Tuesday, 30 April 2013

4500 up...

Just passed 4500 posts on this blog, which is quite an amazing number of items.
Remember, if it's happening in geography, it's on here...

"You don't want to come here..."

As part of the expansion of the EU, there will be further freedoms for people from Bulgaria and Romania.

The Home Office is concerned that there may be the same interest in moving to live in the UK as there was from previous expansions to EU movement permissions.
The Daily Mail has been printing various stories for some times warning of the possible consequences... as they do... and I had a flyer through my letterbox from UKIP in advance of the May 2nd local elections which mentioned this as being an issue that would affect people in my village....

The latest release of Census data a few months ago now revealed that Polish is the second most spoken language in the UK. A video on language in the census was previously posted, and can be found here.

There's a nice set of posters that have been created on this Guardian site page. They explore some of the changes in migration over the years and are quite creative.

There was a suggestion that we should develop a campaign to give a negative view of the country, so as to put people off. These images of the countries that are involved are really interesting. Also check out sites such as People mov.in

Radio Free Europe page has some good examples that were made as a result of this issue.

One campaign which was then produced in response to that was from Romania itself.

This is an area that should be a part of all KS3 Geography courses.

Finally, here's a video from the BBC website, which was added today.
It's just under seven minutes long, and has Nick Robinson visiting Peterborough: a city I know quite well, and which we used as an example of the impacts of large scale immigration.

Update
Reminded of the work of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University.
They have a range of excellent briefings, reports and also the chance to create and access interactive graphs.

Without Space and Light



A new campaign related to the size of modern houses and the problems...
Fronted by Kevin McCloud.

Visit the website of the campaign as well.
Might be a useful addition to work on settlement and urbanisation...

Weather and Climate revisited...

One of the things I did while working for the GA was to work with a company to make three films for Teacher's TV on the theme of 'Weather and Climate'.
I came up with the ideas for the three programmes and the concept, and then worked with the company to get them made. We even had a special poem written by Mark Cowan for the final programme.

Teacher's TV is no more, but the videos are now available in various ways, such as via the TES.

I was doing some work related to weather and climate for Primary Geography today, and was reminded of them.

Sadly the embedding wouldn't play ball, so follow the link above and go to:
Today's Forecast
The Great Storm
or 
Degrees of Change

Embed Plus

Via Tim Rylands on Twitter
A Chrome extension which adds extra features to embedding, such as YouTube playback....
Worth adding I think - I've made some use of it since adding it.


Instant Atlas - geographies of health explored

Thanks to Bob Lang for the tipoff here, and to Karl Donert for the lead to the post on GIS Lounge.

There is plenty to follow-up here, in a guest post written by Bob Lang. Bob and I worked together on the GIS made Easy book, published by the GA, which is selling really well.
Available from the GA Shop.

Explore health-related data and produce maps and other data visualisations.
Health is an area which a growing number of geographers are using as a context - particularly given the  range of stories which relate to this issue, as the population of the UK (and other countries) continues to age... and at my age it starts to become an issue on the horizon too... which is a cheery thought.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Summer Camp is coming...

At Mission:Explore, we're planning a range of activities through the summer, and the webpage for our SUMMER CAMP has just gone live.


The Mission:Explore online Summer Camp is going to be 100 days of warped adventures, wild activities and daring challenges. Join the Summer Camp community and from June 1st you will be sent daily missions to explore the great outdoors, no matter where in the world you are.
Carefully crafted by our camp challengers, you will be sent missions to attempt by National Geographic, National Parks, the RSPB, Scouts, John Muir and other exploration experts.
Complete the daring missions outdoors and you will develop your expertise in Mission:Exploring and discover new things about yourself and the world around you. You'll have some random fun and be able to pick up some rewards too.

Visit the page, and see our awesome countdown clock, and check out the Summer Camp challengers that have been confirmed so far...


It's going to be a summer to remember...

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Alps: a future without snow ?

A useful Guardian article.

It matches some of the comments that were made by Terry Callaghan in his lecture at the GA conference. See earlier blogpost on this lecture.

How will this affect the tourist industry, and the residents ?
What alternative forms of industry might develop ?

Image by Alan Parkinson - I've been to the Alps about 6 times in the last three or four years...

Thought for the Day

"If you live in the Tuscan hills, you may find different lovely things to eat every month of the year, but for us it would mean having to subsist half the year on a diet of tubers and cabbages, so why shouldn't we be grateful that we live in the age of jet transport and extensive culinary imports. More smug guff is spoken on this subject that almost anything else."
Nigella Lawson

Via George Monbiot's 'Heat'

Friday, 26 April 2013

7 billion people

... and this website tries to show them all...


Can you spot yourself ?

Live tweeting Everest 1953

I'm a fan of the idea of taking a historical event, and bringing it back to life by tweeting (in real time if possible) the events that happened, and adding in images and other information to bring the event to life again...

Thanks to Tania Grigg for the tipoff to a live-tweeting event happening to retell the story of the expedition to conquer Mount Everest in 1953....

Follow the Twitter feed... or the hashtag #Everest53
What events / anniversaries are coming up that could be re-enacted ??

How about 33 years after Harry Truman tweeted... "Feeding the cats... mighty quiet here..."

Or 27 years ago today perhaps.... an engineer at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine... "we have a problem"....

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Beyond The White Darkness.... new OFSTED Literacy report...

A new report by OFSTED on literacy was published earlier in the week....
So why should geography teachers be bothered ?
Well, as it says in my session from a few years ago down in Suffolk, literacy should be part of the planning for every Geography lesson, or listen to this slidecast, prepared for a Teachmeet in 2010

Speaking, listening, writing and reading should all be part of the experience of geography that all students participate in...

You can download your own copy of the report from HERE in PDF / Word format.

What's particularly nice is to see some work by friends being highlighted in the Geography mentions that are peppered through the report.

There's a mention for Tony Cassidy and colleagues in the geography department at Kirk Hallam Community College, with his innovative scheme of work based on Geraldine McCaughrean's excellent 'The White Darkness' (check out her book 'Fires Astonishment' too) to teach about extreme environments in the Arctic.

Atmosphere and sea surface options for Google Earth

I was excited to read about a few new features which have been added to Google Earth 7.1
You need to download / update your version of Google Earth to the latest one first.

You will then be able to do several things:
1. Add, or view the SUN - use the SUN icon on the top toolbar, or go to VIEW and tick SUN
2. While you're on the VIEW bar, put a tick next to WATER SURFACE
3. Go to OPTIONS (or view Preferences if you're on a Mac) and tick the new option: PHOTOREALISTIC ATMOSPHERE RENDERING.
This is a BETA option and may not work perfectly for you....

You can now bring the sun down over the water, and with a little tinkering can bring it so that it sets over the water...
Here's a quick go I just had: the sun setting over Loch Slapin, with the Cuillins of the Isle of Skye in the distance...
What can you come up with ?

Here's the Google Earth blog post where I read about the technique first...

A spot of MFL love...

It was pleasing to read some nice things said about Living Geography by Chris Fuller, who's a Spanish teacher and educational consultant living down in Devon....

As always, Alan Parkinson (@geoblogs) leaves me marvelling at some of the fantastic, thought-provoking materials being developed and made available to Geography teachers. From map-overlays to Mission Explore fun to examining Facebook check-ins, Alan has an amazing ability to bring our wider world to life, as do many Geography teachers that I've been fortunate to come into contact with over the years....

Thanks Chris :)
I'll add that quote to my CV...


Give peace a chance

Interesting story on the most 'peaceful' places in Britain in the news today.

The United Kingdom Peace Index (UKPI) was released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, and it turns out that Broadland, which borders the region I live in in Norfolk to the east  is the most peaceful place in the UK.

You can download the whole report from their website, and do your own analysis.

Here's a video from the same site which provides a little more information too.

Image: Potter Heigham sign, Alan Parkinson, CC licensed

Thought for the Day

“In an English school, teachers can teach their children anything at all as long as it is legal and safe..”
Mick Waters, from 'Thinking Allowed'

Map Treasure Quest

A new Class Tools resource from the genius that is Russel Tarr.

It enables the creation of a special map quest, with locations linked to questions.
Take a look and see what you can come up with. Here's a sample which has been put together by Matt Podbury
Volcano Quest


Current reading....


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Digimap for Schools Mapstream Resources

At the start of the year I finished off a project with EDINA, who operate the Digimap for Schools MapStream service, in association with the Ordnance Survey.
This is a little like the Digimap for Schools tool, but without the tools...
Subscribers to MapStream will find that they have access to the Ordnance Survey's mapping at the same scale as Digimap, but the difference is that they stream them into their own GIS software using a WMS (web mapping service) - this works with open-source options such as Quantum GIS, but also ArcGIS and even Google Earth (I was amazed when I first saw this in action...)

One advantage of this option is that the maps are streamed to your GIS as an extra layer, so there is no data storage / installation issue. Having said that, you need a reliable and fairly fast internet connection if you want the maps of course. The cost is much cheaper than Digimap, but you need to use the tools in your GIS client, rather than the ones provided by Digimap. This may require extra time on training how to use your chosen GIS package.

If you head over to the site, you will now find that there are the first of what will be a series of educational materials for teachers, available for free download. These are particularly designed for subscribers to the MapStream service.
I wrote the materials, the cover of one is pictured to the right....
Check them out.
Subscription is just £35 a year for a primary school and £50 for a secondary school.

I will be referring to this, as well as other mapping options in my GA CPD days which will take place in Birmingham at the end of May and London at the start of June.


Latitude 2013

The Mission:Explore / Explorer HQ crew are getting ready to head to Latitude at the end of July to spread out explory/creative goodness...

 If you're going, come and see us in the Kid's Field...

Home grown.... the future...

An interesting article brought to my attention by Helen Steer.
It follows problems for sheep farmers with the snow in the early part of the year.

Food is already rising in price, and there may well be other weather-related issues for the farmers who are still in business.

Will we all be doing a 'Tom and Barbara Good' in the future ?

Perhaps this is a sign that it's already happening...
I'm going out to stockpile Weetabix...

Monday, 22 April 2013

Oceans Exhibition...

Do you live near a sea or ocean ? 
This is your chance to be part of an exhibition to take place in 2014

Just fill a bottle with sea water.... (and pay for postage ;) )

Instructions and details here.
Thanks to Derek Robertson for the tipoff...

The British Geographer

As we approach the revision season, you might want to direct your students, particularly post-16 to the British Geographer website.
It contains a range of materials for GCSE, AS and 'A2' geographers.
It includes a range of resources for physical topics in particular. There are further 'courses' planned over time. There are plenty of useful images to help reinforce learning.

Worth adding to your list of sites to refer to, particularly during exam season..

Earth Day 2013

A special Google logo for the day (and night...) - it's animated...

The official EARTH DAY website uses the phrase 'The Face of Climate Change'...
Take a photo, and upload it along with a message... Take part...

A useful new map by Ben Hennig to mark the occasion too...

Friday, 19 April 2013

London Mapper

A heads-up on a new website which launches soon.

It features the work of SASI, who are the team behind WORLDMAPPER.
It focusses on London, and will include a wide range of mapping and associated data relating to the city of London and its population. As the website says:

A SOCIAL ATLAS OF LONDON

The project aims to present a vast quantity of information on inequality and poverty and social trends across London in a new way which will help fire up and sustain debate on these issues in the capital for many years to come. We do not aim to collect new data, but to show existing data in a very new light. We aim to produce new scientific cartographic images of life in London today, how London is changing, and how it might change in the future if trends continue.


I discussed this project with Ben Hennig while at the GA Conference. He's provided some new cartograms for the site.

I'll let you know when the site is officially launched, but there's already plenty there for those of you who study the geography of our capital city to start getting excited about...

The A41

Via Matt Podbury

The A41 project by Colin McPherson

I've got a few books of photography related to journeys. I'm quite interested in the idea of documenting the stories of a road. I like a bit of Joe Moran, and also previously blogged the work of Sam Mellish.
I have travelled up and down the A17 between King's Lynn and Newark over 700 times in the last twenty five years (I know because I've counted....) and often thought of putting together some sort of book or photography project... although it's not exactly Route 66...
This book follows the A41 between Birkenhead and London, via Birmingham.
There are photos from several local groups who describe some of the issues in their area with social inequality or other related issues. The road connects places with very different characteristics and fortunes...

A copy costs just £3 and arrives promptly....

Why not try your own project along a road that runs through your local area

Thursday, 18 April 2013

GA Silver Award

Thanks to Jamie from Digital Explorer for forwarding the certificate for the Frozen Oceans pack, which won a Silver Award at the recent GA Conference, presented by Dame Ellen MacArthur.


If you'd like to download a copy of the resources from the Digital Explorer go HERE - you'll need to register (for free) first...
Check out the other excellent resources, including others I've written such as the Sustainable Fishing pack.
Thanks to Jamie for involving me in the project...

A map for every story

Spent part of this morning creating some resource ideas for ArcGIS Online.
Thanks to Jamie Buchanan Dunlop for the tipoff to this video, which is perhaps a little misleading as to what the ArcGIS tool can actually do in the way of animated presentations like the ones shown...

Google MapMaker now available for the UK

Zoom in to your local area - are there features missing ?
Perhaps these are actual features, or vernacular geographies...
You can now add features to the map using Google MapMaker tools which have been extended to the UK.
Go to GOOGLE MAPMAKER and make sure that you are logged into your Google account.

Instructions are provided.
Another option for young cartographers to get started mapping...

Mission: to be where I am...

Morning listening to kick off the day....
Could be a Mission:Explore challenge....

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Cioch

Just over 20 years ago, I was heading off into the Black Cuillin to climb the Cioch: a famous rock nose which protrudes from the cliff of Sron na Ciche. It's an awesome place, and one which I'd always wanted to get to - earlier that week, I'd also climbed the Inaccessible Pinnacle: another place ticked off... At the time I did quite a lot of climbing.

The rock outcrop featured in the film Highlander.

Here's a few pictures of our journey that day, rescued from an old photo album. I travelled and climbed with Simon (who now lives in Wellington) and Caroline.
We had a great day for it - bright and clear and a bit chilly.

We walked up into the shadow of Sron na Ciche, then made our way onto the ledge, from which we could do the climb up to the Cioch itself. We were lucky that there were few other people in the area, so we didn't have to wait. The 2nd photo shows the Cioch taken from further up into the gully. You can see the massive exposure and tremendous situation. I'd also done some of the climbs before the Cioch on previous trips to Skye.

The bottom image shows me climbing the slab: I'm near the top on the left hand side, and mid-way up on the right, and in the middle is me modelling my Rohan gear, which I still have (and my wife hates with a passion).... sadly my yellow and black hat went missing a while back...

At 8pm tonight, Nicholas Crane follows in my footsteps, albeit dressed in something other than Rohan...

Nick Crane heads to his beloved Western Isles in Scotland to attempt a daunting, long-coveted, mountaineering challenge on the Isle of Skye. For years, Nick has dreamed of climbing the fearsome Cioch. This singular and impressive spear of rock, the scene for a spectacular sword fight in the film Highlander, was only conquered for the first time in 1906. The men who originally attempted the hazardous route to its summit were an unlikely pair - John Mackenzie, a Scottish mountain guide, and Norman Collie, an English professor of chemistry - but their joint endeavour would bind them into a 30 year friendship. Nick uses Victorian mountaineering gear as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Mackenzie and Collie and climb the Cioch for himself. Along the way he learns something of the triumph and tragedy of their lives, but Nick's reward at the climax of the hazardous ascent comes with the discovery of a new favourite view, an incredible seascape framed by Britain's most glorious coastal peaks.

Still available to watch again on iPlayer at the time of writing...

Thought for the Day

Via Hywel Roberts, author of the splendid "Oops!"


UEA PGCE session

Over to UEA on Monday to do a session with the PGCE folks there. It was good to see that several of them had been to the GA Conference, and attended some of the sessions that I was involved with, and others that I hadn't attended. I've been working with colleagues at UEA every year for the past ten years or so now.
Good discussions on the nature of the curriculum, and the importance of the teacher in making a difference in the classroom.
If anyone's interested in some of the materials I used, get in touch :)
I finished with a focus on the FOLLOW THE THINGS website, of which more to come shortly...



Monday, 15 April 2013

App Evaluation Rubric

Thanks to Joe Dale for indirectly leading me to this useful document, which has been shared under a Creative Commons license by Tony Vincent.

You can read a blog post about the document here, and download it using this link. (PDF download)

Useful for evaluating apps for educational use...
Fits with app design activity shared at the GA conference...

The award for the most highly improbably tectonic activity in movies goes to...

Beautifully rendered landscapes, but no story to match....
Despicable Me 2 looks a much better bet :)

Microadventures

I've followed the work of Al Humphreys for a while...
He has undertaken lots of travel and expeditions and shared them in various ways.
He spoke at an SAGT conference where I also did a seminar.
In addition to his more major adventures, he has also developed the idea of a microadventure, which could be something you can do overnight, or even in your lunchbreak.

He has walked around the M25, for example...

The site here has some useful poster designs which might make a good starter for an activity where pupils plan their own microadventures over the weekend, perhaps with a theme provided by you.
Or better still, take your own and then tell us about it here, and on Al's website.... the world is waiting for you...
I will undertake my own and share the results here when I have a moment...

New BYOD resource from Ollie Bray

A useful and free (my favourite price) resource to get you thinking about BYOD (Bring your own device) implementations in schools.

Written by Ollie Bray..

Sunday, 14 April 2013

I-USE

One of the projects I am going to be involved in over the next few years is the I-USE project. I have blogged about it previously.
This involves a range of partners from several EU countries on the theme of statistical literacy.

The BLOG is up and running already...

The official website is currently being built, and will be going live shortly.
It will then be developed through the next few years, and lead to a major new resource

I am heading off to Bruges in 3 weeks for the EuroGeo conference, where I will be involved in a GeoCompetencies workshop along with colleagues from several EU countries, Michael Solem from the AAG and my old boss Professor David Lambert from the IoE.
This will be followed by several meetings related to this project....

All of which will appear here and on the official blog.

3 years since Eyjafjallajokull eruption...


Check the RGS's HIDDEN JOURNEYS website.

This is a 'hidden website' too for many people even though it's been out there for several years now...

Nice imagery and other information about icelandic tectonic activity, 'as seen' from the London - Vancouver flight.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Beautifully designed coastal erosion book

Lovely work by Jason Orton.

A book of photographs on coastal erosion which crumbles away before your eyes....
Is this an idea that could be adapted for use with students ?

Secondary Phase Committee Twitter feed

Back in 2004, I joined the GA's Secondary Phase Committee.

It was a big learning experience for me. At the time, I was one of the few members who was a teacher. I shared my website: Geography Pages at the first meeting, and slowly got a little more confident being a member of such a group. It led me to a few projects where I was able to develop confidence in the fact that I had something worth saying... I got involved in the production of a new atlas, and made lots of new friends.

When I joined the GA in 2008, I gave up my place on the committee, as there is always a waiting list.

You can now sign up to follow the SPC on Twitter. This will tell you about what we get up to, and also hear about our workshops that we led at the GA conference.

There were three workshops that we were involved in - one advantage of being a member is that you are guaranteed a spot on the conference programme.
Here's our recent 'team photo' in the august surroundings of the October Gallery in London.

Minecraft in Geography - your suggestions welcome...

At the end of last year, I put together a draft document to pull together some ideas for using Minecraft to teach geography (and other subjects potentially)

This was shared on Google Drive with a few people who were kind enough to add some feedback.
In the last few months, there has continued to be a lot of interest in the use of Minecraft, and I have mentioned it a few events too.

I've decided to share this document now....
It's by no means completed, and I would appreciate your thoughts on how it might develop.
I'd be delighted to hear of more useful:
- twitter accounts
- projects
- documents
- ideas
that relate to Geography and Minecraft

You can contact me via Twitter or e-mail - my ABOUT ME page has the relevant links. Alternatively add a comment to this blog post and that will come through to me for moderation. Thanks in advance.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Digimap for Schools newsletter

I picked up my copy from the Ordnance Survey stand at the GA Conference.
The 2nd copy of the newsletter can be downloaded as a PDF from here.

Don't forget the excellent free resources which are available.
I've already blogged the recent new features, but they are described here...

Sponsor Dan the price of a pint...

He's become 'famous' for walking across cities like Mexico City and Mumbai, but in a few weeks time Dan Raven Ellison will be running a pre-determined 26 and a bit miles across our capital city.

Why not sponsor Dan the price of a pint (or more... or less) when he runs the London Marathon.

Dan is running in support of the Outward Bound Trust...

GTE Conference materials

A couple of months ago, I attended the Geography Teacher Educators' conference.
It was organised by Justin Woolliscroft, and took place at Hull University.
I made a small input, which has been described before and shared here:


12 for 2012 for GTE Conference from GeoBlogs

Resources from the other delegates are now available on the GA Website.

You really should spend some time visiting and browsing through these presentations. I have already been through and cannibalised from several of them to add some depth and big questions to some sessions I have coming up.
Check out:
- Alex Standish on why a curriculum needs boundaries
- Nicola Walshe and an excellent literacy idea which I have used since
- David Rayner on the language that we use... 'do you speak Geography ?'

Thought for the Day

“Outdoor spaces offer opportunities for children to be more creative, inquiring and socially skilled, as they can pursue their own lines of interest and talk together. In classrooms, dominated by specific learning outcomes and teachers talking, it’s very easy for learning to become something which is spoon-fed.”

Via this report

Our solution to this problem...

Gapminder Webinar

I've just taken part in an excellent webinar led by Bob Lang to outline ideas for how to use the Gapminder tool in the geography classroom.

I learned several new things, even though I've been using Gapminder since it first appeared.

The new education materials, the first of a batch, have now been released. Try the population activities and download some useful lesson materials free of charge. These would be very timely for revision on population issues.
There are more chances to take part in the webinar next week - no charge:

Monday 15th April 4-5pm UK time
Wednesday 17th April at 4-5pm UK time
Wednesday 17th April at 10-11pm UK time 


Go HERE and use the CONTACT tab to book a place - well worth an hour of your evening.

UPDATE
Some more dates into May 2013

Monday 29th April 4.30-5.30pm (UK time)
Monday 29th April 10-11pm (UK time)
Wednesday 8th May 4.30-5.30pm (UK time)
Wednesday 8th May 10-11pm (UK time)


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Thought for the Day

"Technology won't replace teachers, but teachers who use technology will probably replace teachers who don't" 
Steve Wheeler

More here.

GA Conference 2013 - 18 of lots (actually 18): roll on next year

I'm already looking ahead to next year's GA Conference.

It will take place at the University of Surrey in Guildford.

The theme is 'Crossing Boundaries'...


After recent challenges and uncertainties associated with geographical education at all levels, from primary through to secondary and into higher education, I hope the GA’s Annual Conference in 2014 will be an opportunity for us to indulge ourselves in the subject we are all so passionate about. I have chosen the theme of ‘Crossing Boundaries’ which will enable us:
  • To explore some of the most pressing geographical issues of our time, such as climate change, international migration, energy resources, human security and global inequality, all issues that involve ‘crossing a boundary’.
  • To examine the most recent trends in geographical research. Many of these new research areas are pushing back the intellectual boundaries of our subject. For example, the boundaries between geography and subjects such as environmental science, literature and film, epidemiology, psychology, international relations and economics are being blurred. This is producing new and innovative methodologies and exciting insights into existing and emerging issues. This not only enriches our subject but ensures it remains current and of societal relevance.
  • To investigate the development of geographical curriculum, pedagogy and progression as scholars cross educational boundaries, through key stages at school and into higher education.
If you want to be involved in presenting, you need to contact Lucy Oxley by the end of May 2013

Research papers can be submitted by the 6th of September, and the same dates applies if you'd like to get involved in the PGCE/NQT event.

GA Conference - 17 of lots: GA Conference resources and images...


And so, the conference was over...

In the weeks during April and May, materials, including powerpoint presentations / PDFs / weblinks from the majority of lectures and sessions will be added to the Conference page on the GA website. Milan Recknagel has already started adding them to the website...

Bryan Ledgard, the official photographer, has shared a selection of his images from the conference on Flickr.

You can expect to see these on various website pages and other places for the next year.
Good to have some of me on there too...

Image: Copyright: Bryan Ledgard / The Geographical Association - all rights reserved - used with permission

GA Conference 2013 - 16 of lots: Mission:Explore Fieldtrip - and a special book offer...

The final contribution that I made to this year's conference was a Mission:Explore fieldtrip...

This was a free fieldtrip.
We've done one for the last three years at the GA Conference.

I gave a brief introduction to the development of Mission:Explore and the background to the Geography Collective. I talked about our books, app and recent project work, and then gave a sample of missions for colleagues to try out in what was by now a very sunny Derby University campus.
Here's the missions list that colleagues had access to, along with sticky swatches, various mints, paint colours, compasses and other materials...



Image copyright: Bryan Ledgard / The Geographical Association - all rights reserved - used with permission

There were some excellent contributions on the #MEDerby13 hashtag.

We have now introduced a special offer related to our Mission:Explore Food book.

Mission:Explore Food – School & Group Offer

Our Mission:Explore Food book has an RRP of £20 and currently costs £17 on Amazon. This is a good deal for 159 illustrated activities in a hardback book… that’s just 10p an activity.

We’ve just created a new offer that is aimed at schools and clubs that want to use Mission:Explore Food as class/workbooks. You can now buy copies for £9.09 including P&P when you buy a case of 11 books for £100.
See all the details on eBay

Nice feedback from a delegate too...


GA Conference - 15 of lots: Terry Callaghan's Arctic Lecture

After Karl Donert's lecture, it was straight to another lecture theatre for another one.
This was my lecture for personal development and knowledge - although I've worked in this area, I need to develop further.
Terry Callaghan co-wrote one of the GA's TOP SPEC books: on the rapidly changing Arctic.

The Arctic is an area that I have once again been working on resources for. I also developed a range of materials when teaching the Pilot GCSE Geography.

The Frozen Oceans resource which I mentioned earlier, and which won a GA Silver Award this year covers work done in the oceans north of Canada.
I've also created some resources for the Royal Geographical Society's Discovering the Arctic site. I was asked to add some resources on SWIPA - something which Terry referred to right at the start of his lecture. SWIPA is a report on Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic.
Read my resources here.

Terry provided some interesting perspectives on the changes in the Arctic and, crucially, what they meant for everyone sat in the lecture theatre.
These included:

 - some nice video clips, which were reminiscent of 'Chasing Ice' from Jacobshavn
- scientists being described as 'snow geese': they are migrants who follow the academic year - this does, however, mean that most of the work is carried out during the Arctic summer
- the warming trend is undeniable, especially in the Arctic, but there is lots of complexity in the pattern
- Ice Road Truckers as a way of exploring the idea of infrastructure in these communities - something that I know David Rogers already does
- the term ALT to relate to Active Layer Thickness - used as an index of warming in permafrost areas
- some graphics showing the likely impact on lying snow, which makes worrying reading if you're involved in the Alpine ski-industry - it would also link to the changes in vegetation, and problems for indigenous reindeer herders as they thaw and freeze leads to ice layers in the snow which create a barrier to the animals finding food...
- good mention made of Ecosystem Services - this is something that I've been finding out (and writing) about in the last year, and makes an excellent model for exploring change and impact...

There were a couple of useful weblinks which Terry added at the end of his talk.

AMAP is a Norwegian site I have used before to source useful maps: the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme.
There was also the EU Interact website.
INTERACT is the International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic.
This was a new website for me, and looks to be really good, especially for higher level students.

An excellent lecture...

Cities in One Word

Via @geoviews

Contribute your word to collaborative word clouds - view them, guess them, and help build them...

Which city is this ?
OK, that's an easy one...