Sunday, December 18, 2011

Normal service will be resumed in 2012

I'm going to take a couple of weeks away for Christmas (although I probably won't be able to resist blogging if something important happens between now and the 1st of January 2012.)

I'm going to be doing one or two things over Christmas as well as enjoying the festive cheer

  • Writing a GCSE book
  • Completing a major resource pack for the Ordnance Survey
  • Planning out a Children's book I'm going to be writing
  • Preparing for CPD events in the New Year
  • Writing some Online Updates for Harper Collins
  • Edits and proofreading for 2 books I'm editing that are published in early 2012
  • Adding new content to my Vital Geography Portal
  • Preparing some thoughts for new Curriculum consultation
  • Putting together some ideas for Mission:Explore Food

On 1st of January I'll be back with various New Year thoughts...

Please join me on the 5th of January for my Teachshare on New Year New Geography


It'd be great to have your company at 7pm with your plans for the year ahead for New Year New Geography, and if you are tweeting your plans, please use the tag #nyng

Thanks to Rich Allaway for his early contribution to the tag.

Thanks to everyone who's employed me during 2011, or visited this blog and contributed in some way.

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, AND WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mary Portas Review: Saving the High Street ?

Regular readers of the blog will know that I have an interest in the changing fortunes of town centres and have written various posts on Clone Towns, Rebranding and other projects to revitalise town centres as they face competition from out of town retail parks and the rise of online shopping.

This was also part of the 'A' level specification that I used to teach, and some ancient resources from the Cambridge Urban Field Day that we used to run are available via the link.
I also started a Flickr Group called The Disappearing High Street some years ago, and several kind photographers have contributed their images to join mine.

Mary Portas, who has featured in a number of recent TV programmes looking at changing the fortunes of retail businesses, was asked earlier in the year to explore the ways that the fortunes of the High Street could be turned round. The report was published this morning....



There is also a free KS3 resource that you can obtain from the Harper Collins website that I wrote on the changes that have taken place in the High Street: "Shop, or they start to drop". This would sit well with the report, and also the diagram opposite, which is taken from the report.
While you're there, why not subscribe to the other monthly online updates which I'm writing ?

What is important is that they are 'vital and viable'.

The report is now live on Mary Portas' website, or click here to download as a PDF (1.9 Mb)

There are 28 ideas to explore with students, who can research them, and suggest how successful they might be in your local town centre.

Right, I'm off to Tesco Extra....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mission:Explore Food - you can help make it happen

Last night at the Houses of Parliament, Mission:Explore came runner-up in the Educational Writers' Awards ceremony of the Society of Authors. Congratulations to the winner: 'Moon' by Stewart Ross.

We were described as having produced: 'A brave book which encourages children to explore the world around them, developing their curiosity, confidence and courage along the way…’
    We're now all set to do something bigger and better, and we are planning to produce a cookbook- but not the usual type of cookbook of course...

    Mission:Explore Food will be a 320 page exploration of all things 'foody' in our own Geography Collective style, and with the fabulous illustrations of Tom Morgan-Jones. For example, here's our take on the importance of eating locally sourced food...

    The funding for the book will hopefully come from crowd-sourcing, and we are using a website called PLEASE FUND US to co-ordinate this.
    If you are able to support us at certain levels, there are some nice rewards, such as books, posters, an invitation to our launch party, and even the chance to feature in the book yourself.

    Read more on the Geography Collective blog


    When you're ready, please head over to our PLEASE FUND US page. We need a good chunk of money to make this happen, although it's manageable if we take it one bite at a time.
    Look down the right hand side to see the options....

    Thanks in advance for your support and look forward to launching the book at the Hay Festival in 2012.


    Remember that Mission:Explore was a National Trust / Hay Festival Outdoors Book of the Year for 2011

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Culture - the latest Digital Explorer site...

    I've been working with Jamie Buchanan Dunlop over the last few months, adding some new resources to the OCEANS DIGITAL EXPLORER website.

    The Digital Explorer empire is now expanding to CULTURAL matters, linking in with the idea of Citizenship and (as always) a link with real world exploration.

    Check out the new CULTURAL WEBSITE which has some superb resources.

    The FILMS and PHOTOS section looks like being an amazingly useful resource for exploring Citizenship issues.


    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    New Rorys StoryCubes set

    Regular readers of the blog will know of my love of Rory's Story Cubes. I use these in  my CPD sessions, and link them in with the creation of geographical narratives: geography as 'writing the earth'.
    The latest set of cubes is now available to purchase from the Creativity Hub website, and will be in shops in the UK in a few weeks time.
    Story Cubes Voyages is a whole new set of dice for story-telling which can be used in combination with the previous sets, or by themselves...

    My cubes are on order...