Royal Geographical Society.
Ben's maps will be familiar to many from his work on WorldMapper with Danny Dorling and others from Sheffield University.
Ben now works at the University of Oxford, still with Danny Dorling, and LondonMapper is one of several exciting projects that he is working on.
The site got a lot of early publicity and was featured in quite a few of the newspapers today. - the Guardian - Daily Mail - the Independent
I've recently returned from a very successful GA Conference 2014 at the University of Surrey in Guildford, where I was involved in a number of workshops and meetings, which included a project called I-USE.
Want to know more about I-USE ?
Here's the project leaflet.
An interesting campaign to tackle low birth rates in Denmark, which could well have been an April Fool's joke given the date...
Called Do it for Denmark, it is being organised by a travel company in Denmark, and those who participate in the scheme have a chance to earn prizes if they can prove that they conceived a baby while on holiday with the firm.
An interesting one for pro-natal population policies.
A campaign is launched today which suggests an obvious move forward for our capital city: a designation as the country's newest National Park.
We see no reason why London shouldn't join the Peak District, Snowdonia and the Norfolk Broads as having a designation as a National Park.
The city has a breadth of habitats, and a diversity of wildlife that rival some of the existing parks. Check out the new WEBSITE to find out more.
From the press release...
The Greater London National Park* was launched today, celebrating the importance and diversity of London’s urban habitat. It may sound like an April fools joke, but it is not.
It is only a “notional park” for now, but geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison is calling for the public to back the idea.“There is this idea that a National Park has to be remote and rural, but cities are incredibly important habitats too. An amazing 13,000 species of wildlife can be found in London’s open spaces which together make up 60% of the Greater London National Park*. In London we have peregrine falcons, 13 species of amphibian and reptile, pigeons, over 8 million people and countless dogs and cats too. The Greater London National Park* celebrates all life.
”National Parks are currently funded by central government to conserve and enhance natural beauty, wildlife and their cultural heritage; and promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of National Parks by the public. These objectives could be applied to a city like London as well the countryside.
Raven-Ellison makes clear that he is not proposing any changes to planning policy in the capital, or that the Greater London National Park* would have the planning powers that so many residents in current National Parks dislike.
“I am proposing a new kind of National Park – an ‘urban’ National Park that would aim to conserve and promote London’s awesome ability to be dynamic, innovate and evolve. The Park’s role would be to inform and inspire best practice, while helping to better co-ordinate and promote London’s biodiversity and recreational opportunities, especially those in outer London.”
Raven-Ellison, a geographer and National Geographic Emerging Explorer, argues that the park would create a new way to see and think about London.
“How would being a National Park change the way we live, work and play in the city? How would we educate children, design buildings, plan health services or create new leisure activities differently if we started thinking of London as a National Park?”
“It’s a bit of an outside-of-the box curve ball, but sleep on it and you will realise what a great idea it is. Being the world’s first National Park city would celebrate and consolidate London’s position in the world as a leading, green world city that invests in the health and wellbeing of its people, which is great for both new and mature business and employees. Besides, wouldn’t you like to live in London and a National Park at the same time? I know I would!”
One of the things about being a prolific blogger is that things you write disappear off the main section of the blog quite quickly.
I thought it was worth reminding you of something that I created a while back with the guy on the left here...
Distance stands for:
Demonstrating the Internet of School Things: a National collaborative experience
It's a project that I've been involved with along with a group of partners including INTEL, Sciencescope, CASA at UCL and the Open University.
Helen and Tom from Explorer HQ have worked with me to produce some exciting ideas, supported by Mark, Dan, Paul and other colleagues from Explorer HQ on the technical side.
We've been working to create educational materials for the schools involved in the Pilot, and ultimately schools all over the country.
Click the Resources tab on the website, and you will find that you can see some of these...
They would be useful to adapt even without access to the kit that the schools had. The website has developed tremendously since the start of the project... Follow Apps > Dashboard to see some of the live data feeds from the project.
Cultural Geography featured on the now-ex Pilot GCSE Geography Specification - that was my introduction to this area of geography. This blog started out featuring my findings, resources and images as I produced resources when teaching this unit for the first time. Some readers may disagree with what I call 'cultural geography' but I'm still relatively new to all this...
Some of the early content stems from ideas by Dr. Phil Wood , Senior Lecturer in Geographical Education at the University of Leicester.
The blog has now morphed into a general place to blog about geography and popular culture, as well as social science, mapping and a range of other cultural items of interest.
Visitors from overseas are particularly welcome - I hope you're finding the blog useful...
Please note that I'm happy to feature relevant books with reviews - already had quite a few sent in, for which I am very grateful.