Sunday, July 29, 2012

Richard Long's Road Graffiti

Have blogged several times about the work of Richard Long and the connection with landscapes.

The recent road race around Box Hill has a few other geographical connections, such as the Olympics geocaches that had been hidden by Sam Atkins and pupils at the Priory School, Portsmouth.

Came across this video of the artwork being made: Road Graffiti, which is inspired by the graffiti written on the roads during the Tour de France.
Also has connections with other artworks made by Long.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Londinium MMXII

Is underway..
Here's Danny Boyle's notes on the event...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Now booking for 2013

I am looking ahead to 2013 and thinking of planning some sort of trans-Atlantic 'tour'. 
I'd like to bring some of the projects that I've been working on to colleagues in the USA and Canada, and have the chance to broaden my personal geographical horizons.

This blog gets many readers from the USA and Canada (as does Living Geography) and I'd like to develop my own practice, as well as sharing what I've been up to for the last three or four years.

There would be a chance for me to work with students, colleagues, college undergraduates or anyone else who wants to involve me. I can work with groups of teachers, individual schools or other educational organisations.

I could talk about a range of areas of geography education that are of international relevance:
- curriculum planning and change
- developing a sense of place
- expanding young people's world view
- developing a sense of the local - with reference to the pack of materials for National Geographic's Geography Awareness Materials for 2011, which I co-wrote and the Guerrilla Geography approach of Mission:Explore
- connecting teachers and connecting classrooms using technology

There's quite a lot to be decided yet about how all this might work, but it would be good to get a sense for the level of interest in the potential for this...

I also need to have a think of how this might be funded. Are there grants available locally for visiting speakers, teacher development in your area ? Do you have a budget for teacher development ?

Get in touch if you have any thoughts about this or would like to talk about things further....

Have a great summer....

With apologies to Scottish etc. colleagues...

Taking a bit of a blog break for a while....
Hope the sun shines next week as forecast...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Recce App

This is a rather superb app. It is ostensibly a navigation app for visitors to, and residents of London.
It has rendered the city as a Sim City like visualisation, complete with moving vehicles
Zoom in, rotate the view and then pull the search window in from the right, or add other layers such as the availability of 'Boris bikes' from the docking stations. Watch the London Eye rotate, and The Shard rise above the city...
I love the graphics, and it is also a useful app for London and exploring the city.

Currently free on the App Store, and quite a chunky one at over 100 Mb.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stop me and buy one...

From earliest childhood, I remember the sound of the ice-cream van as it moved around the estate near Rotherham where I lived, stopping every few hundred yards. There were a number of tunes that were played, depending on the van.
One of my favourite stories, which I still tell, is a friend whose parents told him that when the music was playing it meant that they'd run out of ice-cream...

There was an interesting article in the Times last week about ice cream vans.
It was about the 'demise of the ice-cream van' and had the clever headline of 'The End of the Ice Age'.

This would make another useful exploration of cultural geographical change.
What's behind the decline in the number of ice cream vans on the streets ?
Is it competition from the supermarkets ?
Is it the changing demographics of communities, or the fact that fewer children play outdoors, and even notice the ice cream van coming past... (there are lots of regulations on how long and how often they can play their chimes...)

The article is behind the Times paywall...

In Mission:Explore Food we explored a range of foods - just been through it and found a mission which involves making ice cream - here's part of the relevant page..
The actual book is out in early September, and is available to pre-order on Amazon...
An e-book version is already available too.

Finally, here's a wonderful pic of a lonely ice cream van on the beach at Whitby by Bryan Ledgard

Image: copyright Bryan Ledgard

Monday, July 16, 2012

End of year debrief...

Don't forget to join me at 7pm tomorrow night for a VITAL CPD Teachshare to look back on the academic year, and ahead to the next one....

Friday, July 6, 2012

iPhone apps for Fieldwork

There are almost as many lists of useful apps as there are apps, but I was impressed by this poster of ideas for 20 iPhone apps for FIELDWORK that was shared earlier by Paul Turner. Paul is the editor of the Geographical Times newspaper, and he was also one of the delegates at the Discover the World CPD event that I ran earlier in the week (see recent blogposts)
Nice work !
There were a few apps here that were new to me, so I'll be having a little explore later.....

159 shades of Geography

Holiday reading - some thoughts....

Instead of '50 shades of Grey' which everyone seems to be reading at the moment, here are some of the books that I've read recently or have lined up for the summer. I'll be heading for a farmhouse near Salcombe. Hope you have somewhere cool lined up for your weeks of R 'n' R....

1. 'The Old Ways' - Robert MacFarlane - this is the one I'm saving for summer. Excellent reviews, and there'll be plenty to 'fillet'...

2. 'Fire Season' - Philip Connor - started this on a train earlier in the week and already wishing I was a fire lookout in New Mexico... excellent book, and plenty to explore when looking at wildfires, wilderness management.

3. 'The A303' - Tom Fort - half way through this exploration of the geography and history of a single road. Could challenge students to produce a guide to a road near you....

4. 'Oops' - Hywel Roberts - a nicely presented guide to helping students learn accidentally, with plenty on teacher stereotypes and very easy to read... paused about a third of the way through to digest what I've read so far...

5. 'Arctic Dreams' - Barry Lopez - classic that I first read over 25 years ago, and am re-visiting for some insights on changing Polar landscapes...

And for those with a Kindle, you can get a copy of Mission:Explore Food... - this contains 159 shades of geography missions

Hardback out in early September - just in time for the start of the Autumn term :)

What are you packing for your holiday ?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mission:Explore Food

The Geography Collective has been very busy for the last few months getting ready for the launch of our 4th book. This one is a biggy. Mission:Explore Food has over a hundred and fifty missions, plus recipes and information on the theme of food.
It's available to purchase on iTunes
Last Saturday morning was spent at the GA Secondary Committee meeting, at the October Gallery

It was great to head over to Hackney City Farm after the meeting. Thanks to Victoria and Beth from the committee for coming along to support us too.
As a backer of the book, I was also able to pick up a signed limited edition print produced by our genius artist Tom Morgan-Jones as well. There was real ale, salad cities, pea throwing, artistry and music. And a few speeches by Dan Ellison.
Next stop for the Geography Collective's Spaceship is the Latitude Festival.

Here's a quote from Helen Pallett who liked what we've done in our book a lot:

Mission:Explore’s approach is both exciting and empowering, giving its readers full control over their experience of the book, choosing from a wide variety of missions which they can carry out in their own way. The organisation of the book into more than 150 different missions encourages experiential and creative learning; and, encouragingly from the perspective of an academic geographer, it reveals geography to be a collection of different practices rather than the abstract study of maps and countries. This is a radical challenge to the traditional fuddy-duddy image some people have of geography. The tasks and information sections cleverly weave wide-ranging scientific, political and historical themes through the book. On top of this the mission-based format, encompassing joke-telling and poetry, food preparation and growing, community interaction and fact-finding, encourages readers to go beyond the content of the book to find out more from the internet and the people around them, and to develop important critical thinking skills.

Check the BLOG for more, including this from chef Tom Kitchin:

 helps young people in  to understand the journey their food makes from nature on to their plate."

“Oh blimey the book is BRILLIANT!!!!! It needs to be in every school in the country!” Emma Freud

Image: Alan Parkinson