Sunday, September 29, 2013

The coming age of ambient information...

I blogged earlier about the DISTANCE project which I am involved with. This is related to the idea of the 'Internet of Things'. We are currently creating teaching resources related to this theme, and I spent some time yesterday working on them.
We are working with our partners which include Intel, ScienceScope, Open University and the Birmingham Climate Laboratory.
I'm grateful to Karl Donert for the tipoff to the European Geographer journal.

An article in Issue 11 is excellent, and outlines a speech made by Ed Parsons from Google. I've met Ed a few times in the past, and chatted at the GA Conference a few years back. Ed has a really interesting job within Google.
The article is on page 29 and 30, and is based on a session given at Leuven.
It describes the value of 'ambient information' which we communicate, often without knowing it...

I recommend reading the article if you're teaching about cities and futures. It's based on some conference sessions that Ed has done in the last few months.

While in Bristol towards the end of the summer holiday, I noticed that there was a sign saying that the harbour was going to be coming to life, using QR codes...

And in Birmingham I noticed sensors in the parking bays. A car parked over them would make them dark, so linked to an app they become an instant 'map' of available on-street parking which changes as people come and go...

Are cities becoming 'smart' or are the people who manage cities making more use of technology to support (or control) their residents ?

As Ed said:

“People define places” because place is a social construct. In order for one to gain a sense of what a place is like, one must build an idea about that place and what it means for people. 

This provides some interesting ideas for how we define what a city is....

One for my Year 9s to ponder...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Totally Tubular...

Regular readers will know of the importance of this album in my life...
Mike would be in any shortlist of 'famous' people I'd like to meet....

The BBC will be showing a Tubular Bells documentary that was filmed some months ago to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of the album. It's called …plus Tubular Bells and will be on BBC4 on Fri 11th October at 9pm. It features an in depth interview with Mike at his studio in the Bahamas and also footage of him performing various sections from the album, plus interviews with family, friends, and many others. Lots of great archive too.
It will be followed by a concert from the BBC's archive of The Second House performance of Tubular Bells - only seen this on YouTube....

Now is that a constructive or a destructive wave on the cover ?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cultural Geography - GTA style...

There are some games which create a global buzz.
Grand Theft Auto is one of those games.
I was interested to read of the reaction in the Scottish town of Hawick to their place being used as the name for a 'druggie' district of one of the main cities.


An interesting story on globalisation and cultural exports here too from the BBC with plenty of other areas for discussion....

How else are places represented in the game ?
How important is geography in the game play ?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Freshly brewed resources..


A few months ago, I worked on a short project for the COSTA FOUNDATION and RAINFOREST ALLIANCE, which involved creating a set of teaching resources around the theme of coffee production and the impact on those who are involved producing it. I'm grateful to those who helped me collect some of the information that made its way into the resource, which went live this week...
Check out the interactive map and teaching resources for download here.


Milk, no sugar....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

100 000 views...

Thanks for reading...

Fieldwork Showcase...

Enhancing Fieldwork Learning is an HEA funded project, which explores the way that technology can enhance pedagogy in fieldwork in particular. There is a focus on data collection, and the use of mobile learning.

Last year, I went to the 2nd annual Showcase event of the project at Preston Montford Field Studies centre, and until recently I was due to attend the 3rd event at Rhyd Y Creuau

I gave a presentation last time on our work with Mission:Explore and the connections with ludic pedagogies...

This time I was going to talk about the DISTANCE project that we have been working on.
However, instead of making my way to Snowdonia yesterday, I was teaching, and instead of presenting at the FSC Centre today, I was marking Year 7 homework. All part of my transition back to teaching...

I've tweeted a few folks who are at the event, and from the sound of it there have been some excellent presentations and fieldwork excursions.
I've been following the event hashtag too: #eflshowcase

Follow the Twitter account too...

Some apps and other tools that I've been using for some years have been getting a mention, so good to know that I'm up to date here... Some further new ideas too. Some of the resources will also be shared on the website after the event hopefully...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New book

Co-written with John Widdowson and available to purchase from the GA Shop now...
Thanks to all concerned...

Geography of Bread rolls..

What do you call yours ?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Intense, but not in tents... the Geography Camp

Over at the Geography Collective HQ, we’ve been making some changes and plotting some quality events.  We are really pleased and excited to announce some of our plans for our residential camp in early 2014.  This will focus on helping geography departments make sense of and subvert the current changes to the National Curriculum and examination system.
As well as the central theme, there will also be lots of informal activities, laughter, great food and fun.   We are shaping the programme at the moment, but it will include stuff like:
  • Fitting existing Schemes of Work and resources to the new National Curriculum;
  • Using young people to hack your existing curriculum;
  • What to do about assessment;
  • Using Key Stage 3 to improve GCSE performance.
The final programme will be very much shaped by those who attend.
The style will be (un)conferency, with plenty of opportunity for informal chatting and sharing.  As a school leader who held the CPD budget, we’re making it great value and will ensure you’ll leave with lots of ideas, contacts and resources.
We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be using the Field Studies Council centre at Juniper Hall.  It’ll be full board and accommodation included in the price. The dates are Friday 25th to Sunday 26th of January 2014.

Follow and use the hashtag: #GCCamp