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Showing posts from March, 2013

GA Conference 2013

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I'm preparing my contributions to the Geographical Association Conference today.

The conference will be held at the University of Derby, which is my favourite of the three venues. It runs from the 4th to the 6th of April.

The first day of the conference doesn't involve any of the usual workshops.
I will be heading over to the Association at Work session to grab a bite to eat, and chat to Ian Cook (who features in this month's 'Geographical' magazine coincidentally) to talk about a Follow the Things project I'm doing between now and the end of June.

Later that afternoon, it's the public lecture from Ellen MacArthur, followed by the GA Awards. I know that something I worked on has won an award, and there may be a few more in the offing too...
Then it's the wine reception, followed by a few drinks with esteemed geographer colleagues...

Friday is the main day of the conference, with sessions from early in the morning to late in the evening. My draft schedule…

John Muir Trust Mission booklet

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For the last few months we've been working with the amazing folks at the John Muir Trust to put together a booklet of missions which marries the Mission:Explore style of missions to the aims of the trust, which are to encourage young people to experience the landscape, and care for wild places.
John Muir was the father figure of nature conservation, and quotes from him have been included to connect the missions with some of the ideas that he had over a century ago.
The resource is part of the celebrations for the Year of Natural Scotland, 2013


You can get to see the missions on this GRAPHICLY page. It will be available in other locations shortly, and I'll add the links to those as they emerge.
Here's a slide that I've used in many of my presentations... Get out and about this Easter... and don't forget to take the opportunity to Mission:Explore...

HMS Warrior

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I spent Thursday of last week down in Portsmouth.
I'd travelled down the night before from a course that I was running in Birmingham, so it was a long day, and I got to my hotel quite late. I was in what the hotel described as a 'soundproof room', although the large gap under the door, the thin walls and 'energetic clientele' meant that I questioned the validity of the description. Slept surprisingly well for all that, and the following morning took a blustery walk through the edges of the city and into Gunwharf Quays, following a route that I'd walked before on a previous visit to work with students at Priory Geography. I entered the Historic Dockyards, home to the Mary Rose and other nautical treasures... and made my way to the venue.



The event was organised by members of the Geography department at Priory School in Portsmouth, particularly Jo Debens.
The event brought together around 50 students from a number of local schools, and was hosted on the gun deck …

Scarfolk

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I'm always impressed by writers who are able to conjure up entire worlds and sustain a mood, mythology and history for their creation. Some of my favourite books depend on entering a world that the author has created. There's also a certain geographical element to this of course.
Authors need to become experts in the meteorology, geology, biology and pedology of their creation and they need to make sense. Settlements, transport routes, resources or inequalities - all of these are conjured up. Tolkien's Middle Earth or Jack Vance's Lyonesse are worlds I spent hundreds of hours in when I was younger.
If students are to be able to develop an extended piece of writing, or immerse themselves in a particular milieu this tends to lead to independent learning - they want to learn more in order to develop their enjoyment of the experience.
My son is very interested in Minecraft, and this has led him to research and uncover a range of videos which show how to carry out particular…

Some nice geography lessons...

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Meaghen Brown has shared a number of interesting 'geography lessons' online.

I enjoyed this one on the Story of Place in particular.


Museum of Contemporary Commodities

At the start of the year, I was invited to an event at the University of Exeter, to explore ideas of trade justice, commodities and the stories behind things that are for sale in shops. The idea of MoCC starts by imagining shops as museums, and every product that is for sale as an exhibit in the museum. What would you write on the tag that goes with it to explain its story...
MoCC is the Museum of Contemporary Commodities.
Watch the video to find out more about the project.
This is something I am going to be involved in later this year, as I work on a project with Ian Cook of Follow the Things fame....


MoCC Thinkering Day from Simon Moreton on Vimeo.