Saturday, January 21, 2017

Return to my youth...

A really wonderful album came out yesterday... a return to themes in an earlier album by Mike Oldfield. A return to an instrumental album with 2 long parts, a return to acoustic instruments, and a return to hand-playing and leaving in the imperfections... listen to it if you can...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The evolution of the desk...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ethel and Ernest

Catch this on iPlayer while you can.
A cultural and social history, and Geography of the mid years of the last century through to the 1970s and the social changes that occurred...

New Costa for Schools resources

Coffee is very much part of our culture, and the act of visiting a coffee shop or chain is a daily experience for many.

A few years ago now (about 4 I think), I wrote three sets of resources for Costa Coffee, based on the work of the Costa Foundation.

They asked me earlier in the year to produce another set of 3 resources, based around the experience of buying a coffee. I was interested to see that in the end, quite a lot of the Costa specific references were taken out, so this is very much about the 'value' that is generated by our love for coffee. There are of course lots of independent coffee shops as well as the chain names.

You'll need to register (for free) with an e-mail and password to download the resources.

They have been really nicely designed up, and I'm going to make use of them in the coming term as part of a multi-choice curriculum section that I'm currently working on, as part of our unit on consumption and 'stuff' for Year 8.

Thanks to Jennifer Ferreira for her help with some of the links here, and those other colleagues who shared ideas or gave permission to use their ideas. Thanks to Hannah at EdComs for liaison...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas blogging break...

I'm about to take my annual break from blogging for a few days...

Thanks for reading Cultcha this year.
I've managed to add 46 posts this year, around one a week.

Image: Ronald Lampitt, who also illustrated 'The Map that came to Life' and many Ladybird books...

Monday, December 19, 2016

Current listening...

Quite apt…

A world of music

"Online radio is this ancient technology in a way. So we decided to use it as a sort of navigational tool."

This is a neat map and music project: Radio Garden.
Click the map and find radio stations all over the world.

Drag the map and hear the static as the radio retunes to the next available station….
This was my local one that it started playing straight away…. Radio West Norfolk.
The website uses ESRIs mapping and was produced by Jonathan Puckey at @studiopuckey

Why not provide a list of cities, and ask students to find them (reinforcing geographical knowledge as to where they are) and also assess the extent to which the music they find there is global and recognisable. What language is spoken by the DJ?
If there is more than one station in a city they are listed in the bottom right, and clicking switches between them.
Where are the 'quiet parts' of the world where there are few stations?
Do they correspond to a map of population density? Use the wonderful CityGeographics map that I blogged about a few days ago.

This Atlantic article also makes the connection with the Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft, which I have used as a motif in my work with the Global Learning Programme. It also describes the idea of connectedness.

Perusing Radio Garden, you begin to imagine the people listening to music as they make coffee, the people sitting in offices and in waiting rooms, the people dancing at the bar after last call, the people cooking dinner for their families, and the people driving to work before dawn. Some of these people look like you. Some do not. Some of them know different truths and have different values. Some live in the lands of your ancestors, but speak languages you cannot understand. Though you may never meet these people, you can begin to know them this way—by listening to what they hear.

Thanks to Fred Martin for reminding me of the potential of this interesting map project. Find out more about it here.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Teachmeet at the GA Conference

David Rogers has revealed the details and signing-up form for the Teachmeet which will be held to coincide the GA Conference in 2017.

The timing is not ideal for some as it is after the Easter holidays, but this remains the essential CPD for teachers of Geography, and is worth seeking special permission to visit.
Hope to see lots of you there.
I'll put myself down as a deputy speaker in case there are gaps, or people who have to withdraw at the last minute. Will be good to see lots of new speakers and attendees.
Also get your ticket from the Eventbrite page if you are wanting to attend.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Emojiography

A few weeks ago, partly coinciding with Practical Pedagogies (see recent posts), I came across a really nice idea using emojis.
For a while, we've had an emoji sheet by the classroom door where students can choose a quick feedback on what they felt about the lesson that had just finished.
This post used the emojis as a resource and a stimulus for discussion during a lesson, and reflection on themes, by providing a symbol with several meanings - a simple semiotic stimulus...

It was the work of Jonathan Taylor, who tweets at @HistGeoBritSec. He'd shared his ideas for megacities.


There are plenty of posts on the twitter feed, and quite a few teachers seem to have been using the idea following Jonathan's session at Practical Pedagogies.

I created a bespoke set of emojis to related to the work we are doing on the Nepal Earthquake. This goes alongside the resource that I wrote for the British Red Cross, which has been well received by lots of people.

I decided to try it with this context, and came across this website where you are presented with a list of emojis and selecting a particular symbols adds it to a tweet box, which can then be sent, and therefore screenshotted...


There's also the Emoji Copy website or Get Emoji, which allows you to build up a list by copying and pasting the icons into a box once again...

A few colleagues then tried the idea having seen it on my twitter feed, and had the idea of perhaps building up a 'library' of emoji boards for use in Geography.
And I came up with the name of 'emojiography' for this sort of activity....

Have you tried this? Share an emoji board...

Image: Alan Parkinson - example of student work

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

New GA CPD course - updated for March 2017

Updated with a new date

For a period between 2007 and 2013, I ran regular courses for the Geographical Association, including the Living Geography courses, NQT Conferences, GIS courses with ESRI, New Fieldwork courses and plenty of others. In that time, I worked with hundreds of teachers, and learned a lot about my own practice.
When I returned to teaching full time in 2013, I didn't have time to do them, and stopped, and a 'new' generation of presenters has taken over including Catherine Owen, Ben Ballin, Garry Simmons and Becky Kitchen.

Now, I'm back leading an event for the GA, with a new course, which has the added advantage of being 'my old favourite price': FREE. So you can come along for an afternoon discussing technology and global learning, and networking with other colleagues, and leaving with some new ideas for you I hope.

Now rescheduled for March 2017

It's being put on in Bury St. Edmunds, so it's a handy location for those in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and S. Norfolk, and perhaps even parts of Essex.

It's on the theme of the GLOBAL LEARNING PROGRAMME, (which is funding the course) and has the context of a global village.

It also connects with an online course which I wrote last year for the GA, and is called Exploring our GLOBAL VILLAGE.

There is a connection with the golden record that NASA attached to the Voyager spaceships before they headed out to the edge of the universe. I was interested in a recent Kickstarter project to create replicas.

I hope to see some of you there...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Are you a citizen of the world?

Behind the desk in my classroom is one of Richard Allaway's display posters, with quotes linked to geography. There are several sets of them, and they are recommended for your classroom.
They can be downloaded from here.
It's the one opposite, featuring Socrates.

In a recent speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May said

"...if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don't understand what citizenship means."



Theresa May studied Geography at one of the world's great universities (rated number 1 in the world in fact at the moment) and one would expect that she might have come across the idea of scale, and that it is possible to have a connection with a place in numerous ways simultaneously, and that all places are essentially transitory and in constant motion in any case, whether that be by cultural shift, or the slow crawl of the tectonic plates on which they sit. We are all citizens of lots of places. The person who perhaps explained this best was the late Doreen Massey, who has featured many times before on Living Geography.
There is a useful piece on the Royal Geographical Society website which references Doreen's work on Kilburn 

Read this document too (PDF download)

Dr. Mary Gilmartin says this is:

‘a pretty ordinary place’, that is so connected to Ireland and India and Pakistan through colonialism and migration that it is ‘impossible even to begin thinking about Kilburn High Road without bringing into play half the world’ (Massey 1991). The same, Massey claims, is true for any place you can think of. If places are connected in this way, so too are people, which gives a new sense of possibility to the concept of a global citizen. 
Writing in 1885, geographer Petr Kropotkin expressed his version of global citizenship: ‘we are all brethren, whatever our nationality’.

Of course Doreen's work on Kilburn came after Theresa May graduated...


The Washington Post has a pertinent article here.
And this David Shariatmadari piece in The Guardian earlier in the week connected this notion of citizenship with the Brexit vote, which will remove one element of all UK residents 'citizenship' and also means that when I go to Toulouse over half term I'll be forking out rather more for my cold French lager...

I don't understand a lot, but I understand what geography means...

Why not discuss this idea, and the words of Theresa May with students who are exploring citizenship, or global governance or similar themes in the new 'A' level perhaps?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Moana.... cultural appropriation discussion

The latest Disney film features characters from Polynesian mythology...
This Guardian article suggests it's not the first film to engage in this cultural appropriation....